Jumat, 14 Januari 2011

Negotiation of Meaning BY TRESIA NOVIYANTI (0713042048)

(SLA Final Assignment)



Study Program : English Education (S1 REG)
Lecturer            : Drs. Heri Yufrizal, M.A., Ph.D


language is fundamental to everything we do --some say it's what makes us "human." We know that all animals engage in some form of social communication. Humans, as well as other primates, share may advantages due to their intrinsic ability to communicate; however, the former has arrived at an unprecedented position in the Food Chain because of the inevitable benefits culminated from their ability to create a language. A Language is much more than simply a means of verbal communication – it is an entity which involves interpersonal communication, language within the individual and language and society. The distinction between the words language and communication is not vividly evident at first look; however, we can make it clear by stating that communication is the rubric of which language was eventually created under. Language is a systematic means of communicating by the use of sounds or conventional symbol while communication is the exchange of thoughts, messages, or information, as by speech, signals, writing, or behavior. There are three major functions of language that serve to depict the idea that language is much more than simply a form

            Together, as a family, a society, or a country, speakers of the same dialect all share an immediate sense of recognition. As a result, we inevitably transcend and perpetuate our traditions, myths and religion via the societal functions of our respective language. In an essence, language is what we use to think everyday and at the same time blend into our societies and perpetuate our lifestyles. Moreover, language has assisted our society in many respects due to the domino effect of the benefits achieved from the opportunity to communicate. Intentional communication is the common conversations and exchange of words and thoughts that forms and maintains social relationships in our every day lives. In addition to the role of language in interpersonal communication, we can look to its role within individual humans and also its function within human society. Therefore, language plays a very important role in human lives. This type of communication can be either intentional or unintentional. Succinctly, language within the individual, supports thought, rationalization and attribution, creativity, memory, self-direction, self-expression, humor, and perhaps even aspects of consciousness. It is in respect to this idea that many have developed ideas concerning the presence of a universal language in our world whereby we can communicate with one another in more ways than one and not only verbally.

            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).


                In human interaction, meanings are not simply transferred from one person to another but ‘negotiated’. That is to say, my success (or otherwise) in conveying my intentions (my meanings) is dependent upon a process of negotiation between us. I may initially try to adjust the way I express myself to fit better what I think to be your preferred ways of looking at things – to make it easier for you to see what I am getting at. If you are not convinced you know what I am trying to say to you, you may then try out your understanding on me to see if it is ‘correct’. At that point I may decide that what you think I meant is near enough to let it pass, or I may decide further negotiating work is necessary. The negotiation of meaning has been proposed as the key to second (and/or foreign) language development.
For example, it is the conversation between two speakers who have low ability in speaking English:
A :
so you came here by yourself or did you come with friends?
B :
no no I - what? what you say?
A :
did you come to the states with friends or did you come alone?
B :
no, alone - from Toronto
A :
did you get high marks? Good grades?
B :
High marks?
A: good grades A’s and B’s – did you get A in English?
B : Oh no in English yes em B

            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 is the principal way that people redefine an old relationship that is not working to their satisfaction or establish a new relationship where none existed before. Because negotiation is such a common problem-solving process, it is in everyone's interest to become familiar with negotiating dynamics and skills. This section is designed to introduce basic concepts of negotiation and to present procedures and strategies that generally produce more efficient and productive problem solving.

            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.

            Negotiation occurs between spouses, parents and children, managers and staff, employers and employees, professionals and clients, within and between organizations and between agencies and the public. Negotiation is a problem-solving process in which two or more people voluntarily discuss their differences and attempt to reach a joint decision on their common concerns. Negotiation requires participants to identify issues about which they differ, educate each other about their needs and interests, generate possible settlement options and bargain over the terms of the final agreement. Successful negotiations generally result in some kind of exchange or promise being made by the negotiators to each other. The exchange may be tangible (such as money, a commitment of time or a particular behavior) or intangible (such as an agreement to change an attitude or expectation, or make an apology).


 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.

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.

