In this article, I consider Celce-Murcia, Dornyei and Thurrell’s (1995) seminal article on communicative competence from the perspective of a university teacher-researcher, examining it for strengths and weaknesses, and considering whether their five-competence model would benefit from the addition of further competences. The term used in the title of this paper is “reasoning”. However, I do not consider reasoning as a competence in itself, but something that is spread across competences. Consequently the two new competences that I consider for the model are termed “critical competence” and “field competence”.
The article is written from my perspective as a teacher-researcher, someone who is both involved in English language teaching and also in undertaking applied linguistics research. This creates the opportunity to consider frameworks and ideas developed in applied linguistics in light of the practice of English language teaching; one of the reasons for writing this article is to consider a useful framework of analysis that is both easily comprehensible by teachers in their everyday activities and sufficiently comprehensive to deal with the demands of English for both ESP and general language courses at university. The approach is similar to my article (Davies, 2011) described below.