What’s On Your Mind? How Private Speech Mediates Cognition During Initial Non-Primary Language Learning

Stafford, Catherine A.
May 2013
Applied Linguistics;May2013, Vol. 34 Issue 2, p151
Academic Journal
Vygotskian sociocultural theory of mind holds that language mediates thought. According to the theory, speech does not merely put completed thought into words; rather, it is a tool to refine thought as it evolves in real time. This study investigated from a sociocultural theory of mind perspective how nine beginning learners of Latin used private speech to supplement different types of computer-based learning support in their efforts to self-regulate, or internalize and apply new linguistic knowledge, at the initial stages of learning how to distinguish thematic agent/patient roles in Latin. Analysis of features of participants’ private speech in combination with their learning outcomes showed that successful self-regulation is possible in the context of independent, computer-based learning, and with minimal support from the learning environment, but that for some learners to gain control of the learning task, more responsive, adaptable learning support appeared to be a sine qua non condition of successful self-regulation.


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