Foreign language learning as a complex dynamic process: A microgenetic case study of a Chinese child's English learning trajectory

Sun, H., Steinkrauss, R., van der Steen, S., Cox, R. & de Bot, K., Jul-2016, In : Learning and Individual Differences. 49, p. 287-296 10 p.

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  • Foreign language learning as a complex dynamic process A microgenetic

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The current study focuses on one child's (male, 3 years old) learning behaviors in an English as a Foreign Language classroom, and explores the coordination and developmental patterns of his nonverbal (gestures and body language) and verbal (verbal repetition and verbal responses) learning behaviors over time. Guided by the principles of the theory of Complex Dynamical Systems, the child's learning behaviors were analyzed over the course of four months, using (Cross) Recurrence Quantification Analysis and Monte Carlo permutation tests. The results show that the coordination between the child's nonverbal and verbal behaviors exhibited a rigid pattern at the beginning but got loosened over time, allowing the child to respond more flexibly to the teachers' instructions and to alternate more freely between his verbal and nonverbal learning behaviors. When focusing on the child's verbal learning behaviors only, we found that patterns of the verbal responses seemed to be more predictable than those of verbal repetitions, which suggests the varied influence of internal and external factors on these verbal learning behaviors.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)287-296
Number of pages10
JournalLearning and Individual Differences
Publication statusPublished - Jul-2016

ID: 32970953