The Application of Contrastive Analysis in the Classroom

CHAPTER I

INTRODUCTION

 

1.1        Background

Language is a systematic means of communicating by the used of sounds or conventional symbols. Language is important. It is the expression of human communication through which our knowledge, belief, behavior can be experienced, explained, and shared with another. In the present global world, it is a vital for us to have an interaction more than ever with other countries, other cultures. For that reason, we need action and learning other countries languages and cultures. Therefore, we can compare and analyze them with our language, or it is known as contrastive analysis.

Contrastive analysis is usually called Anakon. It is an approach used for studying, especially for bilingual students. Anakon is different from Anakes (error analysis). These two concepts are actually different. However, they have the similar goal, that is, for bilingual students. Contrastive analysis or contrastive linguistic is one of the applied linguistics that analyzes and describes the comparison (equalities and differences) between source language (L1) and target language (L2).

Contrastive analysis includes all fields of linguistics such as phonology, semantics, syntax, morphology and pragmatics. It even seems that contrastive studies should rather be regarded as an approach, not as a branch of general linguistics. Most authors tend to distinguish between the so-called micro-linguistic and macro-linguistic features, the former comprising mainly the grammatical level and thus treating the sentence as the largest analysable unit, and the latter studying language in situation and context with emphasis on the communicative function. Throughout the history of contrastive studies great attention was paid to grammar and lexicon, whereas, the cultural aspects were largely neglected.

The aim of contrastive phonology is to contrast the phonetic sets of both languages and establish the differences. Another aspect, which is also to a certain extent linked with pragmatics, is intonation. Intonation, coupled with paraverbal means of communication like mime and gesture, can convey very different meanings and is often the source of misunderstanding between native and non-native speakers of a language. We often forget that in our mother tongue we are used to distinguish between tiny variations in intonation and we readily ascribe meanings to them, whereas in the foreign language the role of intonation and pronunciation in general is largely neglected.

Like most methodological approaches, the communicative approach to language teaching emphasises learning vocabulary items, but the focus is now on the function of vocabulary in the socio-cultural context. In investigating the lexicon of two languages with the object of contrasting them, we are sure to find certain aspects that require special attention.   There is another area where contrastive studies are of particular use, namely lexicography and the theory of lexicography. An interesting issue in this field is the study of universals, i.e. of concepts that do not differ across cultures and are shared by many different language systems. Unfortunately, the limits of this paper do not allow me to deal with these issues in more detail.

In contrasting the syntactic structures of two languages as different as Slovene and English, the former being case-based and the latter word-order-based, we inevitably encounter so many differences that an analysis without our having a particular purpose in mind hardly seems reasonable. The position of complements in an English sentence is fixed, but not so in Slovene, since grammatical relations can be expressed through the use of inflections, which accounts for many structural differences between the two languages. But there is another aspect of sentence structure that occurs in great variations across languages and should be compared, namely the order of elements according to their importance. Nearly all languages of the world can in some way or other make an item of information stand out in a sentence. The rules for the position of information items; for example new information at the end of the sentence, are quite firm and are intuitively obeyed by most speakers, even by non-natives. Still, this is an interesting area in which syntax and pragmatics overlap.

There is more to languages than grammar and words. If we are to master a language, we must not only know how to form phrases and sentences, but also how to form texts. This branch of linguistics is often referred to as discourse or register analysis and presents a rather new area of interest, at least compared to other levels of describing language (semantics, syntax etc.). This may seem surprising, as it is quite obvious that as there are rules for putting words together to form a sentence, there must be some kinds of rules for putting sentences together to form a text. If we randomly put ten sentences together, the odds that they will make a coherent and meaningful text are rather small.   The problem is that the rules for forming texts are not as explicit as grammatical rules, and they nearly always imply certain meta-textual factors, for example the situative context, cultural setting, the intentions of the speaker/writer and the expectations of the listener/reader, and many more. The task of contrastive text analysis and contrastive pragmatics is to compare these »rules« and factors and establish the differences, which can help learners of a language to communicate more efficiently. The mechanisms that generate meaning between sentences are complex and the rules for text composition very vague, but this is the very reason why we need to study them and compare them across languages. Viewed from this angle, contrastive text analysis and pragmatics may well be the most important levels of contrastive linguistics, especially with regard to language teaching.

