THE NEGATIVE TRANSFER OF INDONESIAN AS L1 INTO ENGLISH AS FOREIGN LANGUAGE:
ANALISYS OF TEXT WRITTEN BY ENGLISH DEPARTEMENT STUDENTS OF FKIP UNTAN
B. RESEARCH BACKGROUND
Many experts believe that in acquiring a foreign language, a learner is influenced by his/her first language. Learners generally bring their previous competence of language in performing the foreign language (FL). The clearest support for this hypothesis is the finding of "foreign" accents in the foreign language speech of the learners (Ellis, 1985: 19). For example, when a Frenchman speaks English, his English may sound French. In addition, when a Malay person speaks Indonesian, the Indonesian sound may be influenced by Malay accents. In paragraph writing, the students may use the properties of their first language like grammatical and lexical patterns in the foreign language. For example, grammatically the students may express “We wrote the letter with easy” in translating “Kami menulis surat itu dengan mudah”. This sentence is incorrect. It should be “We wrote the letter easily”. It happens because Indonesian grammar is used by the students in performing the English sentences. In Indonesian, adverbial of manner may be expressed by preposition phrase ‘dengan mudah’. It is lexically transferred into English. Unfortunately, it is wrong. Such adverbial of manner in English is expressed by adjective ‘easy’ plus suffix –ly.
The process that is responsible for this is called language transfer. When the previous item is correctly applied to present subject matter in the foreign language, the process is known as positive transfer, and the transfer is considered negative (interference) when the first language rule causes mistake if it is applied in performing the foreign language.
This research is conducted in order to prove the hypothesis about the grammatical aspects that the English department students of FKIP Untan whose L1 is Indinesian transfer negatively from Indonesian into English. Descriptive method will be used in this research.
The researcher chooses the grammar because it has important role in learning language. People may have difficulty in understanding the foreign language especially the ungrammatical structure.
The investigation of the negative transfer of Indonesian as L1 into English as the foreign language in paragraph writing is very important for both the Foreign Language learners and the teachers who teach the foreign language.
For the teachers, after knowing the Indonesian grammatical aspects that is transferred negatively into English, they would be easier to predict which grammar may be mostly transferred negatively into English as the Foreign Language. Therefore, they would be easier to apply certain strategies or ways in teaching English as the Foreign Language in order to prevent the error which the students make as the negative effects of the Indonesian grammatical aspects. Furthermore, the teacher will be able to prepare a more systematical material when they teach Foreign Language and then the students’ mistakes are able to be minimized.
For the students, after knowing the Indonesian grammatical aspects that interfere with the English grammatical aspects in writing, they will be able to be more careful and give more attention to the grammatical aspects which are often transferred negatively from Indonesian into English; therefore the mistake can be minimized.
C. RESEARCH PROBLEM
The problem of this research is
What grammatical aspects do the English department students of FKIP Untan whose First Language is Indonesian transfer negatively from Indonesian as L1 into English as Foreign Language?
D. RESEARCH PURPOSE
To find out the grammatical aspects that is transferred negatively from Indonesian as L1 into English as Foreign Language in writing text by the English department students of FKIP Untan whose L1 is Indonesian in the academic year 2008/2009.
E. FRAME OF THEORY
1. Foreign language acquisition
In Indonesia, there are many languages those are used by Indonesian people as their first languages such as Malay, Madurese, and Javanese. They use Indonesian or the other language as their second language. Besides, there are also some Indonesians people who use Indonesian as their first language. In line with the globalization era, the interaction of people comes larger. English as an international language for communication and as an introduction language of science and technology books becomes one of the chosen foreign language by Indonesian people to be lingua franca.
In defining the term of “foreign language acquisition”, we would better to firstly understand the definition of the first language acquisition or the mother tongue and also the second language acquisition.
Saville and Troike (2006: 1) define the first language or L1 as the first language a person acquires. In line with Saville and Troike, Gass and Selinker (2008: 7) define “the first language is the first language that a child first learns it is also known as primary language or mother tongue or L1.” in this study, the term of “first language” means the first language one learn, and the language that one mostly use as his/her mother tongue, this language is used in communicating with his/her family. It is also mastered mostly by acquiring process. And the first language acquisition is the process of acquiring the first language. The researcher in this study included the grammatical aspect of L1 only as His focus.
