Rabu, 25 Agustus 2010

Article_EFL Classroom Research



Abstract: This study aims at investigating the verbal actions the students perform when they join the course of Translation I in EFL (English as a Foreign Language) classroom and how they behave in relation to their teacher and among peers in such EFL class. It focuses on describing the students’ verbal actions and the interaction patterns occuring during the classroom interaction. This is a classroom-based research using an observational case study as its design. The subjects of the study are undergraduate students of the English Department, FKIP Muhammadiyah University Jember. To collect the data, a non-participant observation was used. Discourse Analysis, and Qualitative Interaction Analysis were used to analyize the data. The results of the study reveal that the students' verbal actions tend to form four moves, each of which has different types of verbal actions on the basis of the purposes the students intend to do. The four moves are 1) Soliciting Move; 2) Responding Move; 3) Reacting Move, and 4) Bidding Move. Meanwhile, there are five patterns of interaction found in the classroom process, i.e. 1) Teacher class interaction with verbal response; 2) Teacher class interaction with non verbal response; 3) Teacher student with verbal response; 4) Teacher student with non verbal response; 5) Teacher student Teacher interaction.
Key Words: Verbal Action, interaction pattern, EFL Classroom.

After for a long time having been preoccupied with a "traditional" research in which the basic concern is issue within the researcher's perspective centers, applied linguistics researchers (e.g. Rounds, 1996; Polio, 1996; Kuiper and Plough, 1996; Markee, 1996, Larsen Freeman, 1996) started to talk about, and do the classroom-based researches (Cf. Sato, 1982; Saville Troike, 1984; Pica and Doughty, 1985; Day, 1984, 1985). An increasing attempt in investigating what is really going on in the classroom seems to be the focus of such a research. The types and quantities of instructional and non instructional tasks, the relative amounts of participation by the teacher and the students, and the functions and forms of language in the interaction, (Chaudron, 1988), among other things, are issues under the intensive investigation of the classroom-based research. At the same moment, various personality, attitudinal, cognitive, and other individual or social factors which are thought of to influence observable classroom behaviors are investigated as well. Thus, the ultimate goal of such a research is to identify those characteristics of classrooms leading to the efficient learning of the instructional content. The student classroom behavior is one of the general issues concerning the effectiveness and efficiency of the classroom instruction.

Researches on such issue have been done focusing on the students' verbal and social interactions. For example, a research conducted by Sato (1982) investigated cultural differences in learners' classroom production. This research was conducted in two university ESL classes, trying to find out the different turn taking styles of Asian and non Asian students. She found that Asians as a group took significant fewer self selected turns than non Asians, with the Asians adhering more strictly to a pattern of bidding for turns in class instead of just speaking out. To know the students classroom behavior leads us to the further investigation of the contribution of the learners to Second Language Acquisition. An attempt to such investigation is of primary importance in the area of Second Language Acquisition because in the classroom language learners can develop their L2 in three ways, i.e. by producing the target language more frequently, more correctly, and in a wider circumstances, by generating input from others, and by engaging in communicative tasks that require negotiation of meaning (Chaudron, 1988). That is why, researches on the students' behavior in the classroom are getting more important to conduct, especially being conducted in classroom based designs in order to know exactly what really happens with such behavior in the classroom.

This notion is in line with the concept brought by the American philosopher, John Dewey, in his populer concept of “the theory of social constructivist”. The idea of this tenet is that there is a triangular relationship for the social construction of ideas among the individual, the community, and the world. In Dewey’s view, learners do not learn in isolation; the individuals learn by being parts of the surrounding community and the world as a whole (Rebecca, 1997). That is why in the constructivist model, learners bring with them prior knowledge and beliefs; learners then construct what they learn and deepen their knowledge by shared experiences; and learners and teachers learn from each other. Thus, teachers look for signals from learners so that they may facilitate understanding. Related to this concept, in terms of language learning and teaching, it is quite an illusion that we ignore the issues of immediate linguistic and socio-educational environments, culture, community, etc. The fact of the matter is that such issues in a great extent influence the language learning. That is why, researchers taking an interactionist stance naturally also recognize the importance of environmental factors, such as the social and linguistic roles played by caregivers, teachers, siblings, and peers in providing language input (Larsen-Freeman & Long, 1991).

This study is a classroom based research conducted in a 'Translation I' course, one of the courses established by the English Department, FKIP, Muhammadiyah University Jember. This study aims at investigating the verbal actions the students perform when they have a 'Translation I' course in the EFL classroom and how they behave in relation to their teacher and among peers, that is to say how they form interaction patterns in such an EFL class. This study does not search the teacher's talk, though it cannot be away from the researcher's observation, Thus, the main focus of the study are two things, i.e. students' talk and interaction patterns. The following are research questions which are formulated based on the background above:
1. What verbal actions do the students perform during the classroom interaction?
2. What patterns of interactions occur during the classroom interaction?

This is a classroom based research, using an observational case study. This research was conducted in classroom setting of 'Translation I' course in the English Department, FKIP, Universitas Muhammadiyah Jember. The events investigated were limited to the students' verbal actions and interaction patterns taking place in 'Translation I” class.

The procedures suggested by Miles and Huberman (1983) was used in this study. The first step was the Data Collection, in which the researcher was collecting the raw data from the transcription and fieldnotes. Secondly, on the basis of the collected data, the researcher was creating categories and classifying these data into such categories (i.e. Data reduction), and the patterns can be found afterward. Next, the classified patterns can be displayed in the Data Display. Finally, the patterns were analyzed to identify the verbal actions and interaction patterns.

The data of this research are verbal interactions which were taken from the transcriptions and fieldnotes. Those data were collected through recording and observing the class interactions. The recording was done during the teaching learning process. Sony Stereo Cassette Corder CFS 1000S tape recorder was used to record the data. The tape recorder was placed in the researcher's pocket, which the students were not aware of. Furthermore, the teacher did not tell the students that they were under the research recording.

During the recording process, non participant observation was done in order to allow the researcher to write fieldnotes in which non linguistic features (i.e. hand-raising, gestures, etc) can be detected. In this case, the researcher was present in the classroom but did not interact either with the students or the teacher during the teaching learning process.

The subjects of the research were undergraduate students taking "Translation I" course in the third semester of their study in the English Department of FKIP, Universitas Muhammadiyah Jember. There were approximately 43 students in the classroom.

Those data collected were analyzed to identify the verbal actions of he students and the interaction patterns occurred in the classroom. Discourse Analysis (Coulthard, 1977) and Qualitative Interaction Analysis (van Lier, 1988) were used to analyze the data.


This study aims at describing the verbal actions the students perform during the classroom and the patterns of interactions occuring during the classroom interaction. Thus, the aspects discussed in the results of the study are the verbal action and interaction patterns found in the classroom.