 

1.2        Objectives

With this paper, hopefully the readers are able to know that, there are similarities and differences in learning another language. So, they can compare between their first language as their mother tongue (L1) and second language as target one (L2).

In addition, for the language teacher, can apply this technique and approach in teaching language, especially teaching bilingual students.

 

Contrastive analysis can help teachers to :

  1. Design teaching and learning materials (methodology)
  2. Engage learner in activities to be a good user of target language.(classroom activities)
  3. Evaluate text books.
  4. Pay attention to the structure of the texts beyond sentence level
  5. Pay attention to conversation in its regular pattern in different situations
  6. Pay attention to complex areas like intonation
  7. Pay attention to different underlying rules which differ from culture to culture


 

CHAPTER II

DISCUSSION

 

2.1    The Concepts of Contrastive Analysis

The concepts of contrastive analysis basically come from the concepts of contrastive linguistics, that is, a branch of applied linguistics. This branch of linguistic concepts and methodologies used limits for various purposes. Applied linguistic is the study of language and linguistics in relation to practical problem. Based on its position as a scientific approach to language teaching process, contrastive analysis finally has a place as an applied linguistics.

Robert Lado (1957:59) states that, based on the similarities and differences between  L1 and L2, then the level of students’ learning difficulties  can be divided in two, they are easy and difficult. Difficulties are concerning difficulties in the areas of phonology and structure.

 

2.2    Contrastive Analysis Hypotheses

2.2.1           Strong Version:

According to some of behavioral psychologists the principle of transfer is at work in learning. (transfer: affecting the first language on the second one)

Positive transfer

Transfer

 

Negative transfer

Positive transfer: 1) It occurs when the first language is similar to the second language. 2) The learner has no difficulty in learning language because what he has learned in the first language is positively transferred into the second one. 3) In positive transfer first language helps learning the second language.

Negative transfer: 1) It is problematic, because of interference of the first language on the second one. (It occurs when the first language is different from the second language). 2) Learning differences in language takes a lot of time energy. 3) The first learning inhibits (prevents) the second learning.

 

2.2.2           Weak Version

1)      This hypothesis believes that the principle of transfer is just valid for animal learning not human learning.

2)      In the learning of a second language, the native language of the student does not really” interfere” with his learning, but it plays as an “escape hatch” when the learner gets into trouble.

3)      This view point suggests that what will be most difficult for the learner is his lack of knowledge in the target language and his native language helps him in this regard.

 

 

 

2.2.3           Moderate Version

1)      This hypothesis believes in the affect of principle of stimulus generalization in the learning of a native or foreign language.

2)      This theory pays attention to the learner’s errors and tries to predict it.

3)      This theory says that : more difference between two languages, more easily to learn and internalize it. (Similarities make confusion to learn language.)

4)      This theory can predict and categorize a large number of errors in language resulting of overgeneralization of rules either in native or target language.

 

2.3    The Application of Contrastive Analysis in the Classroom

Contrastive Analysis means the comparison of two languages by paying attention to differences and similarities between languages being compared. For example, we compare Bahasa Indonesia and English.

In teaching and learning English as second language, contrastive analysis is really helpful for both the teachers and the students, because we will know the differences and similarities between source language (L1) and target language (L2). Therefore, it is easy for us to learn and adjust to the target language. So that, we do not incorporate the system of our source language to the target language, because each language has distinct system.

In applying contrastive analysis in the classroom, the teacher can use  linguistics aspects, they are:

2.3.1  Phonology

Phonology is the study of sounds distribution in a language and the interaction between those different sounds. The aim of contrastive phonology is to contrast the phonetic sets of both languages and establish the differences. These may lie in the pronunciation of a phoneme that occurs in both languages.

Examples:

Bahasa Indonesia

Vowels

a

i

u

e

o

 

 

English

Vowels

Long                                      Short

i: – cream, seen            ɪ – bit, silly

ʒ: – burn, firm             ɛ – bet, head

ɑ: – hard, far               æ . cat, dad

ɔ: – corn, faun            ɒ – dog, rotten

U: – boob, glue          ʌ – cut, nut

                ʊ – put, soot

                         ə – about, clever

 

 

 

2.3.2  Syntax

In linguistics, syntax means the study of the rules that govern the ways in which words combine to form phrases, clauses, and sentences. Syntax is one of the major components of grammar. In contrasting the syntactic structures of two languages as different as Bahasa Indonesia and English, the former being case-based and the latter word-order-based, we inevitably encounter so many differences that an analysis without our having a particular purpose in mind hardly seems reasonable. The position of complements in an English sentence is fixed, but not so in Bahasa, since grammatical relations can be expressed through the use of inflections, which accounts for many structural differences between the two languages.