Meanwhile, Second language acquisition is the study of how learners learn an additional language after they have acquired their mother tongue (Ellis 1985: 5). Barbara F. Freed (1991: 4) added that the second language is applied to non-native language learning or language use, which takes place within one of speech community where the languages is traditionally used.
Besides, Smith (1993: 7) explained that second language acquisition cover term for the acquiring of any language other that the first language learned by given learner or group of learners irrespective of the type of learning environment and irrespective of the number of other non-native language processed by the learner. Gass and Selinker (2008: 7) explained, “ second language acquisition refers to the process of learning another language after the native language has been learned”. In line with Gass and Selinke, Saville and Troike (2006: 1) explained ”Second Language Acquisition (SLA) refers both to the study of individuals and groups who are learning a language subsequent to learning their first one as young children, and to the process of learning that language”.
Second language acquisition is different from foreign language acquisition. Stern as cited in Freed (1991:4) explained, “the term foreign language has usually been used to refer to the teaching or learning of non-native language outside of country or speech community where it is commonly spoken”. Also, Freed (1991: 4) added that foreign language learning does not refer to the massive amount of language learning and teaching that takes place worldwide in what are known as natural or untutored learning situations, which arise by virtue of language in contact in various bilingual and multilingual situation”.
Ellis, (1985: 5) explains that SLA is not intended to contrast with foreign language acquisition. SLA is used as a general term that embraces both untutored (and “naturalistic”) acquisition and tutored (or “classroom”) acquisition. Ellis also explains that It is, however an open question whether the way in which acquisition proceeds in these different situations is the some or different.
Foreign language acquisition it self is a phrase used to describe the process that people go through when confronted by a need to use a language other than their native language. The term of “language acquisition” become commonly used after the linguist Steven D. Krashen contrasted the formal and non-contrastive “learning’. It requires meaningful interaction in the target language in natural communication, in which speakers concerned not with the form of their utterances but with the comprehensible message or input that they are conveying and understanding.
There are differences between language learning and language acquisition. Ellis (1985) explains that the term “acquisition” is used to refer to picking up a second language through exposure, whereas the term “learning” is used to refer to the conscious study of a second language.
The term acquisition is more similar to a child’s first language acquisition. In contrast, the term “learning” refers to the formal knowledge of language. The difference between language acquisition and learning can be summarized as follows (krashen, 1981: 27):
Table 1: The differences between Language Acquisition and Language Learning
similar to child first language acquisition formal knowledge of language
“picking” up a language “knowing about’ a language
Implicit knowledge Explicit knowledge
Formal teaching does not help Formal teaching helps
Moreover, Ellis (1985: 6) defined that the second language acquisition refers to the subconscious or conscious process by which a language other than the mother tongue is learnt in a natural or tutored setting.
2. Negative transfer (interference)
In acquiring a foreign language, many experts believe that a learner is influenced by his/her first language. Learners generally bring their previous competence of language in performing the foreign language (FL). The influence can be either the positive or negative. The positive influence is more frequently recognized as positive transfer, and negative influence as negative transfer or interference. Savile and Troike (2006: 25) explained, “there is general agreement that cross-linguistic influence, or transfer of prior knowledge from L1 to L2, is one of the processes that is involved in interlanguage development. Two major types of transfer which occur are: •positive transfer, when anL1 structure or rule is used in an L2 utterance and that use is appropriate or “correct” in the L2; and •negative transfer (or interference), when an L1 structure or rule is
used in an L2 utterance and that use is inappropriate and considered an “error.”
The terms “transfer” it self is defined as “a process described as the automatic, uncontrolled, and subconscious use of past learned behaviors in the attempt to produce new response” (Dulay et al, 1982:1). The positive transfer is assumed happen when there is similarity between the first and the foreign language. It actively aids the learners in performing the second or foreign language correctly. In contrast, the first language will actively interfere with the second or foreign language if the first and the second language are different, called negative transfer or interference as cited in Ellis: 1985.
