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					         Running head: LINGUISTIC CREATIVITY ON THE EFL CLASSROOM 1




 Linguistic Creativity on the ELF Classroom

       Javier Armando Sierra Gordillo

       Katherin Lorena Silva Alfonso

Universidad Distrital Francisco José de Caldas
                                                LINGUISTIC CREATIVITY ON THE EFL CLASSROOM 2




                         Linguistic Creativity on the ELF Classroom

                               Javier Armando Sierra Gordillo

                               Katherin Lorena Silva Alfonso




                               Thesis Director: Pilar Méndez



A thesis submitted as a requirement to obtain the degree Bachelor in Basic Education Majoring
                                          in English




                       Universidad Distrital Francisco José de Caldas

                              School of Science and Education

                            Mayor in English Language Teaching

                                        Bogotá D.C

                                            2012
                                                     LINGUISTIC CREATIVITY ON THE EFL CLASSROOM 3


                                              Abstract


   Through this qualitative study we aimed to explore the fact that while learning English,

children produce words never heard before by others, using their first language, and made use of

it to understand, reproduce and communicate creatively their ideas in the foreign language.

Perceived by scholars as Interlanguage, or simply as mistaking, in this study we focused this

language issue from a Linguistic Creativity perspective. As result the research question that

emerged is: What are the features on first graders’ Linguistic Creativity when Learning English?

The research methodology focused on gathering data from the students’ oral performances. This

research was developed as a qualitative one based on an Action research approach. The

conclusions were built thanks to the implementation of journals, video recordings, and field

notes which allowed us to gather data from first graders in a school located in downtown Bogota,

Colombia. As a conclusion we cannot reject that first language, the acquisition of a second

language in a natural way and a constructive concept of “errors”, characterize first graders’

Linguistic Creativity when learning English as a foreign language. This insight must be helpful

for their learning and our teaching, so it is suitable to propose strategies in which the integration

of LC into the curricula contributes to English Language Learning and Teaching.

   Key words: linguistic creativity, error analysis, first language acquisition, second language

acquisition.


                                              Abstract


   A través de este estudio cualitativo que tuvo como objetivo explorar el hecho de que, mientras

aprenden Inglés, los niños producen palabras nunca antes escuchadas por otros, usando su lengua

materna y haciendo uso de ella para comprender, reproducir y comunicar de forma creativa sus
                                                    LINGUISTIC CREATIVITY ON THE EFL CLASSROOM 4


ideas en la lengua extranjera. Percibido como Interlengua, o simplemente como “error”, este

estudio se toma una perspectiva desde la creatividad lingüística. Como resultado, la pregunta de

investigación que surgió es: ¿Cuáles son las características de la creatividad lingüística de

estudiantes de primer grado cuando aprenden Inglés? La metodología de la investigación se

centró en la recolección de las producciones orales de los estudiantes. Esta investigación

cualitativa esta basada en un enfoque de investigación-acción. Las conclusiones fueron

construidas gracias a la implementación de diarios del investigador, grabaciones de vídeo y notas

de campo que permitieron recoger datos de los niños de primer grado en una escuela ubicada

en el centro de Bogotá, Colombia. Como conclusión, no se puede rechazar que la primera

lengua, la adquisición de una segunda de manera natural y un concepto constructivo del

"error", caracterizan a la creatividad lingüística de los aprendices de primer grado en el

aprendizaje de Inglés como lengua extranjera. Esta visión puede ser útil para su aprendizaje y

nuestra enseñanza, de esta manera, es apropiado proponer estrategias en las que la integración de

la Creatividad Lingüística en los programas contribuya a la Enseñanza y aprendizaje del Idioma

Inglés.

   Palabras clave: creatividad lingüística, análisis de errores, la adquisición de la primera

lengua, adquisición de segunda lengua.
                                               LINGUISTIC CREATIVITY ON THE EFL CLASSROOM 5


                                     Table of Contents




Abstract …………………………………………………………........................................3

Chapter I

Introduction …………………………………………………………………………………7

Problem statement…………………………………………………………………………...10

   Research question

   Research objectives

Rationale……………………………………………………………………………………..12

Chapter II

Literature review…………………………………………………………………………….14

  Linguistic creativity

  Second Language Acquisition

  Linguistic Creativity in Second Language Acquisition through research

Chapter III

Instructional design…………………………………………………………………………29

Chapter IV

Research design…………………………………………………………………………….56

  Type of research

  Setting and participants

  Instruments to collect data
                                                 LINGUISTIC CREATIVITY ON THE EFL CLASSROOM 6




Chapter V

Data Analysis……………………………………………………………………………….63

  Data management

  Category 1: Using my L1 creatively

  Category 2: Linguistic Creativity as a response to a natural language learning process

  Mistaking

Chapter 6

Conclusions……………………………………………………………………………….110

Chapter 7

Pedagogical implications and further research…………………………………………..112

Annexes

References
                                                    LINGUISTIC CREATIVITY ON THE EFL CLASSROOM 7


                                           Introduction


    Chomsky (1990) in McGilvray (2005) stated that the human mind, especially because it is

given in the particular and unique contribution of language, is virtually designed to create, and

does so, even at a very early age, children quickly engages in fantasy and play. It is also evident

when learning a foreign language. When so, the young learner is stimulated to create new

phonetic representations for the mental representations they already have constructed in their

mother tongue, and to do so, they use an innate skill which motivates them to speak creatively,

using the first and second languages simultaneously thanks to what we will call Linguistic

creativity.


   To stimulate LC in the English classroom we pledged for a suitable English teaching method

that allowed us to achieve our researchable and instructional proposals. Having in mind that first

grade students do not know how to read or write and neither count with a communicative

competence in their curricula and English teachers, we found necessary to find an approach

which could adjust to the necessities of students because they require to be introduced in an EFL

environment. That is why it was considered total physical response (TPR) Asher (1977) as one of

the best approaches to develop with children in order to introduce Students in English

environment. As TPR utilizes implicit learning, it is easier for little children to acquire the target

language, first listening and then producing it. TPR approach helps students to develop other

mind abilities as imagination, motivation, interaction, and the one it will be developed in this

paper: Linguistic creativity. On the other hand, also will be mention some of the TPR critics

made which attack the basis of TPR.
                                                   LINGUISTIC CREATIVITY ON THE EFL CLASSROOM 8


   Linguistic creativity, according to Chomsky is innate in every human being and it is

developed even at the early ages. This mind ability emerges thanks to the human mind’s

flexibility that allows language to be stimulated and created. Because of that, as McGilvray

(2005) declares, we have innate concepts that do not have to be learned, and these concepts can

be combined in endless fashion in sentential meanings, that they can be readily produced and

related to other systems in flexible ways. In this way creativity is made. It is evident for English

teachers how this language creativity is common developed on English learners of any age, level

and competence linguistic. Students use to use the language creatively in the different linguistic

fields such us morphology, phonology, phonetics, grammar, lexicology, syntax, semantics, and

obviously, pragmatics. In that sense, Linguistic Creativity is a huge important phenomenon that

can offer teachers and learners motivation tools, a free stress environment to learn, innovative

activities and another perspective about mistaking.


   Having in mind the relation cause-effect that could arise between the features of linguistic

creativity on students’ oral performance it is fundamental to explore first graders English

production to understand children’s linguistic creativity in a Colombian school. Exploration that

was developed through a process of gathering each oral children’s production by implementing

video recordings, teachers field notes and journals.


   This document reflects the process of a research project which pointed to the question of

what are the features on first graders’ linguistic creativity when learning English. Those features

are the first language acquisition influence, the natural way of learning a language and the

constructive concept of error. To do so, we proposed the objective of exploring Linguistic

Creativity evidences when learning English. This paper is the result of a study carried out in a
                                                     LINGUISTIC CREATIVITY ON THE EFL CLASSROOM 9


primary public school with first graders. In the first chapter, the reader will find the problem

statement and the explanation of how the main research question emerged.


   The second chapter brings the literature review with the main constructs. The concept of

Linguistic Creativity will be reviewed from the contributions of Zawada (2005) and her relation

between Linguistic Creativity and mental representation; Chomsky (1977) and his theory of

Generative grammar, Fernandez, E. (2000) and his study of Transferences and interferences in

the foreign language learning. Moreover we outline about Gjerlow and Obler ( 2001) supporting

idea of substituting foreign sounds by mother language sounds.


   In the third chapter, the reader will find a detailed report of the instructional design, that is to

say an explanation of the relation between linguistic creativity and Total physical Response

under the considerations of Asher (1977), Crosse (2007), Larsen, (2000) and finally, it will be

enlightened a contextualization of TPR into the Colombian educational policies, also the

pedagogical intervention and the process followed through the syllabus, lesson plans, tasks,

activities and evaluation.


   Subsequently in the fourth chapter are stated the research design, the insights of Action

Research, Koshy, (2005), Cohen and Manion (1989) and the explanation of why the instruments

were suitable for this study.


