Based on this research Swain founded the Output Hypothesis. She found that even afetr spending years learning L2, the NNS learners fell significantly short of Native like abilities. This according to her was due to lack of opportunities for language use.
He argued that MODIFIED INTERACTION or DYNAMIC INTERPLAY between learners and others who have higher competence was the KEY . After interpersonal Interaction the learner engages in intrapersonal interaction to realize the form to make input comprehensible.
Comprehensible input= simplified input.
Long recommends 3 strategies in negotiating meaningNegotiation: step 1- interaction or conversation 2. Negative feedback- when the learner (usually non-native speaker) does not understand some part of conversation and expresses inability to understand and requests clarification 3. the misunderstood participant (the NS or speaker with higher competence) strives to make an effort to simplify the language to the learner’s level and making it ‘comprehensible’ for the non-native speaker.
Input hypothesis considered
The demand to produce comprehensible output push learners ahead in their development
1. Michael Long (1983, 1996)
By Atula Ahuja
2. Second Language Acquisition (SLA)
Observations of immersion classes in Canada
showed that NN learners continue to make
certain kinds of grammatical errors even after
many years of exposure to grammatically
correct input. This is evidence that ONLY
exposure or input is not enough to ensure
acquisition. (Merrill Swain 1985)
3. Interaction Theory
Michael Long developed a theory
in 1983, which agreed with
Krashen on the need for
comprehensible input, but held a
view that it was not enough. He
focused on how input could be
4. Interaction Hypothesis posits that input alone is not
sufficient for language acquisition.
Modified Interaction central SLA process.
Interaction hypothesis places emphasis on face- to face
interaction and the form of language as a result.
5. Original formulation
In 1983 Michael Long proposed:
1. Conversational Interaction between a more
competent interlocutor and learner is an
essential condition (if not sufficient) for SLA.
Through it speakers modify their speech and
2. Modified interaction leads to negotiation of
meaning, which makes input comprehensible.
3. Comprehensible input promotes SLA.
o Modified interaction or input involves changes
made in conversation.
o Examples of conversational changes:
elaboration, slower speech rate, gesture,
additional contextual cues, comprehension
checks, clarification requests.
Research has demonstrated that conversational
adjustments can aid comprehension in the L2.
7. Examples: modified input
It has been observed that the proficient
interlocutor automatically modifies their input to
suit the level of the non-native speaker to make
A kindergarten teacher uses varying levels of
proficiency to give instructions to:
• NS: Now Ben, you have to make a great, big pointed hat.
• NNS of Intermediate level: No, her hat is big, pointed.
• NNS of low Intermediate level: Make hat big, tall.
• NNS Beginner level: Big, big, big hat.
8. Negotiating meaning
Michael Long stressed on the importance of
negotiation of meaning after noticing the impact of
negative feedback during interaction.
Just simplification of linguistic form does not make
learning complete. Learners need to interact directly in
order to reach mutual comprehension. Learners are
interested in meaning, not form, but they begin to pay
attention to form in order to understand the meaning
9. Negative feedback
In the conversation, interlocutor’s lack of comprehension is a type of
negative feedback which happens while negotiating meaning.
NNS: There’s a basin of flowers on the bookshelf.
NS: a basin?
NS: a base
NNS: (using gesture to show shape) yes, base
NS: Oh, you mean VASE!
(Macky, Guss, McDonough 2000)
Learner →opportunity → infer the problem was with their pronunciation.
10. Negotiating meaning: 3 Cs
Comprehension Check through conversation
• The speaker asks questions to determine whether the listener (say NNS)
has understood the message. “I went to the New Year eve party.” Do you
understand? New Year eve?
Clarification check during negative
• Expression designed to elicit clarification or to seek assistance in
1. “Excuse me, what’s that?
Confirmation Check through modified input
• Expression to illicit confirmation that the utterance has correctly
understood “The evening before the New Year. On 30th? New Year’s eve.
Yes? or “Is this what you meant?”
