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Opportunities to Talk: A Study of L2 Spoken Interaction in Kindergarten

Abstract. Based on examples drawn from two kindergarten lessons and the interaction of five second language (L2) learners, we examine situated spoken discourse in both a focus on form and a focus on narrative from these lessons. Analysis demonstrates that a focus on narrative provides opportunities for L2 children to construct both topical and episodic speech events that link propositional, social, and expressive functions of language as Cazden's (2001) work has shown among mostly native speakers. We therefore contribute to this work by extending an understanding of child discourse to young L2 learners. Moreover, by comparing examples from a focus on form with a focus on narrative, we are able to demonstrate that the latter examples are sites for multifunctional discourse, while the former examples only exhibit an emphasis on a propositional function, relegating more complex discourse samples to off-task talk.

Introduction It is the authors' experience that children in an early childhood classroom are constantly trying out their language skills. As our backgrounds as second language teachers has shown us, very young students who speak a different first language (L1) have a hard time figuring out what to say and how to say it to their teachers and peers. In the typical ESOL classes that we have taught and observed, teachers provided environments where the students could safely experiment with the propositional, social and expressive language they needed to communicate in the school at large (Cazden, 2001). In this paper we examine excerpts of spoken discourse from five second language (L2) learners and their teacher during two kindergarten lessons. Our excerpts include either the instruction of a grammatical item or the elicitation of child narrative, which we refer to as a focus on form or focus on narrative, respectively. Definitions Labov (1972) defined narrative in two ways--one quite minimalist, the other broader: (1) two past tense clauses in temporal step with each other and (2) "one method of recapitulating past experience by matching a verbal sequence of clauses to a sequence of events which (it is inferred) actually occurred" (pp. 359-360). Since we are studying narratives of five year olds, this study is different from Labov's study of adult native speakers of English. Consequently, we

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Opportunities to Talk: A Study of L2 Spoken Interaction in Kindergarten want to add that the narratives might be real or imagined and that our young story tellers may be constructing their narratives in a discursive space of a reality about which they are unsure. McCabe (1991) defines child narrative as "the oral sequencing of temporally successive events, real or imaginary." This seems to align itself with our amended definition from Labov. Moreover, children this age create stories in the present and sometimes project into the future. This is especially evident in our data when they enter a make believe world and begin suddenly to enact their story, as we shall demonstrate. Cazden (2001) identifies three functions in child classroom narratives: the propositional, social, and expressive functions of spoken classroom discourse. The propositional function is the role of language as it is used to access and communicate information. The social function is the role of language in the interest of community, collaboration, and others. The expressive function is language that reflects personal identity. Cazden (2001) also identifies two types of narrative: episodic and topical. An episodic narrative includes several events strung together; a topical narrative focuses on one or two events. We will be using Cazden's (2001) theory of classroom narratives in our study; however, we have embedded it in a fine-grained analysis of several examples of spoken interaction. We also present a fuller context, somewhat ethnographic in nature, for the two lessons we examine in order to give a sense of the multiple opportunities to talk and develop the two different foci--one grammatical and the other narrative. What's New About All This Chaudron (2003), while writing about second language acquisition research, said, ". . . as we are unaware of a primary source of research about personal narratives and their elicitation in second language research, we can only point to the vast literature on the elicitation and analysis

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Opportunities to Talk: A Study of L2 Spoken Interaction in Kindergarten of narrative in L1 research." (p. 809). Therefore, since the lion's share of work on child discourse is with native speaking children, in our study we extend Cazden's (2001) theory to L2 learners. We also take a first look at what happens to narratives when teachers focus on form with young L2 learners. To our knowledge, this has not been previously undertaken. Hence, our research questions are: 1. What are the characteristics of L2 child discourse during a grammar lesson that focuses on one form? 2. What are the characteristics of L2 child discourse during a lesson that focuses on child narrative development? 3. What happens to L2 narratives during a focus on form? We expect to find that a focus on narrative in this kindergarten classroom will provide opportunities for L2 children to construct both topical and episodic multifunctional speech events that link the propositional, social, and expressive functions of language as Cazden (2001) found with native speakers of English. Moreover, by comparing examples from a focus on form with a focus on narrative, we expect to demonstrate that the latter examples are sites for multifunctional discourse of a social and expressive nature, while the former only exhibit an emphasis on the propositional function, relegating the social and expressive functions to off-task talk.

Literature Review In this section, we review the literature on child narrative and child L2 grammar. instruction. There has been little empirical research on early L2 classroom practice (see Hawkins, 2005, for a recent synthesis).

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Opportunities to Talk: A Study of L2 Spoken Interaction in Kindergarten On Children's Narratives The children in our study are in the early elementary years and practice language often while in class and in unstructured social activities like recess. Peterson and McCabe (1983) looked at young children's narratives to see what patterns they followed. They used Labov's definition of reference (relaying information objectively) and evaluation (describing an event subjectively) to analyze two girls' narratives about a similar topic in English. Both narratives were about being stung by a bee; Peterson and McCabe wanted to see how they differed. The older child (eight years old) told her narrative matter-of-factly but with no evaluation or expression of feelings, whereas the younger child (five years old) interspersed her narrative with emotions and evaluations: " `I screamed and I screamed and I cried and I cried' " (p. 30). After studying many such stories Peterson and McCabe summarized the narratives as being built around a high point, or the point where a "complication has reached the maximum." (from Labov & Waletsky, 1967, p. 34-35). They described several patterns that varied from a classical structure, where the narrator describes a story which has a high point, an evaluation and a resolution, to stories that end at the high point, and finally to stories that have no decipherable complication (Peterson & McCabe, 1983). Teacher Influence. How first language learners relate narratives in classrooms depends to a large extent on the influence of the teacher (Michaels, 1981). In many early childhood classes a show and tell or sharing time enables young children to take the floor for uninterrupted narrative in front of the class, something Michaels considers a wonderfully rich time to practice discourse strategies that prepare students for literacy. A mismatch of the teacher's expectations and style with the expectations and style of a student can create either a positive and open environment for relating stories, or an atmosphere that can inhibit a student from speaking in the classroom