   Finally in this chapter it will be presented the data analysis following Rod Ellis and Gary

Barkhuisen, and subsequently, the conclusions that we came to.
                                                  LINGUISTIC CREATIVITY ON THE EFL CLASSROOM 10


                                             Chapter I


                                         Problem Statement


   Children, as explorers of language, are also modifiers and creators of it. By means of

Language Creativity children are able to express and talk about the imaginary and real world

inside them and make it material by words. When learning a foreign language, it can be more

evident, in the sense that they had already acquired a mother tongue. Learners find themselves in

front of new phonetic representation of those mental representations they have already

constructed with their mother language. They take patterns of their first language to create and

infer about patterns in the foreign language; taking into account this, if we as teachers are aware

about that children’s Linguistic Creativity, commonly known as “errors”, our lessons can be

redesigned, reinforced and reoriented to set a great environment and a predisposition of children

to learn English. Consequently, Language focused teaching as a frame of our pedagogical

reflection not only fosters teaching process itself, but learning process and methodology process,

evident in the proposal of this study.


   This proposal emerged from the identification of some unexpected patterns of pronunciation,

words meaning creation and use, sentence organization, grammar structures, among others, in

our pedagogical experience in a first grade classroom when applying Total Physical Response

Approach. Consequently, “errors” are perceived as a natural stage when learning English. Taken

into account this stage, teacher may use of it as a strategy to enhance children’s English learning.

Errors must be perceived as a feature of linguistic creativity which is managed as a mental skill

to understand and produce language. In that sense, Curricula, syllabus and lesson plans must take
                                                 LINGUISTIC CREATIVITY ON THE EFL CLASSROOM 11


into consideration Linguistic Creativity dimension when setting objectives, achievements,

methodologies and meanly, evaluation procedures.


                                      Research Question


  What are the features on first graders’ linguistic creativity when learning English? Research

                                          Objectives:


General Objective:


  To explore first graders English production to understand children’s linguistic creativity


Specific Objective:


  To explore trends on Linguistic Creativity in order to reinforce English Learning process.
                                                   LINGUISTIC CREATIVITY ON THE EFL CLASSROOM 12


                                             Rationale


   Studying features of Learning English Language on Children’s Linguistic Creativity may

contribute to the development of ELT especially to our professional growth, progress of the

population engaged on the study and thus, to the community of ELT. In the same way this

contributes to the EFL research community and the population immersed on the educational

sphere due to this research may bring new insights or understandings on language teaching.


   Taking into account the condition of action research of this proposal and the premise that the

growth of our professional dimension is motivated by educational research, it was expected that

the implementation of this study gave a major challenge to our professional development as

teachers that are starting into the education frame, in order to get compromise with further

research that may assist ELT.


  Moreover, by assuming a teacher research role on our professional life we will also be in

conditions of improving and transforming learners learning realities, due to we can shape

learners’ language perceptions through the implementation of methodologies, syllabus and

activities that came up from the results of the study.


   Students were introduced to different activities to the ones they had received in the sense that

the goals were not achieved in a traditional way. Besides of that, as the dimension of mistaking

was approached from a different perspective, they were communicatively rather than formally

evaluated with particular regards to language.


   As it is known, ELT community is established by learners as well as teachers. The reasons

explained above give a clear understanding of how this proposal may contribute to ELT

community. When contributing to learners involved into the instructional design and to the
                                                 LINGUISTIC CREATIVITY ON THE EFL CLASSROOM 13


teacher researchers that developed the process, there is clearly a contribution to ELT sphere.

Contribution that was evident through the implementation of a syllabus in which Linguistic

Creativity was fostered as a strategy of strengthening English language learning.
                                                    LINGUISTIC CREATIVITY ON THE EFL CLASSROOM 14


                                              Chapter II


                                         Literature Review


  “Linguistic Creativity is the ability that is developed along any human being’s life and

especially during childhood” Majó (1988: 628). In the same way that Majó stated, we start form

the premise that children as users of language are also explorers, modifiers and creators of it,

thanks to the multidimensional characteristic of all human being to create meaning, Zawada

(2005). When learning a foreign language, this phenomenon known as Linguistic Creativity, is

more evident, in the sense that they had already acquired a mother tongue, so that, learners find

themselves in front of a new signifier corresponding to the signified they have made. Children

are able to manage a situation in which they have to express in a different phonetic manner the

mental insights they have constructed from the mother language.


  We consider that English classroom is one space in which Linguistic Creativity may be more

manifested in the sense that children are more exposed to a new language for them. In our

opinion learners and teachers, who are the interaction actors of the classroom, must be the ones

who are involved in the study of this ability of the human brain.


  For that reason, we find a relation among the way in which learners learn English, and the

theory regarding to linguistic creativity. The purpose of this chapter is to offer an overview of the

literature that reflects that relation which is introduced as following: first, Linguistic creativity,

second, Second Language Acquisition and finally, the relation between the former two

constructs.
                                                   LINGUISTIC CREATIVITY ON THE EFL CLASSROOM 15


   1. Linguistic Creativity


  One important thing when analyzing language is to begin by thinking that language is a

system that allows people immense creativity. Fernandez & Cairns, (2010: 2), this is not the

same creativity of poems or fiction, instead, it is the Linguistic Creativity which is common to

every person who knows a language. For speakers of a language can create and understand novel

sentences for a lifetime. Everyday people hear novel sentences that were not before experienced

but they understand them with little difficulty. When speaking it occurs the same, sentences are

produced with no conscious effort.

   The second aspect to think about human creativity is that we can communicate anything we

think of unlike the animals; Language is used to communicate, to interact socially, to entertain,

and to inform. Animals cannot communicate, and so they are not creative linguistically talking.

In other words creating is a human characteristic which is not shared with animals or machines

(Chomsky 1964 cited in Zawada 2005:19).

  This ability to deal with innovation language everyday is possible because every language

consist of a set of principles. Those set of principles provide the person to know language with

infinite creativity. According to Chomsky (2006) those principles have a “creative aspect,”

which is understood as “the creative aspect of language use,” that is considered as the

distinctively human ability to express new thoughts and to understand entirely new expressions

of thought, within the framework of an “instituted language,” a language that is a cultural

product subject to laws and principles partially unique to it and partially reflections of general

properties of mind.

   This creative aspect of language which is understood by Zawada (2005) as an innate

multidimensional characteristic of human mind is immersed in the language acquisition process
                                                  LINGUISTIC CREATIVITY ON THE EFL CLASSROOM 16


thanks to properties that all possible natural human languages have. The properties that all

possible natural human languages have are framed into what Chomsky denominated Universal

Grammar (UG). The speaker, exposed to language through the environment, processes the input

using biologically endowed systems for language acquisition

(UG), and the eventual outcome is a grammar and a lexicon. Fernandez & Smith (2011). In that

sense, taking into account that all languages have a similar organization of their respective

grammars and that each learner counts with a Language Acquisition Device (LAD) which

provides learner’s brain with a predisposition for acquiring language, Linguistic Creativity plays

an important role when acquiring a language.

   When acquiring a first language, learners are immersed in an acquisition of a new world

which obligates them to adapt. One of the main means of getting into that world is the language.

As a consequence of that necessity of adaptation, followed by unawareness at the time of

communicating, human beings are forced to create new forms for communicating, and new

strategies for understanding. Those new forms of communication are evident in the employment

of gestures, signs and new language structures that human being uses in their first years.

Subsequently, we can infer that communicating has to do with creativity in the sense that it

requires imagination and creation from the speaker, who with finite symbols creates infinite

ideas. This use of creativity emerges from a mind that is able to produce language.

  Chomsky (1966) who studied the notion of creative principle in language stated that creativity

is a human characteristic that enables free and diverse thinking as well as action and expression.

We consider that linguistic creativity, besides of enabling human being to develop free thinking

and expression, also enables them to understand new phrases well structured typical of any

language. Without any grammatical awareness, children are able to comprehend, acquire,
                                                   LINGUISTIC CREATIVITY ON THE EFL CLASSROOM 17


reproduce and produce the language that is in the environment.

   Following that premise Zawada (2005) states that linguistic creativity is an essential and

pervasive, but multidimensional characteristic of all human beings (irrespective of age,

education, and social status). It is the primary activity of making new meaning by a speaker (in

the broadest sense of the user of language in all forms and in all mediums), and the recreation

and the reinterpretation of meaning(s) by a receiver who is not passive in this process.

   From our experience as English teachers, we have perceived how the definitions above are

reflected in the English class, by observing how students unconsciously make new utterances and

understand new ones never heard before by them. In order to express the possible worlds that

they construct, they use their linguistic creativity in the classroom based on the language they

have already learned, that is to say, they are making use of their linguistic creativity when

creating their new language structures in order to externalize the responses that they generate

from the internalizations they make from their environment. So, In this sense, linguistic

creativity, cannot be limited just to the creation of new words, but also it has to do with creation

of new structures as uses of meanings, phonemes, syntagms, morphemes and lexis. See Figure 1
                                                            LINGUISTIC CREATIVITY ON THE EFL CLASSROOM 18



                                   Linguistic
                                   Creativity

                                                           Recreation and reinterpretation of
              Making meaning by a speaker
                                                                 meaning by a receiver




                                               Product of
                                            language that is
                                            manifested in all
                                             domains of it.



Figure 1. Chart based on the Linguistic Creativity concept of Zawada, 2005.




  The different domains of language are acquired from the construction of grammar and lexicon,

which are biologically given, to the pragmatic constructions, which are socially given.         In that

sense, there is a transition from Linguistic competence to Linguistic performance that are

different but are closely related. Linguistic competence understood as the knowledge of

language that is in a person’s brain (or mind), knowledge that provides a system for pairing

sound and meaning. On the other hand, Linguistic performance understood as the use of such

knowledge in the actual processing of sentences, by which we mean their production and

comprehension. Fernandez & Smith (2011).