Students' Verbal Actions

It is found that the students' verbal actions tend to form four moves each of which has different types of verbal actions on the basis of the purposes the students intend to do. The four moves are 1) Soliciting Move; 2) Responding Move; 3) Reacting Move, and 4) Bidding Move. The following parts are the presentation of each.

Soliciting Move
Soliciting Move is a move where the students intend to evoke teacher's responses. This move occurs when the students feel unclear about the lesson discussed so that they want the teacher to clarify the unclear parts. This move consists of three types, i.e. 1) eliciting for clarification, 2) eliciting for comprehension, and 3) eliciting for confirmation.

Eliciting for Clarification It is a verbal action that is meant to evoke the teacher's response for the sake of the students' clarification of unclear parts of the lesson discussed.

T :OK, remember, the pairs of the alternative parts. Jadi di atas ada pasangan pasangan  Literal and faithful .... What is literal?
LLL : Silent
T : In Indonesian, it is arti harfiah.
F :Kata per kata nya, pak!
T :Ya Word by word.

Eliciting for Comprehension
It is a verbal action which is intended to evoke the teacher's response for comprehending the discussed lesson. This occurs when the students want to understand fully the discussed lesson.

T : In Indonesia it is arti harfiah.
F : Kata per kata nya, pak?
T : Ya Word by word.
M : Etymology!
T : Yeah

Eliciting for Confirmation
It is a verbal action that aims at calling up the teacher's response for confirming something. This occurs when the students want to make sure what they have already understood.

T : So, that answer is incorrect…OK another?…another opinion? No?!So, everyone agrees with the answer?
M : Sir, [raising hand] "Ririn menyanyikan sebuah lagu dengan indah /merdu
F : Betul!
T : Yes, .., that's right.
T : OK very beautifully, remember, very beautifully.
LL : Adverb!
T : Yeah, adverb. So?

Responding Move
Responding Move is a move where the students intend to respond the teacher's eliciting. This move occurs when the students answer the teacher's questions. Based on the way this move occurs, there are three types of responding move, i.e. a) choral response; b) sub group of class response; and c) individual response.
Choral Response is is a verbal action done by the students in the classroom altogether. Usually this verbal action occurs when the question is easy so that all students can answer, leading to the choral answers.

T : The singing ... or the song?
LLL : The singing ... xx ... menyanyi nya.
T : So . . that answer is incorrect ... OK, another? Another opinion? ... No?! So, everyone agrees with the answer?

Sub group of class Response means a verbal action don by some students of the class at a particular time. It happens when some of the students can answer the teacher's questions while some other cannot.

T : OK, listen! "Ririn menyanyikan lagu yang Indah" yang indah ini
menyanyi nya atau lagu nya?
LL : Lagu nya.
M : Menyanyi nya.

Individual Response is a verbal action done by an individual student. This happens when an individual student can answer the question without being followed by other students.

T : Dasar?! No ... that's the first one ... principal? M Headmaster
T : Yes, that's the same with headmaster

Reacting Move
Reacting Move is a move where the students intend to modify (by clarifying, synthesizing or expanding) and/or to rate (positively or negatively) what has been said previously. This verbal action can happen after the teacher's eliciting, informing action or the other students' responding actions. Usually, it is used for acceptance, objection, correction or rejection.
T : Maupun ... atau ... the other?
F : I don't know.
M : Sabani makan sate juga soto.
F : Lo ... negatif kan.

Bidding Move
Bidding Move is a move where the student's verbal action is meant to signify a desire to speak. This is about the way the students start to speak. There are two types of bidding, i.e. 1) by asking permission to speak; and 2) by calling the teacher.

Bidding by asking permission to speak

T : ... and "should possess the style of the translation". What is possess?
M : Excuse me, possess apa process, sir?
F : Mempunyai
T : Possess ….. possessive, possess… memiliki.

Bidding by calling the teacher

T : So, ... That answer, is incorrect, OK, another? Another opinion? No?! Everyone agrees with the answer?
M : Sir, ... "Ririn menyanyikan sebuah lagu dengan indahnya/merdu".
LL : Betuul!

Interaction Pattern
By considering who initiates and participates in the classroom process as a category in the data analysis, it is found that there are five patterns of interaction occurred in the classroom process. The five interaction patterns are 1) Teacher class interaction with verbal response; 2) Teacher class interaction with non verbal response; 3) Teacher student with verbal response; 4) Teacher student with non verbal response 5) Teacher student Teacher interaction.

Teacher Class Interaction Pattern

Teacher class interaction consists typically of two types, i.e. teacher class interaction with verbal responses and teacher class interaction with non verbal responses. This pattern is an eliciting exchange in which the teacher's question is followed by the students' choral answers both verbally and non verbally. Thereby, the interaction between the teacher and the class happens.

T : The singing ... or the song?
LLL : The singing ... xx ... menyanyi nya. (T C Interaction with verbal responses)
T : Kalau principal [writing down the word "principal" and "principle" on the whiteboard] Like this? ... What is it?
LLL : [silent]
(T C Interaction with non verbal responses)

Teacher Student Interaction Pattern
Similarly, teacher student interaction consists typically of two types, namely, teacher student interaction with verbal responses and teacher student interaction with non verbal responses. An eliciting exchange occurs in this interaction, producing the pattern in which the teacher's question is followed by the student's answer individually both in verbal or non verbal forms of answer.

T : Dasar?! ... No, ... that's the first one ... principal?
M : Headmaster.
(Teacher student interaction with verbal response)
T : All right, number seven
A translation should read as a contemporary of the original" What is contemporary? Fatoni?
MI : [silent]
(Teacher student interaction with non verbal response).

Teacher Student Teacher Interaction Pattern
This pattern occurs when the teacher's question is followed by the students' answer, which is then followed by the teacher's comments toward that answer. Or, it happens when the student's answer is not appropriate or correct, so that the teacher needs to correct the answer or elicit other answers from other students.

T : Dasar?! ... No, ... that's the first one ... principal?
M : Headmaster.
T : Yes, that's the same with headmaster. So, you remember? This is Kepala Sekolah [pointing to the word "principal"] and that one is ... prinsip [pointing the word "principle"]. Jadi, ini adalah dasar dasar. You study about The Principle of Translation.


Students' Verbal Actions

It is obvious that the findings of this study show us four moves in the classroom where we can find different types of students' verbal actions. First, soliciting move consists of three types of verbal actions, i.e. 1) eliciting for clarification, 2) eliciting for comprehension, and 3) eliciting for confirmation. Second, responding move includes such verbal actions as choral response, sub group of class response and individual response. Third, reacting move contains responding for acceptance, objection, correction or rejection. Fourth, bidding move where two ways of signifying a desire to speak are used, i.e. by asking permission to speak and by calling the teacher.

