Minggu, 29 Mei 2011



(Second Language Acquisition Assignment)


SRN : 0743042006
P.Study : S1.Pend.B.Inggris (NR)
Lecturer : Drs. Heri Yufrizal, M.A., Ph.D



Nowadays, language is a tool which used by people for communication in order to share or exchange their feeling. All interaction and activities in our life will run language. Someone can send message to other people in doing the activity. Without language we cannot send message, or express their idea. English is an International language for communication in societies all over the world. In Indonesia, English assumed as the first foreign language. We should master English as a foreign language, in order to make us easy in using English for communication with other people in the world. English becomes one of the compulsory subjects in Indonesia, starting fro elementary, junior high school, senior high school up to university level.

In every country where English is being learned as the foreign language, it is going to be difficult to make use it as well as their language. Especially, in Indonesia having so many tribes and also having different mother tongue, this is believed has become difficult to acquire English even they need to master Indonesian as well. Therefore, the linguistics is attracted to investigate the way how people acquire the language.

Second language acquisition is the study of how learning creates a new language system with only limited exposure to a second language (Yufrizal, 2007). By considering this, the writer believes that the language learner where English is as the second language will face some difficult things to acquire the language as well as native. The proficiency is not as good as people who live in the country who use it as their language. Therefore, they will create a new system so that they can master it.
SLA does come into play in Holland's scheme insofar as it is represented by "communicative language theory." When it comes to issues of language teaching and learning, the instructional designers and language teacher are concerned with effectiveness of instruction, usability of interface, authenticity of lesson content and what we might call 'pedagogical correctness,' such as adhering to the tenets of communicative language theory, if that is the guiding philosophy (Holland, 1995, p. 233).

Since English is not easy, people try so many things in order to be able become proficiency in using it. Thus, they apply so many ways so that they are able to comprehend the meaning being said by the speaker. For example, it is the conversation between two speakers who have low ability in speaking English;
A : I bought a new car yesterday
B : You brought a new car yesterday
A : No, I bought a new car yesterday
B : sorry you bought or brought a new car yesterday?
A : I bought not I brought
B : Oooh,, You bought it

By observing this conversation, we can see that B has misunderstanding toward the words being said by A, and then B asks clarification from A. This way commonly happens in every circumstance where people try to communicate in English. That is what we call Negotiation of Meaning. But those errors are not totally broke the communication what the pioneer of education calls global errors. That ways is assumed as the technique to acquire the language by using the new system in order for easily to get the language.
Negotiation of meaning is a process that speakers go through to reach a clear understanding of each other. For Example: Asking for clarification, rephrasing, and confirming what you think you have understood are all strategies for the negotiation of meaning.
In the classroom Information gap activities such as jigsaw readings or listening, group story building, spot the difference and communicative crosswords are examples of activities that give learners the opportunity to develop their communicative competence through negotiation of meaning as they share information.

In SLA process L2 is acquired through learners' interaction in the target language because it provides opportunities for learners to: (a) comprehend message meaning, which is believed to be necessary for learners to acquire the L2 forms that encode the message; (b) produce modified output, which requires their development of specifics of morphology and syntax; and (c) attend to L2 form, which helps to develop their linguistic systems (Krashen, 1982; Larsen-Freeman & Long, 1991; Nobuyoshi & Ellis, 1993; Pica, Holliday, Lewis, & Morgenthaler, 1989; Swain, 1985; Swain & Lapkin, 1995). Following from these assumptions about L2 acquisition, one can specify the observable features of learner language that should be ideal for acquisition. Features include signals which focus attention on language, and which may elicit a repetition or an expansion of previous language. These types of moves, which focus attention on language by repeating, recasting, and expanding on prior language, these are believed to be beneficial for SLA and therefore identification of such sequences has been a means of investigating the quality of particular L2 tasks for acquisition. Example 1 illustrates these types of linguistic exchanges that have been identified in SLA research.

When an individual student had completed a message and was satisfied with it, he or she would send it to the rest of the class. Others would be doing the same thing, each at his or her own pace. The result is a written conversation with contributions from all or many of the members of the class, as shown in Example 2.
Example 1. Negotiation of meaning through oral interaction which occurred while ESL learners were working on tasks assigned by a researcher (Pica, 1994)
Exchange A

NS: I have a piece of toast with a small pat of butter
NNS: hm hmm
NS: and above the plate
NNS: what is buvdaplate?
NS: Above NNS: above the plate
NS: yeah not up as if you are sitting at the table it would be farther away from you than the plate
NNS: hm hmm
(discussed in Pica, 1994, p. 512)

Example 2
Exchange B

NS: it's a rectangular bench
NNS: rectangular?
NS: yeah it's in the shape of a rectangle with um you know a rectangle has two long sides and two short sides
NNS: rectangle?
NS: re-rectangle it's it's like a square except you flatten it out
NNS: square except
NS: uh a rectangle is a square
NNS: Uhuh
NS: except a square has four equal sides
NNS: Yes
NS: a rectangle has two sides that are much longer and two sides that are much shorter
(discussed in Pica, 1994, p. 512)


A. Input and Output
There are two important differences between comprehensible input and comprehended input. First, the former implies the speaker, rather than the hearer, controls the comprehensibility. With comprehended input, the focus is on the hearer (the learner) and the Second is extent to which he or she understands. In Krashen’s sense of the word taken from Yufrizal (2007), comprehension is treated as a dichotomous variable; something is either understood or it is not. He was apparently using the most common meaning of the word, whereas in this sense we refer to comprehension as a continuum probabilities ranging from semantics to detailed structure analysis.