   Linguistic competence is acquired for each individual due to the language acquisition device

(LAD) explained before, as well as the creative use of language, which allows to have certain

basis to a successful linguistic performance, in other words the way in which all our body is

equipped with a device programmed to learn language succefully may lead to the objective of
                                                   LINGUISTIC CREATIVITY ON THE EFL CLASSROOM 19


achieving a physical representation of certain utterances that is the “how” human language is

creative.

   Taking into account that language in this project is perceived from an innatist perspective, a

psycholinguistic viewpoint must support the development of linguistic creativity concept.


   2. Second language acquisition

  Second Language Acquisition field has been matter of several theories or approaches that have

contributed to its development and study. The more representative are: The Behavioral (learning)

Approach, the Nativist Approach, the Cognitive Approach and the Social Interactionist

Approach. Tranwiski (2005: p8). Each one of those theories based its constructs on different

perspectives about language and learning.

   In the chapter above “linguistic creativity” we pointed out that there is a biological nature of

the language, that is to say, that Language is mastered and developed through a Language

Acquisition Device (LAD) derived from the structure of the human brain which is fostered by

the Universal Grammar and its principle about languages having similar grammar structures and

also fostered by the creative aspect of language use.. Following that premise, we focus on

showing and explaining how this process may be presented in the acquisition of a second

language with the purpose of introducing you to the next chapter “Linguistic Creativity and

Second Language Acquisition”


   From the several approaches accounting for the process of second language mentioned before,

in this research we focus on the Innatist (nativist/mentalist/linguistic) approach taking into

account that it its ideas on the same claims exposed briefly before, as they are; that language is a

human- specific faculty, as well as that there are inborn principles of language that are not learn,

The nativist approach found its theoretical background in linguistic (Chomsky’s Universal
                                                    LINGUISTIC CREATIVITY ON THE EFL CLASSROOM 20


Hypothesis) and in the study of the biological prerequisites of language (Lennenberg’s Critical

Period Hypotesis) Tranwiski (2005:12).


    The assumption that UG is the guiding force of child language acquisition has long been

maintained by many, but only in the past two decades has it been applied to second language

acquisition. Selinker (1994:160). After analyzing first language acquisition and determining how

child makes use of his/her innate language faculty to overcome the gaps from inadequate input of

adults which the child is exposed to, it came to the conclusion that Learning is mediated by UG

and by the L1. Selinker (1994:163).

    This chapter makes emphasis on krashen’s (1987) contribution to SLA since he locates and

reflects its contributions on Chomsky’s Universal Grammar when suggesting that language is

naturally obtained. Krashen's theory of Second Language Acquisition (1987) consists of five

main hypotheses:

•       The Acquisition-Learning hypothesis,


•       The Monitor hypothesis,


•       The Natural Order hypothesis,


•       The Input hypothesis,


•       And the Affective Filter hypothesis.


    First of all, as Krashen did, we think that it is important to make a distinction in to what is

considered language acquisition and language learning. Language acquisition is a subconscious

process not unlike the way a child learns language. Language acquirers are not consciously

aware of the grammatical rules of the language, Language learning, on the other hand, refers to
                                                    LINGUISTIC CREATIVITY ON THE EFL CLASSROOM 21


the "conscious knowledge of a second language, knowing the rules, being aware of them, and

being able to talk about them." In this sense, we lead students into a language acquisition

process, taking into account that for them it is not useful to learn grammar structures explicitly

but implicitly thanks to the mediation of UG and LAD.


   Following that order of ideas, the Monitor hypothesis which has to do with language learning

is not of mayor relevance in this process. On the other hand, the natural order and the input

hypothesis, which have to do with language acquisition, are the great importance for the

development of this study.


   According to Krashen (2009:20), Second Language acquisition is reflected through his Input

Hypothesis, which argues that learner acquires only when he understands language that contains

structure that is "a little beyond" where it is. This is backed up for his own natural order

hypothesis which states that the acquisition of grammatical structures proceeds in a predictable

order. For a given language, some grammatical structures tend to be acquired early, others late,

regardless of the first language of a speaker. Krashen (2009:12).


   The input hypothesis relies its assumption on the basis that the acquirer will produce language

just when the acquirer understands it and practices it. With understand it is referred to the

meaning not the form, so as a consequence the input hypothesis suggests to go foster meaning

first to understand and utter and as a result to acquire structures. In addition it is mentioned that

fluency in production ability cannot be taught directly but it comes after meaningful input, and

the speech will come when the speaker feels “ready”. These assumptions may be evidenced in

L1 and L2 language acquisition as well. Krashen (1982: 20)
                                                    LINGUISTIC CREATIVITY ON THE EFL CLASSROOM 22


   In addition while establishing a relationship between first and second language acquisition, is

it important to understand what is commonly known as the caretaker speech: it is not deliberately

used to teach language but it is adapted to foster understanding among the acquirers of the first

language; the same may occur with the Second Language Acquisition. While L1 has to do with

the “caretaker speech”, L2 acquirer is also an acquirer in the sense that L2 acquirer may receive

certain kind of “modified input” that L1 acquirer does, named as simple codes: The first one

known as Foreigner-talk. Hatch, Shapira and Gough, 1978 in Krashen (1982:24). The second

one, Teacher’s talk that is also a foreign-talk since it is in the L2 and the last one, Interlanguage

talk.


  Though there are differences between caretaker speech and the simple codes Long, 1980;

Freed, 1980 in Krashen (1982:24), there are similarities, as caretaker speech is the modification

made in language in order to communicate, aspect which also reflects in the simple codes. In

teacher’s talk teachers find other ways to make input comprehensible as the caretaker speech.

The simple codes take advantage of the acquirer’s knowledge of the world as teacher’s talk use

flash cards and realia. Krashen (1982:24)


    2.1.Silent period and the L1 influence


   Observations and studies of children's second-language acquisition have revealed that in an

initial stage in the language acquisition process there is a “silent period” when children are silent

and concentrate on comprehension. Krashen (1985:9) and they may respond non-verbally. This

phenomenon is observed when we see how children acquire their mother tongue. A baby spends

many months listening to the people around before it ever says a word. (Hakuta, 1974; Ervin-

Tripp, 1974). And in terms of L2, as the acquirer utters a word it may feature some resemblance
                                                   LINGUISTIC CREATIVITY ON THE EFL CLASSROOM 23


to the L1.this issue commonly known as transfer.

  According to Odlin (1989) transfer is the influence resulting from similarities and differences

between the target language and any other language that has been previously acquired. It is

obvious that some transfer occurs in the process of second language acquisition.

   2.2.Interference and errors

  All learners of a language make errors, even the acquirers of a L1 in the same way that L2

acquirers. In that way “errors” come into a necessary element in learning in the sense that,

according to Larsen and freeman (1991), there is a difference between errors and mistakes.

   Mistaking is a random slip of the tongue caused by fatigue or hurry, it is a signal of

inappropriate performance, while an error is a systematic deviation in language production, and

cannot be self-corrected as the learner has not mastered the rules yet.

Having said that, it is necessary to mention that language errors have three major functions the

language acquisition process: (Larsen-Freeman)

       They inform about the level of language proficiency

       They provide information about the process of L2 acquisition

       They function as tools in which the learner discovers L2 rules.

   The last function is the most important since the acquirer makes hypothesis about L2, the

learner has to test them before internalize it, according to the feedback received the learner will

internalize the correct rule. Corder (1967:169). This process is commonly named as

interlanguage.

   Interlanguage as linguistic system that has been developed by a learner of L2 who has not

become fully proficient yet but is approximating the target language: It happens when preserving

some features of their L1 or overgeneralizing target language rules in speaking or writing the
                                                    LINGUISTIC CREATIVITY ON THE EFL CLASSROOM 24


target language and creating innovations. Selinker (1978 in Tranwiski 2005: 54). Those errors as

a noted above can provide insights into language research and be significant in three ways:

       to the teacher: they show a student’s progress

       To the researcher: they show how a language is acquired, what strategies the learner

        uses.

       To the learner: he can learn from these errors.

    Taking into account those aspects is undeniable the importance that may arise from the error

analysis in the study of second language acquisition and the analysis of them by the teacher-

researches, as they did not predict or prevent errors, its role is to collect, identify, describe,

explain and evaluate language errors. Ellis (1994: 48).

   Up to this point, it emerges a clear relation between Linguistic Creativity and Second

language Acquisition, and the way they mediate each other. With so, the next chapter makes a

good exemplification trough several studies.



    3. Linguistic Creativity in Second Language Acquisition through research

   We consider the process of learning a foreign language as a coordinated process to the first

language acquisition one ( During two decades, a great number of psycholinguistic studies about

the lexis in bilingual people showed that there is a combined system (unified system) and a

coordinated system (parallel system).Albert y Obler (1978). In this sense, the speaker is able to

relate both processes of speaking a language as well as separate them); those coordinated

processes imply one or two rules of interpreting and producing statements from the both

languages. See figure 1.1
                                                  LINGUISTIC CREATIVITY ON THE EFL CLASSROOM 25
           Knowledge about real world
                                                    Two lexical overlap in their
                                                    relationship with the conceptual
          L1                         L2             storage. Some points share some
         lexis                      lexis           associations while others do not.


