Collaborative talk in a bilingual kindergarten: A practitioner researcher's co-construction of knowledge
AuthorWhite Soltero, Sonia
KeywordsEducation, Language and Literature.
Education, Bilingual and Multicultural.
Education, Early Childhood.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe purpose of this field based study is to analyze the linguistic and cognitive transactions of immigrant language minority kindergarten students in the context of classroom collaborative talk in their native language and conducted through the observations and reflections of a teacher-researcher. The research questions addressed in this study are; (1) How do children use prior knowledge to negotiate meaning and develop shared understandings? (2) How do cognitive and linguistic processes develop as children participate in classroom collaborative talk to co-construct new knowledge and negotiate meaning? (3) In what ways do children extend and internalize understandings of vocabulary and word meaning while engaging in classroom collaborative talk? This case study draws upon the data collected during a year-long inquiry I conducted in my own classroom in an urban school. Twenty-seven students, all from Hispanic origin, mostly recent arrivals from Mexico, participated in the research. The collaborative talk transactions were transcribed and translated into English from thirteen videotaped sessions from which I selected excerpts of varying lengths to examine. The findings are threefold. First, the collaborative talk transactions, framed within a cognitive and linguistic stance, demonstrate how meanings and new understandings are constructed and restructured; show how the teacher and the learners make use of their cultural values, assumptions, attitudes and experiences to construct new meanings and shared understandings; and reveal how learners engage in oral literacies in collaboration with the teacher and then begin to formulate and test hypotheses without the teacher's mediation. Second, the collaborative discourse, situated within an empowerment through voice perspective, show how culturally responsive modes of teaching and learning maximize the use of language minority students I linguistic, cultural and cognitive resources; reveal that these learners display high motivation and interest when the topics are relevant to their lives; and illustrate how learners make connections between the concepts embedded in discourse and their own experiences and understandings. Finally, our discursive practices reflect the importance of native language use in allowing culturally and linguistic diverse students to express their thinking and understandings in their more competent linguistic system and in the language of their culture and social worlds.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Language, Reading and Culture