B. Intake
Yufrizal (2007; 76) states that intake is the process of assimilating linguistic material; it refers to the mental activity that mediates input and grammar. Gass (1998) refers to intake as selective processing. Intake is not merely s subset of input. It is the intake component that psycholinguistic processing takes place. That is, it is where information is matched against prior knowledge and where, in general, processing takes place against the backdrop of the existing internalized grammatical rules.

C. Integration
Gass and Slinker (1994) outlined four possibilities for the outcome of input. The first two take place in the intake component and result in integration, the third takes place in the integration component, and the fourth represents input that exist the system early in the process.

D. Negotiation of Meaning in Interaction
Yufrizal (2007; p.80) states Negotiation of meaning is defined as a series of exchange conducted by addressors and addressees to help themselves understand and be understood by their interlocutors. In this case, when native speakers (NSs) and non native speakers (NNSs) are involved in an interaction, both interactants work together to solve any potential misunderstanding or non understanding that occurs, by checking each others’ comprehension, requesting clarification and confirmation and by repairing and adjusting speech (Pica, 1988).
Varonis and Gass (1985) proposed a simpler model for the exchanges that create negotiation of meaning. The model consists of four primes called:
a. Trigger (T) Which invokes or stimulates incomplete understanding on the part of the hearer.
b.Indicator (I), which is the hearer’s signal of incomplete understanding.
c. Response (R) is the original speaker’s attempt to clear up the unaccepted-input, and,
d. Reaction to the response (RR), which is an element that signals either the hearer’s acceptance or continued difficulty with the speaker’s repair before.

E. The Roles of Negotiation of Meaning in Second Language Acquisition
Every researcher will have their own definitions and description of negotiation of meaning. It shows that interest in the study of negotiation of meaning has developed rapidly. Beside the forms and definition of negotiation of meaning, researchers also vary in their perception of the role of negotiation of meaning in second/foreign language acquisition. Pica (1996) admits that although there has been no empirical evidence of a direct link between negotiation of meaning and second/foreign language development, research studies in negotiation of meaning for the last two decades have shown that there are two obvious contribution of negotiation of meaning to second language acquisition. Firstly, through negotiation of meaning (particularly in interaction involving native speakers) nonnative speaker obtain comprehensible input necessary for second language acquisition much more frequently than in interactions without negotiation of meaning. Secondly, negotiation of meaning provides opportunities for non native speakers to produce comprehensible output necessary for second language acquisition much more frequently than in interactions without negotiation of meaning.


Example 1

This is a conversation between two students in the school taken from 3rd grade of Senior High School. Both of them are in the same level in English Low and Low; the first student (A) wants to look for a girl, he falls in love with the girl that they look in the canteen, but the second students (B) feels misunderstanding about the characteristic of that girl.

(A) : Excuse me B (TU)
(B) : Yes A, what can I do for you? (TU)
(A) : No, thank’s , I just…hmm I just want to ask you something (TU)
(B) : About what? (TU)
(A) : Hmm..Actually I will ask…(shyly) (TU/T)
(B) : Ask what? (TU)
(A) : Hmm..I will ask you, have you seen a girl who stands in front of the canteen before? (whispering) (TU/T)
(B) : Sorry..louder please..(S)
(A) : ssstt.. Have you seen a girl before? (R)
(B) : a girl..(R)
(A) : Yeah a girl who have an unique characteristic in the chin (R)
(B) : a thin girl.. are you sure? (S)
(A) : yeah..a beautiful chin girl.. (T)
(B) : Oh..a beautiful girl, she through the canteen before she goes to the class, a girl who has a thin body isn’t she? (S)
(A) : No,, not thin but chin,, chin..C-H-I-N..her chin is very unique (T)
(B) : Oh I see..a girl who has beautiful chin all right, she has an unique chin, but her body is not thin. She is my neighbor, so what?? (TU/R)
(A) : hehe..he.. I like her so much,, can you send her telephone number to me (S)
(B) : huuu..it’s ok, I can send to you..(TU)
(TU)(A) : hehehe….thank you very much
(B) : You’re welcome (TU)

Trigger (T) : Sound that can make misunderstanding
Signal (S) : Confirmation Check, Clarification Request
Response (R) : Self Repetition
Follow up (TU) : Statement showed understanding

Example 2
(T) C: Can you tell me where is the mamous place in Jakarta?
(I) J: What “mamous”?
(R) C: Sorry, I spell it wrong. It’s famous.
(TU) J: Oh I know,,one of the famous places in Jakarta is National Monument (Monas)

Example 3

The Chinese student asked about sumo wrestling, instead of verbally describing the term, the Japanese student demonstrated sumo wrestling through gestures and successfully conveyed the meaning.

