11. Small-group meta-analytic talk and Spanish L2 development
In this chapter, we examine the meta-analytic talk of nine adolescent L2 Spanish learners and their subsequent accuracy on a grammaticality judgment task, with the pronoun se as an instructional target. Data come from a U.S. high school during three 90-minute lessons, where learners “co-constructed” rules for se in groups based on its use in reading passages. We coded learners’ analytic talk as belonging to higher or lower levels of analytical abstraction (LAAs) to distinguish labeling L2 forms and categories from identifying broader patterns and rules. The amount of individual and group analytic talk, as well as talk at higher LAAs, was compared to individual grammaticality judgment scores before and six weeks after instruction. Results show that learners in groups with greater mutuality improved their scores even when their overall individual participation was only low or moderate. Implications for theory and practice are discussed.