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Presentation on theme: "DIALOGUE, LITERACY AND THINKING 11 February 2010."— Presentation transcript:


2 Learning to Talk and Talking to Learn Guiding principles:  When your child appears to be trying to communicate, assume that s/he has something important to say and treat the attempt accordingly.  Because a child’s utterances are often unclear or ambiguous, be sure you have understood the intended meaning before responding  When you reply, take the child’s meaning as the basis of what you say next - confirming the intention and extending the topic or inviting the child to do so him/herself.  Select and phrase your contributions so that they are at or just beyond the child’s ability to comprehend.

3 Social Speech and Speech for Self Children learn language by appropriating the language used with them by other members of the community. This is social speech. It is through social speech that we learn about the world around us, as it is used to organize and reflect on joint activity. "Language has the power to shape our consciousness; and it does so for each human child, by providing the theory that he or she uses to interpret and manipulate their environment" (Halliday, 1993, p. 107). Gradually, children learn to use speech to themselves, first to direct their own activity and then to remember, plan, reason, and evaluate. Vygotsky called this inner speech.

4 Thinking and Communicating The relation of thought to word is not a thing but a process, a continual movement back and forth from thought to word and from word to thought. In that process, the relation of thought to word undergoes changes. Thought is not merely expressed in words; it comes into existence through them [Vygotsky, 1986: 218]) Thought begins like a fertilized egg cell, as an undifferentiated phenotypic whole, full of yet-to-be realized potentialities. What it becomes cannot be forecast precisely and fully because it depends on the context - the activity, the other participants, and the available artifacts. Speech is a practical consciousness-for-others and, consequently, consciousness-for-myself’ (1986, p. 256) “How do I know what I think ‘till I hear what I say?”

5 Think about: what you did yesterday why you like your best friend the best way to get from Santa Cruz to Berkeley why some objects sink while others float what to write about in the mid-term paper how to persuade your friend to vote for X as the next President HOW -- by what means did you think about each?

6 Why is Dialogue So Important? Dialogue enables us to communicate with others in order to: collaborate in getting things done learn how other members of the community make sense of the world and their experience in it learn the ‘tools’ for thinking with develop one’s own understanding in interaction with others “..the prime aim of education ought to be to help children learn how to use language effectively as a tool for thinking collectively; and classroom-based involvement in culturally based ways of thinking collectively can make a significant contribution to the development of individual children’s intellectual ability.” (Mercer, 2002, p. 141)

7 “Knowledge is constructed in the dialogue between people who are doing things together.”

8 Reading and Writing Writing - and all other written symbol systems (e.g. mathematical and scientific formulae, musical and dance notation) - preserve meaning and make it available in different times and places. Most important, a written text allows the writer and other readers to revisit it and to engage in a dialogue with the meanings they construct in interaction with it (Rosenblatt, 1999). Writing is a particularly powerful tool for thinking with. It helps us to organize our thoughts and feelings and to make them clearer and more coherent. Rereading and revising a draft is a very important part of this process of “making meaning with text” (Emig, in Reader). But, most important, there must be a personal purpose. Vygotsky wrote: “Teaching should be organized in such a way that reading and writing are necessary for something … [they] should be incorporated into a task that is necessary and relevant for life” (1978, pp. 117-118).

9 Learning to Read and Write Texts communicate meaning through visual symbols Written text is not self-explanatory Like speech, texts have a purpose and a topic In alphabetic language, they make use of phoneme-grapheme relations and, just as important through choice of vocabulary and grammar Readers and writers construct meaning with the aid of text Talk About Text For example, through “Dialogic Read-Aloud”




13 Language: Speaking, Reading and Writing Why is writing important?  To communicate with others for different purposes - using the appropriate genre  Following Vygotsky, by writing for others we learn to clarify thoughts and feelings for oneself "What literacy contributes to thought is that it turns the thoughts themselves into worthy objects of contemplation" (Olson, D. The World on Paper, 1994, p.277).


15 Your Questions  IDZ and being a “better” teacher.  Language in “less linguistic” subjects.  How to promote dialogue in a predetermined lesson plan.  What is the benefit of having several languages?


17 Question: Why did an odd bird figure in a cloak protect doctors? (referring to an image from a history book showing a doctor clad in leather and wearing a beak mask that makes him look like a bird) Ian: I don't have a total answer for this, but the paragraph underneath the picture says that the bird mask is to filter out the polluted air, and the wand is to heal patients. Don't ask me why he/she wears a leather cloak. Eren:If what this guy is wearing is a mask, it might have actually helped him stay healthy. Alec:This is good Ian, but why a bird/man/penguin? Justin:At the end of the caption of the bird figure, in quotes, it claims, "doctors hoped to avoid the contagion by looking more like a crow than a man". Can anybody try to clarify the quote? Alec:Why a crow? Suzanne: People probably wanted to be birds because they saw that the birds weren't dying. This is because birds don't get fleas and fleas caused the Black Death. Matt:It was not the bird figure protecting the doctors like a god, but it is a form of disease proof clothing. The beak is an early form of gas mask, the cloak of heavy leather. The wand is for soothing the patients. The doctor is covered from head to toe, therefore keeping out the disease.

18 Ray:Theoretically, the birdlike cloak thing might prevent the fleas from getting to the doctors skin, thus giving the individual the plague. The cloak was basically a shield. Suzanne: This could and probably is true, but I doubt the people of the time knew that. Jon: I think it is a witch doctor because of what he is wearing. Justin:It is just a doctor dressed in leather wearing an early edition of a gas mask. More like a doctor wearing a shield from the fleas. Suzanne:But Justin, the doctor didn't KNOW that fleas cause the disease, therefore he couldn't have been wearing it for protection. That's why I agree with Jon that yes, the doctor probably is a witch doctor. The bird suit only had a spiritual meaning. Justin:I didn't say that he/she knew. I mean that the doctor was using the leather as a shield. Ray:The birdlike figure of a god worked. Scientifically speaking, it protected the wearer by preventing the fleas from reaching the skin. It had religious value too. The power of the costume prevented the virus from taking over. COMBINATION Some guy who lived in a town saw his friends dropping like flies. He then decided to cover himself up with lots of clothes. He put clothes on that made him look like a bird. Some doctors noticed he didn't get the plague and thought it was a spirit who protected you when you wore the clothes. But what they didn't know is that it stopped the fleas from getting to you. Question solved. Justin:Did the odd bird figure protect doctors? What is your source? How did these people have the technology when they did not know the cause?

19 Brad:No Justin, the bird man didn't protect doctors. It was the fact that all of their skin was covered and no fleas or rats could pass the disease on to them. Colin:Brad, I must agree, with their bird suits on, the fleas infecting the patient could not penetrate the skin, spreading the disease. Ray:The reason that they thought the suit protected was spiritual. The reason it actually protected them was that it kept the fleas off them. Please reread my previous notes. Alec:This is crazy. It keeps going from spiritual focus to just plain protection and shield edge. Let us first try and get which one is correct. Maybe they're both right. I don't know. Justin:It's not crazy. It keeps on doing that because we are arguing over spiritual and protection. They are both right because the doctor thought it was spiritual, but it was a shield. Alec:Well put, Justin. I now understand why it keeps going. Thanks. Amanda:Maybe that was what doctors wore all the time anyway. Brad:Amanda, I really truly doubt that doctors wore that all the time because I remember reading something that said those costumes were first used during the Black Death.

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