Language Competencies Essential for Coping in Our Society by Walter T. Petty, Dorothy C. Petty, Anabel P. Newman & Eloise M. Skeen � 1977Just what language abilities does an individual need? Are there
different levels of language competency an individual needs for
various tasks and at different stages of maturity? Are the competencies
needed by the elementary school child different from those
of the high school student? Most importantly, what are the competencies
needed by the individual who is no longer a student in
the school-attending sense? Can these competencies be described?
Are some more essential than others? A former Oregon state superintendent
put the issue bluntly and in context with these questions:
"What competencies are required for America's young people to
survive during the last quarter of this century? What survival skills are needed to cope successfully with life as a citizen, wage earner,
consumer, and learner?"
The purpose of this chapter is to respond to these questions, to attempt to list and define the language competencies essential for
coping in our society. Of necessity, these are broadly stated, since
they must encompass the needs of both children and adults in a
wide range of societal and economic settings and with a wide
range of individual needs and abilities. It is hoped that they will
serve as bases for further examination of programs and objectives,
and possibly as criteria against which both teaching decisions and
student achievement may be measured. It is the task of the reader
to make thoughtful application of the statement of competencies to
the specific needs of a given set of learners.
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|This article originally appeared as NSSE Yearbook Vol 76, No. 1.||
- Walter Petty
WALTER T. PETTY is an interim dean at the Graduate School of Education at the State University of New York, Buffalo.
- Dorothy Petty
DOROTHY C. PETTY is an educational consultant in Buffalo, New York.
- Anabel Newman
ANABEL P. NEWMAN is the Assistant Dean for Administration and Director of the Reading Practicum Center at Indiana University.
- Eloise Skeen
ELOISE M. SKEEN is an Assistant Professor of Education at the State University of New York, Buffalo.