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Opportunities to Talk: A Study of L2 Spoken Interaction in Kindergarten (Michaels, 1981). Even though the goal of this type of narrative sharing might be to "produce sustained talk which elaborates upon experiences," there is no guarantee that all students have the capability to do so easily (Christie, 2002 pp 58-59). Because of the relatively unstructured, unscaffolded and unmodeled circumstances during many times when narratives are encouraged, students who need more guidance often fail to become adept at showing and telling in front of the class (Christie, 2002). Therefore, when teaching children to recount narratives, it is important that there be a structure or framework so the students know what is expected and so that the teacher can model and scaffold what the students are expected to know and be able to do (Christie, 2002). In a study with Turkish preschool students, teachers control the story-telling by giving prompts to start and continue the narrative (Kuntay & Ervin-Tripp, 1997). Teachers in a kindergarten L2 classroom studied by Artigal (1993) created an environment of "shared indexical territory" which allowed children who were otherwise unable to communicate in English to acquire language through joint contexts. By setting up the classroom to allow collective role-playing and dramatizations in such a way as to allow the students to build on what they already knew, the students eventually were able to understand and use the new language comfortably. Other aspects of child L2 narratives. Toohey (2000) discovered that young L2 learners who are arguing exhibit differential expertise in spoken discourse that can lead to some dominantsubordinate relations between learners. She suggested that this often must be mediated by the teacher in situations where language is not being jointly acquired and where peripheral participation (Lave & Wenger, 1991, cited in Toohey, 2000) is not being legitimized.

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Opportunities to Talk: A Study of L2 Spoken Interaction in Kindergarten Iddings and McCafferty (2005; in press) examined off-task behavior of young L2 learners. They found it sometimes stems from either motivational or linguistic constraints. They apply Bakhtin's term "carnival" to describe the playfulness that sometimes arises from the stress of not being able to fulfill a task. Off-task playful, creative interaction fosters a sense of relief from an incomprehensible or unmotivating task and fills the silence of noncompliant behavior with off-talk or off-behavior and, as Bakhtin suggests, liberation (Iddings and McCafferty, in press). Ethnicities and narratives. Cazden categorized child narrative into topical and episodic formats (2001). In a study that examined the differences in styles of narrative between white children and African American children in kindergarten and first grade classes, Gee (1999) found that African American girls told stories that were more episodic, non-linear, and longer than the white girls' narratives. Furthermore, the African American children used language as playful tools to have fun with relationships. In contrast, the white girls used language to tell more straightforward, topic-centered stories that progressed sequentially from start through complication to ending. Gee concluded that narratives are not just for relating "a chronological series of events, but to signal a perspective on events and create a satisfying pattern of themes one has drawn from one's various social traditions." (p. 22). These findings could have implications for the second language classroom, where students from a wide variety of backgrounds and oral traditions are asked to speak in a new language and in a possibly different oral tradition. Grammar Instruction for L2 Learners In the studies we reviewed, explicit L2 grammar instruction is not recommended for young learners (Byrd, 2005, Celce-Murcia & Olshtain, 2000, Swain, 1996, Artigal, 1993),

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Opportunities to Talk: A Study of L2 Spoken Interaction in Kindergarten although there is no research on grammar instruction with young L2 learners that we are aware of. Furthermore, grammar instruction is not recommended for young native speakers. Bohannon (1976) concludes that five year old native speakers receive few benefits from explicit grammar instruction. He bases his conclusion on the inability of his young subjects to discern the differences between scrambled and unscrambled sentences. The ability to tell a normallysequenced sentence from one that is scrambled begins at around the age of six (p. 674). While research on this issue has not been conducted on L2 learners, it is highly unlikely that they would be able to discriminate with greater clarity than native speakers of a similar age, although the jury is still out. According to Celce-Murcia (2005), experience and research point to the benefits of teaching grammar implicitly instead of explicitly to younger learners and other learners who are at a beginning level. For example, by encouraging interactive talk in small groups, young L2 learners are able to practice grammatical forms that they hear in the course of learning academic subjects, and so acquire the grammar forms incidentally from the other activities (Flanigan, 1988). "Students who are able to participate in lessons with self-initiated informative sequences. . .and to provide explanations, descriptions, and narrations, appear to get more out of instructional activities. . ."(Fillmore, 1982, cited in Hawkins, 2005).

Focus on Form In this section we examine a grammar lesson in order to determine the characteristics of L2 discourse when there is a focus on form, and also to find out what happens to the story telling functions of language. We also provide a description of background and context of the lesson.

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Opportunities to Talk: A Study of L2 Spoken Interaction in Kindergarten Background for the Grammar Lesson The students were five and six years old, male, and spoke Spanish, Somali or Tigrinya at home. Most were born in the United States and had attended school before they enrolled in kindergarten this year. They were all at an advanced beginner level and so were able to converse with classmates and could understand much of what their teachers said. They attended pull-out ESOL lessons for 35 minutes three times per week in small groups of four to five children. The learning objective for the grammar lesson that follows is for students to be able to name three plural things that they have in class. Many modalities were used to instruct the students, such as physical movements, singing, the senses of touch, seeing and hearing. The formative assessment consisted of exit questions that addressed the learning objective. A chart that learners had colored and which showed the pictures of the classroom objects they had practiced naming was used to prompt formative assessment. The Grammar Lesson The lesson began on the carpet where the students sat down in a semi-circle around the teacher. Each sat with a name card visible to other students and the teacher. The teacher opened her lesson with a song that welcomed each child and gave them opportunities to sing each other's names. This was important because the students were drawn from different homerooms for their ESL lesson, and since this was only their second lesson together this school year, some students did not know each other. After three rounds of the song, the teacher asked students to place their name cards one-on-top of the other in the middle of the circle, rise, and sit facing an adjacent direction on the carpet. The teacher rose and moved to her rocking chair next to a whiteboard. On the chair was a long stick wrapped in a green ribbon with a bright yellow artificial flower on the end (see Figure 1) which the teacher used for pointing and tracking language and modeling

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Opportunities to Talk: A Study of L2 Spoken Interaction in Kindergarten reading from left-to-right, an important pre-literacy skill. Juan, a student in this class, used this transition to ask about the flower which is the first example of off-task talk.