It is not surprising to see the fact that there are various moves in the classroom interaction because the class consists of several components potential to form conversational interaction among peers and between teacher-students. This phenomena hinges on what the so-called “scaffolding”, the terms derrived from the cognitive psychology and L1 research applied in L2 acquisition. In L2 acquisition, scaffolding refers to the provision through conversation of linguistic structures that promote a learner’s recognition or production of those structures or associated forms. This aids learners in gradually incorporating portion of sentences, lexical items, reproducing sounds, etc., in meaningful ways rather than in mechanical repetition or lengthy monoloques.

Interactive features of classroom behavior such as turn-taking, questioning and answering, negotiation of meaning, etc., are of great importance in terms of language acquisition. Therefore, the appearance of the variation of moves and interaction patterns in EFL class gives positive impact in the process of L2 learning.

Furthermore, these findings confirm what Flanders (1970) in Choulthard (1977) mentioned in the "ten categories" as the basic system in classroom interaction. Flanders (1970) identified ten categories based on the analysis of the classroom interaction. The ten categories can be divided into seven for teacher talk, two for pupil talk and one for silence or confusion.

Of the four moves, two moves are in line with what Flanders (1970) called pupil response, that is, soliciting move and responding move; meanwhile the other two moves which belong to pupil initiation are reacting move and bidding move.

It is apparent that the four moves that the students form in the findings of this research are one of the ways learners develop their L2. By making responses and initiations, according to Chaudron, (1988), the students under the investigation develop their L2 by producing the target language more frequently, more correctly (since the teacher will correct them when they make an error/s), and , of course, in wider circumstances. At the same time, the initiation to produce the target language is the behavior in which the notion of input generation can be measured (Chaudron, 1988).

Interaction Pattern

The findings in terms of the patterns of interaction in this study is that there are five types of interaction pattern, i.e. 1) Teacher class interaction with verbal response; 2) Teacher class interaction with non verbal response; 3) Teacher student interaction with verbal response; 4) Teacher student interaction with non¬verbal response; and 5) Teacher student Teacher interaction.

According to Philips (1972) in van Lier (1988), there are four participation structures found in the classroom in terms of speaker audience relationships, leading to the conclusion that these are important characteristics in L2 classroom. The four participation structures are 1) Teacher Whole class; 2) Teacher – Group, 3) Teacher Individual learner; and 4) Group by itself.

The interaction patterns found in this study are in line with what Philips (1972) revealed. However, of the five types of interaction patterns, pattern number 5 (i.e. teacher student teacher interaction pattern) does not confirm exactly with the findings found by Philips. Basically, somehow this particular pattern can be included in what Philips (1,972) called Teacher - individual learner pattern though in different version.

It is worth noting that conversation and instructional exchange between teachers and students provide the best opportunities for the learners to exercise target language skills and get useful feedback (Chaudron, 1988). The five types of interaction patterns as shown in the findings of this research indicate how the students make conversation and instructional exchange with their teacher. This, of course, provide a chance for the students to practice their target language skills. It is obvious that the students in using the target language for practice in the classroom will obtain much feedback from the teacher for they make interaction with the teacher.


It is apparent that there are variations of verbal actions done by the students during the interaction in the 'Translation I” class in the English Department, FKIP, Universitas Muhammadiyah Jember. These variations are consistent after they are compared to other findings from different researchers. There are also variations of interaction patterns occurs in the 'Translation I' class in the English Department, FKIP, Universitas Muhammadiyah Jember. This finding is also consistent after compared to other research findings. Students' verbal actions and interaction patterns are availability of authentic TL input and opportunities in L2 classroom since greater exposure to the target language (TL) inside the classroom can be gained by the L2 learners. Students' verbal actions and interaction patterns can be seen as exposure to authentic language activities and input of foreign language classroom,


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Selasa, 24 Agustus 2010

article_EFL writing



Mulawarman University

Abstract: The hybrid nature of culture which has emerged as a result of postmodern world brings about considerable interaction, borrowing, and fusion between cultures and communicative genres. In such situation, there is erosion of national boundaries, greater multilingualism, and fluidity in identity; hence an absolute construct of particular culture is getting blurred. Consequently, the term “native identity” has come to a “blurring spot” in the sense that it will be simply awkward to hold firmly one’s native identity when multilingualism has become norm. This is a research report aiming to look at the pedagogy of negotiation strategies in shuttling between languages done by Indonesian multilingual writers.

Key Words: Negotiation model, Contrastive Rhetoric, Multilingual, Monolingual, Second Language Writing, Pedagogy.

Recent criticism on contrastive rhetoric for its reductionist, deterministic, prescriptive, and essentialist orientation (Leki, 234-44; Spack, 765-774; Zamel, 341-352) has brought a new fashion leading to polarize the view on contrastive rhetoric. The so called “traditional view (Kachru, “Contractive Rhetoric in”, 21-31: Kachru, “Culture, Context and”, 75-89) of rhetoric reduced English rhetoric to normative patterns taken from the expectation of the native speaker, arguing that differences in pragmatic or rhetorical expectations may hinder the effective written communication. Accordingly, some researchers who hold this view as ideological lenses in their interpretation (e.g. Kaplan, 605; Wahab, 35; Hyland, 37; Kamimura, 47-69; Sulityaningsih, 134; Ngadiman, 6; Harjanto, 2; Cahyono, 98-108; Budiharso, 5) assume that rhetorical deviations from such native rhetorical norm are seen as signs of unproficiency or interference. On the contrary, the “new rhetoric” view (see Canagarajah, “Critical Academic Writing”, 211-235; Kubota and Lehner, 7-27; Jenkins, 22; Canagarajah, “Negotiating the Local”, 197-218; Graddol, 18) argues that such rhetorical deviations from normative should not be considered as signs of unproficiency or interference for the bi/multilingual writers, but as rhetorical repertoires that could become critical/alternate discourse. The current study sheds a light on thought patterns of the Indonesian-English bilingual writers shuttling between two languages while they are writing personal letters.


