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Private- and Inner-Speech and Second Language Development University of Sao Paulo August 13, 2012 Steve McCafferty, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Dept.

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Presentation on theme: "Private- and Inner-Speech and Second Language Development University of Sao Paulo August 13, 2012 Steve McCafferty, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Dept."— Presentation transcript:

1 Private- and Inner-Speech and Second Language Development University of Sao Paulo August 13, 2012 Steve McCafferty, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Dept. of Educational Psychology and Higher Education

2 Embodiment As pointed out by Iverson &Thelen (1999, p. 19), “cognition depends crucially on having a body with particular perceptual and motor capabilities and the types of experiences that such a body affords” Indeed, to consider mind independent of body is, in Vygotsky’s words, like trying to “separate the heat from the sun” (1997, p. 114)

3 Sociocultural theory Vygotsky emphasized a cultural-historical approach to the mediation of mind in relation to the psychological tools that we derive from interaction within social contexts, language being the most important (building on Marx, who chose to focus on material tools in relation to human labor)

4 Sociocultural theory Towards the end of his life Vygotsky moved from a focus on word to a focus on meaning, taking into account the larger realm of semiosis “Meaning is stored, not at the level of the individual per se, but at the level of contextual configurations which integrate individuals to their ecosocial environment and therefore to the systems of interpretence that are embedded in these” (Thibault, 2004, p. 176)

5 Sociocultural theory “Meaning-making is always a pragmatic and situated activity” (Castro-Tejerina & Rosa, 2007, p. 78) Meaning-making is multimodal; moreover, different semiotic modalities co-contextualize each other, and furthermore, this is a “multiplicative” and not merely an additive process (Lemke 1998)

6 Sociocultural theory “consciousness became … a result of the internalization of (social) communication with semiotic materials (cultural), accumulated along the (historical) past of the cultural group …” (Valsiner & Rosa, 2007, p.8)

7 Sociocultural theory Vygotsky (1987) called gestures the “material carriers” of thinking (as cited in McNeill and Duncan 2000) Furthermore, McNeill (1992) suggests that iconic gestures are the closest we ever get to “seeing” the thoughts of others

8 Gesture and speech Goldin-Meadow and McNeill (1999) argued that the manual modality just as easily could have been the primary modality for language in terms of meeting basic linguistic requirements as is, of course, exemplified by the existence of sign language Despite its ability to fully meet linguistic requirements, when compared with speech, however, gesture is clearly the superior modality for conveying mimetic features

9 Mimesis: Interpersonal “Indeed, when a young child pretends to drink from an empty cup and looks playfully to the adult’s face, one could say that in addition to pretense for the self this is also an iconic gesture to share this representation with the adult, communicatively” (Tomasello, 2008, p. 152)

10 Mimesis: intrapersonal Furthermore, mimesis is thought to enhance memory, Rayalls et al. (2000) finding that mimetic events correlated with increased memory for infants (14-18 months) when imitating both a peer (a 3-year-old boy) and an adult (a college student), both immediately and after one week

11 Spatio-mortoric (mimetic) thinking Kita (2000) argued that gesture can operate as a form of spatio-motoric thinking, “organiz[ing] information with action schemas” as found when people depict “interaction with an object [and] locomotion,” and when “imitating somebody else’s action” (p. 164) (the Information Packaging Hypothesis) For example, Kita cites Goldin-Meadow et al. (1993), who found that children sometimes carried out the procedural aspect of solving a math problem only through manipulations in gesture space

12 Spatio-mortoric (mimetic) thinking Schwartz and Black (1996) found that adults when asked to solve simple gear problems used iconic gestures to depict the rotation of the gears, initially, then moved on to different iconic gestures in relation to different functions for the gears However, by the end of the set of problems, the participants were no longer using such gestures, the authors suggesting that the abstract rules needed to solve the problems having been established by that point

13 Spatio-mortoric (mimetic) thinking Roth and Lawless (2002) on reviewing the developmental research on gesture noted that both experimental and naturalistic studies support the view that “during transitional periods gestures express complex meaning that individuals do not (cannot) yet express in words” (p. 336).

14 Applications to L2 Development Externalization of thinking as in the examples above through gesture suggests that gesture can operate as a multimodal form of private speech (mimetic thinking for problem solving) There is reason to believe gesture can do so with speech as well in second language development, in which case, gesture becomes an externalization of what is said to guide the speaker at both the metalinguistic and meta-discursive levels as a function of gaining self-regulation

15 L2 studies: A private function for gesture Gullberg (1998) found that L2 speakers frequently used abstract deictic gestures (referencing abstract elements in the virtual environment) to situate characters and events in their narratives in gesture space, referring back to them (largely through pointing) in the course of their retellings (anaphoric reference) She argued that this allowed the speakers to maintain a sense of coherence for themselves as well as provide visual redundancy for their listeners

16 L2 studies: A private function for gesture Moreover, Gullberg (2003), again examining anaphoric reference, argued that through deictic gestures L2 speakers were able to plan their discourse

