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Co-Adaptation Processes of Syntactic Complexity in Real-Time Kindergarten Teacher-Student Interactions

Menninga, A., van Dijk, M., Cox, R., Steenbeek, H. & van Geert, P., Apr-2019, In : Nonlinear dynamics, psychology, and life sciences. 23, 2, p. 229-260 32 p.

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Under the premise that language learning is bidirectional in nature, this study aimed to investigate syntactic coordination within teacher-student interactions by using cross-recurrence quantification analysis (CRQA). Seven teachers' and a group of their students' interactions were repeatedly measured in the course of an intervention in early science education. Results showed changes in the proportion of recurrent points; in case of simple sentences teachers and students became less coordinated over time, whereas in case of complex sentences teachers and students showed increasing coordination. Results also revealed less rigid (more flexible) syntactic coordination, although there were no changes in the relative contribution of teacher and students to this. In the light of the intervention under investigation this is an important result. This means that teachers and students learn to use more complex language and coordinate their language complexity better in order to co-construct science discourse. The application of CRQA provides new insights and contributes to better understanding of the dynamics of syntactic coordination.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)229-260
Number of pages32
JournalNonlinear dynamics, psychology, and life sciences
Volume23
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr-2019

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