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Private Speech And Problem Solving

1714 words - 7 pages

If you were to walk into any classroom occupied with young children aged from three years old through to seven years old, you would be overwhelmed by the amount of constant talking that is being produced while the children are working or playing. Most of what you would hear would be referred to as private speech. Private speech is defined as the language spoken aloud to oneself for communication and self-regulation of behaviour (Goudena, 1987). Numerous individuals have endeavored to demonstrate why children use private speech so conspicuously and to illustrate the part that it plays in a child’s development, or if there is any at all. This paper is going to analyze the role of private ...view middle of the document...

Private speech represents a movement from other-regulation to self-regulation (Goudena, 1987).
As children mature and develop, their private speech becomes more internalized, and less voiced out loud, as it changes into the child’s inward thoughts. This means that instead of talking to themselves out loud in order to complete a task, children are able to internalize the thinking process, and perform a task without being vocal. For example, some children will count to a certain number out loud to make sure they do not miss one, but as they develop, they are able to count in their heads. This implies that the level of private speech child utilization will steadily diminish. This increase and then drop in private speech is because children use private speech when they must complete a complicated or hard task, at the age three to five, but as they reach an older age the development process is almost complete and thoughts are internalized. Children in this age gap generally have not developed enough skills to internalize their thoughts, so they verbalize their self-regulation behaviour .
As shown in Winsler et al. (2000) private speech appears regularly in younger children, and develops in a set progression, moving from one stage of development to the next until the private speech is internalized. This study wanted to track the progression and see at what age children begin to internalize their thought, so the researchers looked at three and four year old children. It was found that three year olds were almost twice as likely to utter to themselves then four year olds, but it was dependent on the classroom contexts and who they were in close proximity too (Winsler et al., 2000).
Winsler et al. (2000) also discovered that when it comes to self-selected activities both group produced more private speech, however, three year olds were likely to produce utterances during both goal-directed and non goal-directed behaviours, whereas, four year old would speak more during only goal directed behaviours. The results also showed that children were more likely to produce private speech if they were alone or with their peers then if they were around an adult. This could be due to the fact that children are attempting to learn on their own and do not wish for the adults to hear them if an error were to occur (Winsler et al., 2000).
As children mature, their thought processes develop and become more internalized even if the task they are completing is difficult or challenging. To investigate the changes in private speech in older children, microgenetic changes need to be examined, which means that researchers observe of the process of change that occurs in learning and cognitive development. The production of private speech was measure while children performed a task that required executive functions which are a set of mental processes that helps connect past experience with present action and a control over their cognition skills including working...

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