Figure 1. Dollar Store Flower on Teacher's Chair. Dollar Store Flower 1

1. T: Alright turn around and we're going to face the chair and we're going to see what we're going to do today. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Juan: T: Juan: T: Juan: T: What did you buy this? Where did I buy this? At the DOLLAR store. At the DOLLAR store? Yeah. I never got one of those before. Okay, here's what it says. <points with flower to white board and tracks written discourse as she reads it aloud.>

Analysis of Dollar Store Flower This example of spoken discourse provides a transition from the song to the agenda. As the children change position on the carpet, Juan starts a conversation with the teacher unrelated to

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Opportunities to Talk: A Study of L2 Spoken Interaction in Kindergarten the aims of the lesson (line 2). As such, it is the first example of off-task talk from the grammar lesson. Juan demonstrates an interest in one of the teacher's possessions and poses a question that plays a propositional and social function in his interaction with his teacher (line 2). "What did you buy this?" creates an opening to converse about a purchase Juan presumes the teacher made. Juan demonstrates an interest in his teacher's putative purchases. It also plays a propositional function--a request for information about the store if indeed the teacher has recast the child's meaning correctly. Neither the interest in a putative purchase made by the teacher that might contribute to Juan's developing ability to use language to construct social interaction, nor an interest in the propositional function of learning the name of a store where a flower like this might be purchased is on-task talk. The conversation also becomes the site for a recast by the teacher (lines 2, 3), repetition of the propositional content by the learner (line 4), and a personal disclosure by Juan that demonstrates his expressive use of language (line 6). The student's incorrect use of `what' (line 2) is noticed by the teacher who recasts it as "where" and promptly answers the corrected question with stress "at the DOLLAR store". Juan repeats the teacher's answer to his question, imitating the teacher's stress on "DOLLAR". The teacher, ready again to start her lesson, simply responds "yeah", but Juan shares something about himself, about his purchases, and says, "I never got one of those before," which demonstrates an expressive function of language. Juan expresses his identity as a consumer for his teacher and his classmates. He expresses his knowledge of how to construct discourse that takes a social interest in his teacher's choices or purchases, and a propositional interest in the name of the store. The teacher closes the conversation with a brief "Okay" and moves on.

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Opportunities to Talk: A Study of L2 Spoken Interaction in Kindergarten Dollar Store Flower is an example of off-task talk initiated by an L2 learner who takes advantage of a transition from one section of a lesson to another, succeeds in drawing in his teacher--albeit quite minimally--, and demonstrates multifunctional discourse on an off-task topic that incorporates propositional, social, and expressive functions of language. It is also the first example of the marginalization of a narrative from an L2 child during a grammar lesson. The agenda is for a focus on form not a focus on narrative. Even though Juan's co-constructed narrative with his teacher's support is topical in its focused nature, rather than episodic, it is nevertheless off-task. Once the teacher closes Juan's off-task talk, she launches into a presentation of the lesson objectives using the dollar store flower, a small irony of sorts, to track what she reads from the white board. The children develop their tracking skills as they follow the flower and move their eyes from left to right. Figure 2 is a photograph of the whiteboard that has the objectives for the lesson.

Figure 2. Objectives for focus on form.

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Opportunities to Talk: A Study of L2 Spoken Interaction in Kindergarten Some of the children read along with the teacher and when she pauses, they talk about letters they recognize. The children seem to enjoy this activity, though it isn't clear that their attention is on the content. The teacher, who might have sensed this from the nature of their participation, asks if there are any questions. Two more examples of off-task remarks surface from her inquiry.

Brother and Sister 1. T: Okay, you have a question? Okay, raise your hand. Yes. <gives Juan eye contact.> 2. 3. 4. Juan: Do you know about my other brother, how old he is?= T: Juan: four years old. He goes to another school. 5. T: Alright. Juan, in this class we want to talk about only things in this class, alright? But I'll talk to you-- I'll talk to you about your brother when we talk about families, okay? 6. 7. 8. 9. Juan: Okay. T: Jay: T: Yes, Jay. My, eh, my sister's going into school in in in a day or two and grow big! Okay. We're going to talk about what's in our class! Can everybody go to the table, but don't look in the bags yet? =Okay, um= =He is

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Opportunities to Talk: A Study of L2 Spoken Interaction in Kindergarten Analysis of Brother and Sister The brother and sister example of spoken discourse is another example of off-task talk. It also represents an explicit marginalization of child L2 narrative by the teacher in order to stay on task. The teacher has just completed a recitation of the objectives for the lesson and asks her students if they have any questions. Because it is the beginning of the school year, she still reminds them to raise their hand. She acknowledges Juan, who launches into a narrative about his younger brother attending another school. Juan's conversational moves combine the propositional, social, and expressive function of language through a deployment of familial detail (e.g., a four year old, a brother, attending another school), collaborative form (e.g., the use of the interrogative--"do you know. . ."), and self-expression (e.g. this is about "my brother", a sibling). The teacher acknowledges the contribution with "alright" and explains the objective this way, "we want to talk about things in this class, alright?" Her use of a tag question after her restatement of the lesson objective combines a social and propositional function of language: the tag seeks consensus or agreement of a proposition that restates the objective of the lesson; it also buffers her implicit meaning: talking about your brother is not germane to talking about things in this class. So as to further buffer her dismissal of Juan's narrative about his brother, the teacher points out that she'll talk to Juan about his brother "when we talk about families, okay?" Her second use of a tag question creates a parallel structure with the first tag that re-combines a social and propositional function of language only this time one that is sensitive to Juan's narrative and seeks agreement. Juan grants this with a simple "Okay". Then the teacher turns to Jay who had raised his hand too. Jay constructs a narrative about his sister, her school, and the fact that she is growing up. Like Juan's narrative it combines

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Opportunities to Talk: A Study of L2 Spoken Interaction in Kindergarten the propositional (i.e. information about his family), social (i.e., another story similar to Juan's) and expressive (i.e., "my sister", link to a sibling) functions of language. Jay's remarks are similarly off-task and the teacher acknowledges them with an "okay" followed by another reiteration of the lesson objective that implies that Jay's narrative is not relevant, and instructions to go to the table using the polite but informal "can". Brother and Sister is another example of off-task multifunctional discourse where L2 children "steal" opportunities to share stories with their teacher in the presence of their kindergarten classmates. Juan, whose L2 is more proficient than Jay's, uses the interrogative opening "do you know" that establishes a collaborative link with his adult interlocutor, and essentially says--here might be something new that you will know when I share this. We can assume Jay's story was triggered by Juan's, since Jay did not have his hand up until Juan finished telling his. Furthermore, Jay's narrative links topically to Juan's narrative since both are related to siblings and going to school, and as such fulfill a social function as storytelling will often do through such topical links that spontaneously develop in the company of others. While topically similar (`i.e. referencing siblings and school), in the company of others a succession of stories takes on an episodic-like quality through topical and lexical cohesion, albeit of separate and distinct people outside the text. Finally, each child's narrative performs the expressive function of telling us who they are vis-à-vis their respective siblings--important "positionings" among children this age in their worldview of who is younger/smaller and who is older/bigger. The teacher makes a couple attempts to marginalize these stories, but is only successful at her task when she redirects their attention to the table and the bags, and suggests they physically move from the carpet.

