Archive for the ‘pemerolehan bahasa’ Category

Enhancing Students’ Listening Skill Through Podcasts

by Oktavia Widiastuti

State Polytechnic of Malang (Polinema)

Abstract

Applying podcast as an appropriate multimedia can be very potential and practical as a tool to enhance listeningskill.Students and teachers can download podscast easily and freely as source of their listening materials. Listening materials presented through Podcast is possible to increase students’ listening skill as Podcast provides students with authentic and contextual material. Podcast offers an ideal tool for the creative expression of knowledge preferred by today’s students, and provides an exciting way for students and teachers to explore and discover listening content or material.

Podcasts are particularly suited for extensive listening, for the purpose of motivating students’ interest in listening to English and providing them with exposure to native speakers’ speech (Rost, 1991). Stanley (2006) points out that podcasts offer students a wide range of possibilities for extra listening both inside and outside of the classrooms. The outside classroom listening activity effectively bridges the gap between the formal English which dominates most English language classrooms and the informal English used in real-life communication events.Podcast as a new technology has huge potential in enhancing students’ listening skill.The ease of downloading podcasts to MP3 players and iPods means that students can now engage in plenty of listening practice in any condition.

 

Key words: Listening skills, podcast, Information technology in ELT

 

Listening in language learning has undergone several important stages, from being assumed “acquired through exposure but not really taught” (Richard, 2002) to be viewed as “a primary vehicle for language learning” (Rost, 2001). During the decades, developments in education, linguistics and sociology have led to the powerful theories of the nature of language comprehension and the active interest in the role of listening comprehension in second language acquisition.

In daily communication, listening plays an important role. Research has demonstrated that adults spend 40-50% of communication time listening, 25-30% speaking, 11-16% reading, and about 9% writing (Vandergrift, 1999). Listening, the most widely used language skill, is often used in conjunction with the other skills of speaking, reading and writing. It is not only a skill area in language performance, but also a critical means of acquiring a second and foreign language.

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, applied linguistics recognized that listening was the primary channel by which the learner gained access to L2 data, and that it therefore served as the trigger for acquisition (Rost, 2001). Krashen (1982) claimed that “comprehensible input” was a necessary condition for language learning. In his input hypothesis, Krashen said further development from the learner’s current stage of language knowledge could only be achieved by the learner’s comprehending language that contained linguistic items (lexis, syntax, morphology) at a level slightly above the learner’s current knowledge (Rost, 2001). According to this theory, the more language we expose students to, the more they will acquire, and the better they get in listening activities

In general, provided the listening materialappropriate to their level is a very significant point. However, the reality of the teaching of listening in Indonesian’s classrooms is that students have only one hour to learn listening in the language laboratory every week, which is far from satisfactory. Hence, extensive listening must go along with intensive listening. Extensive listening, where a teacher encourages students to choose for themselves what they listen to and to do so for pleasure or for general language improvement can also have a dramatic effect on a student’s language proficiency (Harmer, 2001).

Applying appropriate multimedia in Extensive Listening activity can be one of the solutions to improve students’ listening skill and their motivation (Juniardi, 2008). By using multimedia students not only hear the sound but also can capture the pictures, moreover by using multimedia students can download native voices as source of their listening materials. One of the programs that can be applied is podcast program. By using Podcast, the students can listen to music, news, TV program etc. Podcast has two files audio (MP3) and video (MP4). These files can be down loaded free of charge from www.cnn.com. One of the Podcast examples which can be free down loaded is, CNN Larry King Live Podcast (Paul, 2007).

Another example, which is also interesting to be used as the listening material, is taken from www.invisiblechildren.com . There are many videos which can be downloaded by subscribing to the website using iTunes (Stanley, 2006).

These two examples are few of many others materials that can be freely downloaded from the internet by subscribing to the website using iTunes. The capacity of each file is varied (about 3 to 100 Mb) according to duration of the podcast. For instance, it takes at least one and a half hour to download a 15 minutes Larry King Live Podcast (McCarty, 2005).

Based on the explanation above, listening materials presented through Podcast is possible to increase student listening comprehension as Podcast provide students with authentic and contextual material and it can improve students’ knowledge because students are able to share their Podcast. Podcasting offers an ideal tool for the creative expression of knowledge preferred by today’s students, and provides an exciting way for students and educators to explore and discover listening content or material (McCarty, 2005). Podcasts are audio or video files that are automatically delivered over a network, and then played back on any Mac, PC, or iPod. When students create a Podcast for class, they not only learn the content in a creative way, they learn 21st-century communication skills at the same time.

 

Listening

Language learning depends on listening since it provides the aural input that serves as the basis for language acquisition and enables learners to interact in spoken communication. Listening is the first language mode that children acquire. It provides the foundation for all aspects of language and cognitive development, and it plays a life-long role in the processes of communication. A study by Wilt (1950), found that people listen 45 % of the time they spend communicating.

Since listening is, according to Wang Shouyuan (2003), the most important component in the five aspects of overall English competence he suggests as listening, speaking, reading, writing and translation, it deserves particular attention. Teachers must actively explore the nature and process of listening comprehension and study the theory and methodology of listening comprehension in order to improve listening teaching outcomes and make students recognize that listening comprehension is the crucial aspect of English learning.

From the point of view of constructivist linguistics, foreign language teaching should focus on language form and structure, thus, listening teaching is undertaken in each of the four aspects of language form. When students are taught to understand a passage of text, teachers first let them discriminate between the pronunciation of vowels and consonants, then understand vocabulary, sentences and discourses. The goals of this listening teaching model from the “bottom-up” is to help students understand the meaning of vocabulary by discriminating sounds, to understand sentence meaning, and to monitor and control the meaning of discourses by understanding sentence meaning (Feyten, 1991).

Since the 1970s, with the development of functional language theory, there has been an emphasis on the research of language function in society. Functional linguistic experts recognize language as a communicative tool, but not an isolated structure system. Consequently the teaching of listening is not simply intended to make students hear a sound, a word or a sentence, rather, the goal is to cultivate students’ abilities to understand speakers’ intentions accurately and communicate with each other effectively (Lihua, 2002).

Different from the traditional theory that listening is a passive activity, now we have realized that listening is a complicated process that involves many factors. Rost (2002) suggests that “listening is a process involving a continuum of active processes which are under the control of the listener.” It is different from hearing which is “the primary physiological system that allows for reception and conversion of sound waves that surround the listener” (Rost, 2002).

A thorough definition of listening, thus, should include at least four factors: receptive, constructive, collaborative, or transformative (Rost, 2002). Receptive means receiving what the speaker actually says while constructive suggests constructing and representing meaning. Collaborative, on the other hand, shows negotiating meaning with the speaker and responding while transformative requires creating meaning through involvement, imagination and empathy.

            In summary, effective listening involves the listener taking an active role in constructing meaning with the speaker. Speaker must be aware of the deixis, speaker intention, implicit meaning and strategy use. In addition, effective listening will involve attention to cooperative social interaction, as that is where conversational meaning is monitored and negotiated (Rost, 2002).

The notion of involvement, engagement, and negotiation is related to pragmatic approach to listening. The pragmatic point of view of listening is an intention to complete a communication process. In order to occur this pragmatic completion, there must be engagement, in which a listener switches from becoming a mere ‘presence’ to an interpreter (Verschueren, 1999 in Rost, 2002).

 

Listening and Technologies

A prominent artefact of older beliefs concerning the role of listening in language learning is the language laboratory. The rationale for language laboratories is tied to the belief that individual listening practice with audiotape can help build a learner’s overall ability in the target language through self instructed comprehension practice. Technology continues to be perceived as an enhancement to the process of language acquisition. The large-scale infusion of computers in language instruction programs in the past decade attests to this belief. The rationale behind what is now growing support for Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL) is not unlike earlier enthusiasm for audiotape-based technologies. That is, individualized access to target language material under learner control provides needed exposure to and practice in the target language (Meskill, 1993).

Enthusiasm for CALL in general and multimedia in particular, however, differs from that of the audiotape laboratory as regards the breadth of expectations concerning technology’s role and potential. Fast and powerful computational capacity in conjunction with the orchestrated video, text and graphics of today’s multimedia learning systems would predict more sophisticated paradigms for interaction with the target language and, consequently, more effective learning (Jung, 1990).

Arguments supporting multimedia for education of this kind have rung loud and clear over the past decade. Praises for the medium are, however, based largely on intuition: learning a language via individualized instruction with the computer especially when audio and video are involved is an extremely appealing proposition, one that has sold to many an administrator in search of instructional panaceas (Jonassen, 1993). Thus far, however, the extent of multimedia’s impact on the language acquisition process remains an open issue. Is there evidence to suggest that listening skills development can be enhanced through this medium? The following section treats this question by examining potential correspondence between multi modal processing opportunities for language learners and how these can interact to complement listening skills acquisition (Garza, 1991).

Puspitasari (2010) in Cahyono (2010) in her article “Using Podcast as a Source of Material for Teaching English” informed what a podcast is. By the guidance of the teacher, the students can experience learning authentically through podcasts. The strategy described in this article is how to use podcast as a source material. Having listened to podcast, students are assigned to do several tasks in worksheets. Then, they can finish their final project by submitting the worksheets and a written recount text.

Other sources of the use of technology in English language learning and teaching are Murtado (2010) in Cahyono (2010), he used mailing lists in the English classroom where students can read other people’s questions and comments, and they can also give their comments. Samsuli (2010) in Cahyono (2010) proposed teaching English in a virtual classroom. As a teaching environment, virtual classroom provides a set of tools and features to facilitate teachers for delivering course materials and structuring learning experiences. The virtual learning gives teachers an experience in the new teaching atmosphere and environment and makes them change the way to teach. It will improve their face to face interaction with more effective questioning techniques.

 

Podcasts

Podcasts are audio (sometimes video) programs on the Web which are usually updated at regular intervals. New episodes can be listened to on the computer, or downloaded to an MP3 player or iPod for later listening. Although audio programs have existed on the Web for a few years already, what makes podcasting unique is its capacity for subscription through an RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feed, listeners can subscribe to their favorite Podcasts. Their computer will then receive alerts when new episodes have been posted. Podcatcher software programs, such as iTunes, will even download the latest episodes automatically once the program is opened. In other words, instead of having to visit individual Websites regularly for updated episodes, listeners can now have the latest episodes of their favoriteprograms delivered to their computer (Stanley, 2006)

 

Types of Podcast

Podcasts available on the Web fall broadly into two types: “radio Podcasts” and “independent Podcasts.” Radio Podcasts are existing radio programs turned into Podcasts, such as those produced by BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) and RTHK (Radio Television Hong Kong). “Independent Podcasts” are Web-based Podcasts produced by individuals and organizations (Lee, 2007).

It is the second type of Podcast which has huge potential for ELT because these can be perfect to suit the needs of different learners. They can be created by learners themselves with utmost ease.

 

ELT Podcasts

The first Podcasts appeared in early 2005. ELT educators soon joined the movement, and since the second half of 2005, there has been an upsurge in the number of ELT Podcasts on the Web. Teachers have three ways to look for suitable ELT Podcasts for their students. They can start with general Podcast directories. A Podcast directory is a searchable database which is linked to the Podcast sites. Teachers can type in a search term like “English,” “ELT,” “ESL,” and “TESOL,” and they will be given a list of ELT Podcasts. An example of a general Podcast directory is http://www.podcastalley.com/ (Lee, 2007).

To narrow down their search, teachers may go directly to directories of educational Podcasts. One well-known educational Podcast directory is the Education Podcast Network: http://epnweb.org/. A recent new directory is http://recap.ltd.uk/podcasting/, which claims to be the first U.K directory of educational Podcasts (Lee, 2007).

There is now such an abundance of ELT Podcasts on the Web that Podcast directories specializing in ELT are also available. These are directories which cover ELT podcasts only. One example is http://iteslj.org/links/ESL/Listening/Podcasts/ maintained by the Internet TESL Journal (McCarty, 2005).

 

Contents of ELT Podcast

ELT podcasts cover a wide range of subject matter. A brief survey of ELT podcasts reveals the following content types:

  • Comprehensive (e.g., http://www.englishteacherjohn.com/podcast/).

These are Podcasts that cover a wide range of content types, such as traditional listening comprehension activities, interviews, and vocabulary. A well-known comprehensive Podcast is the one quoted above, created by “Teacher John,” who teaches ESL in Japan.

  • Whole lessons (e.g., http://www.breakingnewsenglish.com/).

These are whole lessons based on a Podcast. The Podcast quoted above, for example, makes use of a news story in each episode. The text of the news story is provided, and is accompanied by the audio file. There is then a lesson plan with accompanying worksheet materials. In effect, these are ready-made lessons based on Podcasts which teachers can use in the classroom directly.

  • Vocabulary, idioms, etc. (e.g., http://englishteacherjohn.com/).

This is a popular type of Podcast, probably because it is easy to produce. In this kind of Podcast, the host chooses some vocabulary items and explains their usage. The example presents a few idioms in each episode.

These Podcasts contain conversations between native speakers to help less proficient learners, each episode is accompanied by the script, for learners to refer to while listening to the conversation.

These are Podcasts containing jokes because they usually play on language, they encourage careful listening by the learner.

  • Songs (e.g., http://englishpodsong.blogspot.com/)

These Podcasts contain songs for ESL learners. The songs are either traditional children’s songs, or authentic popular songs for teenagers. They are also often accompanied by the text of the lyrics.

  • Phonetics, pronunciation (e.g., http://phoneticpodcast.com/)

Podcasts are obviously highly suited for teaching phonetics and pronunciation. These Podcasts are lessons which focus on specific phonemes and pronunciation problems in English.

  • Stories (e.g, http://www.englishthroughstories.com/)

These are usually reading aloud story. They may or may not be followed by listening comprehension questions.

