[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]
Re: [xmca] Intensions in context and speech complexity ; From 2-?
- To: firstname.lastname@example.org, "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <email@example.com>
- Subject: Re: [xmca] Intensions in context and speech complexity ; From 2-?
- From: Lois Holzman <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Date: Sun, 19 Jul 2009 23:47:50 -0400
- Delivered-to: email@example.com
- In-reply-to: <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- List-archive: <http://dss.ucsd.edu/mailman/private/xmca>
- List-help: <mailto:email@example.com?subject=help>
- List-id: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <xmca.weber.ucsd.edu>
- List-post: <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org>
- List-subscribe: <http://dss.ucsd.edu/mailman/listinfo/xmca>, <mailto:email@example.com?subject=subscribe>
- List-unsubscribe: <http://dss.ucsd.edu/mailman/listinfo/xmca>, <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org?subject=unsubscribe>
- References: <email@example.com>
- Reply-to: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Sender: email@example.com
Mike's post sent me back to my most recent thinking on imitation (two
weeks ago!) as well as to my language development research in the
mid-70s with Lois Bloom. I do recall that my first published article
(Imitation in Language Development: If, When and Why) was one of a
handful at the time that focused on spontaneous imitation as opposed
to elicited imitation, such as Slobin's study Mike refers to.
OUr findings from longitudinal data from 6 children from single words
to syntax were quite interesting: by our operational definitions, some
of them didn't imitate and their language development was similar to
those that imitated. Those that did imitate, imitated what they were
in the process of learning, and not what they knew well nor what was
beyond them. Today I would say they imitated what was in their ZPD
and that their imitations were part of creating that ZPD.
So it seems to me that the change referred to —to the more simplified
form— could be understood as the child making meaning with what has
been said, playing with it, creating with it, using it. For the social
situation doesn't end just because the child is alone--s/he takes it
with her/him; it becomes part of her/his life world and repertoire.
What I can add about the relevance to school is the importance of
opportunities for language play, and especially the kind of creative
imitation Vygotsky believes is critical for very young children. For
the most part schools do not create opportunities for children to play
with language in the way that is described here. We've created this
thing called "vocabulary" which they are obliged to learn. Children
are asked to get the correct or finished version tas quickly as
possible—and they are typically given simplified language to help them
do this. There is little of the playfulness that happens when the
language around you is not simplified, and you are free to play with
and use it in a variety of ways.
Perhaps helpful in adding to what I am saying is part of this quote
from Vygotsky, which I wrote about in an article several years ago and
resurrected for a just completed chapter for Cathrene-Ana-Vera's
But is fully developed speech, which the child is only able to master
at the end of this period of development, already present in the
child’s environment? It is, indeed. The child speaks in one word
phrases, but his mother talks to him in language which is already
grammatically and syntactically formed and which has a large
vocabulary… Let us agree to call this developed form, which is
supposed to make its appearance at the end of the child’s development,
the final or ideal form. And let us call the child’s form of speech
the primary or rudimentary form. The greatest characteristic feature
of child development is that this development is achieved under
particular conditions of interaction with the environment, where this …
form which is going to appear only at the end of the process of
development is not only already there in the environment … but
actually interacts and exerts a real influence on the primary form, on
the first steps of the child’s development. Something which is only
supposed to take shape at the very end of development, somehow
influences the very first steps in this development. (Vygotsky, 1994,
p. 348—the article is The Problem of the Environment, appearing in The
Vygotsky Reader) Apologies for the slightly abridged version of the
Not surprisingly, I "relate" creative imitation to performance....
Lois Holzman, Director
East Side Institute for Group and Short Term Psychotherapy
920 Broadway, 14th floor
New York NY 10010
tel. 212.941.8906 ext. 324
On Jul 16, 2009, at 5:00 PM, Mike Cole wrote:
David's note of a few days ago on 3-7 year old changes in egocentric
me of an old article by Slobin and Welch (reprinted in Ferguson and
*Studies of Child Development, 1963)
*that it took a while to track down. The study is often cited in
elicited imitation where an adult says some
sentence and asks a little kid to repeat it. Kids simplify the
normal circumstances ("Where is the kitty"
becomes "where kitty") and other such stuff. There is a pretty large
literature on this.
But when I went to find the phenomenon in the article that had most
me, I could not find it in the recent lit
on elicited imitation. The phenomenon seems relevant to the monologic,
dialogic etc speech discussion.
The phenomenon is this: When a 2yr/5month old child is recorded
you finish your eggs all up, Daddy, you
can have your coffee." they can repeat this sentence pretty much as
right afterward. But 10 minutes later it has
become simplified a la the usual observation.
Citing William James (the child has an "intention to say so and so")
and Welch remark:
If that linguistic form is presented for imitation while the
still operative, it can be faily successfully imitated. Once the
is gone, however, the utterance must be processed in linguistic
-- without its original intentional and
contextual support." In the absence of such support, the task can
the child's abilities and reveal a more limited competence than may
be present in spontaneous speech (p. 489-90).
This kind of observation seems relevant in various ways both to
acquisition in school settings and to my reccurrent
questions about the social situation of development. Is it relevant
discussion of egocentric and social speech, David?
xmca mailing list
xmca mailing list