Thinking for Speaking: Learning a Second Language

This project investigates how second language (L2) speakers, from 9 to 12 years of age, whose mother tongues are isiXhosa and Sesotho develop Thinking For Speaking (TFS) patterns in their second language, English. The aim of this project is to establish whether focused and systematic explicit instruction in L2 TFS promotes a full shift from L1 to L2 TFS ​that encompasses the ability to appropriately express, in speech and in gesture, path and manner of motion in the new language.

Do speakers of a Verb-framed L1 (isiXhosa and Sesotho), through instruction, acquire the TFS patterns of a Satellite-framed L2 (English)?

Does explicit instruction in the distinction between simple and fine-grained verbs in English, an S-language, result in a shift in TFS patterns of L1 V-languages?

Are there differences between learners of an L2 S-language that can be attributed to intra-typological differences between L1 V-languages—that is, following explicit instruction, do learners whose L1 is Sesotho or isiXhosa show any differences in TFS performance between one another?

Our aim is to produce evidence-based pedagogic interventions that qualitatively improve language learning in South Africa.​