Newmark (1966) cited in Krashen (1981) argued that “interference” is not the first language “getting in the way” of second language skills, rather, it is the result of the performer “falling back” on old knowledge when he or she has not yet acquired enough of the second language.
Meanwhile, Weinreich as cited in Parera (1997) claims that the instances from the norm of either language when occur in the speech of bilinguals as a result of their familiarly with that one language, i.e. as a result of languages in contact will be referred to as interference phenomena.
Weinreich’s definition has pointed out exclusively what is later termed as negative transfer since it considers native language influence an impediment to the acquisition and production of correct target language forms. The more complex the differences are, the more complex the difficulties will be faced. Another definition of interference may be viewed as the transference of elements of one language to another at various levels including phonological, grammatical, lexical and orthographical (Berthold, et al 1997).
Berthold et al. defined phonological interference as items including foreign accent such as stress, rhyme, intonation, and speech sound from the first language influencing the second language. Grammatical interference is defined s the first language influencing the second language in terms of word order, pronoun, determinant, tense, and mood. Interference at lexical level provides for the borrowing of words from one language and converting them to sound more natural in another. And orthographic interference includes the spelling of one language altering another.
Moreover, Dulay et al (1982: 98) claim that interference refers to two distinct linguistic phenomena, psycholinguistic and sociolinguistic. The psychological use of the term interference refers to the influence of old habits when new ones are being learned, whereas, the sociolinguistic use of interference refers to language interaction, such as linguistic borrowing and languages switching that occur when the two language communities are in contact.
The interference of first language in second or foreign language learning is inevitable. Many learners and teachers found the difficulties in second language learning that are caused by the first language or previous language. One of gthe aspect that can be affected is in the grammar aspect.
3. Grammatical Interference
The grammatical aspects are the focus of this research because when learning a language, one faces a set of rules which should be mastered. The rules are such as how to pronounce a sound, how to attach a morpheme into its root, how to combine words to be phrase and so on. The mastery of a foreign language rule may lead to understanding of the language. Learning the terminology of traditional grammar can help the learners to identify and correct sentence fragments and run on sentences. Grammar is a theory of language, of how language is put together and how it works. Hornby (2000: 556) explains that grammar is the rules in a language for changing the form of words and joining them into sentences. Grammatical interference is the one, which is in the area of grammar.
Berthold et al (1997) has pointed out that grammatical interference is defined as the first language influencing the second language in term of word order, use of pronouns and determiners, tense, and mood. Grammatical interference occurs if the rules of the first or the previous language interfere with the rules of the second or foreign language.
4. Interference in Writing
When writing the target language (L2), second language learners tend to rely on their native language (L1) structures to produce a response. The ability of a writer is not similar as other writers. In line with that, Kroll (1991: 49) has pointed out that some writers seems to depend more on first language use that the other writers.
Why does negative transfer occur in writing? According to Kroll (1991: 109) writers use the first language strategies and knowledge to aid their second language writing. They apply their knowledge in writing from the first language to writing in the second language. Then the process of transferring structure and vocabulary from the first language into the second language occurred.
Interference occurs due to the unfamiliarity with the second language. If the structures of the two languages are distinctly different, then one could expect a relatively high frequency of errors to occur in L2, thus indicating an interference of L1 and L2.
Kroll (1999: 109) claims the use of first language strategies and knowledge is a meant to form hypothesis about writing in the second language. They transfer both good and weak writing skill from their first language to English. They do any of their work in their first language. This will inhibit acquisition of the second language and will interfere with the generation of second language structure, due to transfer of structure and vocabularies from the first in an incorrect way.
Writing as one of four language skills is chosen here as the research area. It is considered to what Hoch says: “for a second language learner, writing is an extension of listening and speaking”. When students have opportunities to build and to refine their oral language, their writing also improves. More over, Hudelson as cited in Nurhaya (2007: 40) explains: “all the language process are interrelated, and students become more able language users when they make use of all the processes in classroom activities, when they are asked to use both oral and written language in varied ways and for varied purposes”.
A paragraph as a basic unit of organization in writing in which a group of relates sentences develops one main idea, should be written in correct grammar to create a good writing. It can be as short as one sentence or as long as ten sentences. The number of sentences is unimportant; but the paragraph should be long enough to develop the main idea clearly.
