At present, most research with regards to transactions is viewed through the lens of business. In English as a Foreign Language contexts, learning such skills may be left to courses like Business English or English for Specific Purposes. From a purely linguistic perspective, transactions are illocutionary acts that require perlocutionary responses. In this context, transactional competence is one’s ability to give, negotiate, and respond to directives. This study primarily focuses on the qualitative methods and findings of a mixed methodology dissertation. It observes ten international university students and their ability to negotiate meaning to complete a closed task. Through a transactional assessment based on Yule’s (1997) theory of referential communication, a discourse analysis of 200 minutes of transcribed transactions was used for content analysis to develop a model of transactional negotiation of meaning. As a result, the findings posit the relevance of strategic competence by analyzing the directive function of language, the language related episodes that arise, and the communication strategies that are used to deal with such miscommunications. The study concludes by highlighting the relevance of developing the transactional competence of international university students.
Transactional Competence, Strategic Competence, Communication Strategies, Communicative Performance, Referential Communication, Language Related Episodes