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RE: [xmca] Intensions in context and speech complexity ; From 2-?
A couple of years ago one of my grads was very taken with Vygotsky's replication of the Stern experiment with the photograph. You know, the one where Stern gives a photo to some five year olds, and gets a list of objects, then gives the same photo to some older kids, and gets a bunch of fully articulated sentences, and then gives the same photo to some twelve year olds and gets a whole story.
You remember that Vygotsky gave the photo to the five year olds and asked them to ROLE PLAY the story instead of tell it. They gave a story about a nanny who is sent to prison because she got on a tram without a ticket, and she is worried about children who are at home and have nothing to eat....
So my graduate decided to do the same thing with some third graders, but using a foreign language and also using a video cartoon. Sure enough, the kids basically just said "yes" and "no" when we asked them questions about the video (and many of these answers were wrong). But then, THE NEXT DAY, they were able to role play the story extremely accurately and reproduce a lot of the grammar.
We managed to get even more detailed stories out of the kids using two mediational tools. The first was a four frame cartoon, with empty speech bubbles. The kids were not supposed to write; just refer to the cartoon when they couldn't think of what to say. This often doubled their output (but only dialogically; it didn't really give us the language we were interested in, which was CONTEXT).
The second method of "double stimulation" was a map with various SCENES numbered. The kids were supposed to point to a place on the map and visualize the scene and then act it out. This time we got not only text, but also an amazing amount of context--including language that actually didn't occur in the original script. Weird, huh?
We wrote this up as a journal article, but we got three thumping rejections, so I'm going to have to let it die.
Seoul National University of Education.
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