Second Language Acquisition

Topics: Linguistics, Language acquisition, Second language acquisition Pages: 4 (941 words) Published: April 14, 2014
GROUP 1 - SECOND LANGUAGE ACQUISITION
COLLABORATIVE DOCUMENT
SECOND WEEK SLA DEBATE
FEBRUARY 23rd

a) What is the comic strip
about?
The comic is about a tourist
entering an eastern country. As
he walks to his hotel, native
speakers smile at him and
produce the same utterance,
simultaneously.
When he finally arrives there,
and listens to the clerk repeating
the same phrase but in a
completely different context (the
clerk seems to be angry and in
pain), the tourist is taken back
because he realizes that he has
obviously misunderstood the
natives’ message.
(Group 1 summary)
b) What is the connection
between the story, negotiation
of meanings and communicative competence?
The comic strip portrays a context that brings two different cultural contexts together. One context, eastern civilization, is exemplified by the native speakers (NS). The second, western civilization, is exemplified by the tourist: a silent non-native speaker (NNS) interacting with native speakers (NS) in a non-verbal way. In the first part of the story, the foreigner decodes meaning according to his western background. He equates natives’ smile and utterance to western politeness (greeting).

Being presented as a silent character, the foreigner does not attempt to negotiate meaning: to use discourse features such as confirmation checks, comprehension checks, or clarification requests. Thus, he misunderstands the codes of ‘language’ (communicative competence), politeness (socio-cultural competence) and body language. In the final scene, he becomes aware of his misunderstanding. He confronts the comprehensible input crystallized in the context built from the native’s angry expression, native’s utterance, crack in the wall, hammer and picture on the floor.

(Martin, Maria, Veronica)

c) Recognizing the importance of negotiation of meanings in SLA, does it always help in an EFL context? Why? Why not? Remember there are, at least, two points of views on this respect...

Bibliography: 2. Communication Competence Perspective. (2000).
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