Linguistic Competence as One of Aspects of Well-Being in Modern Society


In this paper, the author states that linguistic competence is common and its traditional value appears to be actively involved in the development of common context of modern communicative society. Linguistic competence by virtue of its ideal quality tends to be realized to the full extent, but it will always influence people’s wish to live in comprehensive well-being modern society in the way of practical realization of the linguistic competence theory principles. In the following research, the author made an attempt to grasp one of the specific characters of modern discourse of linguistic competence in some aspects of the modern society well-being. The author draw a conclusion that linguistics influences all aspects of the society and it is like the lens by which people in a specific group view the cultural diversity of the world. Well-being as a study must be able to respond to a kind of linguistic culture of individuals in society they live, in order to build a society of social progress and reach the goals of sustainable human development.

Keywords: Competencelanguage competencelinguistic competencewell-being in modern societysubjective and objective well-being


The topic under discussion is based upon the multi-lingual study experience. Linguistic competence is widely recognized as one of fundamental aspects of well-being in modern society and as an essential strategy for reducing disparities by improving social standard of living, job proficiency, and quality of well-being.

However, it is not clear if evidence exists to support the assertion that linguistic competence improves all aspects of well-being. This report assesses the current evidence base for the impact and benefits of linguistic competence.

Perhaps the problem of determining theoretical grounds of linguistic competence is rightly considered to be one of the most acute topics in modern social linguistic philosophy. Undoubtedly, only social and linguistic philosophy should play an important role in maintenance of modern discourse of linguistic competence since only it is able to keep methodological unity between the opinion of linguistic competence and knowledge of it, between the theory of linguistic competence and practical application of the principles of this theory (Sampasivam, & Clément, 2014).

The peculiarity of the idea of linguistic competence becomes apparent not only in inclination of different people to conceive it as a basis of their linguistic activity, but also in the fact that researchers of various aspects, such as philological, philosophical, psychological and many others, reflected on it, discussed and tried to identify the essence of it.

That is why we would dwell upon the gradual basic notions in use. The definition of ‘competence’ has its roots beyond the bounds of linguistics. It has the leading role both in professional engagement and in a course of study involved in the trained professional subjects such as pedagogy, psychology, personnel management etc. Truly a competence is a combination of gnostically adjusted abilities or skills in some peculiar scope of activity. It signifies skillfulness, intelligence and capability and proclivity to handle problems in that scope of activity. Corresponding spheres of activity are often job-related areas for short jobs. The neutralization of problems implicates the competence to make intelligent, conceptual and relevant choices at work. Competence is inherently achieved through work experience. It is valued according to some existing instructions and criteria in language usage. And thus, it should be uncontroversial that there are some mechanisms in speakers that produce linguistic knowledge for usage.

Based on the theory of Chomsky N., we have respect to these mechanisms or processes which are within the name of "linguistic competence", and its study may be seen as the purpose of linguistic theory (Chomsky, 1957). Also language competence is also viewed at three levels (Lehmann, 2006): 1. general linguistic competence that is fluent, declamatory intellection (speaking in accordance with motives and world knowledge), 2. language-specific competence that is idiomatic intellection (authority over units and activities of a given system of language), 3. argumentative competence that is expressive intellection (the appliance of such units and activities efficient about the philological and nonlinguistic context). So linguistic knowledge is reflection on certain ability. And supposedly language competence is adequate reflective knowledge that can reflect recursively on the distinctive features and justify these by researching them through, while inadequate knowledge is terminated to just detecting the specific traits of its item. Based on this viewpoint, defining and applying it in the study prove to be very useful to the language fluency by a language speaker or a profound learner in communication (Binder, & Smith, 2013).

Communicative competence is a term in linguistics which refers to a language user's grammatical knowledge of syntax, morphology, phonology and the like, as well as social knowledge about how and when to use utterances appropriately (Hymes, 1972). Linguistic competence according to Chomsky N. is the system of linguistic knowledge possessed by a native speakers of a language, it is in contrast to the concept of linguistic performance, the way the language system is used in communication (Chomsky, 1965).

