Dialogic Encounters with Early Readers through Mediated Think-Alouds: Constructing the Transactional Zone

Christian W. Chun, Eunice E. Jang


In this article, we explore the processes in which four young readers make meanings through dialogic encounters with an interviewer utilizing the think-aloud as a mediator. We believe that these mediated think-alouds act as both a mediating tool to help effect change in cognition through what Swain (2006b) and others have called “languaging” (the process of verbalizing one’s thoughts aloud either by oneself or with others), and a research elicitation tool which in its nominal function analyzing how students talk about texts serves to implicate the interviewer/researcher in the process of co-constructing new texts with the reader as the source of meaning in the reading passages. In soliciting information about these four readers’ problem-solving strategies on reading comprehension questions, the interviewer employed a dialogical and sociocultural model (Bakhtin, 1981; Vygotsky, 1978, 1986) that framed the interactions as a co-constructed reading event (Maybin & Moss, 1993). Using a Vygotskian sociocultural perspective, we analyze selected extracts of verbal accounts of these elementary school students who were assigned a reading task in the attempt to answer the question: What particular meanings emerged and how were they constructed by the students and the interviewer in their generating of next texts in the process of reading?


Reading; Think-alouds; oral language; sociocultural theory

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.20360/G2D01K