With the extensive globalization of information and communication, writing in such genre as letters for readers from disparate language and cultural backgrounds is becoming a reality for more and more people. People probably write letters to friends, to families, to their teachers who write to them, or to their publishers. In these activities, they enjoy the opportunity to put down on paper their thoughts and feelings that may be awkward to express them over other media. Some ideas have been put to give adequate answers to the basic questions about letter. For instance, as either expressive or persuasive discourse (Kinneavy, 120), letter is defined as a written or printed message put in a paper sent by a person to another directly or via post (Collin Cobuild Dictionary, 824). Although only one person (i.e. the writer) would be involved in writing letter, a form of dialogue might be employed in this kind of communication. Therefore, Baugh (90) emphasized on recipient-based rather than simply on writer-based in communicating via letter. Furthermore, (Bly, 23) who preferred to use the word “correspondence” to term “letter writing” emphasized on the state of it in the era of internet. In this case, (Bly, 15) stated “the internet has revolutionized the speed at which we communicate, and the ease of getting your message into the hands of other people. But it hasn’t – at least not yet – dramatically altered the English language”.

In regard with how letter is classified, among theorists of correspondence there has been no exact agreement on the division of letter. (Bly, 20) makes three distinctions in regard with how people make correspondence, i.e. 1) personal correspondence, 2) career and employment correspondence, and 3) general business correspondence. Using different terminologies, Baugh (98) similarly divides the correspondence into three, i.e. 1) personal correspondence, 2) employment letter, and 3) consumer action letter. Apparently, these two divisions of correspondence rely on the same basic criteria, i.e.1) the subject/topic of the letter, 2) audiences of the letter, and 3) purposes of the letter. Personal correspondence which is basically aimed to strengthen social bond between writers and readers tends to focus on needs, interest, desire, etc as the subject usually incorporated in the correspondence. General business correspondence (Bly, 56), or consumer action letter (Baugh, 24), which usually accommodates the subjects of product, document, reports, etc, has the main objective of keeping a relationship on a strictly professional between writers and readers. Meanwhile, career and employment (Bly, 56) or employment letter (Baugh, 35) which is defined as a personal correspondence to a potential employer, usually mailed with a copy of resume, may capsulate both business and personal subjects since it accommodates either personal as well as business matters. It implies that this kind of correspondence stands in between in the sense that it could be classified into either “business” or “personal”, if a clear distinction between “business” and “personal” letter is made. Moreover, Alexander (15) proposes two divisions of letter, i.e. 1) business letters which are made on either business or social situation, incorporating subjects such as: inquiries, quotations, and offers; sales and changes in business; counter-proposals and concessions; dispatches, packing and transport; payment and reminders; and complaints, and 2) personal letters which are made in the social situation, covering such subjects as appointment and travel arrangement; invitation, employment (including an application letter); and goodwill letters.

Concerning with thought pattern, letter genre seemingly reflects it in the body (i.e. opening, middle, and closing paragraphs), where the writer exactly generates flow of his/her ideas. Such thought pattern is in line with the convention of English composition that similarly requires three main clusters of ideas to build up a good essay, i.e. the introduction, the body, and the conclusion (see Sullivan, 97; Oshima and Hogue, 85; Irmscher, 87; Baugh, 90; Smalley et al, 28; Sullivan, 16; and Wilbers, 67).


Negotiation Model is a model developed by (Canagarajah, “Toward A Writing Pedagogy”, 589 – 604). It has been presented to change the traditional approach dominated by the monolingualist assumption in conceptualizing second language writing with bi/multilingual learners. In this model, the proponent called for at least three important perspectives in regard with the concepts of studying bi/multilingual writing. Firstly, it views bi/multilingual writing as not in a static manner, but more as the movement of the writer between languages. Secondly, it argues that since writing is not only a product, but also a process of composing in multiple languages, the analysis of text should focus more on the writers’ versatility and context change in communication. Thirdly, it asserts that the writers should be treated as agentive shuttling creatively between discourses to achieve their communicative objectives. The model can be presented as follows.

Diagram 1: Negotiation Model (Canagarajah, “Toward A Writing Pedagogy”, 590)

Adopting this model as the theoretical framework, in the current study, three perspectives were employed to do the analysis. Firstly, researcher looked at the bilingual writing in a more dynamic manner in the sense that he observed the movements of the writers (i.e. the participants) between L1 (i.e. Indonesian) and FL (i.e. English) when they are writing letters in both their L1 and FL. Secondly, he argued that the writers of the letters are in the process of composing in more than one language since they bilingual persons. Consequently, the analysis was subject to context change of communication performed by the writers to either English-native and/or Indonesian-native interlocutors. Finally, he viewed the participants as agents shuttling creatively between discourses to achieve their communicative objectives.



From the exploratory study conducted prior to the main study, two scholars from different educational and occupational backgrounds were selected as participants, as they were tabulated below.

Table 1: Tabulation of the participants in the current study

No. Subject Sex Age Education Status

1 YA Female 32 Undergraduate Diploma Lecturer at the department of English

2 CL Male 51 Graduate Diploma Lecturer at the department of English

The first participant (YA) was a university teaching staff who had an experience to teach at the department of English in one of outstanding private universities in Indonesia for approximately 5 years and who had an experience of teaching Indonesian language to many different foreign students in her university. The second participant (CL), also a university teaching staff, is an experienced lecturer at the department of English in a Indonesian university. He has been teaching for more than 25 years and got English Master Degree from an Australian university and experienced to teach Indonesian language in many countries. At the time this research has been in progress, CL has been working for his Ph.D. dissertation.


Data were collected and analyzed to develop a descriptive model that encompassed all cases of the phenomena taken from the thought patterns as reflected in the participants’ letters of English as well as Indonesian which were collected in two ways: semi-authentic, a technique in which my intervention as a researcher was involved in the process of data elicitation, that is to say the participants produced the data after they were stimulated to respond the letters under my initiation as well as a native speaker whom the researcher worked with, and authentic ways, a technique of data elicitation where the data were produced by the participants without my intervention i.e. the collections of participants’ letters that were written either during the research time or before the research time.


The procedures of data analysis were in the following steps. First, after data were collected, researcher focused, simplified, abstracted and transformed the raw data to find out the thought patterns reflected in both English and Indonesian letters. He described the thought patterns reflected in those letters from the data sources (i.e. data reduction). The following step was a data display, where he showed the organized assembly of information taken from the data reduction. The last step was a conclusion, allowing him to draw the meaning of the findings, and generate substantial theories. Moreover, in interpreting the data, Hallidyan Approach (Halliday, 99) was used, i.e. the analysis of context which is broken down into field, tenor, and mode. In addition, Canagarajah’s negotiation model also was as my approach in interpreting data. In this case, view of postmodern dominated my interpretation in the current study. In short, negotiation strategies of shuttling between two languages were in fact seen in mode level, however, field, and tenor level cannot be separated from the analysis as means of understanding contexts of situation (Canagarajah, “Toward a Writing Pedagogy”, 589 – 604).


