A qualitative study of group work in the development of Filipino as a second language

Cervania, Ranee
Slaughter, Helen
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University of Hawaii at Manoa
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This study investigates the role of group project in the development of a second language (L2) within Vygotsky's zone of proximal development (ZPD). It explores the notions of intra-group ZPD and inter-group ZPD, a theoretical expansion of Donato's (1994) notion of collective scaffolding and Nyikos and Hashimoto's (1997) notion of group ZPD. It attempts to answer the following research questions: (1) What is the role of the group project, "Teacher for a Day" in the learning of Filipino/Tagalog vocabulary within the ZPD? (2) What semiotic mediation tools do learners appropriate to co-construct knowledge within the ZPD? (3) How do social and dialogic interactions within and between groups facilitate L2 vocabulary learning? and (4) What are students' perceptions of the use of group project as an innovative approach to teaching/learning Filipino/Tagalog. Participants in the study, second-semester beginning Filipino/Tagalog students at a community college, were born of Filipino immigrant parents and raised in the United States of America. Seven small groups of two and one small group of three worked collaboratively on a group project, "Parts of the Body." Written guidelines for the lesson plan were provided to the students and self-evaluations and two posttests were conducted. Group presentations were videotaped with students' permission. A discourse analysis was employed to analyze the students' dialogic interactions. Results of the study show that the group project approach to L2 language learning and the social and dialogic interactions within a social and cultural context facilitated the self-regulation and internalization of L2 vocabulary. The collective use of semiotic mediation tools in scaffolding assisted the learners to reach their potential development, not only in their individual ZPDs but also in the intra-group and inter-group ZPDs. The study provides instructors of Filipino/Tagalog and other foreign languages information for developing, modifying, and improving small-group language learning activities that will help enhance students' acquisition of the target language. Finally, the findings shed new light on and/or complement studies of the application of Vygotsky's sociocultural theory in the fields of L2 acquisition and educational psychology.
Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2003.
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 155-166).
Mode of access: World Wide Web.
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x, 166 leaves, bound 29 cm
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Theses for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (University of Hawaii at Manoa). Educational Psychology; no. 4285
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