  • Listening comprehension (e.g., http://mylcpodcasts.blogspot.com/)

These Podcasts provide conventional listening comprehension practice.

In conclusion, computerized media and a multimedia environment can be helpful for English language learning and teaching and it has been asserted that internet sources and internet-based teaching are an excellent medium and strategies for generating social construction of knowledge. Information and communication technology can be used by adopting variant methods that could encourage students in developing independent learning strategies. In this study, the use of webblog and internet mail (e-mail) as learning medium and the use of podcast as a listening source material hopefully can make the students improve their listening skill and motivation.

 

Podcasts and Listening Activities

Teaching listening by using Podcast is possible to increase student listening comprehension as Podcast provide students with authentic and contextual material and it can improve students’ knowledge because they share their Podcast (Earp, 1998). Podcasting offers an ideal tool for the creative expression of knowledge preferred by today’s students, and provides an exciting way for students and teachers to explore and discover listening content or material. Podcasts are audio or video files that are automatically delivered over a network, and then played back on any Mac, PC, or iPod. When students create a Podcast for class, they not only learn the content in a creative way, they learn 21st-century communications skills at the same time (McCarty, 2005).  Podcasting allows teachers to take their students beyond traditional assignments by allowing them to include voice recordings, photos, movies, and sound effects to share their knowledge. For example, students can draft and perform scripts as a writing assignment, create a visual progress report for an ongoing project, or submit a recorded version of a science presentation (Ge, 2005).

Podcasting is also a great way for teachers to deliver listening content to their students. They can distribute homework assignments, record book narration for beginning readers to read along with, or create foreign language lessons that students can review at their own pace (Lee, 2007).

ELT Podcasts can be used for intensive and extensive listening activities. However, ELT Podcasts are particularly suited for extensive listening, for the purpose of motivating student interest in listening to English, and providing them with exposure to native speakers’ speech (Rost, 1991). Stanley (2006) points out that Podcasts offer students a wide range of possibilities for extra listening both inside and outside of the classroom:

 “Supplementing the (often) scripted and stilted textbook listening with the real life authentic conversations we can find on many Podcasts is an attractive option for language teachers chosen carefully, extracts can bring a range of different voices and varieties of English into the classroom.”

More advanced learners can be encouraged to listen to authentic podcast. This activity effectively bridges the gap between the formal English which dominates most second language classrooms and the informal English used in most real-life communication events.

The key to help students improve their listening skills is to convince them that they can finish the job. This is more of an attitude adjustment than anything else, and it is easier for some students to accept than others. Another important point is that teachers should convince their students to listen to English as often as possible. As to the listening material, the more material they get touch with, the more progress they will make (Nunan and Miller, 1995).

In conclusion, as we all know, for the students of English as a foreign language, there are usually intervals between the perceptions of sounds by their ears and understanding the words, phrases and sentences. This kind of intervals often makes students have more troubles in listening comprehension. So it is essential for them to have more chances to contact with different kinds of listening materials and let their ears be familiar with different sounds of English words. In classroom activities, teachers can also give students some advice about improving listening competency, one of the useful suggestions, that is, extensive listening. The best source for extensive listening is podcast material from the internet.

 

Conclusion

Having observed all the results of the studies mentioned above, it can be concluded that internet podcast is a great multimedia to improve students’ listening skill. Podcast allows students to download or subscribe to audio programs in the form of MP3 files which is very easy to apply and they can select appropriate podcast materials which they need and like. The material is then easily be transferred to a portable MP3 player. Moreover, Intensive and Extensive Listening Activity using podcast is able to overcome students’ low ability in listening comprehension and is able to fulfill their need to have extra time to improve their listening skill with appropriate and interesting listening materials.

 

 REFERENCES

Cahyono, B. C. 2010. Teaching English by Using Internet Resources. Malang: State University of Malang Press.

Earp, S. 1998. More Than Just the Internet: Technology for Language Teaching. ERIC Digest .http://www.ericdigests.org/1998-2/internet.htm.

Garza, T. 1991. Evaluating the Use of Captioned Video Materials in Advanced     Foreign Language Learning.Foreign Language Annals, 24, 3, 239-258.

Harmer, J. 2001.The Practice of English Language Teaching (3rd Edition). Harlow: Longman

Jung, U. 1990. The Challenge of Broadcast Video Text to Applied Linguistics.IRAL, 28, 3.

Juniardi, Y. 2008. Improving Students Listening Skill through Podcasting Program. Paper presented in Asia TEFL Conference Bali, 23rd August.

Krashen, S. D. 1982. The Input Hypothesis. London: Longman

Lee, B. 2007.Podcasts Transforming Campus Life.The Monterey County Herald.

McCarty, S. 2005. Spoken Internet To Go: Popularization through Podcasting. JALT CALL, 1(2), 67-74.

Meskill, C. 1993. ESL and Multimedia: A Study of the Dynamics of Paired Student Discourse. System, 21, 3, 323-341.

Meskill, C. & Shea, P. 1994. Multimedia and Language Learning: Integrating the Technology Into Existing Curricula. Proceedings of the Third Conference on   Instructional Technologies. State University of New York: FACT.

Nunan, D. 1999. Second Language Teaching and Learning.Boston: Heinle&Heinle.

Nunan, D. and Miller, L. 1995. New Ways in Teaching Listening. Washington DC: TESOL.

Richards, J.C. 2002. Listening Comprehension: Approach, Design, Procedure. ESOL Quarterly, 17 (2): 29-240.

Rost, M. 1991. Listening in Action: Activities for DevelopingLlistening in Language Teaching. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Rost, M. 2002. Teaching and Researching Listening. London: Pearson Education.

Stanley, G. 2006. Podcasting: Audio on the Internet Comes of Age.TESL-EJ, 9(4).

Stoks, G. 2005. Podcasts: New Materials for Teaching Listening Comprehension. Retrieved from www.babylonia.ch: 26 April 2006.

Thorne, S. and Payne, J. 2005.Evolutionary Trajectories, Internetmediated Expression, and Language Education.CALICO, 22(3), 371-397.

Vandergrift. 1999. Facilitating Second Language Listening Comprehension: Acquiring Successful Strategies. http://docutek.Canberra.edu.au/coursepage

Wills, R. 2002.An Investigation of Factors Influencing English Listening

Comprehension and Possible Measures for Improvement. Australia: University of Tasmania.

Yumarnamto. 2008. Podcasts and Videocasts from the Internet to Improve Students’ Listening Skill. Paper presented in Asia TEFL Conference Bali, 1st-3rd August.

Stimulating Positive English Speaking Class Environment

Oleh: Ani  Purjayanti

Bogor Agricultural University (IPB)

 

Abstract

Despite the fact that the skills to communicate in English are crucial in the globalization era, the majority of students in Bogor Agricultural University encounter problems to speak this language appropriately and fluently. When asked to elaborate the inhibiting factors, students generally point out both linguistic and non-linguistic factors. Accordingly, not only do students need to be equipped with adequate knowledge of grammar, a sufficient range of vocabulary, and pronunciation knowledge but their confidence and willingness to take the risk also need to be provoked as well. In fact, the latter points, namely, building confidence and risk-taking willingness generally require hard efforts on the part of the teachers. Practice, is indeed viewed as the best way in such an English teaching-learning process, although, inevitably, there are often questions concerning the HOW this process is able to provide prominent and meaningful inputs to the students. This paper is written as an attempt to elicit students’ opinions on speaking classroom environment which can stimulate and foster students to speak appropriately and fluently. 100 students of Bogor Agricultural University (of Diploma level) who had taken reading class prior to the Speaking I, were randomly selected to be the subjects of the study. Besides completing questionnaires focusing on classroom arrangement and environment, participants were interviewed for further clarification. Results show that teachers play the most prominent role in creating classroom environment, including creating comforting but challenging classroom environment and providing appropriate teaching materials.

 

Key words: classroom environment, friendly speaking environment

Although teaching speaking skill does not completely differ from teaching other language skills, it apparently requires greater endeavors as students are driven to produce sentences in an active way. Meanwhile, being in a new speaking class – where one has to express ideas and opinions – is not always a pleasant experience for students. Quite often, a series of queries appears in a student’s mind: whether they will have an interesting class, a good teacher, nice friends, and so forth. Others might think whether they will be able to accomplish all of their classroom activities, and go through all of the tasks in the learning process for the whole semester. Still, some others wonder whether they are far behind their friends in terms of ability or the same. Such worries may, unfortunately, result in the decline of students’ guts and confidence so that their performance is far below optimum.

It is in such a case, learning environment becomes paramount. If the environment is dreary and discouraging, things will lead to a strenuous and boring situation though the lessons offered are tremendous. If the environment is tempting and motivating, on the other hand, learning may take place more easily as having safe and comfortable feelings, learners will eagerly open themselves to be involved and actively engage in the learning activities. By doing so, they are expected to be able to absorb and master the materials and skills given. But, the questions arisen here is “Who is responsible to create such a stimulating learning environment?”

This paper is written to elicit students’ opinion on “Who” or/and “What” can stimulate learners to speak in the speaking classroom.

 

Learning Environment

The term “Learning Environment” has apparently drawn a relatively wide attention from teachers of languages who then react in different ways as their follow-up actions. A some papers  discuss that many language teachers immediately direct their concentration on the physical setting of the classroom – where and how specific things must be placed and arranged as such an organization is believed to benefit young learners in their brain development  (Church, 2010). He goes on by mentioning other factors that may affect the classroom environment; namely, material choices as well as provided activities.  Byanderzee (2010), furthermore forward the idea that a positive classroom environment can be created by taking learners’ preferences and view points in the design of classroom materials, and this can be covered in specific classroom curriculum design. One specific goal for this is to ensure that students’ individual needs will be fulfilled. A larger coverage of the conception of learning environment is not only the “physical” environment but also the emotional feelings of learners created by particular people in a classroom: the teacher, classmates, etc that play a prominent role in stimulating positive learning environment. The feeling of being secure and excited when entering the classroom and conducting all the activities, is one of the examples of desired classroom environment.

 

Methods and Procedures

100 students of Diploma Program in IPB (from 6 different classes from two semesters) were asked to fill in a questionnaire “Stimulating Classroom Environment for English Speaking Learners”. They are free to give more than one answers when describing the preferred teacher, teaching materials, classmates, etc. In order to explore true responses from participants, Indonesian is used, but answers were given in English.

Responses were then tabulated and analyzed to obtain a clear depiction of students’ preferences. Words of similar meaning are classified into one to make the grouping easier. Some of these findings some were put into graphs.

In-depth interviews were conducted in order to get clarification of participants’ responses on the questionnaire.

 

Findings and Discussion
It was found that according to the students, the salient factors that have great roles in stimulating positive classroom environment so as to make them willing and encouraged to speak in English are in the following order:

 

Figure 1: The most influential factor in creating positive learning environment

Fig1-any

Results indicated that the majority of the participants (68%) pointed out “the teacher” as the most crucial factor in making them speak, compared to other factors such as materials (10%), classmates (10%), learning situations (7%)  and learning activities (5%). Teacher factor is evidently far above the other choices, meaning that teachers  are viewed to have a vital role in providing valuable learning environment.

Regarding detailed teachers’ characteristics, teaching materials, classmates’ characteristics, and so forth that students preferred in-depth interviews were conducted. Responses mentioned by participants in each category are discussed individually.

 

1. Teacher (as the Most Influential Factor)

What are the aspects of an influential teacher brought up by the students in the questionnaire and interview?

Regarding teachers’ characteristics that students preferred, students raised teachers’ being friendly, supportive and giving respect as the highest in frequency. Responses students raised in the questionnaire are as described in the following:

  1. 1.      Being friendly

The most outstanding teachers’ characteristic raised by the majority of the students (89 %) – which also means what students concern the most about their teacher – is “friendliness”. Although it is described in a variety of words; including, being friendly, always smiles, always shows friendly face, the body language shows friendliness, and the like, students point out that this characteristic has a great impact on their feelings towards the classroom environment. This can make them feel at ease and comfortable and also reduce their nervousness so that they can enjoy the lesson and find it easier to express their opinions.

  1. 2.      Being supportive

Similar to the first characteristic, this second one was also written by 77% students as one of the teacher’s ideal characteristics. They have more courage if the teacher always provides support for his/her students, particularly when they make mistakes or do not know what to say. Thus, expressions such as “That’s good, so what about …“ in order to remind them of what they have to focus on, or “Right, but how do you pronounce …” when trying to correct their pronunciation can make them keep going.

Another expression that students use in the response is that they like to have a teacher who always gives motivation so that they feel the need to learn more and more. This can be conducted when giving them assignment or at the end of the lesson, for instance, depending on the classroom situation. Saying “Practice again and again so that in the next meeting you can speak much better than this time…” can give a significantly positive impact on the students.

  1. 3.      Giving respects

Although it is not mentioned as often as the above two characteristics, more than half of the respondents (57%) mention that they need to be given respects by their teacher. A teacher who respects students, listens to what they say, provides the same opportunities for all students to speak or ask questions, and does not criticize nor give bad judgment in front of others is sincerely appreciated. A teacher should also be able to accept students’ weaknesses wisely.

  1. 4.      Being  eager in correcting students’ mistakes

Both eagerness and willingness of a teacher to address students’ mistakes in a positive way is another concern (51%) since students believe that they still make lots of mistakes when speaking. A teacher, accordingly, is expected to show and correct these mistakes, as by doing so, students will be aware of their mistakes in the hope that they can avoid making the same mistakes at other times.

  1. 5.      Being kind-hearted

In addition, many students (46%) would like to have a teacher who has genuine understanding upon his/her students’ level of English proficiency, including understanding their difficulties and anxiety while learning English. In their words, they like a teacher who “can understand students’ situations” and do not become furious easily. A teacher has to have a great patience in her/himself.”