1. Participant YA:

In developing the introduction section, YA fulfills western conventions by making opening paragraphs in line with the Anglo-Saxon fashion in both English and Indonesian letters. Opening paragraphs, according to Anglo-Saxon convention, is a part where the writer began his/her letter with the first words, whose primary function is simply to provide a backdrop against which to interpret the rest of the letter. It is usually brief and clear, establishing the purpose of the letter, containing important initial information that he/she wants to present. In the following excerpts, obviously we can see how YA shows us her opening paragraphs describing exactly what she achieves in the introductory sections.

In Excerpt YA-1, for instance, YA begins her letter with a question of her reader’s present condition which is expressed in a single paragraph consisting of four sentences. This four-sentence paragraph presents an initial talk which lets the reader’s attention alert of their next talking before he immediately switches the main topic in the discussion of politic issues that actually is intended to answer the previous letter asking about how is the political news in Indonesia.

Excerpt YA-1:


How is everything? It seems you enjoy your time, being at home again? You know there is a new native teacher at my Campus. His name is David from Canada. He said that his family is from States but moved to the US.


Political problems, huh? Still unsatisfying , I think. Lots of critics for the president have been emerging in daily newspapers. I heard complaints from the people in public transportation (while taking them to my work place), in a conversation I caught in food stalls or warung, and saying written in the street pamphlets... the prices..the justice..the poverty…sometimes I wonder where they lead this country to. I read an article in Asiaweek talking about whose to blame for all the happenings in Indonesia..Elite politicians in Jakarta? Well, I just keep my fingers crossed.


Best wishes.

This is YA’s answer to the questions in her email sent to reply her overseas friend’s previous email. YA considers this friend as “online friend” whom she never meet. They are close friends in the sense that they very often make online chatting. The contents of their letters mostly discuss current political issues in Indonesia.

In her Indonesian letters, YA writes excerpt YA-2 where we can find typical opening of her Indonesian letter. YA develops a brief opening in which she congratulates the reader’s success and asks about the showroom. This is an initial talk which functions to break a hole for further conversation. Next, in a single paragraph, she continues to convey information on her two new friends from other countries. She expresses her pride of having these friends to the reader who is an Indonesian.

Excerpt YA-2:



Wah, tambah sukses ya, bakulannya ? hehehe….Selamat deh. Boleh..Tapi…Showroom-nya di mana?


Terus, teman baru juga dapat dua: satu Bapak Belanda yang buaaaaiiiiik banget dan satu lagi Mas Swiss yang keren. Bapak Cornelis itu sudah sering ke Indonesia bahkan bisa bahasa Indonesia dan sedikit Jawa. Mas Rob seorang akuntan dan sangat tertarik untuk belajar bahasa Indonesia (aku Bantu dia dikit-dikit). Mungkin dia bakal ke sini dalam waktu dekat! Nah, Coba bingung nggak tuh? Siapa lagi kalau bukan Aku. Tapi senang juga kok punya teman banyak. Benar ya, ke Malang? Aku tunggu. Soale aku terus terang sibuk di “markas” nih. Banyak anak Jepang untuk belajar bahasa Indonesia.


Keep in Touch,


English Translation:

[Hello Congratulation for your successful business? Good! But may I know where your showroom is? (Opening section)

Well, I got two new friends: a nice old guy from Dutch and a good looking young guy from Switzerland. Do you still remember Mr. Cornelis? He often comes to Indonesia; even he can speak Indonesian and a little bit speak Javanese. About Rob, he is an accountant and is interested to learn to speak Indonesian (I tried to help him). He might come to Indonesia soon! Look, you must be wondering who handles all these guests! Me again, right! But don’t worry, I would be very pleased to have more friends. So, you have to visit Malang soon! I am waiting for you. You know, at present I have lots of works to do in my office. Many Japanese come to Indonesia for learning Indonesian language (Middle section)

Keep in touch, (closing section)


This letter (excerpt YA-2) actually intends to strengthen the social bond between close friends (i.e. the writer and reader) who are Indonesian people. The contents are asking more about many people they know each other. Interpersonal relationship seems to be more important in this context of correspondence. A bit request, however, is inserted in this letter, i.e. a request to meet in Malang, a city where these two guys have ever been together.

In addition to the typical introduction sections as stated in excerpt YA-1 and YA-2 above, YA makes another variation, i.e. writing the letters with no opening paragraph. This has been emerging in the case of writing both Indonesian and English letters. The typical letters of no opening are found both in the following excerpts. Excerpt YA-3, for instance, is the representative of typical letters with no opening. In this letter, YA starts writing by directly expressing what she intends to write, i.e. asking the prices of some books she mentions. Expressing thanks and asking another case which she should have put in the introduction section is in fact developed after she started to talk in the letter. Moreover, she ends up the letter without giving closing remarks.

Excerpt YA-3:


Ada teman tanya nih, daftar harga dari buku-buku ini:


Grogo lovers English

1000 + picture for teachers to copy

Communication Game Series

Teaching English to Children

High Five

O ya! Terima kasih karena sudah dikenalin samaaa…

Eh..Gimana Bali? Cerita dong? Soalnya aku sendiri sudah lama ngak ke rumahnya Bu Mimil. Sibuk dengan duniaku sendiri.

English Translation:

[A friend of mine asked the price list of these books:


Grogo lovers English

1000 + picture for teachers to copy

Communication Game Series

Teaching English to Children

High Five

By the way, thanks for introducing me to someone…uh huh, how about Bali? What do you think it looks like? I have been long time not to visit bu Mimil. I have been busy with my business.]

Such a conversation-like letter is sent via email. That YA does not put her opening in her letter is due to the fact she was actually answering the previous email from her Indonesian close friend. In this letter resides important information as well as social chatting. Asking about the price of the books is the informative message while the rest of the sentences are the social interactions which in fact are not the point.

The next example, Excerpt YA-4, illustrates the typical of no opening letters in English. The letter contains two paragraphs, i.e., the one which is very long is the middle paragraph and the other, the short one, is the closing remark. An analysis of the similarity of Christianity and Islam is the topic developed in the first paragraph, meanwhile asking the reader’s comments as to this topic is written as the closing.

Excerpt YA-4:


I come from Islamic family, but I know Christianity well. You know, I would like to inform you that there is an important history of Islam and Christianity. Interestingly, I have just realized that Koran and the Old Testament of the Bible are from the same source. It was very clear to me we have the same God. My understanding is that Christianity and Islamic are from the ‘offspring’ of Abraham. This old man did not have..


What is your view?

Similarly, this is a conversation-like letter sent via email and corresponded by friends who are not too close. The contents consist of a bit serious topics. This is also the answer of the previous letter so that it is not necessary for YA to put her opening in her letter. Obviously, it is imperative that important information become the message with no social interaction, therefore it is more transactional.