Figure 1.1 Representation of the lexical when learning a foreign language


    According to Gjerlow and Obler ( 2001) one of the main aspects to be treated in the process

of foreign language learning is the fact that children are more able to acquire a second language

than adults. It is due to the lack of children’s awareness about the differences between their

mother language and a foreign one, while adults are aware of phonological, grammatical and

syntactical differences, children are not worried about mistaking when interpreting or producing.

Aspect that was evident in our setting. When children were asked about their concept about

English Language, they suggested that it was a new way to play and draw which they make use

to express their ideas. In that sense they knew that English language was a new way for them to

express or communicate one another but they were not aware about its form, rules or function.

   Many studies of second language acquisition focused on the morphosyntactic development of

learners, and the general finding was that bound morphemes appear in the same order in the first

and second language, Bardovi & Harlig (1999). Second language learners are also able to

produce and process simple sentences before complex sentences (Pienemann et al. 2005), just

like first language learners. As it was studied despite some differences, similar principles and

sequences in L1 acquisition are also observed in second language learners.

  When a learner is acquiring a foreign language he/she is acquiring a new world with new

perspectives. Consequently, in order to adapt to that new world the learner needs to have certain

bases that allow him/her to do it. But, as at the beginning of his/her process he/she doesn’t have

those bases, the learner makes use of his/her imagination to create new forms of language for
                                                   LINGUISTIC CREATIVITY ON THE EFL CLASSROOM 26


being understood and understand others.

  According to Gjerlow and Obler ( 2001) any foreign language learner can substitute foreign

sounds by mother language sounds similar to the foreign ones. So for instance, some sounds in

English as /θ/ and /ð/ can be substituted by similar sounds as /s/, /z/, /t/ and /d/. The same

happens when the learner finds a difficulty when communicating in the foreign language because

he/she does not know a specific word. The learner, instead of producing the complete idea in

his/her mother tongue, uses an intruder word of the mother tongue due to the fact that the L1

lexis is closely related to the L2 lexis, so they are coordinated. In the same way, learners tend to

invent or create new words never heard or produce before by a speaker. Those phenomena are

due to the fact mentioned before of the necessity of adaptation into the environment the learner is

which is aimed through language.

   According to Selinker (1969) children are actively involved in creating grammars of their

language, as opposed to being passive recipients imitating their surroundings. Children do not

just soak in what goes on around them but actively try to make sense of the language they are

exposed to. They construct grammars. In doing so they make generalizations, they test those

generalizations or hypotheses, and they alter or reformulate them when necessary—or abandon

them in favor of some other generalization. This is evident when one child engaged on this study,

whose first language is Spanish and second language is English, creates words like “Grandguelo”

(abuelo / grandfather) and overgeneralizes the rules by making sense of the language he is

exposed to and then construct grammars linking L1 and l2; in this case he attributed to the word

GRAND a value of prefixing, making a creative use of language.

   Other studies like the Hakura (1974) one, has proven influence of L1 on L2, and so, language

creations. He studied in a period of eleven months, one Japanese child which was learning
                                                   LINGUISTIC CREATIVITY ON THE EFL CLASSROOM 27


English. In it, at the beginning, the child used to ask any kind of question referring to any tense

with the introductory phrase of “Do you…?” He assumed that the phrase “Do you” was a

general rule in all the questions in the target language. In the same way Ravem (1968) studied a

Norwegian child who was learning English. The child started forming questions using mostly a

declarative sentence word order: you reading, she is doing. The predicted inversion of words was

not used in the target language. In our specific setting, when some children pronounced the word

two they point to one of their partners referring to the personal pronoun “ tu” in Spanish, so it is

manifested how L1 leads students to make transfers from one language to another when learning

L2, making a creative use of language.

  Moreover, McLaughlin (1978:117) also pointed out that “children occasionally use first-

language structures to solve the riddle of second-language structures”

In other words, in child second language acquisition, a child is more likely to use first language

structures when confronted with difficult L2 structures. In that sense, following all the authors

‘studies and suggestions, learners make a creative use of language.

   A study carried out by Ilumaki (2005), which had as objective to study cross-linguistic

influence on native English and native Finnish L2 learners of German, came to the conclusion

that different languages affect the acquisition process of an additional language. This result

emerged when identifying that the production of the English-speaking students showed signs of

transfer from English on both the lexicon and grammar to German. The purpose was achieved

through a process of error analysis, which was considered as a good research method to analyze

language in learners. He suggests that using language transferring is a normal stage when

learning a language, but there are some variables that mediate it.

   Up to this point, it is important to mention the role of the method or methodologies applied in
                                                   LINGUISTIC CREATIVITY ON THE EFL CLASSROOM 28


an English classroom when motivating children’s Linguistic Creativity. When implementing a

method that leads students to develop a second language learning process keeping some relations

to the first language acquisition process, the evidences of Linguistic Creativity may be more

constant and persistent, used as a strategy for learning. That is the case of Total Physical

Response, a based on L1 acquisition. TPR principles will be described in the section of

instructional design.
                                                  LINGUISTIC CREATIVITY ON THE EFL CLASSROOM 29


                                           Chapter III


                                       Instructional Design


  The purpose of this chapter is to present the instructional design carried out in the pedagogical

implementation, visions of language, learning, and the methodology developed. Besides it

reflects the innovative dimension of this English teaching process. In this chapter the teacher

researchers explain and describe the way in which the pedagogical stage of the project was

approached, the reasons of it, an overview and description of the setting, the participants, and the

context in which the pedagogical approach took place.


  After some sessions of observation and needs assessment, we thought in the necessity of an

approach that could contribute to the requirements of the children which, from our perception,

are given by the physical and administrative conditions, children’s learning styles, English

proficiency and teachable objectives we planned. First of all, it is important to mention that

students do not have scheduled any English class, so our implementation was the only

opportunity they had to get involved with the foreign language. Besides of that, students just

counted with two hour per week to their English class and also the resources for teachers and

students were limited. Students enjoyed developing kinesthetic activities, games, coloring,

cutting, pasting, out room activities and following commands given by the teacher. Also as it

was reflected in our problem statement, there was the need to apply a pedagogical intervention

which leaded students to express trough a free stress environment. With it, they were not forced

to speak, so that, they were not anxious about committing mistakes and show evidences of

Linguistic Creativity. Consequently, we came to the conclusion of approaching the pedagogical

intervention with Total Physical Response method, which according to Asher (1977) and his
                                                   LINGUISTIC CREATIVITY ON THE EFL CLASSROOM 30


theory would point to students’ needs, to English learning and teaching improvement and to

Linguistic Creativity dimension.


 Setting


   The pedagogical intervention was conducted at the Policarpa Salavarrieta School in the

Bogotá‘s downtown during the period from August 2010 to May 2011. It is a coeducational

institution in charge of primary and secondary education. Its educational processes are developed

into two different branches, one responsible for primary education and the other responsible for

secondary education and administration department. The former was the place where we made

our pedagogical intervention and it is located in Las Nieves neighborhood. Policarpa Salavarrieta

School has as their mission, the formation of citizens with social transcendence through

communication and expression of art, from a holistic and intercultural perspective


Population


   We worked with 20 first graders, from social stratus 1 and 2. They have to deal with different

problems such as lack of money, family violence and drug dealing into their families; such

problems that students from the school have to face every day. The context they live in is one

with little opportunities for them and their families. Through some students it was possible to

perceive the lack of values and education at home, but through some others it was possible to

perceive good principles and behaviors at home. They had a very positive attitude towards the

English class and the teacher, with good disposition to learn and participate in the activities, even

though with a little degree of disobedience and indiscipline.


   Instructional objectives
                                                   LINGUISTIC CREATIVITY ON THE EFL CLASSROOM 31


   From all the issues explained before our instructional, pedagogical and methodological

objectives emerged, which pointed to the teachable question of: How can teachers use children

Linguistic Creativity, reflected when applying TPR, to improve English Learning Process in a

first grade public classroom? In that sense we aimed to improve first graders’ English learning

process by means of their Linguistic Creativity when applying TPR method.


   Theory of teaching and learning from TPR perspective


  According to Asher, Total physical response (TPR) method functions by the premise that

foreign language learning works similar to the acquisition of the first language. Following that

premise the theory regarding to TPR focuses on the input that the learner needs to obtain before

producing an output, in the same way that a baby learns his first language. Similar to the first

language acquisition process, after several months of input by their parents, the child is ready to

make an utterance; otherwise the output will never appear.


   Even this method proposed can be seen as an old one, we really are interested on it thanks to

the advantages it can offer to our English teaching labor in the sense of effectiveness of leaning

the foreign language, the motivation it can arouse on children and the didactics it develops. The

main reason we decided to apply this method was because of its principle of not leading students

to get under stress, so that they feel comfortable in the environment they are, giving them the

opportunity to express themselves without any kind of obligation, anxiety or pressure.


  Taking into account that in this research we need our students to feel free to utter their

understandings of the input given, the students could give us insights of linguistic creativity in

the classroom while we were teaching. In other words the main objective proposed when

applying TPR method is to teach oral proficiency to make student later produce and
                                                   LINGUISTIC CREATIVITY ON THE EFL CLASSROOM 32


communicate uninhibitedly and intelligibly in any outgoing situation. Because of that the

syllabus content and achievement must focus on meaning rather than form and must also make

children become aware of the foreign language and its implications for their lives. Through the

classes we realized how children gradually became aware about the language they were learning,

how their perspectives of it changed and how they relate it with their environment and realities.