 

  1. 6.      Being creative and innovative

To a smaller extent (11%), students stated that a creative and innovative teacher can create good environment in the classroom since he/she can make classroom alive with the materials and activities provided for the students.

  1. 7.      Other characteristics

There are, still, other teachers’ characteristics preferred by students  though only in a very small number (7%). These include being able to explain clearly and become a role model, having sense of humor, being professional, and  close to the students. Moreover, teachers should also be serious in a friendly manner.

From the findings, it revealed that only a very few number of the participants point out teacher’s intelligence, knowledge, and smartness as profound aspects in creating friendly speaking environment. These cognitive characteristics were not as highly favoured as affective characteristics as discussed above. It is definite, therefore, that to provide friendly speaking environment, teachers’ personalities have to be given more attention. This is a great input for language teachers to introspect and check whether the above points are built in themselves.

The above-mentioned findings are, in fact, in line with previous studies (eg., Purjayanti, 2008). Similar hints to teach speaking class are also stated by Kelly (2010) who points out that both “teacher’s behaviors” and “teacher’s characteristics”, particularly “teacher’s personalities” have a great impact on how a learning environment is created. Whether or not a teacher is even-tempered, sarcastic, serious, patient, or optimist, is viewed to be the most important factor in creating a stimulating classroom environment as it appears that every student mentions this in their response.

What needs to be done then? Personalities, indeed, have to come first. Giving genuine smile and showing a happy face can be the first thing a teacher has to perform. Language teachers do not only assist students but also learn from others; sharing both knowledge and experience with students at the same time may help language teachers maintain the positive environment.

Included in the personalities that a language teacher needs to posses is the choices of words he/she uses in the classroom. Words of appreciation, inspiration as well as keenness are always good to use. A list of word choices and expressions used by language teachers in the classroom is proposed by Andrew (2009:1); he mentions that saying “raise a hand if in need of assistance” creates a more positive environment than saying “do not call out answers”.

Regarding teacher’s attempt to correct students’ mistakes which is very common to occur in a speaking class, again, words play a great role. Suess (2010); therefore, suggests that a teacher should conduct this activity wisely:

Always start with positive statement; praise them for trying. Praise is a powerful positive motivation tool” (Mc-Daniels in Suess, 2010:2)

Above all, a more crucial tip for teacher’s personalities is provided by Suess who states that the heart of creating stimulating classroom environment is teachers’ “enthusiasm” as well as “excitement” towards the lesson being taught. Teachers should always try to be enthusiastic and eager with the valuable job being conducted. It is this excitement   that will finally spread throughout the whole classroom and spark students’ enthusiasm to learn.

It is, definitely, a big fortune if all the characteristics and behaviors that students preferred become the parts of language teachers’ daily life in order to make students feel the comfort, respect, and even love from teachers. The most important questions that need to be addressed now is probably, “Are language teachers able to keep up the same performance from time to time?”, or “Can they always control their emotion in all kinds of situations?” Whatever the answer it takes, it is always good to take Kelly’s affirmation into account:

your behavior is the one factor that you can completely control” (Kelly, 2010:1)

 

Materials

The second vital component that can stimulate learning environment, as the participants respond on the questionnaire includes are both teaching materials and classmates. These are discussed with teaching materials discussed first and followed with classmates.

It was found that the stimulating materials include real-life topics, interesting topics, simple (trivial-matter) topic), and others. Real life topic includes topics about daily life, current issues and situations, any other current issues appear in the society. Students perceived such topics to be un-threatening topics to discuss since they are mostly have the knowledge on them; thus, it is relatively challenging. Interesting topics include the ones providing new or more knowledge or information are also found interesting. On the other hand, the ones that students are not familiar with are more difficult to express. Third, simple topics are the ones related to the real-life topics. Topics on politics or laws, for instance, are fairly hard to discuss. Finally, other topics include  the ones which are challenging, of their own choice, and fun.

 

Classmate

Placed in the same rank as teaching materials, classmates were pointed out by 10% of the participants to be one of the factors influencing the learning environment. What kinds of classmates are they exactly expecting to make them encouraged to speak? The following characteristics of classmates are expected.

Being great motivators

85 % students affirmed that they are encouraged to speak when their classmates are the ones who can give them motivation. This kind of classmates are those willing to help and do not expect too much in return. These classmates also appreciate whatever their other friends performed and gave necessary suggestions.

Being active and responsive

58% students; furthermore, pointed out that these classmates are relatively active when conducting conversations with them, active asking questions and giving opinions during class presentation. Such classmates can radiate energy to them so that they finally become active.

Willing to give correction

Similar to the hope addressed to teachers, some students (27%) feel happy to be corrected by their friends. They found that most of the time, they forget grammar or certain pronunciation due to nervousness or concentration breakdown. Having correction from their friends will make them fresh again and able to carry out their speaking.

Possessing better skills

This finding was found relatively surprising. 16% of the participants stated that they can apparently have more courage when facing classmates with better ability. They revealed that these kinds of friends will indirectly radiate their great spirit to the others who realize that they have to learn more and more.

Others

What includes under this category are, among others, having sincere classmates – the ones who give their complete attention when others are carrying out their tasks – , can also provide the spirit for them to speak. They also like classmates who never laugh at their friends’ mistakes

It is worth noting that classmates can, indeed, have a relatively big influence in the learning environment, particularly in a speaking class. It is necessary, therefore, for all language teachers to give their attention to this matter. Mc-Daniels words, quoted by Suess (2010:2) can be used as a great reminder:

Make sure students respect one another by teaching them help rather than laugh at each other .They should be reminded how they would like to be treated, and should treat others that way.”

 

Learning/Classroom Situation

Although this is not discerned as a really influential factor in creating the learning environment, few students stated some preferences on the classroom situations. Apparently, they like the following (in order of preference):

  1. to have a life classroom where everyone can express their opinions without fear
  2. to be in a fun and relax but serious situation (as opposed to an intense classroom)
  3. to be in a warm, conducive, and communicative classroom
  4. to be given an opportunity to speak or ask questions
  5. to be placed in pairs or groups
  6. to be placed in a small class  ( not too many students in it)

It was found that students, indeed, like to take part by expressing ideas in their speaking classroom, whether they are as a presenter or audience. This is believed to be able to provide as pleasant classroom environment so as not to make students feel discouraged and disrespected.

It was also worth noting that – as mentioned by a number of students – placing students in pairs or small groups is one way to make students feel comfortable and relax (as opposed to be individual). The first reason might be because they know each other, and secondly they have more turn and opportunity to express their ideas. Having this, therefore, it is expected that students can have better involvement, and hopefully better learning results.

 

Learning Activities

Students revealed that activities they like to perform in a speaking class are:

  1. the ones involving asking and answering questions
  2. presentation
  3. group discussion
  4. graded level of difficulty (to start from the easiest then move to the next grades)

The above findings, in fact, confirmed students’ high desire to get more time to perform speaking in the classroom. Thus, the enthusiasm is there with the students. The question arisen will be “are students given a opportunity to carry out the real speaking? Or, instead, is their high spirit “killed” simply because  the language teachers  do not provide an environment that can keep students’ high desire?

 

Conclusion

Generating a stimulating learning environment means creating safe, comfortable, secure, and friendly situations where students feel welcome, accepted and respected. Nervousness, anxiety or even stress due to the fear to produce utterances may be reduced or even hampered by such a friendly environment. In this kind of environment, learners are put in the centre of the classroom activities where they can explore and share knowledge, information, and experience in their own way. It is expected that in this way, learners can build their confidence and grow their willingness to express their ideas in their speaking class so as to make them speak better.

Now, as previously discussed, it is the duty of the teacher as the “most influential” person – whom the students rely on – to make every effort in order to provide the above findings for students to learn more eagerly. As McDanniels (2012:1) stated:

All students, even those who have learning difficulties and extraordinary personal challenges can do well when they are physically comfortable, mentally motivated and emotionally supported”.

 

REFERENCES

Andrew, Tammy. 2009. Positive Learning Environment. http://suite101.com/article/positive-learning-environment-a97379

Office of Instructional Development (OID) UCLA. Improving classroom Interaction. http://www.oid.ucla.edu/units/tatp/old/lounge/pedagogy/interaction

Anonymous. 2005. How to Create Enriching Environments that Enhance Student Learning. v

Byanderzee. 2010. Creating a Positive Classroom Environment. www.ehow.com

Church, Ellen Booth. 2010.  Off to a Great Start: Creating an Effective Classroom. http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/article/great-start-creating-effective-classroom

Donato, Nanci. A  Discussion of a Positive Learning Environment and Classroom Management. www.clarion.edu/20715.pdf

Imel, Susan. 2011. Inclusive Adult Learning Environments. www.ericdigests.org/1996-2/adult.html

Kelly, Melissa. 2010. Creating a Positive Learning Environment: Dealing with Forces That Effect the Learning Environment. http://712educators.about.com/od/classroomhelpers/tp/Creating-A-Positive-Learning-Environment.htm

Lebednik, Christine. How to Have Stimulating Classroom Discussions. www.ehow.com.

McDaniels, Michelle McFarland. 2011. Children Respond to a Positive Learning Environment. http://www.brighthubeducation.com/classroom-management/13907-creating-a-positive-learning-environment/

Purjayanti, Ani. 2008. Good Language Teacher: Whose perceptions? Paper presented in 55th TEFLIN International Conference. Jakarta: UIN

Suess, Emily. 2010. A Positive learning Environment. http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/a-positive-learning-environment


FUNGSI PERTANYAAN DALAM INTERAKSI KELAS BENGKEL POLITEKNIK NEGERI MALANG

Moh. Thamrin

Politeknik Negeri Malang

Abstrak

Pertanyaan dalam interaksi kelas  memegang peranan penting. Dengan pertanyaan interaksi kelas dapat berjalan dengan baik karena pertanyaan dapat mengeksplorasi cara berpikir logis. Penelitian ini dilakukan dengan tujuan mendeskripsikan (1) fungsi pertanyaan  dosen-mahasiswa dalam interaksi kelas bengkel Politeknik Negeri Malang dan (2) fungsi pertanyaan mahasiswa-dosen dalam interaksi kelas bengkel Politeknik Negeri Malang. Penelitian ini menggunakan ancangan pragmatik. Data tuturan yang berbentuk pertanyaan dianalisis dengan menggunakan model analisis interaksi Miles dan Hubermen (1984) dengan langkah (1) reduksi data, (2) penyajian data, dan (3) verifikasi data. Bentuk pertanyaan yang dipakai dalam interaksi dosen-mahasiswa di kelas bengkel Politeknik Negeri Malang adalah pertanyaan yang berfungsi menyuruh, meminta, dan melarang. Bentuk pertanyaan yang dipakai dalam interaksi mahasiswa-dosen di kelas bengkel Politeknik Negeri Malang adalah pertanyaan yang berfungsi meminta. Bentuk pertanyaan yang digunakan dalam interaksi kelas bengkel antara dosen-mahasiswa memiliki variasi lebih banyak daripada interaksi mahasiswa-dosen.  Hal ini disebabkan oleh perbedaan hubungan interaksional antara dosen-mahasiswa.

Kata-kata kunci: Pertanyaan, fungsi pertanyaan, interaksi kelas.

Interaksi kelas merupakan aktivitas berbahasa. Aktivitas berbahasa pada hakikatnya melaksanakan berbagai tindak bahasa sesuai dengan aturan penggunaan unsur-unsur bahasa.  Tindak bahasa sebagai unit terkecil dalam peristiwa berbahasa dapat menunjukkan makna sosial. Seorang penutur bahasa Indonesia (BI) misalnya bermaksud menyuruh petutur untuk memutar pengatur gas mesin pengelas, dapat menggunakan bentuk verbal berupa kalimat (1)”Putarlah pengatur gas ini!”, atau (2) ”Pengatur gas ini perlu disetel lagi.” atau (3) ”Bagaimana kalau pengatur gas ini diputar?” Pemilihan terhadap satu formulasi kalimat tersebut mengandung efek yang berbeda baik bagi penutur maupun bagi petutur. Efek itu antara lain menyangkut kadar maksud dan jenis hubungan yang mewarnai antara penutur dan petutur, cara berpikir, serta tindak laku keduanya. Hal ini menandakan bahwa suatu bahasa tidak hanya berfungsi untuk mengungkapkan unsur kognitif saja, tetapi juga untuk mengungkapkan unsur sikap yang ada dalam setiap bahasa. Unsur sikap yang dimaksud yaitu unsur yang memperlihatkan maksud, pikiran, kegiatan, dan sebab tuturan itu dilakukan penutur. Dalam kondisi tertentu, unsur sikap tidak dinyatakan secara eksplisit oleh penutur, namun  dapat dimengerti oleh petutur.

Tindak bahasa yang banyak mendapatkan perhatian para ahli filsafat dan ahli bahasa adalah tindak ilokusi. Salah satu jenis tindak ilokusi yang berperan penting dalam interaksi kelas adalah tindak direktif, yakni tindak bahasa yang dilakukan penutur dengan tujuan menghasilkan suatu efek berupa tindakan yang dilakukan oleh petutur. Salah satu bentuk yang dipakai adalah bentuk pertanyaan. Dalam interaksi kelas, pertanyaan digunakan dosen pada tahap pembukaan, tahap inti, dan tahap akhir pembelajaran  dengan berbagai fungsi.

Penggunaan pertanyaan dalam interaksi kelas bengkel bertujuan (1) menciptakan suasana kelas agar mahasiswa memiliki kondisi siap untuk memulai praktik, (2) mengembangkan interaksi kelas secara optimal, (3) menciptakan suasana lebih hidup dan dinamis, (4) menciptakan ’kontekstual’ yang tinggi karena mahasiswa dapat terlibat secara aktif dalam kegiatan pembelajaran, dan (5) memperoleh balikan, seberapa banyak mahasiswa memperoleh keterampilan dalam proses pembelajaran. Bagi mahasiswa,  pertanyaan berfungsi sebagai pelatihan mengadakan negosiasi makna, menggunakan bahasa dengan konteks yang beragam, teknik mengatasi kesulitan, dan teknik pengembangan intelektual, emosional, serta moral.

