Private speech use in the collaboration between EFL learners
I ENCONTRO NACIONAL DE ENSINO-APRENDIZAGEM DE LÍNGUAS E A TEORIA SÓCIO- HISTÓRICO-CULTURAL E DA ATIVIDADE: O RESGATE DO DIÁLOGO Private speech use in the collaboration between EFL learnersIsis da Costa Pinho (UNISINOS/UFRGS)Marília dos Santos Lima (UNISINOS)
Motivation • The analysis and understanding of the use of private speech in EFL teaching and learning are of great interest to the sociocultural theory since it offers evidences of the learner’s internal process of mobilization, reflection, creation and transformation of linguistic knowledge.
Motivation • Second language (SL) or foreign language (FL) acquisition research supported by Vygotskian sociocultural principles indicates the need to study the use of private speech by adult learners in collaborative tasks within a FL context. (LANTOLF, 2000, 2006; LANTOLF; THORNE, 2006).
Objective• This study aims to investigate the role of private speech in EFL learning focusing on its use by adult learners engaged in a collaborative task.
Theoretical Framework• The sociocultural theory seeks to understand the socio- cognitive development of the individual through the relationship between the interaction with the social environment (interpsychological mediation), and the interaction in the cognitive space (intrapsychological mediation), which is established through language appropriation, internalization and use (VYGOTSKY, 1987, 2003; NEWMAN; HOLZMAN, 2002).
Theoretical Framework Self-regulation • It is considered to be a voluntary regulation internally oriented that shows that the individual is capable of an autonomous functioning. • It does not consist into a level of permanent development, but it relates to specific tasks, being characterized by the acquisition of an individual potential for development. (DICAMILLA; ANTÓN, 1997, 2004; LEE, 2008)
Theoretical FrameworkZPD• It is the potential for learning generated by the interaction between learners in specific tasks, from which one may observe structures acquired and in the process of internalization.(VYGOTSKY, 1978; LANTOLF, 2000)
Theoretical FrameworkCollaborative Dialogue• Interaction support that takes place between learners in performing a task in which language mediates SL learning during the resolution of gaps highlighted by the production. In this dialogical relationship, meanings are co-constructed, appropriated by individuals and reused in subsequent tasks.(SWAIN, 1995, 2000)
Theoretical FrameworkPrivate Speech• It is a self-directed speech that the learner employs usually before a task that promotes cognitive challenge in the seek of a greater control over himself, the SL/FL performance and over the task.• It represents the mediation of the verbal thought in search of a behavior regulation for the problems solution.(VYGOTSKY, 1986, 1987; LANTOLF, 2006; LANTOLF; THORNE, 2006)
Theoretical Framework• Ferreira (2000) claims for the dichotomy of social and private speech to be abandon, assuming, instead, the dialogism constitutive of the phenomenon.• The author adds to be difficult to distinguish between the regulatory function and the communicative function, and the isolation of social speech present in the private speech, and the private contained in the social.• Thus, the term private itself, directed only to oneself, has flaws by not considering the co-presence of the communicative and self-regulatory functions that constitute speech.
Theoretical FrameworkPrivate SpeechIt is an experience both subjective and negotiated, inwhich an intrapsychological self-regulatory activity mayhave interpsychological consequences.The social speech can move on to exert a private functionso that the joint resolution of a problem triggers theactivation of the learners cognitive space, whoappropriates the collective production to schedule his ownbattles and to create strategies to approach and transformlanguage as learning.(SMITH, 2007)
Theoretical Framework• Private speech in an ESL context also plays an emotional role through expressions that demonstrate relief or pleasure or that indicate anxiety and insecurity, serving as an emotional support that promotes psychological distancing and self-control before the stress generated by the task.(MCCAFFERTY, 1994)
The Study• This case study involved the application of the collaborative task “Jigsaw" (from SWAIN; LAPKIN, 2001) to seven dyads of beginner and pre-intermediate English learners aged between 32 and 54 years in an extension FL course in a federal university in southern Brazil.
The StudyMetodology• Questionnaire for the construction of the FL learners’ profile;• Collaborative task “Jigsaw";• Interview with the participants immediately after the task to register their perceptions of the task, their performance and the use of private speech;• Reflective session one week after the task, in which the pairs should reflect on their speaking and writing production.
The Study• After the observation of the dialogues, it was considered private speech a self-directed speech (questions, statements, answers, comments and exclamations) in which the speaker did not maintain eye contact with his partner, and generally decreased the tone of voice.
The Study• It is asked: What is the nature and function of private speech within a collaborative dialogue and what are its effects in the self-regulatory process of individuals?
