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Teddy the T-Rex


This pilot study draws on three short spontaneous conversation episodes between an English teacher in a Hebrew-English bilingual kindergarten in the U.S. and a young (5;8) native speaker of Hebrew during a task-based literacy event. It is argued that tasks that trigger spontaneous conversations between teachers and young second language learners are potentially rich sites for language teaching and learning (Long 1996, 2007); teachers cognizant of this potential as they interact with their young interlocutors can use a variety of communicative strategies (Long, 1983; Mckay, 2006; Chaudron, 1988; Swain, 1985, 1995) which are illustrated in the data. Results of a fine-grained discourse analysis show how communicative strategies might be reframed to demonstrate that they reflect and constitute spontaneous formative assessments and treatments. In this way, oral interaction in second language development might be placed in the foreground of practice as it plays itself out in early childhood classrooms and might lead to more frequent, reflective, and intentional conversational moves by teachers in ways that have been shown to foster L2 development. 

Ari Sherris,
Apr 27, 2012, 1:22 AM