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MA Students of Literature and Translation Studies: Between Competence and Performance

Gibran Banhakeia* and Ilam Miri

Pluridisciplinare Faculty of Nador, Mohamed Premier University, Nador, Morocco

*Corresponding Author:
Gibran Banhakeia
Pluridisciplinare Faculty of Nador
Mohamed Premier University
Nador, Morocco
Tel: +212602224695
E-mail: [email protected]

Received Date: Feb 09, 2018; Accepted Date: Mar 15, 2018; Published Date: Mar 24, 2018

Citation: 2018 Banhakeia G, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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This article aims at emphasizing, in fact, the mute relationship between performance and competence so that readers of this article would insight into the actively problematized theoretical frameworks of language acquisition. In other words, this article would not review again the recent problems of language learning; nevertheless, it can lead us to visualize such practical situations that have been realized by MA students, in Nador, as case studies in the light of forming well the nature of this original article. For this reason, our studies will focus on the theory of competence and performance of the famous linguist - Noam Chomsky (1950) that we have studied at Faculty Pluridisciplinary of Nador with Dr. Professor El Houssaien Farhad who encouragingly conduct us to prepare myriads of article reviews on “How to study Translation and its Didactic Approaches”.


Competence, Performance, Study, Morocco


This original research seeks to insert the pillar of competence and performance of Chomsky (1950) into the field of education in the light of understanding how these linguistically theory respond to our case studies. We can scrutinize how undergraduate and postgraduate students of Literature and Translation studies at Faculty of Polydisciplinary Studies can translate this theory into the field of education. In fact, this is not purely linguistic research that portrait the used perspectives of Competence and performance, nevertheless it is a sociolinguistic approach that based on such concrete students-arguments (section: method) to visualize as to how the cognitive mind of students work.

Never to forget that even this discussion is somehow linked to the wave of psychological research that is related to the natural science of self-observation of “Language” which contains its external and internal consciousness observations that would make this research to be argued further in two paradigms that are contrastive elements to each other: Behaviorism vs. Chomsky’s Competence of innateness.

Observable behaviors have always attributed among the core principles of behaviorism in as much as its description of consciousness is viewed from external tenets that would be totally different from the internal factor of Chomsky “Competence and innateness”. The latter reacts vehemently to the former in terms of how language is perceived and studied linguistically. Thus, studying what Chomsky calls Competence and Performance is the main argument in this paper, but more importantly, there is an increasing interest in demonstrating how competence is not linked to performance as the surplus idea. To put differently, Stimulus-response, Conditioning reflexes will not explain as to how and why we surely believe that competence and Performance are two different roads from each other and even the theory of Chomsky won’t argue with us on how general students, of Faculty of Polydisicplinary of Nador, would scan the concept of competence in the context of education, translation, creative writing [1].

If Watson JB (1878) analyses observations through everything that is as the external step to consciousness; If Chomsky believes the study of language acquisition is an innateness quality that resides in Competence and Performance, this hither side is not coping our research for as much our focus rejects this linguistically historical idea of conception [2], tough he forged two famous terms (competence and performance). Because there being a huge number of students that disagree upon what Chomsky referred to as language acquisition, this research, hence, shows that there is such an incredible border between Performance and Competence.

Literature Review

The world of linguistics fosters us to study painstakingly how language is made through scientific evidences through History. According to the Routledge Dictionary of Language and Linguistic, Noam Chomsky is everywhere and its theory of generative grammar (1950), the dichotomy “competence/performance” is so clear: Competence is an intuitive language knowledge permitting to the speaking-subject to beget an infinity sentences (Aspects of the Theory of Syntax, 1965), therefore this knowledge should be transformed into performance, which means making this knowledge on the language [3].

This aptitude is intended to be coherently realizable, because MA students of Literature and Translation and BA Undergraduate students believe that competence has its own specification that cannot be related to Performance. To put it more simply, Performance is everything that comes from performance, how to perform and speak eloquently and communicatively; competence is a different mode that doesn’t work with performance and functions only through innateness and reflection.

Competence: Observing MA Students for Two Years

A native of English language can produce great long sentences even if he has a little background on Grammar, though he is writing in English for the first time, foreigners may have difficult problems in order to be on the same level of English as native speakers . To Students, when someone uses his competence, there are such mechanisms and themes upon which we affiliate them to be between competence or performance. Competence is always related to the word of literature: Spending so many times on thinking, writing artistically, Writing novels, Imitating writers, Writings as Philosophers, Simple sentences into accumulative sentences. It portraits us that competence approach is exclusively linked to what is writing as to when someone uses all his efforts to output his effort [4-6].

By the same token, we can understand some there are such students who uses Spanish expressions even if we have never studied deeply the grammar of Spanish language. This happens due to the interiorized that function with the brain as two systems. Moreover, we believe that is the same case for learning and speaking French at the first time. Because there is not a magical secret hidden behind this aptitude, but, in the fact, it is an innate cerebral mechanism. For all that, it seems that performance of Chomsky depends thoroughly on the competence and has no values without getting aptitude. But the major and obsessive reflection that pushed us to deep more in this work is as follows: to establish a method of analyzing these cases [7].