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Opportunities to Talk: A Study of L2 Spoken Interaction in Kindergarten In the next section of the lesson, the students have moved from the carpet to the table where the teacher begins the body of her grammar lesson. Until now, the class has sung the Hello Song, and reviewed the lesson objectives. The pace and stricter design (e.g., no open ended questions) of this section results in examples of on-task talk which we examine next. Chairs, Books, Clocks, and Markers 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. Yale: Juan: T: Class: Bana: T: Abdul: T: T: Now, remember the other day we were talking in class about what we have. Let's see. . We have a computer. We have some chairs. Let's see what else do we have. Can you go in and pull out what's in there? <gives Abdul a paper bag.> What's in there? A book. Yeah, we have books! Okay, everybody repeat after me. We have books! We have books! And Clocks. And clocks. We have one clock and two clocks over there. <points.> But we have books. One clock that makes noise. Yes, that's right. Alright, Yale, what do we have in here. <gives him a paper bag.> Markers.

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Opportunities to Talk: A Study of L2 Spoken Interaction in Kindergarten 18. 19. 20. T: Yale: T: Okay, tell me in a sentence. We have markers. Good!

Analysis of Chairs, Books, Clocks, and Markers The teacher begins Chairs, Books, Clocks and Markers by building on prior knowledge from a previous lesson when she recalls plural forms of objects in the classroom that the children had talked about before (i.e., a computer and chairs). This provides an immediate context--objects in the room--and a past one--recalling a previous lesson. It also allows her to contrast the singular with the plural: A computer and chairs (lines 1-3). She then quickly moves to the mystery bags and hands one to Abdul. Before she asks him a direct question she brings the others to the task too by the more inclusive assertion "Let's see what else do we have" (line 4). Then she asks Abdul to tell the class what's inside. This initiates plural morpheme /s/ practice (lines 15). Abdul removes three books, but responds "book". The teacher replies "yeah," recasts 2 the noun in the plural form and uses it in a complete sentence. In conversation with the teacher following the lesson, she explained that she said "yeah" because Abdul is very quiet and positive reinforcement might encourage him to gain the confidence to speak more often in class. It also, of course, acknowledges that his choice of nouns is correct as the teacher continued to point out during our conversation. The initiation-response-evaluation (IRE) is expanded by the teacher requesting that the children chorally repeat her recast and they oblige (Sinclair and Coulthard, 1975). When this traditional school connected discourse structure--IRE--and choral repetition ends, Bana takes the opportunity to expand the reply to the earlier request to recall objects in the

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Opportunities to Talk: A Study of L2 Spoken Interaction in Kindergarten classroom and adds, "And clocks." The teacher elaborates on Bana's contribution and Juan provides further elaboration that the teacher acknowledges as she hands Yale a mystery bag and a new cycle of practice begins. Juan's contribution, while not entirely off-task, was unplanned and doesn't provide an opportunity to practice the plural morpheme /s/ form. Juan adds information that he know about the clock, fulfilling a propositional function that is closed by the teacher with the evaluative reply, "Yes, that's right"(lines 14-15). In the earlier cycle with Abdul, the teacher provided a sentence and asked everyone to repeat it chorally in order to support Abdul who is at a low L2 proficiency level. Yale's level is higher and the teacher requested he put his one word correct plural answer into a sentence (line 18). Yale does this and the teacher closes her second IRE sequence with a simple "Good" (line 20). The teacher continues this routine with minor variations as children discover crayons and cardboard photos of boys and girls. Next the children return to the carpet and leave the objects and bags on the table. The teacher points to a short text of a song that uses plural nouns, then tracks the words and reads it slowly enough for the children to repeat nearly in unison the words with the teacher (see Figure 3). There is again some discussion of letters and small words such as "in" that some of the children recognize. Finally the teacher plays a tape recording where the same text is recited and sung. When the tape is played a second time the children join in and sing it. The teacher then invites individual children to turn a cardboard wheel on a chart until an object appears behind a cardboard window (see Figure 2). The object is in the plural. The teacher leads the children in singing the song from the tape recording with a few times more with different plural nouns each time in order to practice the plural morpheme /s/.

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Opportunities to Talk: A Study of L2 Spoken Interaction in Kindergarten

Figure 3. Song and Wheel Chart. When this is completed, the children return to the table and color objects on paper wheels similar to the large one on the whiteboard. The unsolicited conversation that develops is about choosing colored crayons for the different pictures. When the students have completed coloring they track the text of the song from their papers as the teacher reads it aloud and the children join in. Finally, they sing the song together one more time and track the words on their own papers with their fingers as they sing. The lesson is concluded by the teacher asking each student to name three things they have in school. Each child uses the wheel they just colored for pictures of nouns in the plural, and the opportunities for relating narratives end Drawing Conclusions From the Grammar Lesson The focus on form predominated throughout this lesson and limited the opportunities to talk in order that the children practice the plural morpheme /s/. Nevertheless, some children stole opportunities to tell their teacher stories in the presence of their classmates. Each time these were

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Opportunities to Talk: A Study of L2 Spoken Interaction in Kindergarten marginalized by the teacher who, careful to buffer her criticism, brought her students back to their task. Storytelling during this lesson became marked, off-task behavior and was discouraged. Nevertheless, the narratives that the children shared, all topical rather than episodic, provided opportunities for students to construct multifunctional discourse that included propositional, social, and expressive language functions. This was in contrast to the predominance of propositional language functions with a focus on generating and practicing plural nouns vis-à-vis the exophoric links to objects in the bags and on the paper wheels. However, children often only focused on this more restricted use of language without fostering opportunities for the social and expressive function of language to occur.

Focus on Narrative In this section, we will examine the interaction that transpired during a lesson in the same classroom where the focus is on story telling rather than grammar.

Background for the Narrative Lesson The learning objective for this lesson was to plan, draw, write, and tell a story. Students worked in small groups to accomplish their tasks. The teacher chose a dynamic assessment of providing ongoing feedback to small groups of children as she moved from group to group and facilitated the tasks technique (Poehner & Lantolf, 2003; Sherris, 2006). This section examines spoken interaction between two L2 kindergarten children during the narrative lesson. We have divided the discourse into smaller examples and present them in the sequence in which they occurred; while this is the lion's share of discourse between these two children, we have not transcribed all of it. Most of the private speech strategies that each

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Opportunities to Talk: A Study of L2 Spoken Interaction in Kindergarten child used while writing were not included in this analysis. Neither was the other grouping of children. Nevertheless, we hope to show that a focus on narrative development provides a site for children to use language in rich and complex interaction.