Mengingat pentingnya peranan pertanyaan dalam interaksi kelas bengkel tersebut, pembinaan bagi dosen dan mahasiswa sebagai pengguna bahasa Indonesia perlu ditingkatkan. Pembinaan itu dapat dilakukan secara efektif apabila didukung oleh data empiris yang sahih. Untuk mendapatkan data tersebut perlu dilakukan penelitian fungsi pertanyaan dalam interaksi kelas bengkel Politeknik Negeri Malang.

 

BENTUK DAN FUNGSI PERTANYAAN

Di dalam berbahasa, kebutuhan penutur bukanlah semata-mata untuk menyampaikan proposisi dan informasi saja. Dengan bahasa, penutur dapat melakukan tindakan. Salah satu tindakan yang penting adalah tindak ilokusi.  Tindak ilokusi memiliki beberapa fungsi, salah satunya adalah fungsi direktif, yakni ilokusi yang bertujuan menghasilkan suatu efek yang dilakukan oleh petutur (Searle, 1985). Dalam menyatakan tindak direktif, penutur dapat menggunakan strategi yang berbentuk pertanyaan.

Sebagai salah satu unsur pembentuk kegiatan interaksi, pertanyaan memiliki bentuk dan fungsi yang sangat beragam. Bahasan berikut akan difokuskan pada bentuk dan fungsi pertanyaan dalam bahasa Indonesia. Alisyahbana (1969:51) membedakan kalimat tanya menjadi 3 macam, yaitu kalimat tanya yang dibentuk dengan menggunakan (1) intonasi tanya, (2) kata tanya, dan (3) akhiran tanya –kah. Satu bentuk pertanyaan yang lain, yakni kalimat tanya yang sama dengan perintah, sebagai alat interaksi, dan pertanyaan yang menyerupai seruan. Slamet Muljana (1969)  membedakan kalimat tanya menjadi 2, yaitu  kalimat tanya sebagian dan kalimat tanya keseluruhan. Pembagian ini didasarkan pada pusat perhatiannya. Pertanyaan keseluruhan menghendaki jawaban ya atau tidak, sedangkan pertanyaan sebagian menghendaki jawaban yang ada tambahan penjelasan.

Dengan menggunakan sudut pandang sintaksis, semantis, dan model yang mengikutinya, pertanyaan dalam bahasa Indonesia dapat dibedakan menjadi 2 macam, yakni pertanyaan ya-tidak dan pertanyaan selain ya-tidak. Pertanyaan ya-tidak merupakan pertanyaan yang jawabnya ya, tidak, atau bukan. Sedang pertanyaan selain ya-tidak yaitu pertanyaan yang membutuhkan jawaban yang berupa penjelasan (Bloom, 1956).

DeGarmo (1972) mengemukakan bahwa pertanyaan berfungsi sebagai perangsang berpikir dan pendorong lahirnya suatu tindakan. Dalam kegiatan interaksi , pertanyaan berfungsi sebagai alat untuk menciptakan dan mengembangkan interaksi. Allen (1978) mengemukakan adanya empat fungsi pertanyaan, yakni meminta informasi, meminta izin, meminta keberterimaan, atau meminta konfirmasi.

Dengan menggunakan dasar situasi dan teknik, Coulthhard (1981) membedakan fungsi pertanyaan menjadi 3 macam, yaitu (1) pertanyaan sebagai permintaan penjelasan, (2) pertanyaan sebagai permintaan agar lawan bicara melakukan sesuatu, dan (3) pertanyaan yang difungsikan agar lawan bicara tidak melakukan sesuatu.

 

INTERAKSI KELAS

Sebagai suatu istilah, interaksi dapat diartikan sebagai kontak antar dua individu atau lebih dengan menggunakan media yang bersifat verbal dan nonverbal (Samson, 1976: 228). Dalam kegiatan interaksi, pelaku interaksi saling memberikan alternatif untuk berperan serta. Peserta interaksi mendengarkan apa yang disampaikan oleh peserta interaksi yang lain dan menunggu sampai selesai, barulah ia mulai berbicara. Kegiatan interaksi secara sistematis berhubungan dengan situasi fisik tempat terjadinya interaksi dan perhatian peserta interaksi difokuskan pada situasi fisik tersebut. Dengan kata lain, interaksi merupakan pertukaran unit-unit dasar wacana dengan melibatkan kegiatan pengiriman pesan, penerimaan pesan, dan konteks.  Dalam kegiatan interaksi ini proses terjadinya negosiasi makna tidak dapat dihindarkan.

Allen (1987:25) mengartikan interaksi sebagai konsep umum yang mengacu pada pertukaran yang kompleks dari tingkah laku yang terarah yang didistribusikan ke dalam suatu rentangan waktu oleh dua orang atau lebih. Interaksi juga merupakan proses verbal dan nonverbal yang bersifat timbal balik yang diorganisir dalam suatu pola tindakan yang bermakna antara satu individu dengan individu yang lain.

Dalam interaksi yang terdiri atas dua partisipan, dapat dijumpai adanya empat macam balikan, yakni (1) balikan yang berisi monitoring diri; pembicara bermaksud mengemukakan dan menilai apa dan bagaimana ia mengemukakan maksud; (2) balikan yang berisi macam-macam respon yang digunakan untuk menopang arus interaksi; (3) balikan yang berisi balikan-balikan dari pembicara terhadap respon yang mendahuluinya; (4) balikan yang berisi hasil yang bersifat umum sebagai kesimpulan interaksi yang dapat berupa: rangkuman, persetujuan, sikap, kontrak, dan modifikasi tingkah laku antarpeserta interaksi.

River (1987) menjelaskan bahwa interaksi sebagai kegiatan melibatkan pengiriman pesan, penerimaan pesan, dan konteks. Interaksi tidak hanya melibatkan aspek pengekspresian ide semata, tetapi juga melibatkan aspek pemahaman ide. Dalam menafsirkan makna, pelaku interaksi mendasarkan diri pada konteks, baik yang bersifat fisik mau pun nonfisik, serta semua unsur non-verbal yang terkait dengan kegiatan interaksi.

Dari uraian yang dipaparkan di atas dapat ditarik pengertian sebagai berikut. Interaksi berarti kontak dua individu atau lebih menggunakan media verbal, non-verbal, atau gabungan keduanya. Dalam berinteraksi, pelaku melakukan kegiatan pengiriman dan pemahaman pesan secara timbal balik yang terwujud dalam bentuk giliran bicara. Dalam mengirimkan dan menafsirkan pesan, pelaku interaksi mendasarkan diri pada konteks atau situasi interaksi.

Kegiatan interaksi dapat dipandang sebagai salah satu bentuk kegiatan komunikasi. Seperti halnya komunikasi, Hymes (1974) membagi interaksi terdiri atas komponen-komponen, yaitu (1) genre (macam interaksi), misalnya: lawak, percakapan informal, dan diskusi; (2) topik atau fokus interaksi; (3) tujuan atau fungsi interaksi; (4) latar interaksi, meliputi lokasi, musim, dan aspek fisik lainnya;  (5) partisipan, yang melibatkan unsur usia, jenis kelamin, etnis, status sosial, serta hubungan antar partisipan; (6) bentuk pesan; (7) isi pesan; (8) urutan tindak dalam berinteraksi; (9) pola atau struktur interaksi; dan (10) norma interpretasi yang meliputi pengetahuan umum, preposisi budaya yang relevan, dan acuan khusus.

Saville-Troike (1986:22) mengemukakan bahwa kemampuan berkomunikasi melibatkan aspek pengetahuan kebahasaan, kepada siapa berbicara, dan bagaimana mengatakan sesuatu dengan tepat. Selain itu kemampuan berkomunikasi berkaitan dengan pengetahuan tentang mengapa seseorang berbicara atau tidak berbicara dalam latar tertentu, bagaimana sifat pembicaraan dua individu yang memiliki status sosial berbeda, kapan mulai berbicara dan kapan harus berhenti berbicara, bagaimana cara menyatakan sesuatu, meminta sesuatu, dan menanyakan sesuatu.

River (1987:57) mengemukakan adanya 3 aspek dalam kegiatan berinteraksi. Pertama, kemampuan kosa kata yang mencakup pengertian seseorang menguasai kosa kata yang dibutuhkan dalam suatu kegiatan interaksi dan menggunakannya secara tepat. Kedua, kemampuan tatabahasa yang merupakan rumusan struktur dari suatu bahasa yang benar. Ketiga,  kemampuan komunikatif, baik yang bersifat reseptis  (menyimak) maupun yang bersifat produktif (berbicara).

Allen (1978:42) mengemukakan tujuh macam interaksi verbal yang lebih mengarah pada aspek media verbal yang digunakan,  yaitu pernyataan, pertanyaan, persetujuan, seruan, tertawa, fragmentasi, dan tuturan secara simultan. Komponen-komponen tersebut memiliki fungsi yang berbeda-beda. Pernyataan dan pertanyaan bersifat saling melengkapi dalam proses pemindahan informasi. Persetujuan merupakan komponen yang harus dimasukkan dalam proses interaksi verbal untuk menopang jalannya interaksi. Rangkaian tawa, seruan, interupsi, dan fragmentasi seringkali dipandang negatif dalam proses pemindahan atau pengiriman informasi, dan seringkali dipakai sebagai dasar untuk menilai tingkat gangguan dalam interaksi.

Edmonson (1981:32) mengemukakan adanya tiga komponen dalam interaksi verbal, yaitu media yang digunakan, giliran bicara, dan urutan yang relevan. Interaksi sering menggunakan media baik verbal dan non-verbal secara simultan. Unsur non-verbal seperti gerak mata, ekspresi wajah, serta gerak fisik lain sering menyertai kegiatan berbicara.  Peran sebagai pembicara dan pendengar terjadi secara bergantian.

Dari paparan di atas dapat ditarik kesimpulan sebagai berikut. Kegiatan interaksi merupakan bagian dari komunikasi, oleh karenanya komponen interaksi sama dengan komponen komunikasi. Komponen komunikasi yang dimaksud adalah genre, topik, tujuan, latar, partisipan, media yang digunakan, isi pesan, urutan tindak, pola, dan norma interpretasi. Dalam interaksi verbal pelaku menggunakan bahasa, aturan interaksi, dan pengetahuan budaya yang relevan. Komponen bahasa yang dimaksud meliputi pertanyaan, pernyataan, seruan, persetujuan, dan fragmentasi. Dengan demikian, interaksi dapat ditinjau dari segi tujuan, fungsi, partisipan, situasi, media, mau pun topik interaksi. Selain itu juga bisa dilihat dari segi hubungan antarunsur pembentuk kegiatan interaksi, misalnya dari segi fungsi-partisipan-bentuk. Dari segi situasinya, interaksi dapat dibedakan menjadi interaksi intim, interaksi formal, interaksi keluarga, interaksi masyarakat, interaksi kelas, interaksi sekolah, dan interaksi sekolah dengan masyarakat.

 

METODE PENELITIAN

Penelitian ini termasuk  penelitian kualitatif  yang menggunakan ancangan analisis wacana pragmatik, yaitu dalam analisis data  penelitian, peneliti mendasarkan pada konteks atau faktor penentu dalam interaksi, yaitu pemeran serta (dosen-mahasiswa, dan mahasiswa-dosen), tujuan, dan situasi yang melingkupinya

Yang menjadi sumber data dalam penelitian ini adalah tuturan dalam interaksi antara dosen-mahasiswa dan mahasiswa-dosen dalam kelas bengkel yang mengandung tindak direktif berupa bentuk dan fungsi pertanyaan. Proses pengumpulan data ini dilakukan melalui pengamatan disertai dengan perekaman dan pencatatan data lapangan. Proses pengamatan yang disertai dengan perekaman dan pencatatan data interaksi kelas bengkel dilakukan dalam kegiatan belajar-mengajar. Untuk memperoleh data utama telah ditempuh cara atau teknik pengumpulan data sebagai berikut. Ketika proses perekaman berlangsung, peneliti melakukan observasi mengenai konteks tuturan dan selanjutnya dicatat di format konteks.  Hal ini perlu dilakukan agar memperoleh data yang sesuai, terutama berkaitan dengan kapan dan bagaimana tuturan itu digunakan.

Data penelitian ini berupa tuturan yang mengekspresikan (1) bentuk pertanyaan dan (2) fungsi pertanyaan.  Analisis data penelitian ini dilakukan pada saat berlangsungnya pengumpulan dan selesai pengumpulan data. Analisis data penelitian ini menggunakan model analisis interaksi (Miles dan Huberman, 1984) dengan langkah-langkah (1) reduksi data, (2) penyajian data, dan (3) simpulan atau verifikasi. 

Verifikasi hasil akan memberikan deskripsi mengenai hasil penelitian berupa fungsi pertanyaan dalam interaksi kelas bengkel yang meliputi fungsi pertanyaan yang digunakan oleh dosen-mahasiswa dalam  interaksi kelas bengkel dan fungsi pertanyaan yang digunakan oleh mahasiswa-dosen dalam  interaksi kelas bengkel.

 

HASIL DAN PEMBAHASAN

Fungsi Pertanyaan dalam Interaksi Kelas di Bengkel Politeknik Negeri Malang  antara Dosen-Mahasiswa

Fungsi pertanyaan  yang digunakan dalam inetraksi kelas bengkel antara dosen-mahasiswa terdapat 3 jenis fungsi, yaitu (1) menyuruh, (2) meminta, (3) dan (3) melarang. Penjelasan lebih lanjut mengenai kelima fungsi tersebut dapat dilihat di bawah.

