The Role of Negotiation of Meaning in L2 Interactions:An Analysis from the Perspective of Long’s Interaction Hypothesis

Masrizal Masrizal


This study examines how negotiation of meaning contributes to second language interaction. The discussion  in  this  study  is  based on Michael H. Long’s 1996 Interaction Hypothesis suggesting that environment contributes to the development of second language acquisition. Long proposes that environmental contributions to acquisition are mediated by selective attention and the learner’s processing capacity during negotiation for meaning. To support this belief, recent empirical studies are also presented in this article. Three negotiation for meaning strategies are discussed in this study to mirror and provide evidence  for  Long’s proposal, including several  excerpts from  conversations  collected from daily natural conversations  and other recorded sources. The strategies include (1) clarification requests, (2) confirmation checks, and (3) comprehension checks. The study has been able to prove that learner’s L2 acquisition takes advantage  of environmental contributions mediated by selective attention and the learner’s developing L2 processing capacity brought together during negotiation of meaning.


Negotiation of meaning; Long's Interaction Hypothesis; Interaction

Full Text:



Ellis, R. (2003). Task-based language learning and teaching. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Fernández-García, M., & Martinez-Arbelaiz, A. (2002). Negotiation of meaning in non-native speaker - non--native speaker synchronous discussions. Calico Journal, 19(2): 279-284.

Gass, S. M., & Varonis, E. M. (1985a). Task variation and non-native / non-native negotiation of meaning. In S. M. Gass & C. G. Madden (Eds). Input in second language acquisition (pp. 149-161). Rowley, MA: Newbury House.

Gass, S. M., & Varonis, E. M. (1985b). Variation in native speaker speech modification to non-native speakers. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 7: 37-58.

Gass, S. M., & Varonis, E. M. (1994). Input, interaction, and second language production. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 16(3): 283-302.

Gass, S. M., Mackey, A., & Pica, T. (1998). The role of input and interaction in Second Language Acquisition, Introduction to the Special Issue. The Modern Language Journal, 82(3): 299-307.

Gass, S., Mackey, A., & Ross‐Feldman, L. (2005). Task‐based interactions in classroom and laboratory settings. Language Learning, 55(4): 575-611.

Hatch, E. (1978). Discourse analysis and second language acquisition. In E. Hatch (Ed). Second language acquisition: A book of readings (pp. 401–435). Rowley, MA: Newbury House.

Lee, L. (2001). Online interaction: Negotiation of meaning and strategies used among learners of Spanish. ReCALL, 13(2), 232-244.

Long, M. H. (1981). Input, interaction, and second‐language acquisition. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 379(1): 259-278.

Long, M. H. (1996). The role of linguistic environment in second language acquisition. In W. C. Ritchie, & T. K. Bhatia (Eds). Handbook of second language acquisition (pp. 413-468). San Diego: Academic Press.

Mackey, A. (1999). Input, interaction, and second language development. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 21(4): 557-587.

Mackey, A. (2007). Conversational interaction in second language acquisition: A series of empirical studies. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Mitchell, R., Myles, F., & Marsden, E. (2013). Second language learning theories, 3rd ed. New York: Routledge.

Oliver, R. (2002). The patterns of negotiation for meaning in children’s’ interactions. The Modern Language Journal, 86(1): 97-111.

Pica, T. (1987). Second-language acquisition, social interaction, and the classroom. Applied Linguistics, 8(1): 3-21.

Samuelsson, C., & Lyxell, B. (2013). Clarification requests in everyday interaction involving children with cochlear implants. Logopedics Phoniatrics Vocology, (Early Online): 1-9.


Article Metrics

Abstract view : 0 times
PDF - 0 times


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Print ISSN: 2355-2794, Online ISSN: 2461-0275

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

View Journal Stats