Academic journal article English Language Teaching

An Empirical Study of the Effectiveness of Negotiation of Meaning in L2 Vocabulary Acquisition of Chinese Learners of English

Academic journal article English Language Teaching

An Empirical Study of the Effectiveness of Negotiation of Meaning in L2 Vocabulary Acquisition of Chinese Learners of English

Article excerpt

Abstract

The study aimed to investigate whether or not negotiation of meaning is effective in L2 vocabulary acquisition of Chinese learners of English in the classroom setting. In the study there were two experimental groups (pre-modified input and negotiation of meaning) and two control groups (pre-modified input). The four groups were required to do a pre-vocabulary test, a match task and a post-vocabulary test respectively. The study showed: (1) as far as the high school groups are concerned, the experimental group outperformed the control group in terms of comprehensible input in the match task. The experimental group also did better than the control group in terms of acquiring new words in the post-vocabulary test. A strong correlation is found between comprehensible input, negotiation of meaning and acquiring new words in the high school groups; 2) As regards the college groups, the experimental group also outperformed the control group in terms of acquiring new words in the post-vocabulary test; however, two groups had no difference in obtaining comprehensible input in the match task, and no correlation was found between comprehensible input, negotiation of meaning and acquiring new words.

Keywords: negotiation of meaning, comprehensible input, L2 vocabulary acquisition

1. Introduction

The contribution of classroom interaction to the language development has indeed been the focus for a considerable amount of work over the last few decades (Breen, 2002; Bitchener, 2003; Foster, 1998; Fuente, 2002, 2006; Hardy & Moore, 2004; Krashen, 1980, 1985; Long, 1981; 1996; Pica, 1991, 1994; Swain, 1985; Zhao &Bitchener, 2007; Gass & Torres, 2005; Long, 2011; Luan & Sappathy, 2011). Recently, many researchers have studied the role of negotiation of meaning in second language acquisition (Foster&Ohta, 2005; Gass & Vanoris, 1985, 1994; Lee, 2005; Lee, 2006; Long, 1983, 1996; 2011; Luan& Sappathy, 2011; Pica, 1987, 1994, Révész, et al, 2011; Yong, 1983). In the field of the foreign language classroom setting, especially in China, however, less attention is paid to the role of negotiation of meaning. Therefore, this paper intends to fill the gap by examining the effectiveness of negotiation of meaning in L2 vocabulary acquisition of Chinese learners of English in the classroom setting.

2. Literature Review

2.1 Negotiation of Meaning

Negotiation of meaning refers to interactional work done by interlocutors to achieve mutual understanding when a communication problem occurs. Pica (1994) explored a specific type of interaction known as negotiation of meaning which has been used to characterize modification and restructuring of interaction that occurs when learners and their interlocutors perceive difficulties in message comprehensibility. Negotiation sequences have been identified by Ellis (2005) as clarification requests, confirmation checks, recasts, etc. Long (1985) regarded them as types of interactional modification. Whatever labels are used, these features of negotiation portray a process in which a listener requests message clarification and confirmation, and the speaker follows up these requests through repeating, elaborating or simplifying the original message. Recent studies support the position that interaction embodied into meaning of negotiation helps learners to comprehend non-understanding when a problem occurs so that comprehension ultimately contributes to successful SLA (Jeong, 2011). The interaction hypothesis developed by Long (1985) shows how negotiation of meaning raises L2 acquisition (Ellis, 2003).

2.2 Negotiation of Meaning and the Interaction Hypothesis

According to Long (1985), in an NNS-NS (a non-native speaker and a native speaker) encounter, both parties would experience difficulty in comprehension and expression, and they would therefore modify interaction, in particular, the NS would modify the speech to such a level that is appropriate to the NNS. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.