Vision of learning:


   Since our perception in the classroom, we as teachers allowed students to develop an

experiential learning thanks to the basis of TPR which leads students to have a learning process

constructed from the simulation of real experiences taken to the classroom. The term

“experiential” is used therefore to differentiate ELT both from cognitive learning theories, which

tend to emphasize cognition over affect, and behavioral learning theories that deny any role for

subjective experience in the learning process. Kolb et al (1999, p5)

   In this way, the main goal of experiential learning is to involve Ss with direct experience with

the TL as the basis for learning. It entails two factors; first is exposure the TL in one form with

substantial amounts of input in language, second is the use of the TL for communicative

purposes. In other words, the way in which it was approached the vision of learning is to use the

TL for communicative purposes but also as a mean of learning, even if they have not mastered

yet, Tudor (2001, p79).

  we pointed to children achieve a communicative competence by means of experience giving

fictitious tasks that reflect real situations and consequently allow students to perform language

from the familiarity they were involved with real spaces into the classroom.. To achieve that, it

was suitable to have a more functional view of language. As a result, it is evident the huge

relation between TPR, experiential learning and linguistic Creativity.
                                                  LINGUISTIC CREATIVITY ON THE EFL CLASSROOM 33


   The vision of learning approached in our pedagogical intervention is based on the perspective

that we have about language, in which language cannot be framed as a set of structures and rules

but a direct experience with the TL for communicative practices as a basis for learning,

Language learning activities should be focused on processing and communication of meaning,

fact that was reflected by the activities students had to develop and perform and the goals of each

lesson plan which intended to make message conveyance rather than code study.

Vision of Language


 In our pedagogical intervention we decided to approach language from a functional perspective,

Widdowson (1990) in the sense that it was not isolated from the social context and it is

perceived a as the medium in which the members of certain community, express concepts,

perceptions, and values which are significant to them. That is why in our pedagogical

intervention we focus on meaning rather than form. In that way students make use of language

not as a product but as a mean or process which allow them not just to learn itself but also to

develop and evidence a communicative competence, Hymes (1971) and obviously Linguistic

Creativity as a way to reflect that function of language.


Role of teacher and learner


   In effect, the role of the teacher when applying TPR must be of the director of student and

their behaviors towards the lesson, therefore, students’ role must be of the imitator and follower

of instructions given by the director as happens in the first language learning process. Thus, the

lesson was based mainly on commands, so the first part of the lesson was a modeling phrase in

which the teacher, as director, introduces a group of commands very clear to his/her students in

which they are limited just to listen and process the information they assume (similar to First
                                                    LINGUISTIC CREATIVITY ON THE EFL CLASSROOM 34


language acquisition). In the second stage the teacher allows students to perform the instructions

with him/her in order to be sure that learners understand the commands rightly. In the third stage,

the teacher leads learners to perform the instruction or command by themselves and then checks

their understanding. Finally, the teacher combined the commands or generates new ones to make

students to be able to more receptive to new or unfamiliar utterances later (similar to the first

language acquisition process). When we are talking about the role and functions of the teacher

in the pedagogical part it is important to highlight that there is not one role of the teacher in the

lesson. Through the lesson the teacher first is the center of the classroom, so that students listen

to him, repeat what he does and do what he instructs. Later, he guides them to instruct and

produce, so he listens to them. Although, the position assumed by the teacher it is not straight, it

is important to affirm that in the lesson the focus are learners but the teacher is an important

factor of development of it. It is clearly reflected into the following graph.


                   Presentation                   Practice            Production


Teacher




   Learner              understands           manipulates            produces/communicates
                                                   LINGUISTIC CREATIVITY ON THE EFL CLASSROOM 35


   The size of the teacher’s face per stage corresponds to the relative central focus of the teacher.

Also it is found the role that the students are supposed to be in the current lesson that was

approached. So in this way the role assumed by the teacher along the lesson are the ones

explained in the graphic.


Methodology


   After being able to follow some commands, the leaner is able to speak, and later to read and

write. Therefore all the lessons proposed were based on the Presentation-Practice-Production

(PPP) approach in which each stage explained above is evident. Those stages were developed

with activities characterized by fun, movement, teacher-students and student-student interaction,

excellent material which focuses more on meaning rather than form, with sufficient voice,

actions and gestures and, obviously, with a good disposition to teach. It was developed one topic

per two classes, all with the same approach and with a clear objective (the purpose of the class)

and a communicative function (the communicative issue that students should be able to perform).

   Students participated in 6 topics that were organized according to the curricular standards of

education in Colombia, as well as the tpr principles; in groups of vocabulary. They understood,

manipulated and produced/communicated based on those units of language. The focus of the

activities based on provision of comprehensible input of the foreign language Krashen (1981)

and reduction of stress as keys to successful language acquisition, performing physical actions in

the target language as a means of making input comprehensible and minimizing stress. In each

topic the students faced to language in order to understand and in this way to achieve the goals of

the activities. Within these activities imperative drillings and role plays were the most remained

constant as well as reading images, or teacher narrations.
                                                    LINGUISTIC CREATIVITY ON THE EFL CLASSROOM 36


Evaluation


  Having in mind that the lessons were planned not to stress students, the evaluation must be not

as the traditional one in which each student is asked to produce a set of vocabulary or sentences

well structured but a group evaluation in which is taken into account participation, disposition of

children for learning, behavior and a good attitude towards the class. We did not evaluate the

accuracy of their production because the innovative matter of this study relies on the fact of not

perceiving mistakes as a negative issue but as an evidence of Linguistic Creativity,


    Students will be evaluated according to the way they work in teams, paying special attention

to the respect to others opinions and active participation, obviously individual work and

development will be taken into account. Home works and class workshops will be considered in

the final grade. During the course, some simple quizzes will be done, according to the process

they have had. The final grade will also be considered, using all the grades obtained during the

classes and the final exam


Innovation


   Because of the concerns explained we considered that TPR is an appropriate method to apply

first, to achieve our instructional objectives, and second to achieve the researchable ones. When

implementing this kind of method on our lessons, we as teachers, allowed students to express

naturally without any kind of stress, thus they feel more confidence when producing their outputs

and consequently they make more evidence their Linguistic creativity patterns, giving place to

the innovation in the educational setting. What makes our pedagogical implementation

innovative is the way of perceiving those patterns of language creation which have been taken by

teachers just as mistakes or errors of the learner, as a result, there is a trend to correct every
                                                   LINGUISTIC CREATIVITY ON THE EFL CLASSROOM 37


“mistake” that students make without analyzing how they might help to improve English

language learning. For that reason, it is important to be aware about the cognitive process that

makes a child do a “mistake”, or in a more suitable comprehension, a “language creation”. If a

child does not produce or reproduce what it is expected to be performed, teacher has to stop and

think what made him/her to produce that output.


   Besides of being innovative, this project contributed wit students life thanks to the fact that

the contents taught are related to their daily life at school, neighborhood and home. Also, at the

time of giving a new perspective to mistakes’ treatment, students are giving the opportunity to

develop self-confidence when learning English.


  In this way, the methodology and contents of each lesson are reflected on the lesson plans and

in the in the syllabus, documents attached at the end of this paper and explanatory chart which

displays a general view of the pedagogical intervention.


Pedagogical Intervention:


  This chapter presents an overview about the topics and activities worked in class during the

pedagogical intervention presented in a chart. The chart also presents the teachers´ and students´

objectives, as well as the students´ outcome. It is important to mention that, in our intervention,

we did not collect artifacts, taking into account that the focus of the research based on students

oral performances, but we collected data from video-recording and teacher’s field notes and

journals.
                                                                        LINGUISTIC CREATIVITY ON THE EFL CLASSROOM 38


   Students participated in 6 topics that were organized according to the curricular standards of

education in Colombia1, as well as the tpr principles; in groups of vocabulary. They understood,

manipulated and produced/communicated based on those units of language. The focus of the

activities based on provision of comprehensible input of the foreign language Krashen (1981)

and reduction of stress as keys to successful language acquisition, performing physical actions in

the target language as a means of making input comprehensible and minimizing stress. In each

topic the students faced to language in order to understand and in this way to achieve the goals of

the activities. Within these activities, imperative drillings and role plays were the most remained

constant as well as reading images, or teacher narrations: the following chart displays a general

view of the pedagogical intervention.




1 Estándares curriculares para la enseñanza de Ingles. Ministerio de Educación Nacional.
                                                                                         LINGUISTIC CREATIVITY ON THE EFL CLASSROOM 39




    Pedagogical Intervention Evidence Charts

    Chart # 1

Topic       Aim          Activities       Instructional        Procedures                                    Outcome              Resources
                                          objective

Animal’s   Students to Warm-up            To introduce        Teacher asks children to get into pairs and    Students to          Students
trip       interact in                    students into the   number each pair 1 and 2.He/she explains       familiarize with     themselves
           English      Playing with      vocabulary that     that child 1 is a sculptor and child 2 is a    the names of
           identifying  my body           was developed       lump of clay. Child 2 begins curled up on      different farm       Animals
           animals                        on the lesson       the ground. As teacher calls out the names     animals              flashcards
                                                              of different farm animals in TL and shows
                                                              their pictures, the artists must
                                                              ‘mould’ their clay into the shape of the
                                                              animal. After a few turns, children 1 and 2
                                                              reverse roles.


