Rosemary Curtis

LLT 361
Fall 2014
Interaction Assignment
Part 1
Input, as arguably one of the most important aspects of second language learning,
is defined as the type of language that the learner is exposed to in their lives. There are a
few different types of input. There is authentic, or naturally occurring input. Authentic
input is typically fast, complex, and not always grammatically complete. Modified input
can be either simplified input or elaborated input. Simplified input uses a simpler lexicon
as well as simpler syntax that can be too easy and doesn’t challenge the learner’s
language skills. Elaborated input uses new grammar and/or vocabulary as well as
redundancy and explicitness to allow the reader to still understand the content. Currently
considered the best type of input is comprehensible input, which is input that is just one
step above the learner’s abilities to assist their learning. Comprehensible input often
occurs through interaction, when the input is modified and interpreted through feedback,
context, etc. It is important to make the distinction between input and intake. Input is
defined as the target language that the learner is exposed to, while intake is defined as
what the learner actually absorbs and uses in his/her language learning (Sun, 2008).
Feedback is something that occurs during interaction, it is a form of negotiation of
meaning. One type of feedback is called focus on form, which directly points the learner
toward his/her error. A specific type of focus on form is called corrective feedback.
Corrective feedback has three separate subcategories of feedback. One of these is recast,

in which the teacher or native speaker repeats back to the speaker a corrected form of
what he/she intended to say. The second type of corrective feedback is metalinguistic
feedback in which the teacher or native speaker directs the student explicitly toward their
error so that he/she can correct himself/herself, for example the teacher may say
something along the lines of “you need the past tense”. The third type of corrective
feedback is elicitation. Elicitation is similar to metalinguistic feedback in that the students
corrects themselves, but in this case the teacher elicits the correction from them without
directly telling them what is wrong.
In addition to comprehensible input and feedback, second language learners also
need output to be successful. Output helps the learners to process the language and notice
the difference between their output and the target language. In the context of corrective
feedback, there are a few different types of output. Successful uptake occurs when the
language learner repeats back the corrected form. Unsuccessful uptake occurs when the
language learner repeats back the original incorrect form to the teacher or native speaker.
No uptake occurs when the language learner simply continues on with the conversation
without acknowledging that the feedback was different than what he/she said originally.
Outside of uptake, output occurs naturally in conversation as well is in oral L2 tests.
Overall, the combination of input, interaction, and output are crucial to becoming
fluent in the language learner’s target language. A lack of appropriate input and output, as
well as a lack of interaction can result in a complete lack of oral fluency in a language
(Zhang, 2009).
Part 2

For the actual interaction portion of this assignment, I met in a Facebook chat
message with a girl name Mayuri. She has lived in Chile, but is originally from India. Her
native language is Hindi but now she speaks English with her friends and family. I was
very impressed with the quality of her English. I only noticed very minor errors in her
language, none of which impacted my ability to understand what she was telling me.
Based on her language, as well as my past experience, I would guess that she learned
British English and that might account for what I perceive as errors. Because we spoke
online and therefore communication through written language, this also would have
provided her the opportunity to check her language before sending it to me.
I’m not familiar enough with British English to know if what I perceived as errors
in her language were indeed errors. The first possible error I noticed was very early in the
conversation. I began the conversation by simply asking her to tell me a little about
herself. In my experience with children, I’ve been trained to ask open ended questions to
allow the person to provide as much information as they want so this seemed like a
natural first question for me. In her second sentence Mayuri stated, “I’m an Indian by
nationality”. Which while grammatically correct, seems awkward to me. A more natural
statement would be “I’m Indian by nationality”. But because it only feels awkward, and
is not grammatically incorrect, my presumption is that this is the style of English she
learned impacting her language.
I believe that the next error that I noticed is in fact an error. Unlike the previous
error, I can’t figure out a way that it might make sense. Mayuri stated that she’s “been in
Chile from 7 years now”, when she should have seed that she’s been in Child for 7 years
now. But because I understood what she meant, I did not feel the need to correct her.

The third error I noticed once again may be a result of British English influence.
She told me that her “native language is Hindi, but I speak in English at home and with
friends”. Once again, it is probably grammatically correct to say that one speaks in
English, but it feels awkward to me as a native speaker. It would feel more natural to say
that she speaks English, without the “in”.
One other type of error I noticed, I believe that it’s likely these errors are simply
typos that occurred in her writing. Later in the conversation when discussing student
teaching, Mayuri wrote, “I’ve already started with it and its fun”. The grammatically
correct form would have been, “it’s”. However, this could be an easy mistake in typing or
it could be a genuine error. A lot of native speakers also make this error in their writing.
A second example of this was later in the conversation when we were discussing the
types of food we like to eat. She wrote that she enjoys “Chinease” food, rather than
“Chinese” food. While this is grammatically incorrect, it’s again something that could
easily occur as the result of a typo.
Throughout the entire conversation, we completely understood what the other
person was saying. We did not experience any direct negotiation of meaning.

Works Cited
Sun, Y. (2008). Input Processing in Second Language Acquisition: A Discussion of Four
Input Processing Models. Working Papers in TESOL & Applied Linguistics, 8(1).
Retrieved October 24, 2014, from
Zhang, S. (2009). The Role of Input, Interaction and Output in the Development of Oral
Fluency. English Language Teaching, 2(4). Retrieved October 24, 2014, from
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