In evaluating somebody’s performance skills in a foreign language, native, basic professional integrity has generally been used as a correct principium against which the performance skills of second-language students are to be evaluated. Coincidently, native speakers are experts at different rates, so they cannot contribute to an absolute degreequality. Substantively, the competence of a language speaker has to be evaluated by the same standard characteristics as the competence of a non-native one (Lehmann Christian, 2006). A lot in linguistic competence comes down to knowledge of a scope of items, e.g. it’s a scientific language study, a set of social acts, of lexical units, of constructions etc. So in this view, competence can be assessed as the ability level set of efficient language items any person knows.


The basis of wellbeing originates in a human’s morality, psychology, linguistics, and it is associated with a society social progress and human development (Chukin, 2009). Due to the common view on the category of "human well-being" as an integral, multi aspected, and multifunctional notion, it is described only with the help of the combination of four concepts: 1) humans have well-being if they exist in accord with their nature, their essence; 2) a human has well-being if he/she understands (are conscious of) what are good things of life for him/her and have an opportunity and intention to achieve these good things; 3) humans have well-being if they have an opportunity to realize their potential as human beings; 4) humans have well-being if the society constituting the grounds of the state creates conditions and provides opportunities for them to exist in accord with their nature, realize their potential as human beings, and achieve the good things of life that human strives to achieve.

Here, it is also important to distinguish between personal wellbeing of an individual and social well-being of a member of society. This distinction allows differentiating between well-being as an inner condition of individual and well-being as a criterion of the quality of life and the result of the development of society and human as a member of society. They are the key factors having an impact on well-being.

According to the subjective-objective approach to the modern society well-being, the modern man can be defined with regard to two highly connected aspects of well-being:1) internal (subjective) and 2) external (objective).Internal well-being aspect is seen as a human, spiritual well-being associated with one’s personal characteristics and features, that’s inborn potential to be realized. External well-being aspect develops from the perspective of perception and one’s evaluation of human society, that’s the professional skills and activity reward. Such specification of the category “well-being” gives us an opportunity to distinguish between personal linguistic competence and professional linguistic competence that are connected with the well-being of a society and state member. Some researchers even hypothesize that positive linguistic competence would result even in decreased system state costs (Goode, 2004) in any field of activity.


A theory of linguistic competence does not describe the behavior of any actual speaker, but it does describe an ideal to which the behavioral capacities of actual speakers approximate, more or less depending on conditions, and hence, it plays a role in predicting their actual behavioral capacities, we would call it linguistic intelligence in the first place.

According to Tienson (1983), the linguistic theory of competence is not an idealization in the sense that it is merely a theory of performance for an ideal speaker; that is, one without non-linguistic performance limitations. An ideal speaker is a speaker in a unitary linguistic unity, who has fine knowledge of a language. The linguist is typically interested in the language of a community, and small differences in vocabulary, pronunciation, or syntax are of little interest. For this reason, the linguist does not describe any particular speaker. He abstracts from these small differences.

Not every type of language activity requires the technical skills a linguist can provide. In practice, if an activity is to write a script in a common language for a television review and more often if there are still full speakers, linguist’s advice is not necessarily needed. But this may require someone with literacy skills in the language. Some activities certainly require a trained linguist. It may include an activity that requires language analysis for writing a learner’s guide, or an activity that requires the interpretation of historical language records.

But the linguist could describe the linguistic competence of a particular speaker, with whatever idiosyncrasies it might have. Given time and patience enough, the linguistic competence of each member of the linguistic community could be described. Only discoursing in the framework of such conceptually comprehensive logic, it is possible to derive of linguistic competence as an aspect of a well-being in modern society.

Let us suppose that a special-translating computer has tacit knowledge and generates sentences to be built using grammar. But a man internally (subjectively) acts like a device that generates linguistic knowledge, contains structures, operates in accordance with the rules of grammar and representations of those rules are contained in the person - linguistic intelligence.

It is intelligence that involves the knowing of language; through reading, writing, and speaking. It involves understanding the order and the meaning of words in both speech and writing and how to properly use the language. It also involves understanding the socio-cultural nuances of a language, including idioms, plays on words, and linguistically-based humor. So within the linguistic theory context, the linguistic intelligence is competence of a man who aims at characterizing the inner processes by which this linguistic knowledge is generated when the speaker has it. And that is why a PC translation loses in such competition.

This process contributes to the external (objective) part of a human linguistic competence in a well-being aspect. Thus, progress at work, future promotion is presumable for a man. We take some US healthcare centers experience as an example: some studies reported that the use of highly professional interpreters in the emergency room was cost neutral, and that such services reduced emergency department return rates while simultaneously increasing clinic utilization, a less-costly service (Wu, & Martinez, 2006). Lack of linguistic competence may lead to a man’s dissatisfaction.