17 L2 studies: A private function for gesture Zhao (2007) found that instructors in university ESL classes in the U.S. used a number of verbal metaphors and metaphoric gestures as a pedagogical element in the teaching of writing for academic purposes Students used these same gestures when interacting with each other, for example, drawing a virtual vertical line in space from top to bottom to illustrate a sequence of connected ideas as formulated in a logical, hierarchical, linear order. These gestures were also found privately and without speech

18 L2 studies: A private function for gesture McCafferty (2006) argued that the L2 participant in the study was using gesture to materialize English syllabification through beats of the hand on each syllable of a word in up to 5 word utterances, despite being engaged in a conversation at the same time and using his gestures for planning purposes at the discursive level as well

19 L2 studies: A private function for gesture Lee (2008) studied 7 Korean L1 speakers studying for an undergraduate biology class in the U.S. for 3 hrs. each in private rooms. All produced co-expressive gestures with forms of private speech More than 50% of PS was associated with reading the text and other materials aloud. Beats accompanied uptake of information. Participants also pointed at new vocabulary in reading materials, helping externalize the need to focus on new jargon (McCafferty, 1998 found students touched the page, a further degree of object-regulation)

20 L2 studies: A private function for gesture Lee also found students took a dialogic role in asking and answering questions about the text one student used co-expressive gesture with L1 PS to gain understanding of how chemical messengers are transmitted (“flow to”) in the body. Also, while copying a figure from the text into a notebook a student verbally recounted the meaning of what he was drawing

21 L2 studies: A private function for gesture Lee argues that these forms of PS and gesture are “self-teaching action[s]” stemming from teacher classroom practices (p. 181) Lee concludes that the use of PS and co- expressive gestures helped the students learn both the L2 and the subject matter

22 L2 studies: A private function for gesture Negueruela & Lantolf (2004) studied tweleve L2 speakers, some with Spanish L1 and some with English L1. All had been exposed to naturalistic contexts. The researchers found that on a narrative task that deictic (pointing) gestures were overly redundant (along with Gullberg) and as such they believe that these gestures had a self- regulatory, private function.

23 L2 studies: A private function for gesture Negueruela & Lantolf also found redundancy for other gestures, those which were clearly unnecessary in terms of illuminating speech (the speaker pointing behind himself when saying “behind”) The degree of iconicity of the gestures - the extent to which they did not become abbreviated (metonymic) is further evidence of their second language function. That is, gesture is meant to elaborate and extend communication and so did not become primarily referential as in the case of native speakers.

24 L2 studies: A private function for gesture Additionally, the researchers found a mismatch for some iconic gestures in relation to the stimulus again, indicating a private function for the gestures. For example, to represent a mirror in the story, a participant produced a hand-held version instead of the large dresser mirror in the actual story. The authors also found gestures to be out of sync with speech at times (lack of self-regulation in the L2)

25 L2 studies: A private function for gesture Negueruela & Lantolf argue that all of the above resulted largely as a function of increased communicative pressure because participants were asked to retell the story to a native speaker of their L2, whom they thought did not know their L1, and the pressure of being videotaped at the same time

26 Inner-speech and gesture Language is grounded upon forms of life, not something that can be considered in isolation, independent of the multiple functions it fulfills in the lives of its users (Wittgenstein, 1953/1958) “Speaking is more than uttering speech sounds with meaning; more deeply it is also ‘inhabiting’ language (a term from Merleau- Ponty, 1962, as found in McNeill, 2012)

27 Inner-speech and gesture Cultural forms of nonverbal behavior constitute “the primary public dimension that defines our personal identity, and in it, style and tradition matter, to the degree that these things establish who we are, who our friends are, and where we stand in society” (Donald, 2001, p. 240) (Donald calls these mimetic forms of cultural identity)

28 Motion events Talmy (1991) identified different linguistic structures for motion events as an aspect of different language typologies Of particular interest to linguistics has been the difference between verb framed and satellite framed languages, for example Spanish and English, respectively (figure, ground, path, manner) The operational concept, psycholinguistically, for typological differences is “thinking-for-speaking” (a term coined by Slobin, 1996)

29 The Growth Point Hypothesis McNeill’s (1992; 2005; 2012) hypothesis is closely associated with thinking-for-speaking. He argues that: – Speech and gesture form two elements of the same conceptual unit. Speech is linear and hierarchical and gesture is holistic and imagistic – The GP is highly contextually relevant and depends on what the speaker wants to emphasize (Vygotsky’s psychological predicate) and unfolds in real time as an aspect of thinking-for-speaking – The GP is explicitly tied to inner-speech

30 The Growth Point Hypothesis McNeill also argues in his latest iteration of the GPH (2012) that the GP is bound to languaculure, that is, inhabitance (above) The 2012 version of the GPH also emphasizes the role of mimicry in the process of inhabiting a language and culture (languaculture) McNeill cites Kimbara (2002), who suggests that Mimicry is a process of “interpersonal synchrony,” creating a sense of solidarity, and is prominent when the interlocutors are personally close (Tomasello ex)

31 The Growth Point Hypothesis Moreover, McNeill contends that mimicry can lead to GP synchrony at times between interlocutors as an aspect of intersubjectivity So, actions in the world as part of cultural-historical activity become an underlying aspect of human cognition through the process of internalization as accomplished in part through mimicry and imitation.