Moreover, a paragraph has three major structural parts: a topic sentence, supporting sentences, and a concluding sentence. However, these three parts of paragraph will be neglected in this research, because the focus of this research is not how to arrange the paragraph sentences well, but to investigate whether the English paragraph writing is influenced by the Indonesian grammatical rules or not.
There are certain characteristic of paragraph writing categorized as the research area as follows:
a. The paragraph writing written by the English department students of FKIP Untan in the academic year of 2007/2008.
b. The paragraph writing –from the beginning until the end of the paragraph- is written by the students them selves and using theis own words. It is not as the result of jumble sentences, blank paragraph or the copy of the example given.
5. Error and Mistake
In investigating the interference of Indonesian grammatical aspects into English, it is important to be aware of the distinction of error and mistake.
a. Definition of Errors
An error is usually yielded by the deficiency in competence. Thus, it is committed because a learner is lacking in competence (Brown, 1980: 165). In line with brown’s argument, Corder (1981) define an error as a result of lacking knowledge of language rule (Chomsky calls it competence) and it is reserved for the systematic deviation due to the learner is still developing knowledge of the L2 rule system.
Moreover, Norrish (1985: 165) and Ellis (1997) agree that errors reflect gaps in the learner’s knowledge; the occur because the learner does not know what the correct one is, the learner has not learnt the correct form of what they are learning.
Lee cited in Ellis (1985:3) argues that the main cause or the only cause of errors and difficulty in learning foreign language is interference coming from the learner’s native language.
Meanwhile, Byrne (1990: 123) divides errors into two sources namely false generalization or transfer from the target language and transfer from the mother tongue.
Gess and Selinker (2008: 102) explain that error is systematic. That is, it is likely to occur repeatedly and is not recognized by the learner as an error. The learner in this case has incorporated a particular erroneous form (from the perspective of the TL) into his or her system.
b. Definition of Mistake
Mistake is nonsystematic errors that learners produce. These are “correctable” by the learner. Gess and Selinker (2008: 519).
Corder as cited in Gess and selinker (2008:102) explains that Mistakes are a kind of slips of the tongue. That is, they are generally one-time-only events. The speaker who makes a mistake is able to recognize it as a mistake and correct it if necessary
6. Contrastive Analysis
To identify the area of difficulty, a procedure called Contrastive Analysis was developed since the late 196s. it examines errors resulting from the negative transfer from the L1 , by establishing the linguistic differences between the learners’ L1 and L2. To be aware of the term contrastive analysis, below is what the experts view about it.
Ellis (1985) provides two hypotheses of contrastive analysis; strong form and the weak form. The strong version states that it is possible to contrast the system of one language (the grammar, phonology, and lexicon) with a system of a second language in order to predict the difficulties which a speaker of second language will have in learning a first language, and to construct a reading material to help her to learn that language. The weak version is the linguist uses the best linguistic knowledge available to him in order to account for the observe difficulties in second language learning. This approach makes fewer demands of contrastive theory than the strong version. The starting point of this approach is provided by real evidence from such phenomena as faulty translation, learning difficulties and residual foreign accents.
The former hypothesis states that mistakes in using the target language can be predicted by identifying the differences of both the native and the target language of the learner. The later hypothesis states that the contrastive analysis and error analysis need to support each other. Contrastive analysis not only identifies the language error made by the students, but also establishes and classifies the language mistakes due to the differences of both languages.
Moreover, Gess and Selinker (2008: 98) explains that contrastive analysis is a way of comparing languages in order to determine potential errors for the ultimate purpose of isolating what needs to be learned and what does not need to be learned in a second-language-learning situation.
In summary, contrastive analysis describes the structural differences and similarities of two or more languages. This hypothesis claims that difficulties in language learning derived from the distinction between the new language with the learners’ first language. Interference as the term used to express the error caused by the distinction of learners’ L1 and FL. Interference as the term used to express the error caused by the distinction of the leaner’s L1 and FL can be predicted and remedied by the use of Contrastive Analysis. The contrastive Hypothesis needs to be recognized due to the role in language learning.
