Bakhtin’s Dialogism in a Preschooler’s Talk

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The case study describes the application of Bakhtin’s theories of dialogism to the language learning of one child. The author traces the development of her son’s language development from age 2 and 9 months through the age of 5 and 6 months. The findings focus on the ways in which the preschooler appropriated language from books, his parent’s stories, and the media to use in his own play and storytelling. As his language skills developed, he relied less on memorizing texts he had heard and began to combine information from multiple sources. With age and increased exposure to a wide variety of materials, the preschooler became more aware of genre and adapted his talk to an audience for his own purposes. The findings demonstrate how a child was involved in using others’ words and in transforming them to apply to new settings such as his play and his own stories. Further, the child’s use of speech genres provides examples of the ways in which context played a role in shaping a child’s language development.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalLiteracy Teaching and Learning
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2004


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