Analytical Method: Short Questions To Be Filled With Yes or No

There are two kinds of students At Mohamed First University and particularly students within MA of Literature and Translation Studies. According to the research we factually did as arguments of this original article, (60%) of students (Mohamed El Jerrary; Mohcin Rakhou, Ilham Miri, Morad Moutaouakil, Rahou Mizian, Gibran Banhakeia, Chaymae Aoassar, Wissal Salmy) are those who can write with a very good style and use literary expressions more with such stylish techniques of young writers, but when they start academic discussions with others as public young speakers, with their professors or colleagues, they immediately fail to transmit their one-message and they are not capable to speak in front of public, except some of them attempt to over rehearse their communication at home in the light of establishing a made communication at the time of presentation. Broadly, these students are always deterred from new threats of getting high marks due to the fact that most of professors would highlight the paradigm of daily communication and talkative discussions and being silent as young writers may cause dangerous consequences on each student who is mentioned below in Table 1.

Table 1. Main inspiration of students varied competences.

Students Fields Inspiring writer to his competence
Mohamed El Jerrary Literature / Creative writing / Linguistics / Critical thinking / Style / imitation / Philosophy M.Foucault
James Joyce
David Damrosch
World Literary competence (C2)
Morad Moutaouakil Spanish Literature Cervantes Literary competence (C2)
Chaymae Aoassar Amazigh Literature
Feminist theories
Hassan Banhakeia,
Salem Chaker,
Said Zerouali
Amazigh, literary, competence
Ilham Miri Translation/Audio-visual Translation/Media Studies International Movies Literary competence based on film theory (C2)
Wissal Salmi Arabic Literature and French Writers; Feminist theories Arabic and French writers X Arabic writer
Writer of 20th century (C2)
Mizian Rahou Amazigh and World Literature Amazigh Writers (C2)
Mohcin Rakhou French Literature French Writers Jean -Paul Sartre(C2)

Whereas, 20% of communicative students1 totally differ from others for as much as their writings, particularly, contains simple sentences and frequent vocabulary that are always liked by professors as sort of judging the quality of their writings. Nevertheless, they ponder themselves into the paradigm of communication and totally different as they indeed have a capacity to discuss with very strong personality but their literary, philosophical, historical and psychological knowledge would seem to us as researchers of this article as “poor” and secondary method.

It is granted now that 20% of students are those who can reasonably combine both of qualities mentioned (as the quality of writing in term of a great competence and the quality of speaking through rhetorical performances) (Lamrini Abdelaziz, Soliman, Majida, Hanan Karough, Siham S, Karima)2 because they have gained important points that can enable them to be well satisfied students researchers and all this is reconstructed trough their teaching experience (Table 2). The latter offered them to be well equipped many tools of communication and writing techniques and study skills. To put it differently, their level of communication is highly marked than their ways of writing that is the most precarious point of this research and in that we can understand how everybody acts differently according to his system of functioning that is difficult to be controlled consciously at every moment.

Table 2. Students those can reasonably combine both qualities i.e., writing in term of a great competence and speaking through rhetorical performances.

Students Fields Teaching experience
MR Soliman World Literature/Philosophy/; very proficient on the knowledge of universal novelists.  Teaching experience; very effective(C2); Communication
MR Lamrini Aziz Philosophy ; World Literature; Teaching experience; totally effective(C2); Communication
HANAN Arabic Literature/creative writing; Preferring Arabic Literature as the main argument for her inspiration and getting away from every complex theory of World literature. Teaching experience; very effective (C2); Communication in Arabic and French - well made.
MAJIDA French Literature; Focusing on French Writers Teaching experience; Proficient speaker (C2): Communication
SIHAM French Literature Teaching experience is very effective ( C2): Communication

Results and Conclusion

It is understood that the more we expect ourselves to be as proficient speakers or writers, we can state the quality of his competences to certain extent because we can understand how his communication performance is inputted to him or her and this networking of judging the quality of others is verily a threat to every students. According to the mentioned experiences, we have agreed that there are such boundaries that must be cracked in order to reach a good communication with others and to be logical the coherence of our writing techniques in the light of reaching a higher level of studentship. It has to be taken for granted that each student belong to its categorization of his competence, for example, the first line of students who love techniques of literature are very satisfied with the fact that their chance on becoming young writers are so much higher. By the same token for the other line, their chances are incredible on transforming their semi- literary careers that lack them to the world of publication speakers in order to be well equated with themselves. Needless to say that Public speaks is something easy because it is very difficult domain that demands a lot of concentration within international centers… But, the chances for Lamrini and Soliman are satisfactory because of their competence in Literature and Communication allows them to be writers and even leaders of speeches (Table 3).

Table 3. Overall performances of students.

Hanan Preferring Communication 98/100 Literary tracks 80/100 Mohamed El jerrary Competence; in Literature 95/100 Performance 50/100
Soliman Literary competence 90/100
Performance 90/100
Chaymae Aossar Competence for Literature 95/100/ Performance 50/100
Lemrini Literary Competence 90/100
Performance 90/100
Ilham Miri Competence for performance 80/100/Literature; 70/100
Siham Literary Competence 90/100, Performance 80/100 Mezian Rahou Competence for Literature 95/100/ Performance 50/100
Majida Literary Competence 100/100
Performance 90/100
 Mourad Moutaouakil Competence for Literature 90/100/ Performance 40/100
 Wissal Salmy 60/100 Performance/Literature 80/100
 Mohsin Rakhou Competence for Literature 90/100 /Performance 80/100
Soliman and Lamrini can join two campuses of Young writers and Public Speakers. Very hopeful to be great Public Speakersin the very near future. Young Writers 80.90.70/100 Literary Competence is highly observable than Communicative Competence

1We cannot mention other students due to their private opinions that we don’t get access to.

2Due to time management we are unable to mention other students.


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