                        Presentation:     To present          With a big poster of some farm animal in a     Students to listen   Animal
                                          students how        farm teacher gives an example of how to        and interpret how    poster with
                         Knowing my       people              introduce yourself. (I am Henry...the          people introduce     short
                         animal friends   introduce           sheep). Then teacher says I am (her/his        in front of other    dialogues
                                          themselves          name) I am a teacher. After this, the          people
                                                              teacher says she is (says a student’s name),
                                                              He is (says a student’s name). He/she does
                                                              it several times until student can identify
                                                              the difference of gender in the sentence.
                                                              After some minutes teacher starts with the
                                                              pronouns they, we and you.

                        Practice:         To lead students    Children line up along one side of the         students to
                                                                  LINGUISTIC CREATIVITY ON THE EFL CLASSROOM 40


 Imitating my     to practice         room. When the teacher says for example           represent their
 animal friends   animals             You are a sheep the children must then            inputs with
                  vocabulary by       travel as fast as possible to the other end of    physical actions
                  listening to        the room, doing the appropriate animal
                  animals names       action. When the teacher says She is a
                  and interpreting    Sheep just the girls have to do it and when
                  their meaning       the teacher says He is a sheep just the boys
                  and representing    have to do it. When the teacher says we are
                  them by actions.    sheep everybody in the room ahs to do it.
                                      The activity develops in that way. Probably
                                      there will be some difficulties, but in such
                                      a case, teacher will explain again with
                                      some examples.
                                      Until this point there is no students’
                                      production, just listening and assimilation
                                      of the target language.
                                        After this they will be invited to the farm.
                                        So there are some pictures of farm
                                        animals around the room. The teacher
                                        will be the guide and will ask students to
                                        say hello to the different animals

Production:       To allow            Teacher divides the class into small groups      Students to interact   Posters of a
                  students to be in   of two or three children but keeps two           in a realistic         farm
 Visiting the     a realistic         children separate. She/he asks each group        environment
 farm             environment in      to stay together and position themselves         reflecting what
                  order to permit     around the room. Then he/she explains that       they have
                  them to             each group represents a different farm           internalized
                  represent what      animal but that they won’t know which
                  they have learnt.   animal they are until told. The two children
                                      kept apart at the start are a child and its
                                      parent –they are visiting the farm. As they
                                      walk around the room, the parent points
                                      out the different ‘animals’ in their cages in
                                                                                      LINGUISTIC CREATIVITY ON THE EFL CLASSROOM 41


                                                           TL: ‘Look, the sheep, pigs and so on”. As
                                                           soon as they learn which animal they are,
                                                           the caged creatures begin to act out the
                                                           animal, making the appropriate animal
                                                           noises. Then are selected other two
                                                           children.




    Chart # 2

Topic       Aim          Activities     Instructional       Procedures                                     Outcome              Resources
                                        objective

He is my   Students to Warm-up          To activate        At the beginning of the class, it will be       Students to          Song “this
teacher    identify                     previous           implemented the song “this is my nose”          remember the         is my song”
           people by    Song “this is   knowledge          with the purpose of getting into a review of    previous topic
           their jobs   my nose”        regarding the      the previous topic “my body”. The song          related to the
                                        earlier topic      asks them to touch a part of their body and     body
                                        learnt             they have to do it.


                       Presentation:    To introduce       With a big poster of city with some people      Students to listen   Small city
                                        some               representing some jobs (housewife,              and interpret how    poster with
                         Reviewing      professions        policeman, fireman, student and doctor),        are the names of     some places
                         jobs.          represented by a   the teacher asks what they can see in the       some profession      and people
                                        drawing of each    image. (In English). After that, teacher        relating them with   representing
                                        person and the     starts to introduce the topic pointing people   the place each job   jobs.
                                        place they work    in the poster by saying “She is a housewife     is performed
                                                           and he is a student, and so on”. Here
                                                           teacher makes emphasis in the difference
                                                           of gender. Students repeat the
                                                           pronunciation and then point to the person
                                                                 LINGUISTIC CREATIVITY ON THE EFL CLASSROOM 42


                                      the teacher suggests.




Practice:       To lead students      Teacher acts out some professions and           Students to        Stickers and
                into the practice     students have to guess what profession is       recognize some     worksheet
 Recognizing    of recognizing        each one. The teacher can act out two           jobs by relating   about
 jobs in my     jobs in their city.   professions and some students selected by       signified and      professions
 city                                 random act out the other three professions      signifier.
                                      learnt. After that, children are given some
                                      stickers with the image of the professions
                                      studied and following the instruction of the
                                      teacher they will paste them into a
                                      worksheet which contains a city on it with
                                      the places where those people do their
                                      activities.


Production:     To allow              In this stage, children draw more people       Students to         Poster of a
                students to           for the poster presented in the first stage.   represent by        city
  Drawing       represent by          So they draw the person with the               images dome jobs
 people in my   drawings and          profession they want and then they             while introducing
 city           introduce people      introduce him/her to the class. “He is a       them
                those who make        doctor, she is a teacher...and so on” The
                different jobs in     poster will be pasted on the classroom and
                the city.             will be used in the next class.
                                                                                            LINGUISTIC CREATIVITY ON THE EFL CLASSROOM 43


    Chart # 3

Topic       Aim           Activities        Instructional          Procedures                                   Outcome               Resources
                                            objective

My lunch   Students    Warm-up              Motivate and           At the beginning of the class it will be     students Got          Video, fruit
box        To identify                      engage Ss to the       played a video in which the characters       engaged into the      salad
           fruits       Video “Fruit        new topic, to          prepare a fruit salad with some fruits. In   new vocabulary
           which are    salad, yummy,       give students          this video, it is shown a song while         and relate the
           in their     yummy”              real language          preparing the fruit salad. It is done with   vocabulary to
           lunch box.                       resources.             the aim of motivating them to be engaged     their reality
                                                                   into the class.
           Ss to
           identify      Presentation:      To introduce       The teacher introduced the topic through         Ss recognize the      Realia
           which                            vocabulary         the preparation of fruit salad. So, the          fruit by seeing the   related to
           fruits they    Making a fruit    related to fruit   teacher introduced the fruits by saying, I       explanation in the    fruit.
           have and       salad.            by doing a real    have 1 banana, I have 2 apples, I have 9         fruit salad recipe.
           do not.                          fruit salad in     grapes, I have 1 melon while showing the         Ss recognize          Plates,
                                            front of the       fruits. Then teacher said how to prepare it      some fruit just by    plastic
                                            students.          and every time saying the name of the            seeing the recipe     knife, etc.
                                            Involving realia   fruits. Then she prepared another fruit          and the drilling of
                                            and full           salad in order to make children to listen to     the words.
                                            language.          the foreign language in a high degree.
                                                               .

                         Practice:                             It was developed a twister game in which         Students to           Stickers and
                                                               student have to put their hand and feet on       recognize some        worksheet
                          Recognizing      To lead students    the fruit they are asked to do by the            fruit by relating     about
                          the fruits       into the practice   teacher. The board is on the floor and SS        signified and         professions
                          vocabulary by    of recognizing      participated by groups. The instructions are     signifier while
                          following        fruits by gaming    like PUT YOUR HAND ON THE                        applying. To have
                          commands.        and following       APPLE...and they do it, them they are            a close contact
                                           Teacher’s           asked to PUT YOUR HAND ON THE                    with language in a
                          Ss respond to
                                                                LINGUISTIC CREATIVITY ON THE EFL CLASSROOM 44


 commands by     instructions.      GRAPES, and they have to do it but                communicative
 the teacher.                       without taking the other hand out from the        activity.
                                    apple. This was a funny way to learn.
 Make a “fruit
 salad”                             Each Student is given a set of fruits (made
                                    of paper) and then they will be asked by
                                    the teacher to eat some of them for
                                    example EAT AN APPLE and they do it.
                                    The activity continues with every fruit
                                    learned and several times. After that with
                                    the set of fruits, they prepared a fruit salad
                                    according to the instructions of the teacher.
                                    So, the teacher says the steps to follow and
                                    the fruits that they have to add each time.

Production:       To evaluate       Students sat in a circle and the teacher         Students to be       Open space.
                  students          started by walking around the outside of         aware fo following
  Playing         performance and   the circle tapping the students on the head      instructions in TL
 running and      understanding     saying "apple". When the teacher says            as well as the
 following the    by playing, to    "grapes" the student whose head was              sound of the words
 teacher.         make              touched must jump up and chase the               and respond to it.
                  meaningful the    teacher round the circle. The teacher must
                  new vocabulary.   sit down in the student's spot before being
                                    tagged. If tagged, the teacher must
                                    continue tapping heads. If not, the student
                                    walks around the circle touching heads.
                                    Each time teacher will ask to develop the
                                    activity with different fruits.
                                                                                        LINGUISTIC CREATIVITY ON THE EFL CLASSROOM 45


    Chart # 4

Topic       Aim       Activities       Instructional         Procedures                                     Outcome                Resources
                                       objective

This is    To identify Warm-up         To stimulate         With some flashcards related to the             Students to            Flash cards
my house   rooms in a                  previous             previous topics learned, it was developed a     recognize
           house. To    Stop           knowledge            game called stop. Teacher stock the             phonetic
           locate my                   reviewing            flashcards on the board being sure that         representation and
           objects                     vocabulary           children can see every flashcard. Then          reflect it by
           and people                                       teacher said the name of one of the pictures    identifying
           in the                                           on the flashcards and started to point from     images
           house.                                           left to right. When teacher points to the
                                                            picture he/she just said, children must say
                                                            stop.