11. Merrill Swain’s input
After observations at the immersion classes in
Canada, in 1985, Swain hypothesized that those
students failed to acquire native- like competency
due to insufficient opportunities for using language.
She claimed that the need to produce language
forces learners to move from Semantic→ Syntactic
knowledge, paying attention to form.
Negative feedback obtained during negotiating meaning
facilitates vocabulary, morphology, syntax and
12. In I996, Long subsumed few aspects of
Input Hypothesis and Output Hypothesis
and sufficient for
but not sufficient
Output has no
direct role in
Output is necessary
for development of
13. Revised version(1996)
 When the learner does not understand the fellow
participant, learning becomes more effective.
Interaction that elicits negative feedback is
important for the learner to notice the gap.
 Act of ‘negotiating meaning’ fills that gap.
 Encompassed a component of Comprehensible
Output hypothesis by Swain in Interaction theory.
Interaction=> Negative Feedback=> Noticing=>
Modified input => Production of output
• ROTHMAN, J. (2009), Theories in Second Language Acquisition: An Introduction
edited by VANPATTEN, BILL, & JESSICA WILLIAMS. The Modern Language Journal,
• Larsen-freeman, D., & Long, M. H. (1991). An introduction to second language
acquisition research, London: Longman.
• Long, M. (1983). Linguistic and conversational adjustments to non-native speakers.
Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 5, 177-193.
• Long, M. (1996) The role of linguistic environment in second language acquisition.
W.C. Ritchie and T.K. Bhatia (Eds.), Handbook of second language acquisition, 413468. Sand Diego, CA: Academic Press
Ellis, R. (1994) The Study of Second Language Acquisition. Oxford University Press.
Ellis, R. (1999). Learning a second language through interaction. Amsterdam:
John Benjamin Publishing Company
Pasty M, Lightbown & Spada N. (2006) How Languages are Learnt, Oxford
University Press, USA; 3 edition
15. of Interaction Hypothesis
 Native speaker and non-native speaker
interlocutors can and will work actively to
achieve mutual understanding.
 Two –way communication
 These negotiations involve both linguistic and
 Offers repeated opportunities to ‘notice’ aspects of
target language form
 Offers opportunities to perceive and process some piece
of language the learner might miss otherwise
Bob: So where’s Dave?
Tom: He vacation
Bob: He’s on vacation?
Tom: Yes, on vacation
 Non-native speaker participant in ‘negotiations for
meaning’ can use language items made available to
them by their native speaker interlocutors
 Facilitates acquisition because it connects input,
internal learner capacities, particularly selective
attention, and output in productive ways
There’s a pair of reading glasses above the plant
Glasses. Reading glasses to see the newspaper?
you wear them to see with, if you can’t see.
NNS: Ahh ahh glasses to read you say reading glasses.
 Learners who receive negative feedback, relating to
particular target language structures, can in some
circumstances be significantly advantaged when
later tested on those structures
 Feedback is a natural part of the conversation, not
as error correction
 Better than comprehension checks
Do you understand?
 Better than clarification requests
I’m sorry. I didn’t understand.
What was that?
 Problem in determining the extent to which such
exchanges result in learning or serve only as
negotiation for meaning with no consequent learning
 Does acknowledgement of understanding truly reflects
understanding at all?
the man…look for help
Uh-huh, for help.
Help, you know… “Aah! Help!” (shouts softly)
Yeah… He asked, ….he asked… a man… for… help.
 It was generally the case that morphosyntactic
feedback was not recognized, whereas lexical and
phonological feedback were more likely to be
 Morphosyntactic feedback is not noticed because
individuals focus on meaning, not on language form
 Typical in a conversational context
 Negotiation, recast, and feedback can vary in their
usefulness for acquisition
 This variation is related to the developmental stage
of the learner as well as to different areas of the
target language system (lexis, phonology, syntax,
 Many variables influence comprehension and
 amount and type of information
 extent to which learning is engaged in meaning
 indirect feedback
 the amount of effort that NS and NNS make to construct