From these two examples (excerpt YA-3 and YA-4), it is apparent that peculiarity occurs not only in the openings of Indonesian letters, but also in those of English letters. YA is compelled to adopt different strategies of making introduction section because she has to make different content (i.e. field in Hallidayan term). As it is in excerpt YA-3, YA is compelled to make short answers as soon as possible since she considers them as important questions which need immediate answers since they contain serious topics. This letter functions more as a transactional communication rather than as a social interaction. In other words, negotiation strategies that YA made in these two examples are due to the field (Halliday, 99) feature of context of situation.

In writing the middle paragraphs, YA shows a couple of tendency, i.e. making linear and centrifugal middle paragraphs. By definition, the linear middle paragraphs means parts of a paragraph in the letter that cover one thesis statements developed in one or two supporting paragraphs; or those in which several topic sentences are developed by several related supporting paragraphs. While the centrifugal middle paragraphs are the ones where a writer starts his/her paragraphs with peripheral materials and get to his/her main ideas in the middle before he/she usually repeatedly states the supporting ideas before and after the main ideas are stated, or the writer does not show the main idea until the end. In Western convention, the centrifugal one is said peculiarity.

Again, referring to the variations in the middle paragraphs of the letter, it is apparent that both English and Indonesian letters produced by YA show inconstant variations in the sense that both linear and centrifugal variations occur in either Indonesian or English letters. A typical of linear middle paragraphs in English letters is exemplified by excerpt YA-4. She addresses the history of the similarities in Islam and Christianity, i.e. the fact that both religions are originated from the same ancestors, the prophet Abraham. In this letter, she serves the principle of analogy in organizing her paragraph (see the middle part of excerpt YA-4). Obviously, in this letter YA makes a claim that the Bible and Koran have been from the same source (her thesis statement), which brings logical consequence of worshipping to the same God for the Christianity and Muslim congregants. In addressing this source of similarity, YA elaborates the offsprings of the prophet Abraham: Ismael and Issac. The rest of the sentences telling further elaboration of Ismael and Isaac serve as her supporting ideas.

Next, we can see how YA also employs her centrifugal middle paragraphs in her English letter, as exemplified by excerpt YA-5, as follows.

Quotation taken from Excerpt YA-5:

A big racial riot (killing, violence and burning) happened lately in Sampit, Kalimantan (Borneo island) that involved two different races: Dayak and Madurese, and then spreading to some parts there. My Dad is so worried because we are multiraces: Banjarese, Dayak and Palembang (Sumatera) descents who leave in Java where majority are Javanese and Madurese. There’s a possibility it will also spread in Java. A bit scary, huh? Till now my students who come from Kalimantan mostly haven’t return yet to Java, though the school will start next week. I can only pray and hope it’ll be over soon, back to normal again soon. Anyway, it’s dry season now here and I guess it’ll be very long hot one. Cicadas’ song is very beautiful. And the beauty of dusk sky is so…unspoken.

The content of this letter tells us what was happening in a racial riot between two ethnic groups in Kalimantan. YA starts her story by informing that there was a racial riot without making a claim as her thesis. She develops her paragraphs by giving only peripheral materials: information of racial riot, the feeling of her Dad, her expectation about what’s happening next, and the season in her town. Until the end, her main idea has never been emerged. If we look at excerpt YA-4 and YA-5, both middle paragraphs are taken from the letter written in English, but why does YA make different strategies? This tells us that negotiation strategies YA made is not due to the language she uses. In the case of excerpt YA-4 and YA-5 above, the negotiation strategies are present evidently because of the different nature of the letters’ content (negotiation influenced by field). The contexts of letters in excerpt YA-4 and YA-5 are the same: 1) readers are online friends whom she never met so the relationship between writer, and 2) reader is not too formal and not too casual; the letters are sent via email so they semi-oral correspondence; the contents are serious ones, so it could be categorized as transactional communication.

Another centrifugal middle paragraph can be found in excerpt YA-2. YA in this letter writes chat correspondence to her close friend whom she hasn’t met for a long time. If we see the content, apparently no serious topic has been developed. There is even no important information message she wants to convey but the interactional intention of correspondence. This brings a consequence of unstructured organization of the paragraph (see the middle part of excerpt YA-2). This letter is written under a certain context, i.e. YA is maintaining her communication with her old friend whom for a long time she hasn’t met. They used to be close friends when they were studying in the English Department of a University. This letter ensures the writer’s intention to maintain social bonds, leading YA to insert her own voice in employing the strategy of making her middle paragraph. Therefore, negotiation in excerpt YA-2 is not only because of the content (field) but also because of the relationship between the writer and reader (tenor).

Pertaining to the presence of closing paragraphs in the letters, it is found that there is no different variation in both kinds of letters written by YA. Two variations are developed in both English and Indonesian letters, i.e. 1) brief closing paragraphs, and 2) conceptual closing paragraphs. YA constantly employs western conventions in developing her closing section of the letters. The quoted letter (Excerpt YA-6) exemplifies the letter which has brief closing paragraph in Indonesian letters. In this letter, YA in fact lets her reader understand what action or response to make next, i.e. she ends her letter by addressing the short discourse expression “Udah dulu ya” which means that “that’s it”. Context of this letter is that chat correspondence which talks about daily topics. The reader is her peer who needs help in a sentimental matter.

Excerpt YA-6:


Makasi ya emailnya.


Iya sih, kangen banget apalagi dengan masakan Mamak, tadi malam Mamak telpon udah masak enak-enak. Nggak tahu kalau di kos anaknya cumin makan indomie, hi..hi..hi. Beginilah anak kos!!

Tentang Riza, sempat juga aku ngomong kayak gitu kepada dia. Cemburu kali hehehehe, biarin aja ntar kapan-kapan aku kirimin surat atau email.


Udah dulu ya…

English Translation:

[Thanks for the email (opening)

That is right, I miss you so much, I miss Mom’s cooking. Last night she called me telling that she made my favorite meal. You know here I always have fried noodle for my meal, he.he.he. That’s a student’s life!

By the way, it is about Riza. I have talked such thing to her. She might be jealous, he.he.. That will be okay, I guess. Some day I will send her email or letter. (Middle)

Okay, that’s it. See you. (Closing)]

In addition, brief closing paragraph in English letters can be seen in the following quoted letter (i.e. Excerpt YA-7). The discourse expression “see you” is not a part complementary close, but it functioned as the closing paragraph of the letter’s body. In fact, the complementary close of this letter has been already expressed in the word “take care”. The context indicates that the relationship between writer and reader is not so intimate. They are online friends who often make chats. The topic is not too serious.

Excerpt YA-7:



Meet me again. How was the result of going to Price Brothers’ office? It’s getting hot, dry and windy here in Malang. How’s the weather in your town, anyway?