                     Presentation:     To familiarize       With a big poster of a house in which it is     Ss to listen and        Poster of a
                                       students with        possible to see every room in it, teacher       recognize some         house
                      My favorite      parts of the         introduces some parts of the house              parts of the house
                      cartoon is in    house                (bedroom, kitchen and bathroom) by              and related them       Stickers of
                      my house                              putting some famous cartoons on them. So,       with their real life   famous
                                                            for example, the teacher says, Ben10 is in                             cartoons
                                                            the bedroom and Cinderella is in the
                                                            kitchen. Students have to repeat after
                                                            teacher and then children are divided into
                                                            two groups and are given a set of cartoons.
                                                            The teacher says a statement and one
                                                            selected child of each group goes in front
                                                            of the class and put the cartoon according
                                                            to the teacher’s instructions..

                     Practice:        To allow students      It will be developed a story telling (act it   Students to            Worksheet
                                      to participate in a   by teachers) in which it will be review the     participate in a
                                                                LINGUISTIC CREATIVITY ON THE EFL CLASSROOM 46


Where is my     real situation in   part of the house.                               funny story in
cookie          which the part of                                                    which they
                the house are       The teacher is in the kitchen cooking five       apprehend the
                immersed            cookies. She puts the cookies in the oven        parts of the house
                                    and goes to the bathroom while the puppet        giving a solution
                                    takes one cookie, so there are just four         to the main
                                    cookies. Then the teacher takes the cookies      problem
                                    and smells one but they are not baked
                                    enough, so she goes to the bedroom and the
                                    puppet takes another cookie. When teacher
                                    comes back she asked to the children
                                    where the cookies are.
                                    The dialogues are totally in English and
                                    teacher tries to involve children on the
                                    play.
                                    After this they will be given a worksheet
                                    with the parts of the story and they have to
                                    organize them according to the story.



Production:      To conduct         Student will be asked to draw one object        Students to be part     Poster of a
                 students to        for the house (beds, chairs,, lamps, toilets,   of a common             house
  Let us move    simulate a         etc) in order to paste them on the poster.      activity of life such
 into a new      moving             After drawing they will cut it and say in       as moving into a
 house           situation.         which part of the house they will put it. If    new house by
                                    it is enough time, they will be asked to        ordering the objects
                                    draw their favourite cartoon and then they      into the rooms.
                                    will be paste it according to teacher’s
                                    instructions.
                                                                                      LINGUISTIC CREATIVITY ON THE EFL CLASSROOM 47


     Chart # 5

 Topic          Aim      Activities      Instructional       Procedures                                   Outcome              Resources
                                         objective

Animals’    To activate Warm-up          To promote         Teacher asked children to spread out          Students to
trip        knowledge                    learning by        around the room. He/she begun by asking       acquire some
            by           Following       practice           the children to walk around the room and      action verbs by
            reviewing    commands                           say the verb ‘walk’. – them he/she asks the   listening and
            farm                                            children to repeat the word in rhythm as      practicing
            animals,                                        they walked around. Teacher used the
            means of                                        class different action verbs (walk, run,
            transport                                       jump, ride the bicycle and play ball),
            and                                             demonstrating each one – the children
            activities                                      repeat each one as they do the actions.
            on the                                          Once they practiced each verb a couple of
            playground.                                     times, teacher stops demonstrating, and
            Stimulate                                       give the instructions more and more
            self-                                           quickly.
            confidence
            to interact
            in English. Presentation:    To engage          In this part, teacher introduces three        Students to           Big images
                                         students into a    vocabulary areas (action verbs, colours       activate listening   of animals
            .            Animals’ trip   total English      and means of transport). Teacher makes        skill in order to
                                         environment        three farm animals´ introductions of          recognize English
                                         involving          themselves that contains a mean of            patterns and make
                                         different set of   transport, a colour and an action verb. For   relation with
                                         vocabulary         example: Hello, I am Peter. I am a pig. I     vocabulary
                                         learnt             take a yellow taxi and ride my bicycle.       already learnt
                                                            Teacher uses first, second and third
                                                            person. Each introduction is done with
                                                            toys and images in order to children can
                                                            make a deeper relation between language
                                                                                         LINGUISTIC CREATIVITY ON THE EFL CLASSROOM 48


                                                              and context.

                        Practice:       To lead students      Students are organized by groups. Each          Students to make     Reading
                                        into the practice     group is given a short paragraph, read by       relations between    Worksheet
                        Matching        by listening and      the teacher, which they have to math with       language learnt      and pictures
                                        following             its corresponded image on the board.            and new
                                        instructions in the   There are three groups and four images on       situations
                                        same way of           the board. The paragraph contains the
                                        instruction           same structure that the introduced in the
                                                              presentation part.
                                                              After this, as one picture is missing, the
                                                              entire group has to make the description of
                                                              the image.



                        Production:      To lead students     Student are given a set of one mean of         Students to create    Mini flash
                                         to produce new       transport and an action verb in order to       new statements        cards
                          Let us move    sets of language     make a little introduction of him/herself as   base don’t eh
                         into a new      based on the         the ones worked in class. Then each            language they
                         house           language             student gives a description of what her/his    already know about
                                         already learnt       partner said. He is Pepito....He is in red     the location of
                                                              car.......                                     some animals



        Chart # 6

 opic           Aim      Activities      Instructional         Procedures                                    Outcome              Resources
                                         objective

my mother to lead Ss    Warm-up          To promote           Stick flash cards in different parts of an     Students to          Flash cards
is       a understand                    learning by          open place. Have the learners stand            acquire some
housewife the job of     Following       practice             together in an open space. Tell them to        action verbs by
                                                                           LINGUISTIC CREATIVITY ON THE EFL CLASSROOM 49


their          commands      Activate prior     follow your instructions, the first            listening and
parents, in                  knowledge.         instruction is to walk around and when the     practicing.
the TL                                          teacher says a job such as ”policeman”
                                                They should go to the place, where the
Stimulate                                       flash card is placed, and SS sit in front of
self-                                           it. While they walk around they can also
confidence                                      follow orders such as sit down stand up
to interact                                     and so on, all this in order to review the
in English.                                     vocabulary studied before.
                                                Other useful expressions are Wave your
naming and
                                                hand. Jump. Walk. Turn around, Dance.
recognizing
people’s    Presentation:    To engage                                                         students to          Flash cards
jobs of the                  students into a  With a flash card, teacher will explain the      activate listening
             Introducing     total English    vocabulary using the poster and the flash        skill in order to    Poster of a
family       the target                                                                                             city
                             environment      cards, first making Ss speculate and guess       recognize english
             vocabulary      involving        about the word meaning in English and            patterns and
                                                                                                                     Little bell.
                             different set of making the repetition of the words a fun         make relation
              Applying
                             vocabulary       activity. When the teacher presents the          with vocabulary
              storytelling
                             learnt.          word he says my mother is                        already learnt.
              methodology
                                              a_______________ my father is
                             Motivate         a________.                                        Ss relate the
                             students to make Then the students play a game called the         vocabulary to
                             utterances in a  bell game, they watch a flash cards and          their family jobs
                             stress less      must ring a bell in order to say the job that    as well As their
                             environment.     is in the picture.                               own favorite job.
                             Give Ss
                             language tools
                             to relate the
                             vocabulary to
                             their life.

              Practice:                         Then the teacher chooses at random Ss          Students to make     Flash cards
                                                and makes them to wear objects                 relations between
                                                                  LINGUISTIC CREATIVITY ON THE EFL CLASSROOM 50


Use tools          Foster learning by characteristics of the job for example the      language learnt       Poster of a
representative     the use of realia.  steering Wheel of a car in order to            and new               city
of certain jobs.                       simulate a driver, or the work coat for a      situations, as well
And represent      create an closer to teacher and Ss speculate and say what the      as places.            Elements
them in their      real environment job is and where he has to go in the                                    representative
workplace.         to Ss in order to   imaginary city (poster) students say if the                          of a job
                   them identify jobs answer was correct or not, the students
                   and relate to their who goes to dress as a job first must said
                   life                what is his/her partner’s job.



Production:         To lead students   In this stage Ss solve a worksheet where      Students to create     Worksheet:
Matching            to produce new     they choose the best situation and which      new statements         family and
                    sets of language   the best job is in order to overcome that     base don’t eh          friends 1,
                    based on the       situation e.g. a robber going out from a      language they          photocopy
                    language           bank. At the end they draw and colour the     already know           master’s book
                    already learnt.    job they would like to do in the future.      about the jobs.
                    Students                                                         Students relate the
                    produce new                                                      jobs to the job they
                    relations based                                                  would like to do in
                    on the TL.                                                       the future.
                    Students related
                    the jobs learned
                    with the future
                LINGUISTIC CREATIVITY ON THE ELF CLASSROOM                   1




Pedagocical Intervention Evidence Explanation


Chart # 1


   In the previous lesson plan, through the topic Animal’s trip we pointed to the aim of getting

student to interact in English identifying animals. The goal was achieved by the implementation

of a set of activities classified into four stages. The first one, the warm up stage had as

instructional objective to introduce students into the vocabulary that was developed on the

lesson, so that as students outcome we had their familiarity with the names of different farm

animals. After that, in the presentation stage, it was proposed to present students how people

introduce with others in order to students listen and interpret this process. Then, in the practice

stage, teacher lead students to practice animal’s vocabulary by listening to animals names and

interpreting their meaning and representing them by physical actions. Finally in the production

stage, teacher proposed himself to provide student with a realistic environment in order to allow

them to re[[produce what they had learnt by interacting in a created farm. With so, students

showed their representations by oral utterances.