 

Menyuruh

Secara struktural dan konteks, kalimat dianggap sebagai menyuruh jika penutur menyuruh lawan bicaranya berbuat sesuatu (Alwi, dkk. 2003: 353).  Kalimat dalam tuturan yang digunakan mudah dimengerti karena langsung pada tujuan tuturan itu digunakan.  Tuturan yang dipakai juga menyiratkan tentang langkah-langkah yang harus dilakukan oleh mahasiswa dalam praktik di bengkel. Memahami fungsi tuturannya harus melibatkan pula konteks ketika tuturan itu disampaikan.

Sama dengan fungsi menyuruh atau memerintah yang diwujudkan dalam bentuk deklaratif, fungsi menyuruh atau memerintah dalam pertanyaan ini hanya dapat dipahami oleh petutur apabila memerhatikan konteks ketika tuturan itu diucapkan. Bentuk pertanyaan  yang berfungsi menyuruh dapat dilihat pada tuturan berikut.

 

(1)     Diameternya berapa?

Konteks:

Tuturan dosen kepada mahasiswa ketika dosen menyuruh mahasiswa  membuat lubang pada benda kerja dari bahan baja perkakas (tool steel) dengan diameter mata bor 15 mm berdasarkan gambar kerja yang telah ditunjukkan dosen kepada mahasiswa.

 

(2)     Hasti, mana kacamatamu?

Konteks:

Dituturkan oleh seorang dosen yang sedang jengkel dengan mahasiswa yang bernama Hasti yang tidak segera mengenakan kacamata praktiknya padahal mahasiswa yang lain sudah siap. Hasti dengan sadar segera mengenakan kacamata praktiknya.

 

(3)     Kamu belum dapat bagian kok diam saja?

Konteks:

Tuturan dosen kepada salah seorang mahasiswa yang bernama Imam karena belum mendapatkan benda kerja dan menyuruh Imam  mengambil benda kerja yang telah disiapkan oleh teknisi. Mahasiswa

 

Tuturan-tuturan dalam bentuk pertanyaan di atas dapat diketahui memiliki fungsi menyuruh oleh petutur setelah memperhatikan konteksnya. Ini semua berarti berkaitan dengan maksud atau daya ujaran. Tuturan Diameternya berapa? Hasti, mana kacamatamu? Kamu belum dapat bagian kok diam saja?  dipahami sebagai menyuruh oleh mahasiswa karena mahasiswa mengetahui (1) konteks yang mengacu kepada siapa bertutur, di mana, bilamana, untuk apa, dan bagaimana; serta (2) koteks, yang mengacu ke ujaran-ujaran sebelumnya yang mendahului dan atau yang mengikutinya (Blum-Kulka, dalam Gunarwan, 2007: 186).

Tuturan-tuturan lain yang yang berfungsi menyuruh atau memerintah yang diwujudkan dalam pertanyaan di antaranya dapat dilihat pada contoh tuturan berikut.

 

(4)     Sudah dihitung untuk pengasarannya?

Konteks:

Tuturan dosen kepada mahasiswa ketika proses pembubutan. Ia menyuruh mahasiswa menentukan pemakanan untuk pengasaran dengan ukuran antara 0,25 – 0,4  mm.

 

(5)     Sudah dikunci?

Konteks:

Tuturan seorang dosen kepada mahasiswa agar segera mengunci dengan skrup pengunci skala nonius dalam praktik mesin skrap.

 

(6)     Sarung tangannya mana?

Konteks:

Tuturan dosen kepada salah seorang mahasiswa ketika ia menyuruh mahasiswa untuk mengenakan sarung tangan.

 

(7)     Berapa derajat?

Konteks:

Tuturan dosen kepada mahasiswa ketika menyuruh mahasiswa menyetting eretan melintang putar pada posisi 5 derajat

 

Berdasarkan analisis di atas bahwa fungsi  menyuruh atau memerintah dapat diwujudkan dalam bentuk pertanyaan. Tuturan dalam bentuk pertanyaan dapat dipahami sebagai menyuruh atau memerintah bergantung:  (1) konteks yang mengacu kepada siapa bertutur, di mana, bilamana, untuk apa, dan bagaimana; serta (2) koteks, yang mengacu ke ujaran-ujaran sebelumnya yang mendahului dan atau yang mengikutinya.

Searle (1975) menegaskan bahwa satu fungsi dapat diungkapkan dalam berbagai bentuk ujaran. Fungsi menyuruh dalam bentuk pertanyaan merupakan tindak bahasa tak langsung dan jarak tempuh (derajat ilokusi) ujaran itu untuk dipahami lebih panjang dibandingkan dengan fungsi menyuruh yang diungkapkan dalam bentuk ujaran dalam bentuk kalimat perintah.

Fungsi menyuruh dalam interaksi dosen-mahasiswa merupakan fungsi yang paling dominan. Hal tersebut dapat dijelaskan bahwa kegiatan belajar-mengajar lebih banyak dilakukan dengan teknik penugasan atau instruksi. Dengan teknik seperti itu mahasiswa dapat terlibat secara aktif, dapat memperoleh pengalaman belajar yang bermakna.

 

Meminta

Secara struktural dan konteks, kalimat dianggap sebagai meminta jika penutur tampaknya tidak memerintah, tetapi menyuruh mencoba atau mempersilakan lawan bicara sudi berbuat sesuatu (Alwi, dkk. 2003: 353).  Kalimat dalam tuturan yang digunakan mudah dimengerti karena langsung pada tujuan tuturan itu digunakan.  Tuturan yang dipakai juga menyiratkan tentang langkah-langkah yang harus dilakukan oleh mahasiswa dalam praktik di bengkel. Memahami fungsi tuturannya harus melibatkan pula konteks ketika tuturan itu disampaikan.

Di dalam interaksi kelas bengkel, fungsi meminta  dalam bentuk pertanyaan ini hanya dapat diketahui fungsi menyuruhnya apabila memperhatikan konteks ketika tuturan itu diucapkan. Pertanyaan yang berfungsi meminta dapat dilihat pada tuturan berikut.

 

(8)     Ada kesulitan?

Konteks:

Tuturan dosen kepada mahasiswa pada saat akan mengakhiri kegiatan praktik. Mahasiswa diminta untuk mengutarakan hal-hal yang menjadi kendala waktu praktik.

 

(9)     Ada pertanyaan?

Konteks:

Tuturan dosen kepada mahasiswa ketika akan mengakhiri kegiatan praktik agar mahasiswa menanyakan hal-hal yang belum dipahaminya.

 

(10)  Sudah dicek?

Konteks:

Tuturan dosen kepada mahasiswa ketika akan meninggalkan ruang praktik agar mahasiswa mememeriksa ulang tentang kebersihan dan mematikan peralatannya.

 

(11)  Itu, tolong ada pisau pengukurnya?

Konteks:

Tuturan dosen kepada mahasiswa ketika ia meminta mahasiswa mengambil pisau pengukur untuk melihat kerataannya.

 

(12)  Kenapa kok ngoyo?

Konteks:

Tuturan dosen yang meminta salah seorang mahasiswa agar menggerakan kikir dengan santai.

 

(13)  Bisa bagikan benda kerjanya?

Konteks:

Tuturan dosen kepada mahasiswa ketika ia meminta tolong kepada ketua kelas untuk membagikan benda kerja kepada mahasiswa yang lain.

 

Tuturan-tuturan dalam bentuk pertanyaan di atas dapat diketahui memiliki fungsi meminta setelah memerhatikan konteks situasinya ketika tuturan itu diucapkan. Ini semua berarti berkaitan dengan maksud atau daya ujaran. Tuturan Ada kesulitan? Ada pertanyaan? Sudah dicek?Itu, tolong ada pisau pengukurnya? Kenapa kok ngoyo?Bisa bagikan benda kerjanya? dipahami sebagai meminta oleh mahasiswa karena mahasiswa mengetahui (1) konteks yang mengacu kepada siapa bertutur, di mana, bilamana, untuk apa, dan bagaimana; serta (2) koteks, yang mengacu ke ujaran-ujaran sebelumnya yang mendahului dan atau yang mengikutinya (Blum-Kulka, dalam Gunarwan, 2007: 186).

Fungsi meminta dalam bentuk pertanyaan merupakan tindak bahasa tak langsung dan jarak tempuh (derajat ilokusi) ujaran itu untuk dipahami oleh mahasiswa (petutur) lebih panjang dibandingkan dengan fungsi menyuruh yang diungkapkan dalam bentuk ujaran imperatif.

Berdasarkan analisis di atas tuturan yang digunakan dalam interaksi dosen-mahasiswa di Bengkel Politeknik Negeri Malang yang berfungsi untuk  meminta dapat diwujudkan dalam bentuk pertanyaan. Tuturan dalam bentuk pertanyaan dapat dipahami sebagai meminta bergantung:  (1) konteks yang mengacu kepada siapa bertutur, di mana, bilamana, untuk apa, dan bagaimana; serta (2) koteks, yang mengacu ke ujaran-ujaran sebelumnya yang mendahului dan atau yang mengikutinya (Blum-Kulka, dalam Gunarwan, 2007: 186).

Searle (1975) menegaskan bahwa satu fungsi dapat diungkapkan dalam berbagai bentuk ujaran. Fungsi meminta dalam bentuk pertanyaan merupakan tindak bahasa tak langsung dan jarak tempuh (derajat ilokusi) ujaran itu untuk dipahami lebih panjang dibandingkan dengan fungsi meminta yang diungkapkan dalam bentuk ujaran imperatif.

Fungsi meminta dalam interaksi dosen-mahasiswa merupakan fungsi yang menduduki urutan kedua. Hal tersebut dapat dijelaskan bahwa kegiatan belajar-mengajar lebih banyak dilakukan dengan teknik penugasan atau instruksi. Dengan menggunakan fungsi meminta, suasana kelas menjadi kondusif. Mahasiswa merasa lebih nyaman karena dihargai.

 

Melarang

Secara struktural dan konteks, kalimat dianggap sebagai melarang  jika penutur menyuruh lawan bicaranya jangan melakukan sesuatu (Alwi, dkk. 2003: 352).  Kalimat dalam tuturan yang digunakan mudah dimengerti karena langsung pada tujuan tuturan itu digunakan. Memahami fungsi tuturannya harus melibatkan pula konteks ketika tuturan itu disampaikan.

 

(14) Mengapa diakal-akali?

Konteks:

Tuturan dosen kepada mahasiswa agar bekerja sesuai dengan prosedur  agar hasilnya sesuai dengan target.

 

(15) Mengapa tidak menggunakan sepatu kulit?!

Konteks:

Tuturan dosen kepada mahasiswa ketika ia melarang mahasiswa memakai sepatu olah raga.

 

Tuturan dalam bentuk pertanyaan  dapat dipahami sebagai melarang karena  (1) konteks yang mengacu kepada siapa bertutur, di mana, bilamana, untuk apa, dan bagaimana; serta (2) koteks, yang mengacu ke ujaran-ujaran sebelumnya yang mendahului dan atau yang mengikutinya (Blum-Kulka, dalam Gunarwan, 2007: 186).

Fungsi melarang dalam interaksi dosen-mahasiswa merupakan fungsi yang menduduki urutan ketiga. Hal tersebut dapat dijelaskan bahwa kegiatan belajar-mengajar lebih banyak dilakukan dengan teknik penugasan atau instruksi. Kegiatan belajar-mengajar memerlukan disiplin yang sangat tinggi. Kedisiplinan itu berkaitan dengan langkah kerja yang harus dilakukan mahasiswa, kedisiplinan memperlakukan mesin praktik, dan disiplin menaati tata tertib. Untuk mempertahankan konsentrasi mahasiswa ketika melakukan kerja praktik dan mempertahankan keselamatan kerja, salah satu strategi yang ditempuh dosen adalah menggunakan bentuk direktif yang berfungsi melarang.

 

Fungsi Pertanyaan dalam Interaksi Kelas Bengkel Politeknik Negeri Malang antara Mahasiswa-Dosen

Pertanyaan  yang digunakan dalam interaksi kelas bengkel Politeknik Negeri Malang antara mahasiswa-dosen terdapat satu jenis fungsi yaitu meminta.

 

Meminta

Secara struktural dan konteks, kalimat dianggap sebagai meminta jika penutur tampaknya tidak memerintah, tetapi menyuruh mencoba atau mempersilakan lawan bicara sudi berbuat sesuatu (Alwi, dkk. 2003: 353).  Memahami fungsi tuturannya akan lebih mudah jika melibatkan pula konteks ketika tuturan itu disampaikan.

Di dalam interaksi kelas bengkel, pertanyaan berfungsi meminta  dapat dilihat dalam tuturan di bawah.

 

(16) Berapa derajat Pak?

Konteks:

Tuturan seorang mahasiswa kepada dosennya ketika mahasiswa menyetting eretan melintang pada posisi 0 derajat. Mahasiswa tidak tahu ukurannya.

 

(17) Pisau fraisnya yang mana , Pak?

Konteks:

Tuturan seorang mahasiswa kepada dosennya ketika mahasiswa  meminta informasi karena kesulitan menentukan diameter ukuran pisau frais yang tepat.

 

(18) Pakai apa, Pak?

Konteks:

Tuturan seorang mahasiswa kepada dosen yang tidak mengetahui alat yang dapat dipakai untuk menghilangkan bagian-bagian yang masih tajam.

 

Tuturan-tuturan dalam bentuk pertanyaan di atas dapat diketahui memiliki fungsi meminta setelah memperhatikan konteks situasinya ketika tuturan itu diucapkan. Ini semua berarti berkaitan dengan maksud atau daya ujaran. Tuturan Berapa derajat Pak?  Pisau fraisnya mana Pak? Pakai apa Pak? dipahami sebagai meminta oleh dosen karena mengetahui (1) konteks yang mengacu kepada siapa bertutur, di mana, bilamana, untuk apa, dan bagaimana; serta (2) koteks, yang mengacu ke ujaran-ujaran sebelumnya yang mendahului dan atau yang mengikutinya (Blum-Kulka, dalam Gunarwan, 2007: 186).