The Narrative Lesson The lesson began with the children on the carpet to sing the Hello song once. The teacher rose and moved to her rocking chair on an adjacent side of the carpet and the children rose, turned in her direction and sat down on the carpet again. She tracked the objectives on the white board and the children followed the text and recited it together. Then the teacher introduced the concept of "setting" by talking about the different illustrations of settings in a book about family vacations. This gave students an opportunity to practice vocabulary related to setting (e.g., beach and snow). Then the teacher broke the small class of 5 learners into two groups to each plan a setting and illustrate a story they would create themselves. The first example of spoken discourse demonstrates the teacher giving instructions to a pair of students at this stage of the lesson. It also includes a segment of planning a response by the pair of students. It is part of a task where students have to plan a setting together and tell a story about what happens. As such, it represents the beginning of narrative development among two kindergarten L2 learners.

Shared Planning 1. 2. 3. Jay: T: Okay, Jay & Yale come over here. I want you to draw a picture together. Okay

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Opportunities to Talk: A Study of L2 Spoken Interaction in Kindergarten 4. T: 5. 6. 7. 8. Yale: 9. T: 10. 11. ?: 12. Jay: 13. Yale: 14. 15. Jay: Jay: T: Talk about what picture you want to draw. I want a pool. Okay, you tell Yale what you want to draw. You guys decide what you want to draw. On that paper? <Points to paper on the wall.> No, on this paper <taps paper on the floor> and you guys draw it together and then we're going to write about it. <Walks away from Jay & Yeffers.> /????/ You tell me first again. <Looks at large white paper on the floor. Claps hands and smiles.> I like to sleep. in the snow. Like this. Like this. <Lies across paper with closed eyes.> Okay, my turn after you /????/ <both boys go off to get crayons.>

Analysis of Shared Planning The teacher initiates her instructions with the word "okay" and draws the boys' attention by directing them to a particular area of the classroom (line 1). She follows this with a statement of what the pair has to do together: "draw a picture" (line 2). Jay responds positively and the teacher instructs the students to discuss what they want to draw (lines 3-4). Jay tells the teacher and Yale that he wants to draw a pool and the teacher clarifies that Jay should tell Yale what he wants to draw rather than tell her. Then she adds that they must decide (lines 5-7). Jay is confused where the drawing is to take place, the teacher shows him the paper on the floor, asks them to draw cooperatively, write about their drawing, and walks away (lines 8-10). Jay tells Yale to begin the planning (line 12). Yale considers what to say, claps, smiles, says he likes to

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Opportunities to Talk: A Study of L2 Spoken Interaction in Kindergarten sleep in the snow, lies down across the large white sheet of paper, and closes his eyes (lines 1314). Jay abandons his idea of a pool and concludes that he would like to join in and take a turn sleeping in the snow. However, both boys run off to get crayons (line 15). This example includes propositional information related to the task: Jay suggests that the setting be a pool (line 5) and Yale later suggest that it be a field of snow (line 14). It also includes examples of the social function of language when the teacher suggests they work collaboratively deciding together what to draw (lines 2, 4, 6, 7, 9, 10), when Yale asks if the paper on the wall is where they will be making their drawing (line 8), and when Jay, the less language proficient learner, defers to Yale's ideas (lines 12, 15). The expressive function is most apparent when Yale shares that he likes to sleep in the snow (lines 13-14) and transforms the speech event into a role play where he imagines the white paper to be snow, lies down, and closes his eyes (lines 14-15). This short topical narrative through shared planning that includes the teacher evolves into sleeping in the snow and becomes a site for the spontaneous enactment of the narrative on the interface between the real and the make-believe. Neither interlocutor has a writing instrument. Yale takes the opportunity to pretend that the white paper is snow and role plays sleeping in it quite spontaneously 3 . Judging by Jay's excited remark, "Okay, my turn after you" (line 15) and Yale's clapping and smile at the outset of his mini-dramatic play, the event has become highly engaging for both boys. When engagement is on-task behavior as this is, it is a sign of a highquality lesson. It is also a sign of a narrative reaching a conclusion on a high point (Peterson & McCabe, 1983). By way of summary, Yale has visualized a setting, snow, and enacted a narrative, sleeping in the snow, before he runs off for crayons to represent his setting and story. Yale has

2006 © Arieh (Ari) Sherris & Shelley Harris


Opportunities to Talk: A Study of L2 Spoken Interaction in Kindergarten also modeled a process of constructing knowledge for Jay who has played a facilitative role possibly because his English is less proficient than Yale's 4 . The teacher's choice of task, and her strategic decision to withhold the crayons through the planning process, has generated the conditions for the imaginative process to develop, first through spoken discourse in conversation with the teacher, followed by a discussion between the two boys which becomes a staging ground for a playful event to unfold. It also provides an opportunity for the children to represent this in a drawing and writing activity as we will see later. Planning which became enactment quite spontaneously will be represented through drawing and writing, although as we will see, Yale will suggest a new setting and Jay will acquiesce in this decision. Seminal moves in the development of writing are therefore closely linked to a cognitive process of thought, one that evolves, and one that is imaginative and fun. When Jay and Yale return with crayons, the two boys continue their conversation.

Shared Topical Revision 1. Jay: 2. Yale: 3. 4. 5. Jay: 6. Yale: 7. 8. Jay: 9. Yale: What do you want? <looking at crayons> White. White for the snow. <Yale begins coloring with white; so does Jay.> <Yale stops, looks at the white crayon marks on white paper.> Okay, what are you doing? You see. The snow. /????/ Okay. Let's. May--Maybe we should make the beach. The beach! Let's make the beach! Now I am. <Stops. Watches Yale.> The beach. <draws with blue crayon.> These are water. <draws from one end of

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Opportunities to Talk: A Study of L2 Spoken Interaction in Kindergarten 10. 11. Jay: the paper to the other end and begins again.> Come on! Then a pool. Then a pool, right? I need a pool.