32 L2 inner-speech and gesture Within applied linguistics there have been two major areas of research regarding the connection between inner-speech and gesture for L2 speakers Acquisition of L2 motion events Acquisition of L2 emblematic gestures, and more recently, L2 ways of gesturing A new area of research focuses on developing a L2 “inner-voice”

33 L2 motion events The important matter in this research has been to see if with the acquisition of a L2 there is a corresponding change in gesture (co-expressiveness): If the timing and form of the gesture change with the L2, the thinking goes, that signals a change in the process of thinking-for-speaking, which is a linguistically based form of inner-speech (thinking in the L2 languaculture (Agar, 1994) (at least in the McNeillian version of gesture-speech interface)

34 L2 motion events A change in GP for motion events was found by Stam (2001; 2006) and Ozyurek (2002). Both studies focused on L1 verb-framed languages and L2 English. Both included naturalistic participants with long-term exposure to the L2 languaculture. Brown & Gullberg, (2008) looked at bidirectional influence between the L1 and L2, finding only marginal change and in both directions in conjunction with changes in discourse patterns All of the above studies used the tweety cartoon

35 L2 motion events However, little or no change for naturalistically exposed L2 speakers of English (L1 Spanish) was found by Negueruela et al. (2004) for L2 speakers of English. The same result was was reported by Kellerman & van Hoof (2003), again for L2 learners of English with a Spanish L1

36 L2 motion events Additionally, Choi & Lantolf (2008), although finding that L2 speakers of both Korean and English showed evidence of a shift for path, also found that the L2 learners of Korean were limited to only one of the two forms of path used in the language. There was no indication that manner had shifted for either of the two groups Overall more investigation will be needed to further sort things out in this area of research

37 L2 emblems Naturalistic evidence confirms that: – L2 emblems are acquired by children (Mohen & Helmer (1988) – Bilinguals use emblematic gestures in both languages (Von Raffler-Engler, 1976) – Adult speakers use L2 emblems (McCafferty & Ahmed, 2000)

38 L2 emblems Classroom evidence also confirms that students acquire L2 emblems: – Metaphorics that turn into classroom emblems for understanding the process of academic writing in English (Zhao, 2007) – Classroom emblems found in conjunction with the use of private speech (Lee, 2008)

39 L2 emblems Mixed contexts (both naturalistic and classroom exposure) also confirms acquisition: – Advanced students in an Italian language course who had spent two years in Italy before taking the class (Nardotto Peltier & McCafferty, 2010)

40 L2 inhabitance: Ways of gesturing L2 teachers have been found to use emblematic and L2 ways of gesturing, but at times they are performing gestures in an exaggerated manner (“foreigner talk gesture”) As such, classroom exposure only may not lead to L2 ways of gesturing in the case of FTG, particularly it would seem at the elementary level

41 L2 inhabitance: Ways of gesturing Mixed contexts exposure and inhabitance Nardotto Peltier & McCafferty (2010) Not only found L2 emblems but Italian ways of gesturing, and critically, the timing with speech was exact for the gestures McNeill confirmed a change in the GP (pers. comm)

42 L2 inhabitance: Ways of gesturing Also, McCafferty (2008), in the case a Japanese naturalistic speaker of English, who had married an American, had children, and had been living in the U.S. for over 15 years, produced a sequence of metaphoric gestures on the topic of “ideal marriage” in a way which very much resembled the imagery of Americans on this topic She was also the only Japanese participant in the study to construe marriage in this way.

43 L2 inhabitance: Ways of gesturing Moreover, because of proficiency difficulties (fossilization) her gestures were much more fluent than her speech suggesting greater acquisition of L2 gesture than language

44 L2 inhabitance: Ways of gesturing and L2 teaching Having students become aware of culture has always been a focus for language teaching, although not typically through embodied meaning McNeill (pers. Comm.) suggests that L2 students mimic videotaped examples of meaning-making in the L2 in classrooms as a way of getting L2 students to begin to inhabit the languaculture at the ecosocial level.

45 L2 inner voice Shigematsu, (2009) found that with extensive naturalistic exposure to the L2 in the L2 languaculture L2 speakers reported developing an inner voice in the language This consists of private rehearsals aimed at producing idiomatic language that goes beyond “chunks” towards the feeling of expressing oneself as do native speakers

46 L2 inner voice and gesture For example, one participant suggested that once the L2 improves through inner voice the L1 sense of self is lost when speaking the L2 in some instances Another Participant reported that at first she actively engaged in L1 inner speech to comprehend the L2, however that once L2 proficiency improved she stopped using L1 inner speech for this purpose, citing inner voice as part of the process.

47 L2 inner voice Another participant, without being asked about gesture, suggested that she realized that she was focusing on her gestures in relation to the L2 as an aspect of L2 inner voice Inner voice appears to be a transition through the use of private-speech to inner-speech in the L2, which includes gesture as well, although clearly more research needs to be done in the area

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