7. Error Analysis
Error analysis and contrastive analysis have been regarded as the main pillars in the domain of second or target language acquisition. With the knowledge about errors of language, kinds and degree of differences between languages on a number of linguistic aspects, errors analysis and contrastive analysis have contributed a lot to gthe general methodology and theory of language teaching.
Here lies the difference between contrastive analysis and errors analysis. Contrastive analysis examines errors resulting from the negative transfer from the L1 , while error analysis examines errors resulting from all possible sources, including interlingua errors.
Error analysis is the analysis of errors made by the students. This analysis contributes for analyzing the corpus language of the performance, discovering the errors and occurs not only because of the interference, but it resembles the developmental errors for the child learning the first language (Dulay et al, 1982: 138).
Brown (1980: 166) claims, ‘the learners do make errors, and that these errors can be observed, analyzed, and classified to reveal something of the system operating within the learner, led to surge of study of learners’ errors, called Error Analysis. “
Ellis cited in Tarigan (1988: 68) defines Error analysis to procedure of work usually done by linguists and language teachers, which deals with collecting samples of errors, describing errors, classifying errors, and evaluating errors.
There are advantages of error analysis. In teaching and learning foreign language, error analysis tells the teacher about the types of difficulties that are faced by the learners, as a feedback which tells the teacher something about the effectiveness of the teaching materials and their technique and it is also necessary for designing a remedial teaching syllabus.
Besides, Corder cited in Sudjonko (1988: 4) states that learners’ errors are significant in that they provide to the researchers evidence of how language learned or acquired, what strategies or procedures the learning is employing in the discovery of the language.
In addition, Studying Learners errors serves two major purposes. First, it provides data from which interference about the nature of the language learning process can be made. Second, it indicates to teachers and the curriculum developers the most difficult part of the target language and error types which most detract from a learner’s ability to communicate effectively.” Said Dulay (1982: 138).
In order to confirm and to know the advantages of error analysis, Norrish (1983: 80) states that the use of error analysis in learning and teaching a foreign language is giving the information to the teachers about the student’s difficulties whether problems common to all learners, individual or particular groups. It is also to show the teacher what parts of the curriculum adequately learned or taught and need further attention.
Sidhar (1985) notes that the purpose of error analysis are:
- Determining the steps of presentation of language item that will be taught.
- Determining the level of teaching material enforcement.
- Planning of the exercises and remedial teaching.
- Choosing the language items as the best of the students’ proficiency.
Moreover, Tarigan (1988) claims that there are three advantages of error analysis as follows:
- Obtaining a deep understanding of second language acquisition.
- Obtaining a deep understanding about learning psychology of second language.
- To input in designing teaching material of second language in order to be directed.
In contrast, error analysis has also disadvantages. This analysis describes incomplete picture of second language acquisition, because it only focuses on part of the language L2learners produce. Ellis (1985: 68) summarizes that error analysis is a limited tool for investigating SLA. It can provide only a particular picture, due to it focuses on part of the language that L2 learners produce, e.g. the idiosyncratic forms and also it examines language learners and a single point in time, it does not cast much light on the developmental route learners take. In addition, Dulay et al (1982: 141) conclude there are at least three major conceptual weaknesses that seem to have impeded the potential contribution. It might have made to field as follows:
- The confusion of error description, with error explanation (the process and product aspects of error analysis).
- The lack of precision and specificity in the definition of error categories.
- Simplistic categorization of the causes of the learners’ errors.
G. SCOPE OF RESEARCH
In conducting the research, the scope of the problem is stated in order to acquire the clarity of the research as well as to avoid ambiguity and misinterpretation. The scope of this research is the grammatical aspects.
1. Research Variable
Sudjana and Kusumah (1992:9) defined variable as the characteristics of an object which are able to be measured, and the values or the result can be assumed fluctuate. Variable can also be defined as the logical grouping of each attribute. In this research the researcher used a single variable that is the Negative transfer of Indonesian as L1 into English as FL in text writing.
I. METHOD OF RESEARCH
Silverman (2000: 79) defined “methodology defines how one will go about studying a phenomenon . . . and method of research is a specific research technique”.
