RE: [xmca] Syllogism and interlanguage

From: Sarah Hyde <shyde who-is-at>
Date: Mon Dec 31 2007 - 17:01:51 PST

Thanks Michael,

Yes, I think I have read Strauss' work in the ER, I think it was
written some time ago though. He also contributed to a study, an
ethnography I think, written up by Howard Becker called Boys in White
in the 60's - it was a great read and again, 'ground breaking stuff'
from the Chicago school. There aren't a whole lot of papers written
from a traditional sociocultural perspective in the area, although
perhaps I might go back and have another read of Strauss' work using a
sociocultural lens and I am sure I will get more out of it. I read it
very early on in my thesis....

What I am finding difficult is trying to wear a sociocultural hat
instead of a PBL/medical educator practitioner hat when I am writing
up my results and to try and make my results read in a more
theoretically significant way rather than pure description...I am sure
I am internalising the concepts but as yet not able to externalise
them or haven't transformed them to the satisfaction of my supervisor!
What I find most enjoyable of course is doing all the reading and
Strauss is certainly a great one to read...

Happy New Year!


Quoting Michael Glassman <>:

> Hey Sarah,
> Have you looked at the work Anselm Stauss did in emergency rooms in
> San Francisco - pretty interesting stuff that may be applicable to
> your thesis. I don't have access to the exact reference right now,
> but it is ground breaking stuff.
> Michael
> ________________________________
> From: on behalf of Sarah Hyde
> Sent: Sun 12/30/2007 12:18 AM
> To:
> Subject: Re: [xmca] Syllogism and interlanguage
> Hi Mark,
> I too am in the process of my dissertation and am pleased to see some
> references made to sociocultural theory on this list as it is more in
> my domain than Activity theory, hence my re of my thesis and am
> looking at how medical students regulate their learning in
> problem-based learning (PBL) contexts and how they transfer this to
> the hospital setting. I am using sociocultural theory, and it seems to
> me that in response to your question:
> "In the sociocultural theory the students in the classroom are
> focusing on the use of the
> language and their use of language eventually develops their abilities
> to effectively
> acquire language? Is this more individual?"
> perhaps one of the issues to look at involves internalisation and
> externalisation. Perhaps your students are not internalising some of
> the principles of language acquisition. Or perhaps they are
> internalising it but not able to externalise it accurately?!
> I also think there are some problems associated with students
> 'acquiring' new knowledge or language. My understanding of
> sociocultural theory is that learners transform their understanding in
> interaction with others and with artifacts to create new meaning and
> create new knowledge in doing so, a kind of social constructivist
> approach. I think the notion of 'acquisition' implies some sort of
> blank slate approach where the learner simply fills up their mind with
> the appropriate material instead of transforming it for their own
> understanding and then externalisating that understanding.
> As an example of internalisation and externalisation for example, in
> my study, the PBL tutor asks the group why they are suggesting certain
> hypotheses for the patients problem, why they are conducting certain
> tests, why is one hypothesis more likely than another and so on to
> probe students understanding and to get them to elaborate on their
> reasoning. My results suggest that students internalise these
> facilitation strategies and subsequently externalise them in the
> clinical setting when they are with peers and practice skills on one
> another or observe each other taking a patient history. Afterwards,
> students will give their peers feedback and ask them why did you ask
> such and such a question, why did you phrase it that way etc.
> I am drawing on the work of Richard Walker and Kimberly
> Pressick-Kilborn in my understanding of sociocultural theory.
> Hope this is helpful, I struggle with Activity theory and perhaps
> either/or could be used depending on which type of perspective you
> take. I have also found it useful when analysing my results to use
> Rogoff's 3 planes of analysis - Individual, Interpersonal and
> Community. In my study, the PBL group is the community. Perhaps they
> may correspond with the Individual-Society-Community triad mentioned
> in later posts?
> Regards,
> Sarah
> Quoting Mark deBoer <>:
>> Hello everyone,
>> I apologize for introducing a new thread amongst the discussions of
>> Andy's article.
>> I am beginning my dissertation outline now and have started to go back
>> over some of my notes, especially those to do with The genetic method.
>> What I am attempting to do in my dissertation is to link Vygotsky with
>> methodology in the EFL classroom. In the past year or so, I have
>> developed a new type of methodology which focuses on learning how to
