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Title: Exploration of talk and gestures for dialogic scaffolding : a study of primary and secondary reading instruction
Author: Patel, N. S.
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2015
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This sociocultural research aims to explore the use of semiotic resources for meaning-making that takes place in primary and secondary reading instruction in Singapore schools and Singapore-based British international schools. The research extrapolates similar interesting observations found across age groups to make the theory generated, a redesigned dialogic scaffolding model with a gesture element, more robust. The study highlights the theoretical and methodological contributions arising from this research, along with pedagogical implications as it explores common strategies for practitioners' implementation. While many previous studies have tended to focus on the role of speech used in classrooms, there is a growing recognition that the spoken language only provides a partial understanding to what goes on during lessons. Since students' learning experience is essentially multimodal, the study of pedagogic semiosis (meaning- making) should, in fact, involve an interplay of semiotic resources. Using multiple case studies of one primary English and one secondary English teacher, each from the Singapore schools and Singapore-based British international schools, this observation research applies an analytical approach, informed by theories of scaffolding and gesture. The study looks at how speech and gesture are used during reading instruction (text comprehension). This involves the teacher's and/or student's 'shaping' of varied modes - speech and gestures, as part of the teacher's scaffolding strategies used to support explorations in meaning-making of the reading classroom. Using multimodal transcription and conversation analysis, this study discusses linguistic and multimodal features of the pedagogic discourse between teachers and students, such that the multisemiotic teaching and learning experiences are explicated. From the findings, it is observed that while speech plays a central role in mediating learning, the use of other semiotic resources not only favours students' comprehensibility of the reading text but also gave support to their construction of meaning. The use of gestures constituted a crucial tool for the teacher's adaption of scaffolding strategies. Additionally, students benefited from the use of gestures in opportunities for self-repairs, which facilitated their understanding and meaning- making inferences in the reading classroom. It is through this interplay between speech and gesture that effective meaning-making and understanding are achieved.
Supervisor: Radford, J. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available