A competency is know-how-to-act process which integrates and mobilises a set of capacities, skills and an amount of knowledge that will be used effectively in various problem-solving situations or in circumstances that have never occurred before.
A competency is inseparable from the contexts in which it appears. It calls upon knowledge coming from various sources and requires a selection and an organisation of the sources according to the situations in which the competency is mobilised. It is evolutionary since it continues throughout and beyond the school curriculum
When applying the Competency-Based Approach, the programme is to be centred on the pupil and on building up his/ her knowledge. It aims at making him / her needs within and outside school. This programme will help pupils learn how to listen, read and re-use what he knows in original and new situations.
These skills are integrated rather than taught in a behavioural way. According to the general objectives assigned to the teaching of English in the Algerian educational system, a socio-constructive and efficient cognitive design has been set out with the purpose in mind ti install irreversible competencies in the learner.
The experiment of the communicative approach, in force during the last decades, has shown that even if the pupils has reached a certain mastery of the language, the fact is that in practice, his performance has remained at a very low level. This is why a change in the teaching of English has become a priority. Dispensing knowledge is not enough any more. One should, from now on, help the pupil to
- Play an active role in his learning
- Make himself feel responsible for his training by giving him opportunity to find
answers to questions resulting from his daily experiences.
- Adopt increasingly autonomous conducts and responsible behaviours