I can imagine how everybody feels in Libya when they get the mail. Even in Malang, I feel it too when I receive email from far away friends. Anyway, your last letter has not come yet.

The political condition is still uncertain. Everybody wonders who will be the next president. The winner in the last election does not mean that she/he will be the next president because we still have next October summit conference which decides who will be the next president of Indonesia.


See you!

Take care,


The quoted single-paragraph letter (i.e. Excerpt YA-8) which in fact contains tripartite structures exemplifies the letters which employ the conceptual closings. This letter is not marked by spacing or indentation during the course of writing to show which is the opening, middle, or closing part of the body. However, the ideas encapsulated in such a single paragraph in fact show divisions of those tripartite parts. Such expression as “please reply this letter” and “bye..I miss you” are in fact the closing remark, while the first sentence, i.e. “I read your letter yesterday” is the opening one. The reason for the former is that the writer produces words such as “please reply this letter” to let the reader understand what action or response to make; while for the latter, a sentence such as “I read your letter yesterday” really let the writer simply provide a backdrop against which to interpret the rest of the letter. It is to establish the purpose of the letter, that is to say, continuing to discuss or answering the content of the letter previously sent. The context indicates that the relationship between writer and reader is not so intimate. They are online friends who often make chats. The topic is not too serious.

Excerpt YA-8:

I read your letter yesterday (Opening). Indonesia is just fine, especially in Malang, although the weather is very hot now. How about Canada? What is the season now? By the way, you know something? There is now a new Mall in Malang, Tidar Mall. I have never been there, but my friends said that it is quite good there. Are you really going to Malang? When? What is your plan to celebrate for the next Christmas and New Year? Are you going to celebrate them in Indonesia or in USA? My nephew is really missing you, and so do my family. They keep asking me when will you come to Malang (Middle). Please reply this letter. Bye.. I miss you.(Closing).

2. Participant CL

What makes CL’s opening paragraphs in his both English an Indonesian letters significantly different from the previous participant’s (YA) is that the deviation CL often makes in some of his letters by presenting very long paragraphs as the opening remarks really systematizes a certain variation of opening, though, other variations of his opening paragraphs remain in line with the convention of writing opening paragraphs in English rhetoric. The following quoted letter which was sent via mail to a person who had a higher social status than the writer has but at the same time the person was the writer’s younger relative, and the letter was not written in the purpose of responding the previous letter exemplifies the deviation.

Excerpt CL-1:


Surat ini bersifat pribadi namun sedikit bernuansa resmi menyangkut wewenang Adik sebagai salah seorang pejabat tinggi di daerah kita. Mungkin adik telah mendengar bahwa saat ini saya sedang mengambil S3 bidang pendidikan Bahasa Inggris di Universitas Negeri Malang (UM), dulunya bernama IKIP Malang. Saya baru mulai ...


[This is a little bit official letter since it much concerns with what you are going to authorize as an important government person in our region. Perhaps my brother has heard that I am now working for my Ph.D program in State University of Malang (UM), formerly IKIP Malang. This is my first of ...]

It was at end of this letter that CL explicitly states two requests as his intentions in writing the letter, namely, (1) for financial help and (2) for making his daughter passed in an entrance examination for a civil servant position, i.e. a state kindergarten teacher. This letter was written to his younger relative who was a governor in his region. CL does not directly state his points in the letter, however, he tells some stories about himself and his own condition at that time. This seems to be the way Asian people express ideas (i.e. oriental thought pattern in Kaplan’s term). That he knows exactly who his audience is really leads him to write this quite long opening paragraphs in his letter. Now, let us see the continuation of this letter where, in fact, he adds more paragraphs in the opening before he ends his letter with the closing paragraph.

Continuation of Excerpt CL-1:


Angkatan saya hanya berjumlah 7 orang dan saya yang tertua. Karena sudah lama tidak pernah membaca buku-buku ilmiah atau sering menulis karya ilmiah, pada bulan pertama, saya mengalami sakit kepala hampir setiap hari. Karena setiap hari ada tugas membaca dan menulis makalah untuk dipresentasikan, maka pikiran dan tenaga saya benar-benar terkuras dan akhirnya memicu sakit kepala saya. Paramex adalah sahabat saya sehari-hari, dan selalu saya bawa kemanapun saya pergi. Bahkan baru-baru ini saya sempat diopname di rumah sakit Lavalette selama 3 hari karena...


Adik yang baik,

Ada dua hal yang membuat saya menulis surat ini. Yang pertama menyangkut studi saya. Apakah orang seperti saya bisa mendapat bantuan finansial dari sumber lain mengingat besarnya beasiswa saya kurang memadai, yaitu 700 ribu rupiah perbulan sudah termasuk dipotong 15% pajak lagi. Jadi kalau ada kemungkinan pemda bisa Bantu saya, tentu saya sangat berterima kasih. Tolong informasikan. Nanti saya akan telpon ke rumah jabatan kira-kira seminggu dari sekarang sesudah surat ini dibaca....


Saya doakan semoga Adik berdua selalu tabah menghadapi segala macam bentuk kemampuan intelektual adik serta di dampingi seorang istri yang faithful, friendly, sociable serta merakyat ditambah dengan ketekunan dan kedekatan selalu kepada Yang Mahakuasa maka segala persoalan baik politik dan social akan dapat diselesaikan denga baik.

English Translation:


[I am the oldest student among the seven classmates in my class. During the first month of my study, I frequently got a headache. I am sure this was due to the fact that it was very long time I did not either read books or write scientific articles. So, when I have to make presentations and get many readings everyday, it really makes me get the headache. Paramex (i.e. a brand name of Indonesian medicine for headache) becomes my friend and I bring it wherever I go. Let me tell you that recently I got hospitalized for a week at Lavalette Hospital…]


[My beloved Brother,

I am writing this letter for two purposes. First, it concerns with my study. Is there an opportunity to get financial helps from other sources for people like me? In fact, in this program I have already got a scholarship from the government in which I earn 700 thousand rupiah per month subject to 15 % tax. If there is a possibility that the local government can help me, I would express my great thanks to you. Please let me know if there is such possibility. I will call you approximately a week from now after you read this letter…]


[May God bless you and your wife, and give you patience in coping with various kinds of problems. With your intellectual capability and the supports of your faithful, friendly, as well as sociable wife, I think you can solve any problems you have.]

Another example of the deviation can be recognized by reading Excerpt CL-2 below. As if influenced by the way he expresses his Indonesian letter discussed previously, CL in this moment writes the English letter with a very long introduction section as well. If we look at the first three paragraphs of this letter, evidently CL tries to talk things which would not be exactly related to what he wants to say as his intention. In fact, he expresses his intention in the fifth paragraph, which explicitly requests a help to find more references for his study. We can have a careful look at this sentence quoted from the fifth paragraph: “Regarding this, I would like to ask you a favor to find me journals, or articles or book-chapters related to ethnographic study…”. This letter really brings CL to the systematized deviation of making some of his introduction sections.