Searle (1975) menegaskan bahwa satu fungsi dapat diungkapkan dalam berbagai bentuk ujaran. Meminta, misalnya dapat diungkapkan dalam bentuk ujaran yang salah satunya berupa interogatif. Fungsi meminta dalam bentuk interogatif merupakan tindak bahasa tak langsung dan jarak tempuh (derajat ilokusi) ujaran itu untuk dipahami oleh dosen (petutur) lebih panjang dibandingkan dengan fungsi menyuruh yang diungkapkan dalam bentuk ujaran imperatif.

Berdasarkan analis di atas dapat disimpulkan bahwa tindak direktif yang digunakan dalam interaksi mahasiswa-dosen menggunakan satu fungsi, yaitu meminta. Terbatasnya fungsi tersebut dipengaruhi oleh pemeran serta, tujuan, dan situasi dalam interaksi.

Sesuai dengan perannya dosen memiliki kesempatan lebih banyak untuk menggunakan fungsi pertanyaan dibandingkan dengan mahasiswa. Dosen sebagai pengelola kelas memungkinkan untuk menggunakan berbagai fungsi pertanyaan. Bentuk kegiatan belajar-mengajar praktik bengkel yang banyak melibatkan langkah kerja dan memperhatikan keselamatan dan kesehatan kerja, dosen memberikan instruksi-instruksi agar mahasiswa melakukan sesuatu.

Peran mahasiswa yang sangat berbeda dengan dosen memberi kemungkinan tidak banyak untuk menggunakan fungsi pertanyaan dalam berinteraksi dengan dosen. Dari segi situasi, tidak banyak motivasi yang menggunakan berbagai fungsi dalam berinteraksi dengan dosen. Motivasi untuk menggunakan fungsi pertanyaan dalam interaksi dengan dosen lebih banyak sebagai strategi meminta bantuan untuk mengatasi hal-hal di luar kemampuannya atau meminta penguatan terhadap materi yang dipelajarinya.

 

KESIMPULAN

1)         Secara struktural dan konteks, kalimat dianggap sebagai menyuruh jika penutur menyuruh lawan bicaranya berbuat sesuatu. Pertanyaan dalam interaksi dosen-mahasiswa yang berfungsi untuk  menyuruh atau memerintah dipahami sebagai menyuruh atau memerintah bergantung:  (1) konteks yang mengacu kepada siapa bertutur, di mana, bilamana, untuk apa, dan bagaimana; serta (2) koteks, yang mengacu ke ujaran-ujaran sebelumnya yang mendahului dan atau yang mengikutinya.

2)         Fungsi menyuruh dalam interaksi dosen-mahasiswa merupakan fungsi yang paling dominan. Hal tersebut dapat dijelaskan bahwa kegiatan belajar-mengajar lebih banyak dilakukan dengan teknik penugasan atau instruksi. Dengan teknik seperti itu mahasiswa dapat terlibat secara aktif, dapat memperoleh pengalaman belajar yang bermakna.

3)         Secara struktural dan konteks, kalimat dianggap sebagai meminta jika penutur tampaknya tidak memerintah, tetapi menyuruh mencoba atau mempersilakan lawan bicara sudi berbuat sesuatu. Fungsi meminta dalam interaksi dosen-mahasiswa merupakan fungsi yang menduduki urutan kedua. Hal tersebut dapat dijelaskan bahwa kegiatan belajar-mengajar lebih banyak dilakukan dengan teknik penugasan atau instruksi. Dengan menggunakan fungsi meminta, suasana kelas menjadi kondusif. Mahasiswa merasa lebih nyaman karena dihargai.

4)         Secara struktural dan konteks, kalimat dianggap sebagai melarang  jika penutur menyuruh lawan bicaranya jangan melakukan sesuatu Fungsi melarang dalam interaksi dosen-mahasiswa merupakan fungsi yang menduduki urutan ketiga. Hal tersebut dapat dijelaskan bahwa kegiatan belajar-mengajar lebih banyak dilakukan dengan teknik penugasan atau instruksi. Kegiatan belajar-mengajar memerlukan disiplin yang sangat tinggi. Kedisiplinan itu berkaitan dengan langkah kerja yang harus dilakukan mahasiswa, kedisiplinan memperlakukan mesin praktik, dan disiplin menaati tata tertib. Untuk mempertahankan konsentrasi mahasiswa ketika melakukan kerja praktik dan mempertahankan keselamatan kerja, salah satu strategi yang ditempuh dosen adalah menggunakan bentuk pertanyaan yang berfungsi melarang.

5)         Sesuai dengan perannya dosen memiliki kesempatan lebih banyak untuk menggunakan fungsi pertanyaan dibandingkan dengan mahasiswa. Dosen sebagai pengelola kelas memungkinkan untuk menggunakan berbagai fungsi pertanyaan. Bentuk kegiatan belajar-mengajar praktik bengkel yang banyak melibatkan langkah kerja dan memperhatikan keselamatan dan kesehatan kerja, dosen memberikan instruksi-instruksi agar mahasiswa melakukan sesuatu.

6)         Peran mahasiswa yang sangat berbeda dengan dosen memberi kemungkinan tidak banyak untuk menggunakan fungsi pertanyaan dalam berinteraksi dengan dosen. Dari segi situasi, tidak banyak motivasi yang menggunakan berbagai fungsi dalam berinteraksi dengan dosen. Motivasi untuk menggunakan fungsi pertanyaan dalam interaksi dengan dosen lebih banyak sebagai strategi meminta bantuan untuk mengatasi hal-hal di luar kemampuannya atau meminta penguatan terhadap materi yang dipelajarinya.

 

 

REFERENSI

Alwi, Hasan. Dkk. 2003. Tata Bahasa baku bahasa Indonesia. Jakarta: Balai Pustaka.

Alisyahbana, Sutan Tahrir. 1968. Taba Bahasa. Jakarta: Balai Pustaka.

Ervin-Tripp. 1968. An Introduction to Discourse Analisis. England: Longman.

Edmondson.1981. “An Analysis of Interaction of Language, Topic and Listener”. Dalam Jashua Fishman (ed.) Reading in the Sociology of Language.The Hague: Mouton.

Gunarwan, Asim. 2007. Pragmatik: Teori dan Kajian Nusantara. Jakarta: Penerbit Universitas Atma Jaya

Miles, Mattew B dan A Micheael Huberman. 1984. Qualitative Data Analysis. California: SAGE Publication.

Saville-Troike, Muriel. 1986. The Ethnography of Comunication: An Introduction. New York: Basil Blackwell Ltd.

Searle, JR. 1969 (1983) Speech Act: An Essay in the Philosophy of Language Cambridge: Cambridge U.P.

MODIFYING EFL COMMUNICATIVE LANGUAGE TEACHING FOR INDONESIAN CONTEXT

Sugeng Susilo Adi

University of Brawijaya

 

Abstract

This article is talking about the problems of implementing Communicative language teaching (CLT) in Indonesia. The main problem of applying the teaching approach is the gap between the theory and its classroom practices. Other problems such as classroom size in term of student number and student learning styles are also highlighted in this article. Accordingly, this article suggests an audio lingual communicative language teaching strategies that might be applicable for the majority of Indonesian junior and senior high schools. These strategies were derived form an empirical research that the writer conducted in Islamic Junior High Schools in Indonesia.

Keywords: communicative language teaching, learning styles, audio lingual, teaching strategies

***

 

When the trend of English language teaching in Indonesia is more focusing on the praxis of Communicative language teaching (CLT), some problems are still found in the implementation at the classroom level. Communicative language teaching that theoretically requires the language use as communication tools, in Indonesia sometimes it could not be implemented successfully. Several constraints are becoming obstacles of the CLT implementation such as the number of students in one classroom, the students learning styles, and non-native speaker teachers.

It is quite often stated that the weaknesses of CLT implementation in some East Asian countries, including Indonesia is that the approach in some cases is not appropriate with cultural local context. Baker (2008:1) states that an essential element in fostering successful intercultural communication is developing cultural awareness as part of ELT pedagogy. To illustrate this, a case study of Thailand is presented examining English use, English teaching policy and practice, and local cultural attitudes towards ELT. This then leads to suggestions on how locally relevant intercultural communicative practices can form part of ELT classroom pedagogy in Thailand with the aim of developing learners’ cultural awareness. It is argued that similar analyses may be applied to other Asian contexts, which may share features with the Thai context. This can lead to the development of teaching practices, which through engaging learners in intercultural reflection will result in English language users who are better able to manage intercultural communication through English.

Three interesting issues are highlighted in this article dealing with the CLT implementation in Indonesian context, particularly how the approach could fit to the Indonesian context which culturally is a part of East Asian context. There issues include the essence of CLT, Indonesian context as an East Asian one, and audio lingual communcative: an emprical base.

 

Communicative language teaching: the essence

The essence of Communicative language teaching (CLT) is teaching language for communication. Richards (2006: 5-23) says that Communicative language teaching is generally regarded as an approach to language teaching which reflects a certain model or research paradigm, or a theory. This language teaching approach is based on the theory that the primary function of language use is communication. Its primary goal is for learners to develop communicative competence ability. Furthermore, he adds that as far as theories of learning and effective strategies in teaching are concerned, CLT does not adhere to one particular theory or method. It draws its theories about learning and teaching from a wide range of areas such as cognitive science, educational psychology, and second language acquisition (SLA). CLT methodologies embrace an eclectic approach to teaching, which means they borrow teaching practices from a wide array of methods that have been found effective and that are in accordance with principles of learning as suggested by research findings in research in SLA and cognitive psychology. Its open-ended or principle-based approach allows for a great deal of flexibility, which makes it adaptable to many individual programmatic and learner needs and goals.

              Savignon (2012: 212) says that communicative language teaching requires several principles in its classroom practices, they are: (1). Language teaching is based on a view of language as communication. That is, language is seen as a social tool which speakers and writers use to make meaning; we communicate about something to someone for some purpose, either orally or in writing. (2). Diversity is recognized and accepted as part of language development and use in second language learners and users as it is with first language users. (3). A learner’s competence is considered in relative, not absolute, terms of correctness. (4). More than one variety of a language is recognized as a model for learning and teaching. (5). Culture is seen to play an instrumental role in shaping speakers’ communicative competence, both in their first and subsequent languages. (6). No single methodology or fixed set of techniques is prescribed. (7). Language use is recognized as serving the ideational, the interpersonal, and the textual functions, as defined by Halliday, and is related to the development of learners’ competence in each. (8). It is essential that learners be engaged in doing things with language, that is, that they use language for a variety of purposes, in all phases of learning. Learner expectations and attitudes have increasingly come to be recognized for their role in advancing or impeding curricular change. Numerous sociolinguistic issues await attention.

In addition, Asassfeh, (2012) explain that one important distinctive feature of CLT is its emphasis on meaning-oriented instruction (MOI), a term that emerged in response to language teaching methods that emphasized the mastery of language forms. Educators’ increasing awareness that learners acquire a foreign language best when their attention is focused on the meaning communicated rather than on the linguistic form led to a lack of interest in such methods as grammar translation and audiolingualism.  Today, meaning-oriented communicative language teaching methodology has the overarching principles of focus on real communication, providing learners with opportunities to try out what they know, tolerance of learners’ errors as a healthy sign of progress in developing the communicative competence, integrating the different skills. In other words, its goal is to make use of real-life situations that necessitate communication (Asassfeh: 525-535).

 

Indonesian context as an East Asian one

The problems of ELT practice in Indonesia, English continues to be the most popular foreign language in Indonesia schools. Since 1994, ELT has been introduced from grade four of elementary level in public schools. With a reorientation objective in 1994 (which is regarded to be important in ELT in Indonesia in the last few years), the focus has been on listening and speaking skills in elementary schools and on speaking and reading skills in secondary schools. Also the language policy for education in Indonesia has made English language learning compulsory. Although the policy has attributed teaching English from early grades in elementary schools, it has not been fully implemented largely because of lack of primary teachers both in numbers and skills level. Nevertheless, there has been an attempt in the last ten years to strengthen and improve the ELT through curriculum revision and development as well as decentralization reform (Imperiani, online, p.6). English Language Teaching (ELT) in Indonesian context is obviously explained in Impreriani’s abovementioned that the curriculum have been experienced may experimaentation. Besides that, some characteristics can be highlighted to illuminate the ELT in the Indonesian context such as the big class size with arround 40 students and South East Asian students‘ language learning styles.

Especially interesting is about the big size classroom as a problem, Bruhwiler and  Blatchford (2011) say that  in many studies of class size effects, teacher characteristics are missing, even though many argue it is not class size that is important but teacher quality. In the present study teachers’ effectiveness on the learning progress was assessed while teaching a unit with predefined learning objectives. To measure adaptive teaching competency a multi-method approach was employed. Smaller classes led to higher academic learning progresses, better knowledge of students, and better classroom processes. Adaptive teacher competency remained relevant in smaller classes, that is, class size and teacher quality were independently important. There are several limitations of research on class size effects which have informed this paper. One limitation of most class size research is that effects are examined in relation to academic outcomes and, more recently, in relation to classroom processes, but rarely are the effects of class size and classroom processes systematically examined in the same study. Studies also tend to examine effects at a ‘‘macro’’ level, for example, in terms of progress over a whole school year, rather than examine effects of class size in terms of specific curriculum units (Bruhwiler and  Blatchford, 2011: 95-108).