Examples:

2.3.2.1        Phrase

Bahasa Indonesia

Rumah besar

Nenek saya

Pada pagi hari

Pada malam hari

English

Big house

My grandmother

In the morning

At night

 

In English phrases, adjectives precede nouns. Therefore, the law applied is MD (modifier-determiner). In the phrase ‘big house’ house is determiner and big is modifier, while Indonesia is vice versa, the law applied is DM (determiner-modifier). In the phrase “rumah besar’ the word ‘besar’ modifies ‘house’.

Possessive adjective (my) precedes noun (grandmother), preposition (in/at) based on its adverb of time while in Bahasa Indonesia, it’s only translated  ‘pada/di’.

 

2.3.2.2     Clause

Bahasa Indonesia

Adikku menari

Kakakku makan

Neneknya menangis

English

My sister dances

My brother eats

Her grandmother cries

His grandmother cries

 

2.3.2.3     Sentence

Sentences are utterances that have a minimal structure subject (S) and predicate (P) and the intonation indicates that the speech is complete with meaning.

According to its functions, components of sentence consists of Subject, Predicate, Object, Complement and Adverb. There are six basic forms of sentences in Indonesian and 7 in English as follows:

Bahasa Indonesia

  1. S – P
  2. S – P – O
  3. S – P – Pel
  4. S – P – Ket
  5. S – P – O – Pel
  6. S – P – O – Ket

 

English

  1. SV
  2. SVA
  3. SVC
  4. SVO
  5. SVOO
  6. SVOA
  7. SVOC

Note:

  1. SV  = Subject + Intransitive Verb

Someone is sleeping.

  1. SVA = Subject + Verb + Adverbial complement

My parents are living in Chicago.

  1. SVC = Subject + Linking Verb + Subject Complement

I feel tired.

  1. SVO = Subject + Transitive Verb + Direct Object

We have finished our work.

  1. VOO = Subject + Transitive Verb + Indirect Object + Direct Object

She has given me the letter.

  1. SVOA = Subject + Transitive Verb + Direct Object + Adv Complement

He put hiscoat in my bedroom.

  1. SVOC =Subject+Transitive Verb + Direct Object + Object Complement

You have made me very happy.

 

 

  1. SP = Subjek + Predikat (verba intransitif)

Saya mahasiswa.

  1. SPO = Subjek + Predikat (verba transitif)+ Objek

Ayahnya membeli mobil baru.

  1. SPPel = Subjek + Predikat (verba transitif)+ Pelengkap

Beliau menjadi ketua koperasi.

  1. SPKet = Subjek + Predikat (verba transitif)+ Keterangan

Kami tinggal di Jakarta.

  1. SPOPel = Subjek + Predikat (verba transitif) + Objek + Pelengkap

Dia mengirimi ibunya uang.

  1. SPOKet = Subjek + Predikat  (verba transitif) + Objek + Keterangan

Pak Taufik menyimpan uang di bank.

 

If we see further, the basic sentences in Indonesia language and English are not much different in patterns. The differences are only in rules.

 

2.3.2.4     Tenses

Tenses are the system of grammatical rules in English that related to verbs. There are four basic tenses which can be contrasted with Bahasa Indonesia. They are:

English

  1. Simple Present Tense

-          They study English

-          She studies English

-          They do not study English

-          She does not study English

-          Do they study English?

-          Does she study English?

Bahasa Indonesia

-          Mereka belajar Bahasa Inggris

-          Dia belajar Bahasa Inggris

-          Mereka tidak belajar Bhs Inggris

-          Dia tidak belajar Bhs Inggris

-          Apakah  mereka belajar Bhs Inggris?

-          Apakah dia belajar Bhs Inggris?

 

In English, if the subject is ‘third singular person’ the verb must be added –s/-es at the back, while in Bahasa is unchanged. Pronouns of third singular person is clearly mentioned, ‘she’ for women and ‘he’ for man, while in Bahasa is only mentioned ‘dia’ in both woman and man.