This is a conversation between two person that were talking about two pictures that have differences in some parts of it. Both of them are in the same level in English average and Average. A is a girl and B is a girl too.
                                                                         Picture A
                                                                           Picture B

(A) : Hello B..We have the same picture, right?? (TU)
(B) : Yes, I think it is the same picture. Let me see the picture. (TU)
(A) : Wait..I think it has differences. (TU)
(B) : Pardon me? (S)
(A) : Yes, I think our picture has differences  (R)
(B) : Where? (S)
(A) : Here..the color of the mouse. (TU/T)
(B) : Oh, I see..in yours is chocolate and in mine is blue, right?? (TU)
(A) : yeah..I think there are more differences. (TU)
(B) : The cloth of pooh.. (TU)
(A) : Sorry?? (S)
(B) : The pooh  is different (TU)
(A) : yeah..pink and blue.. (T)
(B) : pink and blue?? No,, not the nose but the cloth..green and red..you see?? (S)
(A) : Green and black?? (T)
(B) : No,, but green in your picture and red in my picture. (TU/S)
(A) : Oh,I see..I’m sorry hehe..yes..the pooh is green and red. (TU/R)
(B) : huuu..it’s ok, the picture is really colorful..(TU)
(A) : yeah..you’re right (TU)
(B) : You’re welcome (T)

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

Second conversation is between a girl (A) and a boy (B). They are talking about the same picture like in the first Conversation.
(A) : Hi B..I like this picture so much but it is strange (TU)
(B) : yes, nice picture..what do you mean by 'strength' (T)
(A) : yeah..strange..you see ..the normal color of pooh's cloth is red but here green. (TU)
(B) : Pardon me? (S)
(A) : Can't you catch my point??  (TU)
(B) : I'm still confused what you mean by strength. kekuatan, right?? (S)
(A) : No, but strange.. S-T-R-A-N-G-E.. aneh ,you know (TU)
(B) : Oh, I see..yeah,, I understand you now..hehe (TU)

(A) : yeah..no problem. (TU)
(B) : hey..see this one..the flower which fall down is three but in yours just one leave (TU)
(A) : Sorry?? (S)
(B) :
the flower which fall down is three but in yours just one leave (R)
(A) : yeah..you accurate enough to get that.. (TU)
(B) : Thank you (TU)
(A) : hey..look the egg.. (TU)
(B) : yeah..blue-purple and in yours is blue-yellow (T)
(A) : Huh..are you sure?? (S)
(B) : yeah..the egg under the donkey right?? (TU)
(A) : ohh..no.. I mean the egg in the grass.. (S)
(B) : oh I see..orange-blue and orange red (TU)
(A) : yes..that's one (TU)

Third conversation is between a boy (A) and a boy (B). They are talking about the same picture like in the first Conversation.
(A) : Hi B..How are you? (TU)
(B) : Fine.thank you, buddy. What we gonna do?? (TU)
(A) : I don't know actually. just see our picture. (TU)
(B) : Pardon me? (S)
(A) : Yes, just see our picture. this is your picture  (R)
(B) : haha..look..how come this big mouse can fly?? (TU)
(A) : he not fly..he is jumping. (TU/T)
(B) : yeah..but, it's like fly you know.. (TU)
(A) : yeah..I think it can be. (TU)
(B) : The cloth of pooh.. (TU)
(A) : Sorry?? (S)
(B) : The pooh  is different (TU)
(A) : yeah..pink and blue.. (T)
(B) : pink and blue?? No,, not the nose but the cloth..green and red..you see?? (S)
(A) : Green and black?? (T)
(B) : No,, but green in your picture and red in my picture. (TU/S)
(A) : Oh,I see..I’m sorry hehe..yes..the pooh is green and red. (TU/R)
(B) : huuu..it’s ok, the picture is really colorful..(TU)
(A) : yeah..you’re right (TU)

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


            From three conversations above, the writer can analyze there are so many negotiation of meaning done by the speakers. The speaker tried to clarify each words which probably difficult to be understood by them so that the conversation can run well. It commonly happens with Indonesian’s students whereas English is a second/foreign language. However, I believe negotiation of meaning is a part of learning the language. That is one of ways to acquire the language directly, consciously/unconsciously.

From the conversation there are so many kinds of negotiation: 
Trigger (T) : Sound that can make misunderstanding
Signal (S) : Confirmation Check, Clarification Request
Response (R) : Self Repetition
Follow up (TU) : Statement showed understanding

For the signal, I can divide it into: 
Confirmation checks: Moves by which one speaker seeks confirmation of the other’s
preceding utterance through repetition, with rising intonation, of what was perceived to
be all or part of the preceding utterance.
Clarification requests: Moves by which one speaker seeks assistance in understanding
the other speaker’s preceding utterance through questions, ... statements such as “I don’t
understand,” or imperatives such as “Please repeat.”
Comprehension checks: Moves by which one speaker attempts to determine whether the
other speaker has understood a preceding message.


In conclusion, I can say that although 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.

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.

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