Analysis of Shared Topical Revision Shared Topical Revision is a continuation of the previous example. Jay doesn't take his turn at pretending to sleep in the snow, but continues to use language in its social function, as he did in the previous example, by asking Yale to make the first choice from the crayon box (line 1). Yale chooses a white crayon, provides a reason, and Jay follows suit. Both boys energetically color (line 2). Yale is the first to stop and observe Jay's work and his own work in a move that appears as if he is taking stock of their work as a whole and might be evaluating it, though no direct evaluation is stated (line 3). What is clear is that the many intense white crayon marks are not very visible on white paper 5 , although Yale does not remark on this; instead, he asks what Jay is doing (lines 3-4), which performs a social function and promotes a reply in which Jay must take stock of his actions and produce language that describes these actions: "You know. The snow" although the tape is unclear on the word snow. Yale then demonstrates a tentativeness that seems to indicate a collaborative turn in his presentation of himself when he says, "Okay. Let's. May-maybe we should make the beach" (line 6). The use of "maybe" and "we" represent a social move on Yale's part that has not been characteristic of his interaction with Jay. It is as if Yale is asking Jay to consider a revision of the choice of topic. However, before Jay has a chance to reply, Yale becomes convinced that the setting be transformed into a beach, he finds the blue crayon, and begins to cover the white with blue, effectively revising his earlier work and topical choice. Yale's self-expressive dominant

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Opportunities to Talk: A Study of L2 Spoken Interaction in Kindergarten characteristic wins out. Jay watches all this and only replies, "Now, I am." This would seem to establish through ellipsis that Jay is making the beach too (see figure 4), though in fact he has stopped coloring; instead, he watches Yale begin coloring with a blue crayon. Jay again acquiesces to Yale's thinking, at least in word. Furthermore there is a lag in Jay's actions since there is no exophoric link between what he says and his behavior. Consequently, Jay's ellipsis is paradoxical. It might be explained by the simple fact that he has yet to learn the future tense or it might be explained by the subordinate role he plays vis-à-vis Yale, which again may be triggered by his lower English proficiency. In either case, the interaction that has arisen has become a site for what Leve and Wenger (2003) might argue is legitimate peripheral learning which Jay learns from Yale as an apprentice might.

6. Yale: 7. 8. Jay:

Okay. Let's. May--Maybe we should make the beach. The beach! Let's make the beach! Now I am. <Stops. Watches Yale.>

Figure 4. Jay's Paradoxical Ellipsis.

Consequently, Jay, in his deference to Yale, uses the present simple copula "I am" and intensifies the present circumstance by saying "Now, I am." (line 8), which is a deictic cohesive link, an ellipsis, to what Yale is doing (i.e. making the beach) and not what he himself is doing. Instead, Jay just watches as Yale speedily covers the white crayon marks with blue, revising the setting of the narrative they are co-creating, until Yale cajoles him with a "come on" (line 10).

2006 © Arieh (Ari) Sherris & Shelley Harris


Opportunities to Talk: A Study of L2 Spoken Interaction in Kindergarten Apparently, Jay was contemplating a third setting, not the snow or the beach, but a pool, which we recall, was his initial proposition about which his teacher convinced him to talk over with Yale. Jay reopens his setting with a sequential or logical marker "then" and revisits his earlier proposition "a pool". When he gets no response from Yale he restates it with a tag question "right" (line 11)? Once again, no response from Yale who is very involved with coloring over every last sign of snow. In an uncharacteristically self-expressive mode, Jay than asserts he needs a pool and begins to draw one regardless of Yale's agreement, a move he might have learned from Yale. There is no other topical revision as both boys work quietly revising their topic, albeit Yale creating a beach and Jay a pool. Both boys color quite actively, don't look up at each other, and engage in private speech which has been identified as a problem-solving strategy related to task success at this age (Winsler & Naglieri, 2003). Private speech has been identified among children as what they say aloud while not looking at others or addressing them directly; it is often quieter, but not always, and it can be in a different rhythm, sometimes sing-song like and repetitive .

Private Speech 1. Jay: 2. 3. 5. Yale: 6. <talking to himself in a low voice> Come on. <continues drawing and talking to himself> Then a pool. <continues drawing representations of water flowing> Go the water. <talking to himself> And here you can jump to the beach! < As he says jump he lifts his pencil high in the air as if jumping.> Now this is the place to jump to the

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Opportunities to Talk: A Study of L2 Spoken Interaction in Kindergarten 7. beach!

Analysis of Private Speech The boys sit on either side of the paper and show little concern for a unified perspective for their drawing. That is, there is no top of the paper representing the sky and bottom representing the pool and the beach. The boys do not concern themselves with this at all. Their respective narratives--and drawing--are unified to the extent that both boys have chosen water over snow and have abandoned using white crayons. Jay's private speech demonstrates a concern with Yale's appeal to get started. Jay also tells himself his setting--a pool, and then enacts the flow of water in a physical role play with a verbal explanation to himself, "Go the water." This is the first time Jay has entered a make-believe play space that he verbalizes. Yale's private speech demonstrates his enactment of jumping to the beach from a long rectangle he drew on the paper that extends from the blue area which he described as water. This represents the second time Yale enters a make-believe play space; the first time was sleeping in the snow. The next example of spoken discourse between the two boys includes the teacher who wants to be sure they will be ready to write about their picture.

Exophoric Link 6. 7. Teacher: Jay and Yale, what are you drawing? Yale: The beach. A beach.

8. Jay: 9.

Teacher: Okay.

2006 © Arieh (Ari) Sherris & Shelley Harris


Opportunities to Talk: A Study of L2 Spoken Interaction in Kindergarten 10. Jay: 11. Yale: 12. This is in the book. And this is--You can jump to the beach. < smiles and lifts blue crayon high over his head to simulate the motion of jumping.>

Analysis of Exophoric Link The teacher elicits the setting from the two boys. Jay again defers to Yale's answer by repeating it rather than mentioning a pool. The teacher closes the intiation-reponse-evaluation sequence of moves with "okay" (lines 6-9) and Jay draws a specific exophoric link (line 10) between their setting, the beach, and the setting of a beach from the book that the teacher used in order to provide examples of settings during her introduction to this lesson. Yale, quite happily engaged by the enactment of his narrative, smiles and lifts his blue crayon high in the air as he explains "you can jump to the beach." The teacher smiles and returns to the other group. When she returns, it is to initiate the next stage of the lesson where the students must write something about their pictures. The teacher is keen on establishing links in her class between shared reading, conversation, and writing.

Shared Writing 1. Teacher: Alright, if you're finished drawing your picture= 2. Jay: name= 3. Teacher: =Okay, put your name on it. Then I'm going to give you a pencil so you can write something about your picture. =Oh yea, we need to make my

2006 © Arieh (Ari) Sherris & Shelley Harris


Opportunities to Talk: A Study of L2 Spoken Interaction in Kindergarten

Analysis of Shared Writing In order to understand the flow of this lesson, we discuss the subsequent sequence but do not transcribe it as it is more private speech of a specific nature related to early writing and outside the focus of this paper. Jay and Yale sound out letters and write short, simple ideas on their picture. Other than a few site words that they have learned such as "see" and "I", their writing shows an ability to write the onset and much difficulty with the rime. Their private speech during this sequence of the lesson demonstrates their attempt to link the phonemes they articulate to themselves with the knowledge of particular letters, and their nascent ability to write the letters. Next, the teacher returns to the boys. Yale develops his narrative beyond just the setting. It is almost as if the overreaching that was required to eke out written text, has an effect on Yale's enhancement of his oral narrative.