Presumably, in order to increase the linguistic competence of any work system, professionals must be taught how to provide services in a linguistically competent manner. Training also varies greatly in content and teaching method. It is important to note, however, is that linguistic competence is a process rather than an ultimate goal, and is often developed by stages by building upon previous language linguistic knowledge, intelligence and experience. Commitment to linguistic competence must be growing nowadays in relation to the well-being of modern society. In addition to increasing the linguistic competence providers, organizational accommodations and policies that reduce administrative and linguistic barriers, they are also important for the well-being.

Diverse information flows have become a trend phenomenon and an indispensable part of everyday life of the society. The world experiences in the field of linguistic implementation, the Internet global usage, the information transmission technology over long distances indicate the competence worldwide knowledge of the modern society. A dynamic, interactive communication between the screen text and a partner appears (Yarkoni, 2010).

Policies that strive to achieve linguistic competence throughout the organization should address issues on all levels, from the organization's top management to the administrative staff. Organizational policies that address language and literacy barriers have been among the most successful efforts. For certain, bilingual and efficient competent services are effective.

The increasing diversity of nations brings opportunities and challenges for policy makers to create and deliver linguistically competent services. From this viewpoint linguistic competence is defined as the ability of providers and organizations to effectively deliver well-being services that meet the social, cultural, and linguistic needs of people.  A linguistically competent working system can help improve life outcomes and quality of care, and can even contribute to the elimination of racial and ethnic disparities. Examples of strategies to move the work and education system towards these goals include providing relevant training on linguistic and cultural competence and cross-cultural issues to professionals and creating policies that reduce administrative and linguistic barriers to people.

Working out the theory of linguistic competence as one of aspects of well-being in modern society, it is necessary to admit the possibility of existence of two major aspects as their practical application of linguistic intelligence: internal and external well-being aspects. A man’s linguistic competence encompasses a broad range of highly professional language needs, preferences and structural supports necessary to ensure optimal communication in cultural and specific fields of human activity. The following states the capacity of any organization and its personnel to communicate effectively, and convey information in a manner that is easily understood by diverse audiences, including persons of limited language proficiency.


Linguistic competence is not an isolated aspect of a well-being question, but an important component of overall excellence in in modern society. Issues of well-being quality and satisfactory life are of particular concern for people nowadays. Efforts to improve linguistic competence among different activity field professionals and organizations would contribute to improving the quality of well-being for all people in the modern world.

Linguistics influences all aspects of our society and is frequently described as the lens by which people in a specific group view the cultural diversity of the world. It structures perceptions, shapes behaviors, tells group members how to behave and provides their identity. The way we conduct ourselves, how we receive and process information, and how we relate to people is also influenced by linguistics.

Linguistic competence as the capacity of an organization to communicate effectively and convey information in a manner that is easily understood by diverse audiences is viewed by many teaching researchers and of great importance for us. It requires organizational and provider capacity to respond effectively to the needs of populations. The organization must have policy, structures, practices, procedures and dedicated resources to support this capacity.

This means that well-being as a study must be able to respond to a kind of linguistic culture of individuals in society they live. The quality of well-being may be defined in some dimensions: safety, effectiveness, centeredness, timeliness, efficiency, and equity. The linguistic competence culture of people and the well-being system converge and must be adjusted for in order to address the inherent lingual and cultural differences on dimensions of well-being quality in modern society.

It is our earnest conviction that it is possible to provide for the well-being of modern human society by some aspects of linguistic competence assessment and addition to cultural bases. The fundamental grounds of wellbeing originate in morality, psychology, even linguistics, and they have to lie in the basis of building social, economic, cultural, moral and communicative interactions if we want to build a society of social progress and reach the goals of sustainable human development. There is a noticeable absence of a broadly defined framework that includes the linguistic competence as one of well-being aspects in modern society nowadays.


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Melnikova, E. P. (2017). Linguistic Competence as One of Aspects of Well-Being in Modern Society. In K. Anna Yurevna, A. Igor Borisovich, W. Martin de Jong, & M. Nikita Vladimirovich (Eds.), Responsible Research and Innovation, vol 26. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 648-653). Future Academy.