1. Form of Research
In line with the purpose of the research that is to describe the grammatical aspects which is transferred negatively from Indonesian into English in writing text by the English department students of FKIP Untan, descriptive method is considered as the most appropriate method to be applied. According to Ary et al (1982: 415), descriptive research aims at describing and interpreting the situation which exists now. It is designed to get information about the status of an indication when the research is being conducted. It is directed to decide the characteristic of a situation while the experiment is being conducted.
2. Population and Sample
According to Sukadji (2000: 24) population is the group in which the researcher is able to generalize the result of the research. In this study, the population is the English department students of FKIP Untan in the academic year 2008/2009.
Wiersma (1986: 263) defined a sample as a subset of the population to which the researcher intends to generalize the result. In this study, the sample is the English department students of FKIP Untan who use Indonesian as L1 in the semester of 2nd, 4th, 6th, and 8th in the academic year 2008/2009. From each semester, the researcher will take two students, so there will be 8 students as the sample of this research.
3. Technique and Tools of Data Collecting
a. Technique of data collecting
Nawawi (2001: 94) states that in research, it can be distinguished into six techniques which can be applied in collecting the data, namely direct observation technique, indirect observation technique, direct communication technique, indirect communication technique, measurement technique, and documentary study technique. The appropriate techniques to be applied to this research are indirect communication technique and the measurement technique.
Indirect communication technique is applied in form of questionnaire. It aims at knowing the English department students whose first language is Indonesian. The ones whose first language is Indonesian will be used as the sample. In every semester, the researcher will take two students as the representative of each semester. If within a semester there are more than two students who use Indonesian as their first language, the researcher will use random sampling technique in selecting the two students that will be used as the representative of the semester.
In measurement technique, the samples that have been chosen are asked to write a text -at least a page of A4 paper- about a certain topic. In this study, the researcher will give some options of topic; each student may choose one of the topics that they like. The topics are:
- My daily activity
- My future resolution
- My family
b. Tools of data Collecting
Nasution (1996: 85) explained that in collecting the data we can use the documents. Document may consist of the personal writing and formal one. The tools of data collecting in this research are the students’ formal writing. Besides, the questionnaire is also used in order to gather the information about the students’ backgrounds.
4. Technique of Data Analysis
After collecting the students’ writing, the researcher will identify the sentences those contain the mistakes and errors. The mistakes and errors are underlined. Every mistake and error will be put code. The code is in form of numbering.
The student writes: “She like eating apple”.
The researcher’s identification: “She like eating apple”1.
After that, the errors and mistakes will be analyzed in order to find the errors or mistakes those are caused by the L1 (Indonesian). To make this process easier, the researcher will make the table 2:
Table 2: Mistake identification of students 1
No Error identification code A B Note
Total …. …..
Note: A = the mistake is caused by L1 (Indonesian)
B = the mistake is not caused by L1 (Indonesian)
And then the mistake that is caused by L1 will be classified on the type of grammatical aspects. For this step, the researcher will make the following table.
Table 3: Grammatical aspect type of student 1
No Error identification number Type of grammatical aspect
99 ….. ……
From the classification the researcher will make the percentage of each grammar aspects. Therefore the grammatical aspect that student one mostly transfers negatively from Indonesian into English can be shown.
This process will be conducted to the whole of the sample. After calculating each sample, the researcher will calculate the grammatical aspect that the whole students mostly transfer negatively from Indonesian into English. The researcher will use the following table below
Table 4: Number of Negative Transfer of the Whole Students
No Student’s code Number of negative transfer Total
The verb agreement Degrees of Comparison Adjective Correlative conjunction ……
From the step, the researcher will know the Indonesians grammatical aspect that the whole students transfer negatively into English.
The last step is calculating the negative transfer in each year. This step aims at knowing in what year the negative transfer of grammatical aspect from Indonesian into English often happen and what grammatical aspect that each year mostly transfer negatively. It will be conducted by using the table below.
Table 5: Number of Negative Transfer per- Year
No Year Number of Negative Transfer TOTAL
The verb agreement Degrees of Comp. Adj. Correlative conjunction Redundancy ….
1 2005 ….
2 2006 ….
3 2007 ….
4 2008 ….
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