Shared Narrative Development 1. Yale: I see a tiger in the beach.

2. Teacher: A tiger in the beach? 3. 4. Yale: Yea, swimming all around to kill the people!

Teacher: Oh my goodness, I don't see a tiger, but you'll have to show us. Okay, I will make one

5. Yale: 6.

Teacher: Excellent! <teacher walks away, Yale colors a tiger, and the teacher returns.>

7. Teacher: Okay, Yale, tell me about the lion--or the tiger. 8. Yale: He's a bad guy with a ma--He's a man with a mask <pretends to put a mask on.>

2006 © Arieh (Ari) Sherris & Shelley Harris


Opportunities to Talk: A Study of L2 Spoken Interaction in Kindergarten 9. like the /????/ who don't see the people /????/

10. Teacher: Okay. What else? 11. Yale: Aaaand--that's all!

Analysis of Shared Narrative Development Yale's imaginative development of the man in a tiger mask killing people at the beach is a simple story that he will retell when asked to present his picture to his classmates. His story has a high point, or complicating action (Peterson & McCabe, 1983), "the tiger swimming all around to kill the people!"

Presentation 1. Teacher: Alright, Jay and Yale, come on over here <motions to the front of room.> And kids, let's sit down on the floor. We're going to listen to them tell us about their picture. 2. 3. 4. 5. Yale: Jay: Yale: Jay: You go first! We made a--a water and= =a tiger= =a tiger and= =a man with a mask <pretends to put on mask.>like a tiger to scares the people! Jay: Yale: and this. <points to rectangle.> And the. . .Oh the thing to jump on the beach! <Jay turns the paper the opposite direction.>

6. Yale: 7. 8. 9. 10.

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Opportunities to Talk: A Study of L2 Spoken Interaction in Kindergarten 11. Jay: 12. Yale: aaa= =and we have a lot of things and the water all over the place!

Analysis of Presentation Yale tells Jay to go first and as such, uses language in its social function, but Jay does not have the language proficiency to express all of the ideas in a topical way. Yale interrupts and tells his classmates about the man in the tiger's mask scaring the people on the beach where there is water all over. Both boys present very simple ideas. Yale's interruptions present new propositions and function as elaborations to Jay's proposition ("we made. . .a water"). The tiger scaring people introduces a problem into the narrative and brings it to a high point (Peterson & McCabe, 1983). It also introduces the emotion of fear that young children understand. There is no resolution to this story of deception (a man in a mask) and fear (the masked man as tiger scaring people).

Drawing Conclusions From the Narrative Lesson We have examined a sequence of spoken discourse that demonstrates how young L2 speakers plan and revise their topic, use private speech, develop a story by drawing, talking and writing, and present some of their ideas to their classmates. Our fine-grained analysis explored the social, propositional, and expressive functions of language, the enactment of ideas through make believe play, and exophoric links between ideas and the classroom context. We also discovered examples of legitimate peripheral participation (Lave & Wenger, 2003) by a less proficient English speaker across many examples throughout the interaction between these two children. Taken together, these elements reflect and constitute rich, complex interaction.

2006 © Arieh (Ari) Sherris & Shelley Harris


Opportunities to Talk: A Study of L2 Spoken Interaction in Kindergarten Drawing Conclusions From Both a Focus on Form and Focus on Narrative At the outset of our research we set out to discover the characteristics of L2 child discourse during two very different lessons--one that focused on a form (practice of the plural morpheme /s/) and one that focused on narrative development (the construction of stories by children). We also asked what happens to L2 narratives during a focus on form. We discovered that the focus on form lesson spotlighted the propositional function of language. By design, the teacher created the conditions for repetitive instances for children to focus on the plural morpheme /s/. Moreover, through the unnatural stress by the teacher that was imitated by students, the plural morpheme was made the salient feature of the mystery bag task. It was also the focus of the changes in the repeated song. After that, it became the focus of the wheel chart, first in whole group choral repetition and later through individual work with wheel charts that each child colored. Finally, each child talked about the wheel chart with the teacher in individual consultations where formative assessment was conducted. In each instance, the teacher reacted to errors, repaired them and fostered opportunities for L2 learners to notice the corrected grammatical form. The teacher's focus on form was an implicit focus rather than an explicit one as is advocated by Long (2007) although in this case with unnatural emphasis on the plural morpheme. No grammar rule was overtly stated. The IRE pattern predominated with few opportunities for the students to say more than the one or two words that the teacher expected in answer to questions about the wheel chart. There were exophoric links to realia from the classroom by design in this lesson (e.g., when the students where asked to recall objects around the room discussed during a previous lesson, and of course the objects from the classroom hidden in the mystery bags).

2006 © Arieh (Ari) Sherris & Shelley Harris


Opportunities to Talk: A Study of L2 Spoken Interaction in Kindergarten However, during the focus on narrative, the characteristic design feature of the lesson was to foster the conditions for children to construct a narrative. The focus was not so specifically on propositional functions of language, but was instead a multifunctional or integrated focus where children worked out interactions, propositions, social behaviors, and expressed their individual identities through language use in ways that were closer to natural interactions beyond the four walls of the schoolhouse. We would be remiss were we not to indicate that there was structure that was academic and very much by design in this lesson, albeit quite different from the grammar lesson where the teacher dominated the interaction. With the narrative lesson, the yoke of power moved to the children where there were even opportunities for what Lave and Wenger (2003) refer to as legitimate peripheral participation, which we examined. At the outset of the lesson, the teacher's presentation was limited to a picture walk through a book of different settings. Then the teacher became a facilitator as the children worked with partners to plan a shared setting before crayons were brought in. We discovered that enactments happened where children entered a make-believe world and used private speech, struggled with writing, and finally made presentations to their classmates. These multiple opportunities for children to talk with one another, and for the teacher to join in this talk, created the conditions for children to construct a multifunctional spoken discourse where IRE did not predominate although it was present too. Finally, our third question raised a concern. What happens to the narratives that children might construct during a focus on form? We discovered that some children steal time to share their stories with their teacher in the presence of their classmates. We also saw that the constraints of a focus on form in the grammar lesson led to the characterization of these stories as off-task. Interestingly, one of the examples that we discovered of these off-task narratives

2006 © Arieh (Ari) Sherris & Shelley Harris


Opportunities to Talk: A Study of L2 Spoken Interaction in Kindergarten came from a child who was among the least proficient L2 speakers in the class; not so surprisingly, the other examples were from a quite proficient speaker. We conclude that the impulse to share a story, to construct spoken discourse that is rich and multifunctional seems to know no proficiency level in this classroom. Certainly the level of lexical and morphosyntactic refinement will differ greatly across proficiency levels, but the impulse, the raw energy to tell a story, knows no proficiency level. Therefore, if we have any recommendations in the area of L2 pedagogy from this small, fine-grained study of spoken discourse, it is one: We recommend that the child's impulse to tell stories be tapped through scaffolded instruction, where narrative might provide the foundation for design and the incidental focus on form becomes a more submissive strand in L2 classrooms. Then, opportunities to talk might remain an important principle and all of the functions of language might be given opportunities to develop along more natural trajectories.