Private Speech evidenceExcerpt 1Lara: ãh:Leo: ãh: when ãh: your clock,Lara: when. como é que é essa? ah reló. ah tá. ãh: when your clock,((fica olhando para baixo; faz uma pergunta e responde para si))Leo: ring at ãh:Lara: ring é tocou. tocar né.Leo: é.
Private Speech evidenceExcerpt 2Lara: usa o turn pra voltar? turn to sleep?Leo: turn to sleep.Lara: voltou a dormir. ((olha para baixo)) É né? To, sleep. ((olha para ocolega)) Voltou para dormir. Voltou. ((olha para baixo))Leo: ((aponta para a figura com o lápis e tenta falar))Lara: Turn sleep. ((responde enfaticamente e olha para baixo)) Voltou adormir. ((olha para o colega)) ok?Leo: she’s, não. she turn off. ((lê o que a colega escreveu e a corrige))Lara: foi o que ela fez.Leo: she turn off the clock with,Lara: o pé?Leo: pé, her. ãh:Lara: and turn sleep.Leo: and turn sleep ((repete baixinho a produção da colega e olha parabaixo))
Private Speech evidenceExcerpt 3Lara: wake up. A gente pode dizer ah [por que não aparece ela acordando]Leo: [wake up é levantou. ((fala baixinho))]Leo: não. wake up é levantou. ((aumenta o volume da voz)) wake up [é levantar]Lara: [acordar] ((olha para baixo)) ah. não sei como é acordar ((continuaa olhar para baixo)).Lara: O relógio tinha uma mão and last time.(...)Leo: Acordar como é que é? ((fala baixinho e coloca as mãos no rosto))
Private Speech evidenceExcerpt 4Vera: Six o’clock ãh:Mara: É six two hours. O que que é isso? Ah, o despertador acorda. ((olhapara a figura))(....)Mara: mas o horário parece que tá viradoVera: é ah:Vera: ué. six o’clock. Será que ele não despertou e continuou dormindo?Ah não. aqui é outro. aqui é um. aqui é outro. ah, só Deus sabe. ((olha otempo todo para as figuras))
Private Speech evidenceExcerpt 5Mara: Tá gastando muita água, né?Vera: é mu, much. Much. Much. much é, much é incontável? É. Much.much water. ((olha para cima))Mara: attention girl ãh: ((olha para baixo))Vera: uhm.Mara: attention girl ãh:, ((olha para cima e gira o dedo indicador))Vera: it’s,Mara: it’s expensiver,Vera: expensive.
Results and Conclusions The link between social speech and private speech of a collaborative nature seems to be stronger than the mere presence of a potential listener, as the less collaborative dialogues proved to be unsuitable for the emergence of private speech.
Results and Conclusions• The participants revealed to "think aloud" for themselves to put their thinking and production as objects of evaluation and contribution of their peers, an intention both cognitive and social.
Results and Conclusions• The private speech occurrences, because they happened in the presence of the other, benefited not only the construction of individual knowledge, but also the collective knowledge, giving continuation to the narrative with the acceptance and assessment of contributions made by the peer.
Results and Conclusions• The private speech in the form of questions and comments that indicated doubt and frustration led to the understanding that the speakers would be receptive to the assistance from their partners, encouraging their collaborative participation.
Results and Conclusions• The use of private speech allowed the observation of the reaction of learners to the task and the auto-regulatory process of the individuals on themselves, on their own cognitive system and on the task (VYGOTSKY, 1987; LANTOLF, 2000).
Results and Conclusions• The private speech was used as a cognitive resource for language assessment and correction in the search for answers to problems emerged in the social speech and by the challenges of FL meaning-making. Furthermore, learners used PS to understand and to stay focused on the task, organizing their thinking.
Results and Conclusions• The private speech showed that, faced with the challenge of producing the FL, the mother language was a means for conceptual processing in search of FL words and structures, besides facilitating the filling of communication gaps.
Results and Conclusions• Another strategy used was repetition to search for and select words or structures for their analysis, to stay focused and continue the production by parts, thus facilitating learners’ performance.
Results and Conclusions• The data suggest that when the level of proficiency was lower than the task demands, private speech alone was not enough to solve linguistic problems, serving more as a means to visualize gaps in the language system for a latter work. Therefore, not only private speech, but cognitive skills are necessary for a success in the task.
Results and Conclusions• From the need to test tasks that promote language learning, the study of private speech showed to be relevant for the analysis of how a specific task challenges the learner to expand his cognitive system.
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Transcription conventions Based on Atkinson and Heritage (1984) , comma – continuity intonation; . end point - falling intonation; ? question mark - rising intonation; : two points - extension of the sound;  brackets - simultaneous or overlapping speech; () empty parentheses - speech segment that can not be reproduced; (()) double parentheses - observations.