About the Indonesian learning style, it might be concluded that Indonesian students learning styles are similar with other East Asian learning styles. Zhenhui (2001) in Matching Teaching Styles with Learning Styles in East Asian Contexts states that in East Asia, most students see knowledge as something to be transmitted by the teacher rather than discovered by the learners. At the second place, the teacher-centered classroom teaching in East Asia also leads to a closure-oriented style for most East Asian students. These closure-oriented students dislike ambiguity, uncertainty or fuzziness.  Another most popular East Asian learning styles originated from the traditional book-centered and grammar-translation method are analytic and field-independent. The final East Asian preferred learning style is concrete-sequential. Students with such a learning style are likely to follow the teacher’s guidelines to the letter, to be focused on the present, and demand full information. They prefer language learning materials and techniques that involve combinations of sound, movement, sight, and touch and that can be applied in a concrete, sequential, linear manner. Oxford & Burry-Stock (1995) discovered that Chinese and Japanese are concrete-sequential learners, who use a variety of strategies such as memorization, planning, analysis, sequenced repetition, detailed outlines and lists, structured review and a search for perfection.

The implementation of CLT in Indonesia is well representing other East Asian countries in terms of its gap between theory and practices. Liao & Zhao (2001) states that Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) approach has become the prevailing language teaching methodology across the world. Language teachers’ application of CLT in foreign language teaching has yet to be explored in past research. The CLT practice is still constrained by the lack of strategies that can be used to make CLT happen in class. For example, some beginning teachers believe that CLT not only can be used to teach the spoken but also the written language. They have created some ideas about using CLT to teach reading and writing activities. Yet, in reality the CLT practice only happens when they speak Chinese for creating the target language environment.

To bridge the theory-practice gap on CLT, Liao (2001) proposed some interesting principle strategies that are relevant to apply in the Indonesian context. The strategies constitute: Teaching should start with listening and speaking, drills on language form should not be excessive, English should be used in class, use of translation should be limited, audio-visual aids like realia, pictures, over-head transparencies, audio-tapes, videos, and computers should be fully utilized, the teacher’s role should be a facilitator and helper to guide students to develop effective learning habits, teachers should be aware of the individual differences among students in the learning process, and appropriate encouragement should be given to students to reinforce their initiatives.

 

Audio Lingual Communcative: an Emprical Base

One of alternatives the writer suggests ia a midified communicative language teaching which is called Audio Lingual Communcative (ALC) approach. This approach is derived from the empirical research and developemnet (R&D) conducted by the writer in 2010. In this developmental project, the writer creates a product consisting of textual learning materials assisted by audio recordings. This development also results in a learning design contained in a teaching manual, which is an integral part of this developmental product. In the learning design contained in the manual, the developer applies a learning strategy which the developer calls the Audio Lingual Communicative (ALC) learning strategy, reflected by the available learning activities.

The ALC learning strategy is an eclectic learning strategy which combines different language learning methods, in particular the Audio Lingual Method with Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) in order to adapt to real situations in the classroom. The real situation in the classroom found by target student observation has shown that classes are composed of at least 40 pupils, the school does not have a language laboratory, teaching materials used were still written exercise-based, and the teacher is still the central figure in learning. One of the reasons that the ALC learning strategy was chosen is because that strategy had been proven successful in China and Vietnam. Both countries have English language learning contexts which are similar to the context of the target students in this development. In 1990, CLT which had been modified with local contexts had been applied in Vietnam and China. In Vietnam, students enjoyed speaking in a large classroom setting, so real communication was directed to answer questions from the teacher in the form of an oral symphony (Rao, 2006; Pham, 2005).

As a learning strategy that combines the Audio Lingual Method with the Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) method, ALC adopts several principles from both teaching methods in the classroom learning praxis. In the Audio Lingual Method, usually a simple laboratory tool which tends to be “audio passive” is used, which stresses listening practice and speaking by way of hearing foreign language expressions using said tool. Using this method stresses the oral skills of speaking and listening.

In the learning practices toward the experimental class used in this development, the ALC strategy applied relies on several principles, among them: 1) giving students the chance to participate in communication by using the language in various activities; 2) keeping the given communicative activities comprehensible and relevant to the students’ interests, 3) putting the communicative activities on a gradation, starting from the simplest and moving to the more complex; and 4) integrating the four language abilities of listening, reading, speaking, and writing into the audio-assisted learning. The consequences of those principles are manifested in the learning activities as the following, among others: 1) listening to the audio, imitating it, and demonstrating the conversation together, creating a spoken orchestra in the classroom; 2) demonstrating the conversation in pairs and groups, seated and in front of the class; 3) reading texts, metered verse, poetry, dialogue, and words aloud, together and individually; 4) working in groups, in pairs, and individually on written text practice; and 5) other challenging student-oriented activities.

Field observations have shown that the ALC strategy adopted in the learning design of this developmental product was able to facilitate target students, which are the middle school students in the Ma’arif  NU Sidoarjo educational environment, to be actively involved in English language learning. Several of the learning activities above were done well by the students.

The teaching materials were organized by the elaboration model (Reigeluth, 1983) which covers selection, sequencing, synthesizing, and summarizing. Content selection was done by collecting relevant materials for English language learning, taken from various sources, including the Internet, domestic- and internationally-published English language books, dictionaries, children’s encyclopedia, and other relevant sources. Sequencing was established by ordering units and sub-units according to the degree of difficulty of the language functions, creating a functional syllabus. Synthesizing was done by keeping the units and sub-units connected with each other. Finally, summarizing was done by showing a vocabulary list at the end of each unit, where students are not only able to find out the meanings of words but are also able to construct sentences with them and read them aloud.

Field observations done on the experimental class used in this development show that students can be actively involved in learning through meaningful language activities such as demonstrating dialogue, finding the meanings of words in a dictionary, reading aloud, singing, and reading poetry or metered verse. Meaningful activities can facilitate the achievement of the general goal of learning which is for students to be able to understand the meaning in very simple transactional and interpersonal conversations, to interact with their surrounding environment.

Based on reviews by experts, teachers, and field tests on the developmental product consisting of audio-assisted teaching materials, the result obtained is that the developmental product is proven feasible and can facilitate the achievement of learning goals. Field test results with the experimental class in this development have shown that students’ judgment regarding the textual teaching materials shows a percentage of 86.75%, while the audio recordings show 87.19%. Results of the post-test of the experimental class using this developmental product shows a significant difference compared to the control class which used a different learning package.  This developmental product, which has been developed and revised based on experiments, has its own unique characteristics compared to other learning devices. Audio Lingual Communicative (ALC) learning strategy which combines the Audio Lingual method with Communicative Language Teaching (CLT), which is applied in the learning design from this development, can be concluded as the proper strategy for the English language learning context in the middle schools of the LP Ma’arif NU Sidoarjo environment. The selection of the ALC learning strategy was based on the eclecticism philosophy which combines several foreign language principles and learning methods, adjusted to student context.

Conclusion

There are several constraints which are becoming obstacles of the CLT implementation in Indonesia. The implementation problem of CLT in Indonesia is that the approach in is always not appropriate with Indonesia socio cultural context. An empirical base which is called audio lingual communicative could be an alternative in modifying the CLT to be fitting to the Indonesian context. The strategies suggest an eclectic learning strategy which combines different language learning methods, in particular the Audio Lingual Method with Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) in order to adapt to real situations in the classroom. As a learning strategy that combines the Audio Lingual Method with the Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) method, ALC adopts several principles from both teaching methods in the classroom learning praxis. In the Audio Lingual Method, usually a simple laboratory tool which tends to be “audio passive” is used, which stresses listening practice and speaking by way of hearing foreign language expressions using said tool (Adi, 2010, 2011).

 

References

Adi, Sugeng S. 2010. Pengembangan bahan ajar tekstual berbantuan rekaman audio bagi siswa kelas VII SMP/MTs di lingkungan Lembaga Pendidikan Ma’arif NU Sidoarjo. Unpublished Dissertation. Postgraduate Program, State University of Malang

Adi, Sugeng S. 2011. Communicative language teaching: is it appropriate for Indonesian context? International Journal of Educational Technology and Distance Learning. Vol. 8, Number 11, December 2011. Online. (http://www.itdl.org/Journal/Dec_11/Dec_11.pdf, retrieved January 2, 2012)

Asassfeh, Sahail M. 2012. Communicative Language Teaching in an EFL Context: Learners’ Attitudes and Perceived Implementation (pp. 525-535). Journal of Language Teaching and Research, Vol. 3, No. 3, May 2012

Baker, Will. 2008.A Critical Examination of ELT in Thailand : The Role of Cultural Awareness. RELC Journal.Vol. 39, No. 1, 2008. Online. (http://rel.sagepub.com/content/39/1/131 retrieved October 2, 2011)

Bruhwiler, C. and Blatchford, P. 2011 Effects of class size and adaptive teaching competency on classroom processes and academic outcome (pp. 95-108).Learning and Instruction, Vol. 21, 2011

Imperiani, Erni, D.A. English Language Teaching in Indonesia and its relation to the role of English as an International Language. Online. (http://ejournal.upi.edu/index.php/psg/article/view/43 retrieved, August 5, 2011)

Liao, J. and Zhao, D. 2006. Grounded Theory Approach to Beginning Teachers’ Perspectives of Communicative Language Teaching Practice (pp. 76-90).Electronic Journal of Foreign Language Teaching, Vol. 9, Number 1,  2012

Liao, Xiao Qing. 2000. How Communicative Language Teaching Became Acceptable in Secondary Schools in China. The Internet TESL Journal, Vol. VI, No. 10, October 2000. Online.(http://iteslj.org/Articles/Liao-CLTinChina.html retrieved August 1, 2010)

Pham, Hoa. H. (2005) “Imported” Communicative Language Teaching: Implications for Local Teachers (pp. 2-13). English Teaching Forum, Vol 43. Number 4 2005

Richards, Jack C. 2006. Communicative Language Teaching Today.Cambridge University Press: Cambridge

Savignon, Sandra J. 2002. Interpreting CommunicativeLanguage Teaching: Contexts and concerns in teacher education. Yale University Press: London

Savignon, Sandra J. 2007. Beyond communicative language teaching: What’s ahead? (pp.207-220). Journal of Pragmatics,Vol. 39, 2007

Zhenhui, Rao. 2001. Matching Teaching Styles with Learning Styles in East AsianContexts.The Internet TESL Journal, Vol. VII, No. 7, July 2001. Online. (http://iteslj.org/Techniques/Zhenhui-TeachingStyles.html retrieved July 2, 2011

 

NOTE ABOUT THE WRITER

Dr. Sugeng Susilo Adi, M.Hum., M.Ed. got his Bachelor from the English Department,  Faculty of Letters, Sebelas Maret University, Surakarta in 1992. His first Master degree is in American Studies which he earned from Postgraduate Program, Gadjah Mada University, Yogyakarta in 1997. His second master degree is Master of Education (M.Ed.) in TEFL which he got from The School of Education, University of South Australia, Adelaide (2002). In 2010 he got his Doctor in Instructional Technology from State University of Malang (UM). One of the summer courses he participated was Study of the US Institutes for Secondary Educators in the University of Chicago at Illinois (UIC), USA in 2008. He is currently teaching at the Department of English Education, Faculty of Cultural Studies, University of Brawijaya (UB), Malang, Indonesia.

SLA MAJOR THEORETICAL VIEWS: Putting the Jigsaw Pieces Together

 Sugeng Hariyanto

 State Polytechnic of Malang

ABSTRACT
Second language acquisition is a complex internal process. There no guarantee that what it is known now is the complete picture. In other words, there may be some other aspects that have not been revealed. This article tries to briefly review the major theories in Second Language Acquisition (SLA). 

Behaviorists sees human language is acquired and maintained via stimulus-response-reinforcement sequence. Innatist theory first of all states that conditioning model is not appropriate to explain how human language is acquired based on the fact that children can produce novel sentences in new combination that has never been heard. Interactinists point out that LAD/UG or innate capacity alone does not help much. Finally, cognitivist view sees that in acquiring a language, a human being needs a mental capacity. All theoretical views will not argue the claim that human being needs mental capacity to acquire language. This article ends in its effort to put “the jigsaw pieces” from the schools of SLA theory to form a picture of how second language is theoretically acquired.

Key-words: second language acquisition, behaviorist, innatist, interactionist, cognitivist

 

As a relatively new field of study, SLA has advanced through research with various theoretical underpinnings. The results often seem contradictory to each other. This article reviews the theoretical view that have influence people understanding on SLA, namely behaviorist theory, innatist theory, interactionist theory and cognitive theory, and the result of major research with the theoretical views. Finally, the writer proposes a way of understanding the theoretical views and result results to yield a complete picture of SLA based on them. In other words, he would state that the seemingly contradictory research finding and theories are actually complementary to each other in explaining different aspects of SLA.

 

BEHAVIORIST THEORY

Behaviorism is a school of psychology. Its key concept of behaviorism is human behavior is a product of the stimulus-response interaction. Accordingly, behaviorists also see language learning (acquisition) as a matter of “stimulus-response” mechanism. This model assumes that human mind is a blank slate when he is born.

Within this school, B.F. Skinner proposes a theory about language acquisition which he states in his writing “Verbal Behavior” (Schunk, 1991: 72-73). For him, verbal behaviors can be classified as mand, tact, echoic. Mand is a verbal operant in which the response is reinforced by a characteristic consequence and under the functional control of relevant conditions of deprivation or aversive stimulation. The word “mand” is found in the word “command” and “demand”. In other words, the person will repeat the verbal behavior—for example, “take it”—if the command or demand is met by other person.

The second type of verbal behavior is tact, which mean the verbal operant in which a response of a given form is strengthened by a particular object or event. For example, mom says “Daddy” to the child each time Dad comes. The child learns to associate the word “Daddy” and the person. Then, he/she produces word by imitating other people. After the sound production is praised, his/her word learning is reinforced.

The third verbal type is echoic. One of the instances is simple imitation. For example, a father says to his child “Daddy”, and his child repeats it. Afterwards, the father hugs the child or smile to him to reinforce it.