2006 © Arieh (Ari) Sherris & Shelley Harris


Opportunities to Talk: A Study of L2 Spoken Interaction in Kindergarten Bibliography Artigal, J. (1993). The L2 kindergarten teacher as a territory marker. In J. Alatis (Ed.), Georgetown University Round Table on Languages and Linguistics 1993 (pp. 452-468). Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press. Bohannon, J., III. (1976). Normal and scrambled grammar in discrimination, imitation, and comprehension. Child Development, 47(3), 669-681. Byrd, P. (2005). Instructed Grammar. In E. Hinkel (Ed.), Handbook of research in second language teaching and learning, pp. 545-562. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Cazden, C. B. (2001). Classroom discourse: The language of teaching and learning. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann. Celce-Murcia, M., & Olshtain, E. (2000). Discourse and context in language teaching: A guide for language teachers. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Chaudron, C. (2003). Data collection in SLA research. In Doughty & M. H. Long (Eds.), The handbook of second language acquisition (pp. 762-828). Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing. Christie, Frances. (2002). Early childhood: first steps in becoming a pedagogic subject. In Classroom discourse analysis (pp. 28-62). New York: Continuum. Flanigan, B. (1987/1988). Second language acquisition in the elementary schools: the negotiation of meaning by native-speaking and nonnative-speaking peers. The Bilingual Review/ La Revista Bilingue, 14(3), 25-40.

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Opportunities to Talk: A Study of L2 Spoken Interaction in Kindergarten Gee, J. P. (1991). Memory and myth: A perspective on narrative. In A. McCabe & C. Peterson (Eds.), Developing narrative structure (pp. 1-15). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum. Gibson, E. & Levin, H. (1980). The psychology of reading. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. Halliday, M., & Hasan, R. (1976). Cohesion in English. Harlow, UK: Longman. Hawkins, M. R. (2005). ESL in elementary education. In E. Hinkel (Ed.), Handbook of research in second language teaching and learning, pp. 25-44. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Iddings, A., & McCafferty, S. (2005). Language play and language learning: Creating zones of proximal development in a third-grade multilingual classroom. In A. E. Tyler, M. Takada, Y. Kim, and D. Marinova (Eds.), Language in use: Cognitive and discourse perspectives on language and language learning, pp. 112-123. GURT Series, Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press. Iddings, A., & McCafferty, S. (in press). Carnival in a mainstream kindergarten classroom: A Bakhtinian analysis of second language learners' "off-task" behaviors. Modern Language Journal. Kuntay, A., & Ervin-Tripp, S. (1997). Conversational narratives of children: Occasions and structures. Journal of Narrative and Life History, 7, 113-120. Labov, W. (1972). Language in the inner-city. Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press. Lave, J., & Wenger, E. (2003). Situated learning: Legitimate peripheral participation. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. Long, M. (2007). Problems in SLA. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

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Opportunities to Talk: A Study of L2 Spoken Interaction in Kindergarten McCabe, A. (1991). Preface: Structure as a way of understanding. In A. McCabe & C. Peterson (Eds.), Developing narrative structure (pp. ix-xvii). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum. Michaels, S. (1981). "Sharing time": Children's narrative styles and differential access to literacy. Language in Society, 10, 423-442. Peterson, C., & McCabe, A. (1983). High Point Analysis. In Developmental psycholinguistics: Three ways of looking at a child's narrative (p. 37). New York: Plenum Press.

Poehner, M. E., & Lantolf, J. P. (2003). Dynamic assessment of L2 development: Bringing the past into the future. CALPER Working Papers Series, No. 1. The Pennsylvania State University, Center for Advanced Language Proficiency, Education and Research. Sherris, A. (2006, March). Spontaneous Language Assessment in a Bilingual Kindergarten. Paper presented in invited session at the annual convention of the Teaching of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL), Tampa, Florida. Sinclair, J. McH, & Coulthard, M. (1975). Towards an analysis of discourse. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. Swain, M. (1996). Discovering successful second language teaching strategies and practices: From programme evaluation to classroom experimentation. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 17(2-4), 89-104. Toohey, K. (2000). Learning English at school : identity, social relations, and classroom practice. Clevedon, UK: Multilingual Matters. Winsler, A., & Naglieri, J. (2003). Overt and covert verbal problem-solving strategies: Developmental trends in use, awareness, and relations with task performance in children aged 5 to 17. Child Development, 74, 659-678.

2006 © Arieh (Ari) Sherris & Shelley Harris


Opportunities to Talk: A Study of L2 Spoken Interaction in Kindergarten

The transcription conventions are: <laughs> Angle brackets enclose the manner in which words are spoken and descriptions of physical behavior. /words/ Slashes enclose uncertain transcription /????/ Question marks within slashes indicate indecipherable speech ?: A question mark followed by a colon indicates indecipherable speaker ! An exclamation point indicates animated tone . A period indicates final falling intonation , A comma indicates phrase final intonation or more to come WORD Capitals indicate emphatic stress Word= =word Equal signs lined up vertically on the page indicate latching utterances Long (2007) defines a corrective recast ". . .as a reformulation of all or part of a learner's immediately preceding utterance in which one or more nontarget-like (lexical, grammatical, etc.) items is/are replaced by the corresponding target language form(s), and where, throughout the exchange, the focus of the interlocutors is on meaning, not language as object" (p. 77). Recasts are examples of negative feedback about which there are over 60 L2 studies (Long, 2007, p. 75). Long continues, "In addition to its potential psycholinguistic advantages, the implicitness of recasts make them the least intrusive of the many possible procedures for delivering negative feedback. . ." (p. 114). 3 Iddings and McCafferty (2005) examine similar behavior among 8 and 9 year olds, and they conclude playful enactment is highly productive for L2 learning. 4 Lave and Wenger (1991) might identify Jay's form of learning as legitimate peripheral participation. 5 Gibson & Levin (1980) discovered that children between the ages of 15 to 38 months already took little interest in tools that left no trace marks; this is all the more true of 5 year olds.



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