>> learn in a student centered classroom. In one of my papers I focused on
>> the development of interlanguage, which I believe is a fundamental
>> principle to language acquisition. Here in Japan, the focus is too much
>> on learning a set phrase, learning some vocabulary, and then doing
>> pairwork with flash cards or games in which the phrase is repeated. The
>> problem with this kind of methodology is that there is no
>> interlanguage. There is no language learned in a social setting which
>> is applicable to the language target being 'learned'.
>> In developing the V-task (methodology) I have focused on a number of
>> different ideas.
>> 1. The use of interlanguage in the classroom and how language is
>> transferred from 'more capable peers' in a interactive setting.
>> 2. The use of language to acquire more language, rather than the focus
>> on learning new language and leaving learnt language behind.
>> 3. The discourse that occurs in the V-task classroom and how it
>> compares with the Sinclair-Coulthard IRF model. The reduction of
>> display questions as well as 'embedding', student-student only
>> interactions and the reduction of Feedback were examined and I created
>> a complementary model to the Sinclair-Coulthard model which examined
>> the discourse in that kind of interactive environment.
>> 4. A study of the dynamics of the classroom using the activity theory
>> and recently the activity system transformation in the V-task classroom.
>> Since my interest lies in acquisition in the EFL classroom, there are a
>> number of ideas that I hope someone can assist me with.
>> In Lantolf and Thorne's Sociocultural Theory and the Genesis of Second
>> Language Development, they discuss Luria's research (p.39) with regards
>> to syllogism.
>> If for example, we use the general IRF model (prominent in Japan) for
>> our discourse patter in the classroom, we might get something like this:
>> T: What time is it? (holding a flash card)
>> S(s): It's one o'clock.
>> T: Good
>> T: Now, What time is it?
>> S(s): It's 2 o'clock.
>> T: Good.
>> and the pattern continues. If students in their own practice sessions
>> make an error, the teacher more than often corrects them on form until
>> the target is learned.
>> In a classroom where interlanguage has been a focus and students are
>> more aware of the language and how it works could encounter in context
>> a variety of the above language target and still be able to get by.
>> 1. Do you have the time?
>> 2. What's the time?
>> 3. Got the time?
>> 4. Excuse me, could you give me the time?
>> In the interlanguage setting, the uses of have, what, got and give
>> could be construed as what the question intended to ask and that being
>> that 'I would like to know the time but I don't have a watch'. Give,
>> have or got, in the regular classroom are always taught with concrete
>> nouns thus possibly causing confusion.
>> Could syllogism be paralleled with interlanguage? Luria notes that it
>> is possible to develop the ability to derive a conclusion from
>> syllogism. In that regard is this correct?
>> Since the research covers scaffolding in the classroom (microgenesis)
>> and then moves into student autonomy (ontogenesis) and the study of the
>> dynamics of the classroom in this setting, eventually I would like to
>> take the research to the sociocultural theory and discuss the
>> development of the classroom setting over a period of time. This would
>> be with respect to the student - student interaction and the
>> development of interlanguage in the classroom. The discourse analysis
>> would determine how the classroom dynamics progressed over a period of
>> time.
>> My question for this though, has been one that I can't seem to wrap my
>> head around. From the perspective of the Sociocultural theory and how
>> the language develops in the classroom, I'd like to find out if I am
>> crossing over into the activity theory realm.
>> The interaction which occurs in the classroom and the roles of each
>> student and the teacher based on the V-task lesson within the activity
>> theory, and how the roles change over time are separate from the
>> development of interlanguage?
>> Am I correct to believe that:
>> In the sociocultural theory the students in the classroom are focusing
>> on the use of the language and their use of language eventually
>> develops their abilities to effectively acquire language? Is this more
>> individual?
>> In the activity theory, the students are in collaboration with each
>> other to finish the task as well as eventually defining roles and rules
>> for each other within the classroom?
>> Is there no link between the two? I think there should be, and maybe I
>> am not well read enough to know the difference, but I think that the
>> effectiveness of the interaction in the classroom in the activity
>> theory should define the effectiveness of the acquisition.
>> This has been a burning question.
>> I hope that someone can help me with my questions.
>> Thank you!
>> Mark
>> _______________________________________________
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