 

  1. Present Continuous Tense

-          They are studying English.

-          She is writing a story.

-          I am listening to the song.

 

-       Mereka sedang belajar Bhs Inggris.

-       Dia sedang menulis sebuah cerita.

-       Saya sedang mendengar lagu.

 

In present continuous tense, it’s added to be (am, is, are) and verb-ing. To be ‘am’ is only for subject ‘I’, ‘is’ for third singular person, and ‘are’ for plural subjects. In Bahasa, it is translated with ‘sedang’.

  1. Present Perfect Tense

-          They have studied English.

-          She has written a story.

 

-       Mereka telash belajar Bahasa Inggris.

-       Dia telah menulis sebuah surat.

The Present Perfect is added Auxiliaries ‘Has’ is attached to the single subject and ‘Have’ in the plural Subject. While the verb is the verb form of the third or commonly called as the past participle. If it is a regular verb then it’s just added -ed as in Walked, talked, studied, etc., And if the verb is irregular, we must know its past participle form as in bring-Brought, eat- eaten, write-written etc. In Bahasa, it is translated as ‘telah’ or ‘baru saja’.

  1. Simple Past Tense

-          They studied English.

-          She wrote a story.

 

-          Mereka belajar Bahasa Inggris.

-          Dia menulis sebuah surat.

 

The verb that is used in this tense is second form. If the verb is regular, it is only added -ed such as in walked, talked, etc., and if the verb is irregular, we must know the form of its past tense as in write-wrote, eat-ate, etc. On the negative sentence is added auxiliary ‘Did’ and ‘not’ after the subject of both Single and Plural. In Bahasa Indonesia, it is translated  ‘dulu’.


 

CHAPTER III

CONCLUSION & SUGGESTION

 

3.1     Conclusion

Contrastive Analysis means the comparison of two languages by paying attention to differences and similarities between languages being compared. In teaching and learning English as second language, contrastive analysis is really helpful for both the teachers and the students, because we will know the differences and similarities between mother tongue (L1) and foreign language (L2).

There are several aspects of contrastive analysis that can be used in the classroom. They are Phonology, Semantics, Syntax, and Text analysis and pragmatics.

3.2.1        Similarities

After having explored further, it indicated that there are some similarities, especially in a pattern of sentences in both English and Indonesian such as subject +  transitive verb.

3.2.2        Differences

Differences in Indonesian and English languages in the syntactic level are as follows:

  1. The Indonesian phrases are applicable law on the DM and the English phrases is MD.
  2. Third singular person in English is clearly refers to the female (She) or male (He), while the Indonesian less clear because the mere mention of ‘dia ‘ men and women.
  3. The verbs and the subjects in English  are changed according to tenses
  4. Adding Auxiliaries Do, Does, and Did Not in a negative sentence depend on the subject. While in Indonesian language is only added the word ‘tidak‘ in negative sentences.

 

3.2     Suggestion

For all the teachers and the students, using contrastive analysis is very useful and effective in learning foreign language. Because by using contrastive analysis, we can compare between our mother tongue and foreign language that we learn. I do hope for the lecturer who teaches this lesson to pay attention more, because it is an important thing that should be known by the target language learners.

 

 

REFERENCES

 

Abdi, Nasril. Contrastive Analysis and  Error Analysis. Article. Language Department.

Ahmed, Istiaque. 2006. Contrastive Analysis of Teaching Methods Implemented in Schools of Dhaka. Thesis. BRAC university, Dhaka. Bangladesh.

Febrianty, Fenny. 2010.  Pendekatan Analysis Kontrastif dalam Pengajaran Sakubun Level dasar. Makalah. Universitas Bina Nusantara

Djunaidi, A. 1987. Pengembangan Materi Pengajaran Bahasa Inggris Berdasarkan Pendekatan Linguistik Kontrastif (Teori dan Praktek). Jakarta: Dirjen Dikti, PPLPTK.

Lado, Robert. 1968. Linguistic Across Culture: Applied Lingustic for Language Teacher. An Arbor: University of Michigan Press.

Sanga, Felysianus.  2008. Analisis Kontrastif mengatasi kesulitan guru Bahasa.  E-Journal.

 


 

 

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