Excerpt CL-2:


Let me first introduce myself before saying what I am going to say. My Name is xxxxxxxxxxxx and, like you, I am a MAT-19 alumnus, around 1987/1988. I should begin my letter with this introduction because I believe by now you must have forgotten me. It is reasonable…

Now I am no longer a teacher, but a student. I have been studying for a Ph.D in State University of Malang (SUM), since…

After our departure in summer 1988, I went to Freeport in Maine to home stay with the Marstallers family for a month. After that I headed to Laurence, Massachusetts, to teach EFL in Laurence International Institute for…

As a matter of fact, until now I have two other international experiences; one was when I took a short course on…


My research interest is ethnography and the title of prospective dissertation would be “A Portrait of a Successful EFL-teacher”. Regarding this, I would like to ask you a favor to find me journals, or articles or book-chapters related to ethnographic study or my research title. I still haven’t got any literature explaining about the set-up criteria being a successful EFL teacher. The fact that, books or research resources about…


I know that there have been a lot of changes at the school nowadays and I must admit that there are also “sophisticated” achievements on the domains of educational programs as well as the faculty. I will appreciate if you can share all the changes and achievements with me in the future. Please remember me to..

There is a feature of contexts in the excerpt CL-1 and CL-2 which can be considered as something in common, i.e. asking a request to the reader. The other features are different, for instance, while in excerpt CL-1 is written in Indonesian for his Indonesian reader, excerpt CL-2 is written in English for his overseas friend. In addition, the status of the relationship between the writer and reader in both letters is evidently the same, i.e. formal relation. In the former, the status emerges because of his brother who is governor, while in the latter, it appears due to his overseas friend whom he rarely met. This condition influences his strategies in developing the openings in his letters.

Unlike YA, in developing his introduction sections, CL inserts his own voice regardless whether he is facing an Indonesian or overseas readers. These negotiation strategies are evidently caused by the fact that the contents of the letters both intend to seek helps. He is actually compelled to adopt peculiar strategies to make openings due to the nature of the content (field). We can see how CL develops his middle and closing paragraphs of both Indonesian and English letters in line with western convention which employs linear fashion (see the discussion of middle and closing paragraphs below).

Different from YA, CL tends to write his middle paragraphs in a linear way with no other variation. He constantly expresses claims as he develops every middle paragraph in his letters. Evidently, these two examples of middle paragraphs quoted from excerpt CL-1 and CL-2 show how CL develop them in linear way, a manner of developing paragraph which is in line with the Anglo-Saxon convention. First, excerpt CL-1 shows us that two purposes initiate CL to write the letter, i.e. 1) a request to the government to possibly give financial help, and 2) a request to make his sister passed an entrance exam administered by the government office recruitment. Then CL constantly develops these two claims by supporting them with related illustrations and proofs. Secondly, CL explicitly requests his reader to find him journals, or articles or book-chapters related to his research topics to be (see the middle paragraph of excerpt CL-1 and CL-2).

The presence of the closing paragraphs in CL’s letters indicates that it was similarly found no different variation in both kinds of letters. CL tends to write the typical closing paragraph which is relatively brief containing the conclusion of what he explains in the middle paragraphs.


This study, which features the case of Indonesian-English Bilinguals writing letters in the two languages, illustrates another episode in the broader context of writing practices and experiences of bi/multilingual persons in a less academic writing genre. From the current study, a single important issue would be addressed pertaining to the bi/multilingual thought patterns. How the participants systematically organize their ideas into a tripartite structure with its distinctive variations is presumably influenced by the thought patterns of two cultures, i.e. Indonesian and Anglo-Saxon cultures. Having been bilinguals for a relatively long period of time, these individuals, accoding to Bhabha, have their cultural “in-betweenness” (qtd in Canagarajah, “Toward a Writing Pedagogy”, 589 – 604), which enables them to shuttle (Canagarajah, “Negotiating the Local”, 197-218) between two logic of cultures. These “in-between” thought patterns seem to be constant in writing no matter what languages they use to write. However, only when they write letters to different persons or in different contexts, they might use different ways of expressing their ideas, not because of the changing thought, but rather it is a matter of meta-cognitive competence to realize who the interlocutors are and in what context they are writing, leading them to negotiate their fashion of thought in the two contexts of cultures, i.e. English and Indonesian. In short, their negotiation strategies occur in the level of mode because they are facing different readers (tenor), or because they are conveying different nature of topics (field).

Viewing bi/multilingual writing from the perspectives in the Negotiation Model proposed by (Canagarajah, “Toward A Writing Pedagogy”, 590) seems promising in the pedagogical issue of second language writing. Bi/multilingual writing should not be perceived in a static manner, but more on the movement of the writer between languages. This implies that pedagogical possibilities of genre-based teaching (Hyland, “Genre and Second Language”, 35 - 35) in the classroom application become skeptical. Genre-based teaching can only be transferred to the writing classroom application if genre is perceived as something static. It would be not effective to put a flexible entity into the teaching area since change and reshaping toward genre could be repeatedly made by individual users. Dynamic, fluid and blurred character of genre (Freedman & Adam, 45) underlies this argument. Instead of looking at the genre-teaching possibilities in the second language writing classroom, strategies of communication (Canagarajah, “Toward a Writing Pedagogy”, 589 – 604) should be opted as a new orientation in second language writing class.

More practically, this means that, firstly, strict rules and conventions of writing should not be imposed to students. Rather, they should be led to sharpening their rhetorical negotiation for achieving meanings and functions. They have to be given knowledge of different rhetorical strategies, i.e. that in the writing of their L1 and that in the writing of English. To know both strategies of writing in L1 and English makes the students more aware of the two rhetorical strategies. Consequently, rules and convention of English writing should not be used as the standardized norm for teaching writing to the students. However, in the writing process, students should be completely aware of their audience. In other words, students’ audience awareness should be taken into consideration from the very beginning of the writing process (Canagarajah, “Critical Academic”, 161).

Secondly, since writing is not only the product for descriptions of writing competence, but also the process of composing in multiple languages, the writers’ versatility and their attempts to change the context of communication should be accommodated in the second language writing classroom. Thirdly, different thought patterns possessed by bi/multilingual learners should be perceived as their repertoire which led them to shuttle creatively between discourses to achieve their communicative objectives. In this perspective, it is asserted that the writers should be treated as agents, who would shuttle creatively between discourses to achieve their communicative objectives.


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