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SECOND LANGUAGE ACQUISITION
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| Words: 1026 | Submitted: 10-Feb-2012
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DescriptionSECOND LANGUAGE ACQUISITION
SECOND LANGUAGE ACQUISITION
1. What's the comic about?
A man arrives to a foreign region, thus, the language and the culture are unfamiliar to him. As soon as he gets off the train, a man addresses to him in a polite way and raises his hat, gesture that may mean “hello” to the traveller. He associates the phrase with the gesture as a greeting and answers back to that message in the same way during the whole strip. When he finally reaches the hotel, he sees an angry employee shouting the same words in a completely different context. The employee confuses the tourist who is now disappointed as he thinks he had misinterpreted the utterance.
The conflict relies on the fact that the foreigner does not understand the spoken language. He misinterpreted the message as meaning was incorrectly established from the beginning. There was no negotiation of meaning at all. The man could have asked questions to clarify the information, but he didn’t. He just assumed the meaning of the gesture as part of his own culture.
2. What is the connection between the story, negotiation of meanings and communicative competence?
First at all we have to remember that communicative competence is the ability to use the language correctly and appropriately to accomplish communication goals. The desired outcome of the language learning process is the ability to communicate competently, not the ability to use the language exactly as a native speaker does.
Communicative competence is made up of different competence areas such as: linguistic, sociolinguistic, discourse, and strategic.So, (Joconda Hallo Vargas 18/10) when we negotiate meaning we are also developing our communicative competence. We learn how and when to use the utterances appropriately, considering not only the linguistic knowledge but the social factor as well.
When we talk about these two concepts we must contextualize the language. In the comic, a man arrives to a new place, a place with different customs, culture and language. For contextualizing and communicating, we need to know aspects related to that context and background (negotiation) in order to avoid any misunderstandings.
Dell Hymes argues that speakers of a language have to have more than grammatical competence in order to be able communicate effectively in a language; they also need to know how language is used by members of a speech community to accomplish their purposes and in the comic we can see clearly that the man never tried to know or negotiate the language used in the new place he was visiting (Joconda Hallo Vargas 18/10)
Negotiation is necessary between the two people to be able to communicate effectively. We could say that the man in the comic is not communicative competent ...
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