Thus, in all three types, the important sequence in learning is stimulus – response – reinforcement. According to Schunk (1992: 74), Verbal behavior presents a theoretical analysis of how human language can be acquired and maintained. The issue is not whether human being acquire language via reinforcement as it is undoubtedly plays a role. Rather, the issue, according to Schunk, is whether reinforcement is the mechanism primarily responsible for language acquisition.

 

INNATIST THEORY

The Father of innatist theory in Second Language Acquisition (SLA) is Chomsky. He started by criticizing Verbal Behavior, maintaining that a conditioning model is inappropriate for explaining language acquisition and comprehension (Schunk, 1992: 74). The most influential idea contributed by Chomsky to SLA is the concept of innate hypothesis (LAD/UG)[1] and then principle and parameter. Language Acquisition Device (LAD) or Universal Grammar (UG). The LAD or UG is endowed to human being at birth. This is something innate. This position is generally referred to as innate hypothesis. This innate mechanism is activated when appropriate stimulation (input) is posed.

For Chomsky, since birth human LAD starts receiving input by which the human being stimulated to construct rules of the language. The output (utterance) he/she produces is a result of the application of the rules produced by this LAD. See the following illustration for a better picture.

In the illustration above, we see a box, showing that LAD/UG and grammar are not observable and the process is a mental process happening in the human mind. Therefore, this approach is also called rational approach. LAD and UG is about the same thing for Chomsky. In his 1965 publication, he refers it as LAD but in 1980-s onward, he calls it UG.

Triggered by research on natural order of English morpheme acquisition as a first language, Dulay and Burt (in Gass and Selinker, 1994: 80) did a research and came up with the conclusions stating that the process of SLA is very similar to that of first language acquisition (FLA) as they found that second language learners creatively construct the rules of second language in the same way as those in first language and the errors produced by SLA learners also resemble those produced by first language learners. Their theory is known as creative construction hypothesis. Based on this, many research were conducted and another theory came up to the surface, named “natural order hypothesis”, which claims that second language learners acquire second language morpheme in the same order as the first language learners do (Gass and Selinker, 1994: 82).

Another major theory based on LAD concept is the one developed by Krashen. This theory consists of several hypotheses—together known as the monitor model—namely: acquisition-learning, natural order, input, monitor and affective filter hypotheses (Gass and Selinker, 1994: 144-150 and Cook, 1993: 51 – 55). According to acquisition-learning hypothesis, human beings have two ways in developing competence in second languages: acquisition and learning. Acquisition is the subconscious  process  of  acquiring  new  language system. On the other hand, learning is a conscious process of obtaining knowledge of a new language. Monitor hypothesis states that learning will only result in knowledge to monitor or edit the language production by the learner. According to natural order hypothesis, all element of the new language is acquired in a predictable order called natural order. Second language learner will acquire the new language system if he/she is exposed to comprehensible input (input hypothesis). This comprehensible input should be a bit above the current state of the learner knowledge. This is defined as i + 1, where the current state of the knowledge is “i” and the next stage shall be i + 1.

The model proposed by Krashen in presented in Figure 2 below by Cook (1993: 54).

From the picture, it is known that the process is quite simple. There is input, the input is process by LAD, than knowledge is acquired. Out can be generated from the knowledge acquired. While the knowledge obtained from formal learning is used to monitor the production of output.

In conclusion, this view sees that human being is indeed endowed with specific mind faculty to acquire language (LAD/UG). With LAD/UG, human being is very creative. He just needs input, and LAD/UG will process it to result in the system of the language being studies.

 

INTERACTIONIST THEORY

The Father of this theory is Vygotsky. He state that social interaction plays an important role in the learning process and proposed the zone of proximal development (ZPD), where learners construct the new language through socially mediated interaction (Brown in Shenon, 2005). Vygotsky’s social-interactionist theory was proposed about 80 years ago, and still serves as a strong foundation for the interactionists’ perspective today (Ariza and Hancock in Shanon 2005).

The basic concept in interactionism, or sometimes called social-interactionism, states that children have some innate knowledge of the structure of language, but also require meaningful interaction with others. Different from innatist view, interactionists thinks that environmental factors are more dominant than innate factors (Shanon, 2005).

Although it is different from innatist view, it recognizes the extreme differences found between behaviorists and innatists views. Its view stating that children have some innate knowledge of the structure of language represents its recognition of innatist view and the one stating that interaction with other person is important represent the importance of reinforcement, which is a behave­oristic view. Interactionist and innatists share the idea that comprehensible input is important. Further, Interactionist maintains that the comprehensible input is achieved by simplifying the input to the right level for the language learners and the input must be interactive. As a matter of fact, the modified input or negotiation of meaning concept is the major concept in interactionist theory in SLA.

In short, the claim about modified input is as follows. In talking to a language learner, a speaker needs to simplify or modify the interaction to suit the language mastery level of the language learners. Modified interaction will lead to comprehensible input; comprehensible input will entail language acquisition (Lightbown and Spada 1993 in Shanon, 2005). Then, we know the term foreigner talk (Gass and Selinker, 1994: 197) and teacher talk.

Negotiation of meaning refers to the instances in conversation when the participants interrupt the flow of the conversation so that both of them understand the conversation (Gass and Selinker, 1994: 208).

As interaction is always two-way communication, Swain proposes comprehensible output (Gass and Selinker, 1994: 212). For her, input and output is equally important. The importance of the output or interaction can be seen in the example below:

 

NNS: so I went to shopping yesterday

NS  : oh you went shopping?

NNS:yes I went- I went shopping

 

From this instance, comprehensible input is as important as comprehensible output.

Comprehensible output hypothesis claims that output makes learners aware of language knowledge gaps, experiment with language forms and structures, and obtain feedback from others about language use (Ariza and Hancock, 2003 in Shanon, 2005).

Comprehensible output provides learners with a forum for several important language learning function: (Gass and Selinker, 1994: 213):

(1) testing hypothesis about the structure and meanings of the target language,

(2) receiving feedback for the verification of these hypotheses,

(3) developing automaticity in IL production, and

(4) forcing a shift from more lexical and semantic processing of the second language to a more syntactic mode.

In short, interactionists see that human being has a particular capacity to acquire language. However, this mind faculty does not help much if there is no helpful interaction. The mind cannot do anything useful for language acquition without interaction.

 

COGNITIVIST VIEW

Cognitive model claims that learning language is the same with learning any other knowledge. Language is acquired by means of a common mental faculty, not a specific one. There are two main models in this category: information processing models and connectionism model.

There are two information processing models: McLaughlin’s information processing model and Anderson’s ACT* model. According to McLaughlin, human being is an information processor limited by both how much attention he/she gives to a task and by how well he/she can process the information. This psychologist differentiates ‘automatic’ from ‘controlled’ processes (in Cook, 1994: 253-254). Controlled processes often involve new information, are under the control of attention. On the other hand, automatic processes are quick and need little attention; they have been built up by practice and therefore need little attention or capacity to perform. As learning a new language is learning new information, learners logically go through controlled process first.

The most outstanding research in SLA in this line shows that attention has an effect, while time pressure does not; extra time helps both those who know the rules of grammars explicitly and those who do not. In other word, control (attention) is not related to whether the subjects know the rule explicitly or not (Hulstijn and Hulstijn in Cook, 1994: 254-256).

The second model in cognitive school is Anderson’s SCT* model (Cook, 1994: 246-249). ACT stands for Adaptive Control of Thought. And the symbol (*) represents the ultimate version in the development of the model. Like Information Processing model, this also emphasizes the automatization process. ACT* distinguishes three form of memory: working memory, procedural memory, and declarative memory. Working memory is used for the performance of the production rule based on declarative memory and procedural memory. Declarative memory is used to store actual information and procedural memory consists of processes to check the part of the rules against declarative memory. In other word, declarative memory stores the knowledge of “what” and procedural memory stores the knowledge of “how”.

How do these memory work? According to Anderson, a production system consists of production rules, such as: IF the goal is to generate a plural Noun and the Noun ends in a hard consonant, THEN generate the Noun + s. The working memory is used to produce “Noun + s”. Declarative memory stores the concept of plural and hard consonants. The procedural memory relates the concept of plural and hard consonants.

In learning a new production rules, including language rule, someone starts from obtaining declarative knowledge, then he proceduralizes it (procedural knowledge) and finally generalizes the rule. When this is achieved, the production can be done quickly and automatically.

Anderson illustrate his idea using classroom L2 learning (Cook, 1994: 249), where the learners get the declarative knowledge from the teacher. This model is supported by O’Malley and Chamot’s research done in 1990 (in Cook, 1994: 249), stating that learning strategies are a set of productions that are compiled and fine-tuned until they become procedural knowledge and L2 learners follows Anderson’s three stages.

Another cognitive theory of SLA is Connectionism. Conecctianism sees the human mind as a single highly complex network through which spread (Cook, 1994: 265). Unlike ACT, connectionism denies the need for separating declarative and procedural memory and there is no production system convention. Connectionism views language learning as recognition of patterns in the input by learners. (ppt). Learning is based on construction of association pattern in the brain and creation of link or connection among them. The link become stronger as the association keeps recurring (happens in high frequency).

When applied to SLA, learners build up language knowledge through exposure to thousands of linguistic input. The pattern of association among linguistic items become stronger each time the learner is exposed to more linguistic input. For example, a learner hears “I read” and “She reads” so often that he develop a pattern of association between the addition of “s” with “I” and “she”.

However, there were no many research studies yet on this concept. Rumelhart and McLelland (1986 in Cook, 1994: 265) support this model with their research on the simulation of past tense learning. At least up to 1993, no other research on this concept has been done.

In conclusion, cognitive theories believe that human being employs their mind mind to learn all things, including language, in the same manner; speech-production is a matter of information processing process. Then, learning a new language is establishing patterns of connection among linguistic input received by the learners. Learning itself can progress from a declarative knowledge to procedural knowledge. When a learner produces speech, it may be controlled or not controlled, depending on the connections or type of memory involved. Finally, this view is about how human being obtain, store, and retrieve knowledge, be it language knowledge or other knowledge.

 

SUMMARY

In shorts, the above discussion can be summarized into several points. Behaviorists sees human language is acquired and maintained via stimulus-response-reinforcement sequence. This can happen in informal and formal situation. As a matter of fact, behaviorist view has influenced language teaching field with the birth of Audio-Lingual Method and the use of language laboratory.

Innatist theory first of all states that conditioning model is not appropriate to explain how human language is acquired based on the fact that children can produce novel sentences in new combination that has never been heard. This theory centers on the existence of LAD/UG. Many research support the existence of natural order of morpheme acquisition.

Interactinists point out that LAD/UG or innate capacity alone does not help much. Children should interact in order to acquire the language he/she is learning. Here, reinforcement is needed. Input should be manipulated to suit the learners’ current level of language mastery.

Finally cognitivist view sees that in acquiring a language, a human being need a mental capacity. However, this is not the one specific for language acquisition. This is the same mental capacity to learn mathematic and how to cook. As a matter of fact, in the discussion, the dominant topic is on how knowledge is perceived, stored and retrieved.

 

Putting the pieces together

Second language acquisition is a complex internal process. There no guarantee that what it is known now is the complete picture. In other words, there may be some other aspects that have not been revealed. However, based on the current understanding of SLA, the following statements are made.

1.     In order to acquire a language, human being must have a mental capacity, which can be the same or different from the one used to acquire other skills or knowledge.

2.     Human being use language to interact with children and adult alike, with purpose of social interaction or instructional.

4.     Interaction involves stimulus and response; where certain responses can be seen as positive or negative reinforcements.

5.     Interaction can be held in formal as well as informal setting.

6. There are many aspects of language to acquire, namely: (a) syntax, morpheme, (b) vocabulary, and (c) pragmatic and sociolinguistic competence.

 

Now lets put the pieces together.

All theoretical views will not argue the claim that human being needs mental capacity to acquire language. Behaviorist emphasizes the stimulus-response-reinforcement chain, while innatist and interactionist views believe it is a specific kind of mental capacity. Meanwhile, cognitivist state that it is the same kind of mental capacity. In this position, all are correct. The specific mental capacity is the “development” of certain aspect of the main capacity. The analogy is the capacity of our hand. We believe that some people is keen at drawing, some others are skillful in playing basketball. They all use the capacity of hand. The person can show shooting tricks that are never taught to them. This is also something creative like children speaking the novel sentences.

Innatists never talk about reinforcement, but as interaction always involves responses that can be reinforcement, we can say that reinforcement plays roles especially in maintaining the language.

When the learning of the new language takes place in informal setting, Krashen hyotheses are acceptable. When the learning is in formal setting, behaviorist view and cognitivist view can be used explain the process more adequately.

In summary, all the theories are complementary and useful for us to understand the nature of second language acquisition.

 

REFERENCES

Cook, Vivian.  1993. Linguistics and Second Language Acquisition. New York: St. Martin’s Press

Gass, Susan M. and Selinker, Larry. 1994. Second Language Acquisition: An Introductory Course. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates

Myles, Florence. Second Language Acquisition (SLA) Research: Its Significance for Learning and Teaching Issues. Retrieved on Febryary 5, 2011, from http://www.lang.ltsn.ac.uk/resources/ goodpractice.aspx?resourceid=421

Schunk, Dale H. 1991. Learning Theories: An Educational Perspective. New York: MacMillan Publishing Company.

Shannon, Fred. 2005. Interactionist Theory in Second Langauge Acquisition. Retrieved on February, 6, 2011, from: http://fredshannon.blogspot.com/ 2005/11/interactionist-theory-in-second-language-acquisition.html.



[1] Some experts classify LSD/UG theory into cognitive category is LAD/UG process the input. However, the writer thinks that this is best classified into “innatist” or “nativist” category as Chomsky seems to emphasize on the innate nature of this language-specific mental capacity.