(T) J: I introduce sumo wrestling … sumo wrestling is traditional Japanese sport.
(I) C: Pardon?
(R) J: Sumo wrestling … like … like … (J looked at the student sitting next to him, then both of them stood up and
began demonstrating sumo wrestling.)
(RR) J: Ahh … yeah … I’ve seen that on TV. It’s Japanese wrestling.

Trigger (T) : Sound that can make misunderstanding
Signal (S) : Confirmation Check, Clarification Request
Response (R) : Self Repetition
Follow up (TU) : Statement showed understanding


Based on the conversation above, the writer analyze there are so many negotiation of meaning done by the speakers. They tried to clarify each words which probably difficult to be understood so that the conversation can run well. It commonly happens with Indonesian’s students whereas English is a foreign language. Nevertheless, the writer believes that negotiation of meaning is a part of learning the language. That is one of ways to acquire the language directly, consciously/unconsciously.
Students in Example 1 are both in the same level of proficiency in English. They are talking about the characteristic of a girl. They try to negotiate the meaning when they find the difficulties in comprehending the aim of the speakers. As stated above there are T (Sound that can make misunderstanding), S (Confirmation Check, Clarification Request), R (Self Repetition), Follow up/TU (statement showed understanding). They are the symbol of negotiation of meaning.
While Students in the Example 2 are both in the different level of proficiency in English High and Low. The student asks about one of the favorite places in Jakarta. Then the other student has a mistake in spelling M-A-M-M-O-U-S not F-A-M-O-U-S. This is simple example, the writer gave the picture containing the material so that the speakers speak through jigsaw technique without reading the text but choose question by themselves.Since, they spoke without any helping text only a picture given by the writer, they made many negotiation of meaning believed as the way to grasp the second/foreign language. In Example 3, The Chinese student asked about sumo wrestling, instead of verbally describing the term, the Japanese student demonstrated sumo wrestling through gestures and successfully conveyed the meaning. Hence, the writer believes that this is not only happening in English as foreign language circumstance but also happening in the place where English has become the second language. Therefore, the writer assumes that negotiation of meaning is naturally happen for the people who are speaking in not their mother tongue.


Despite the fact that negotiation of meaning does not automatically lead to language development, this paper highlights that it can be a potential forum for language development. There are at least two qualities of negotiation of meaning accounting for this. The first concerns the type of indicators the learners used to signal their incomplete comprehension. By using direct indicators, the learners create linguistic urgency, pushing their partner to further develop the language. The second is related to the learners’ active involvement, which can be supported through the use of embedded negotiation of meaning.

All negotiation of meaning sequences were identified using the model developed by Varonis and Gass (1985) and revised by Smith (2003). As defined in the model, negotiation of meaning sequences consist of two parts: trigger and resolution. The trigger is the utterance or portion of an utterance on the part of the speaker that results in some indication of non-understanding on the part of the listener (Varonis & Gass, 1985, p. 74) as shown in Excerpt 3. Many types of triggers have been reported in the literature including lexical, syntactic, content, task related triggers (Smith, 2003); discourse, phonetic, language complexity, task complexity by Doughty (as cited in Gonzalez-Lloret, 2003), and any aspect of the discourse including as a question and as neither a question nor an answer (Varonis & Gass, 1985).

Many teachers still seem to have a propensity to hold a product oriented view, putting the emphasis on language development as the product of what is taught (Ellis, 1984). On the other hand, process oriented teaching, which sheds light on the significance of the development of the internal process in learning, has not been fully taken into account.

In SLA, it is argued that “teaching does not and cannot determine the way the learner’s language will develop” (Ellis, 1985, 1994, cited in Skehan, 1996) as learners develop their own natural processes. Given this fact, a question highly pertinent to roles of teaching is how teaching can nurture this internal process.

Process in second language development involves three senses as Ellis (1984) proposes: (a) the developmental process, (b) process as interaction, and (c) process as mental operation. It is particularly the second process, to which tasks based teaching can contribute.

Long (1983) identifies three strategies in negotiating meaning: (1) comprehension checks – checking whether the interlocutor has understood something, (2) confirmation checks
– ensuring whether s/he has heard or understood something the interlocutor said, and (3) clarification request – requesting help in understanding something the interlocutor said.

The model represents four fundamental functions of the utterances: T (Trigger) ---- I (Indicator) --- R (the speaker’s Response) --- RR (Reaction to the Response) First, (T) Trigger is the utterance on the part of the speaker, which results in some indication of non-understanding on the part of the hearer. Second, (I) Indicator is the one on the part of the hearer that pushes down the conversation rather than impels it forward. Third, (R) Response is the speaker’s response acknowledging the non-understanding in some way. Fourth, (RR) Reaction to the response is an optional element.

Gass (1997: 131) argues that negotiation serves as “a means of drawing attention to linguistic form, making it salient and thereby creating a readiness for learning.”

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