​Linguistic Competence and Performance Chart

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Using the text for this course, the University Library, the Internet, and/or other resources complete the following chart. In the chart, decide whether the following situations are examples of competence or performance. Each situation must be one or the other; you cannot choose both. In the appropriate column, explain why you think the situation shows competence or performance.




A five-year-old child hears conversations among adults and understands words like debatable and discussion.But, she can’t pronounce the words correctly.

An English teacher visits her elderly grandfather. In conversations with him, she uses words like ain’t and phrases like fixin’ to.

A 10-year-old child pronounces the word specific as “pacific.”

In talking about his dad, a 15-year-old boy calls his father a “smuck in the tid” when he meant to say “stick in the mud.”

A high school student can explain what a comma splice is but still writes sentences that contain comma splices.


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