Chart # 2


   In the previous lesson plan, through the topic “he is my teacher” we pointed to the aim of

getting Students to identify people by their jobs. The goal was achieved by the implementation of

a set of activities classified into four stages. The first one, the warm up stage had as instructional

objective to activate previous knowledge regarding the earlier topic learnt, so that as students

outcome we had Students to remember the previous topic related to the body. After that, in the

presentation stage, it was proposed to introduce some professions represented by a drawing of
                         LINGUISTIC CREATIVITY ON THE ELF CLASSROOM                        52




each person and the place they work in order to Students to listen and interpret how the names of

some profession are relating them with the place each job is performed. Then, in the practice

stage, teacher lead students into the practice of recognizing jobs in their city by relating signified

and signifier.. Finally in the production stage, teacher proposed himself To allow students to

represent by drawings and introduce people that make different jobs in the city Students and

them be able to introduce them. With so, students showed their representations by oral

utterances.


Chart # 3


  In the previous lesson plan, through the topic “my lunch” we pointed to the aim of Students to

identify fruits which are in their lunch box as well as Ss to identify which fruits they have and do

not. The goal was achieved by the implementation of a set of activities classified into four

stages. The first one, the warm up stage had as instructional objective to Motivate and engage Ss

to the new topic, as well as giving students real language resources., so that as students outcome

we had students got engaged into the new vocabulary and related the vocabulary to their reality.

After that, in the presentation stage, it was proposed to introduce vocabulary related to fruit by

doing a real fruit salad in front of the students, Involving realia and full language. In the practice

stage teacher lead students into the practice of recognizing fruits by gaming and following

Teacher’s instructions. Finally in the production stage, teacher proposed himself to evaluate

students’ performance and understanding by playing, in the same way it was pointed to make

meaningful the new vocabulary. With so, students showed their representations by oral

utterances.
                         LINGUISTIC CREATIVITY ON THE ELF CLASSROOM                       53




Chart # 4


  In the previous lesson plan, through the topic “This is my house” we pointed to the aim of

students to identify rooms in a house. And at the same time locate house objects and people in

the house. The goal was achieved by the implementation of a set of activities classified into four

stages. The first one, the warm up stage had as instructional objective to stimulate previous

knowledge reviewing vocabulary so that they were able to recognize phonetic representation and

reflect it by identifying images. After that, in the presentation stage, it was proposed to

familiarize students with parts of the house, so they were allowed to listen and recognize some

parts of the house and relate them with their real life. In the practice stage teacher allowed

students to participate in a real situation in which the parts of the house were immersed and in

which they apprehend the parts of the house giving a solution to the main problem stated in the

play. Finally in the production stage, teacher proposed himself to conduct students to simulate a

moving situation being part of a common activity of life by ordering the objects into the rooms

and saying where they decided to put them. With so, students showed their representations by

oral utterances.


Chart # 5


  In the previous lesson plan, through the topic “Animals’ trip” we pointed to the aim of

students to activate knowledge by reviewing farm animals, means of transport and activities on

the playground and create new statements to describe the environment. The goal was achieved

by the implementation of a set of activities classified into four stages. The first one, the warm up

stage had as instructional objective to promote learning by practice, so that students listened,
                        LINGUISTIC CREATIVITY ON THE ELF CLASSROOM                        54




imitated and practiced. After that, in the presentation stage, it was proposed to engage students

into a total English environment involving different set of vocabulary learnt in order to students

to activate listening skill, recognize English patterns and make relation with vocabulary already

learnt . In the practice stage teacher allowed students to practice by listening and following

instructions in the same way of instruction and make relations between language learnt and new

situations . Finally in the production stage, teacher proposed himself to lead students to produce

new sets of language based on the language already learnt creating new statements about the

location of some animals. . With so, students showed their representations by oral utterances.


Chart # 6


     In the previous lesson plan, through the topic “my mother is a house wife” we pointed to the

 aim of students to lead Ss understand the job of their parents, in the same way that students

 name and recognize people’s jobs of the family, and by means of these Stimulate Ss self-

 confidence to interact in English. The goal was achieved by the implementation of a set of

 activities classified into four stages. The first one, the warm up stage had as instructional

 objective to promote learning by practice, so that students listened, imitated and practiced.

 After that, in the presentation stage, it was proposed to engage students into a total English

 environment involving different set of vocabulary learnt, by giving Ss language tools and at the

 same time to relate the vocabulary to their life. In the practice stage teacher applied realia as a

 way to fster learning and also to create a closer to real environment to Ss in order to them

 identify jobs and relate to their life. Finally in the production stage, teacher proposed himself to

 stimulate students to produce new relations based on the TL while relate them to their life

 project. With so, students showed their representations by oral utterances.
                         LINGUISTIC CREATIVITY ON THE ELF CLASSROOM                      55




                                              Chapter IV

                                           Research design

  The purpose of this chapter is to present the research methodology carried out in this research

as well as to introduce the data gathering instruments applied. The research strategy adopted was

to implement multiple journals as well as develop teacher field notes and finally record the

lessons on videos in order to gather student’s oral creations with the aim of analyzing them and

observing patterns.


  The research was conducted at a Bogota’s downtown school during the period from January to

May of 2011. The main data collection techniques in this research were teacher’s field notes,

teacher’s journals and video recordings.


  This chapter is divided into two sections. In the first one is contextualized as well as examined

the research strategy and concepts relating to it; it describes the research approach, action

research and section two deals with the research design and justify the reason for selecting data

collection tools as well as the type of data and unit of analysis.


   As we ask ourselves about the features on children’s linguistic creativity when learning

English we examined the trends and patterns that were common in our lesson as well as they

were included in the teacher’s field notes.


  At the beginning our students made the same “errors” and while we were teaching we realized

that they have not been in touch with the target language, so it was illogical to expect them to

speak without making “errors”, in addition, through our observations we realized that most of

their “errors” showed some understanding of the target language. They created language in ways
                         LINGUISTIC CREATIVITY ON THE ELF CLASSROOM                      56




that we did not pay attention before, after analyzing theory regarding to it, we realized they are

just internalizing language and making use of their innate ability to learn a language in our

lessons.


  So in this way, in our practice it was expected to answer the following question through the

research: what are the features on first graders’ linguistic creativity when learning English? And

consequently it was aimed to identify the features on first graders’ Linguistic Creativity when

Learning English Language, and as a result, to explore trends on linguistic creativity in order to

reinforce learning process.

Type of study

  The research methodology required gathering data from the students’ oral performances and

compiling them, in order to analyze the data and arrive at a more complete understanding of

students in regards to linguistic creativity.

  This research was developed as a qualitative one based on an Action research approach

because it allowed us to gather information about how the learning English process in first

graders operates and how our teaching practice can influence that process. Based on this

statement we will understand the complex phenomena of children creativity when learning

English and extend experience or add strength to what is already known through previous

research.

   According to Cohen and Manion (1989) action research is essentially an on the spot

procedure designed to deal with a concrete problem located in an immediate situation. Dick

(1992) stated that action research is a methodology which has two aims. By one side an action

aim (to bring about change in some community or organization or program or intervention); and
                        LINGUISTIC CREATIVITY ON THE ELF CLASSROOM                          57




by the other a research aim (to increase knowledge and understanding on the part of the

researcher or the client or both, or some other wider community) this approach is attractive to us,

as practitioner researchers, in the way that we have identified a phenomenon during the course of

our work with first graders, so the importance of investigating it and of improving our practice

arises.

  This research was conceived as an action research method in the sense that, first, doing action

research facilitates evaluation and reflection in order to implement necessary changes in practice

(Koshy, 2005) as we observed some patterns and planned to look for an English teaching method

in this case total physical response in order to increase understanding and confidence.

  Secondly, our research allows us to evaluate our practices in an applied discipline such as

education, as well as encourage more positive attitudes of our students through the classes. And

finally the last but not least continuing professional development of teachers which permit us to

improve our teaching practice.

  In our research we first identify a phenomenon (linguistic creativity) after observing and

analyzing student‘s output and patterns on linguistic creativity, we have planned to observe what

features are constant in the development of the lesson in terms of linguistic creativity on first

graders when learning English through TPR method, and analyze them in order to explore trends

on linguistic creativity, so that, reinforce learning process as well as improve teaching

professional experience.

   According to Cohen et al (1989), the process followed in an action research generally include:

a straightforward cycle of identifying a problem or phenomenon (children linguistic creativity),

planning an intervention (using tpr activities with the aim to observe students’ performances),
                        LINGUISTIC CREATIVITY ON THE ELF CLASSROOM                       58




implementing the intervention (apply the classes and gather data related to it), as well as

evaluating the outcome (data analysis).




                                          reflect     plan



                                          observe      act




Setting:


  This process of analyzing patters of Linguistic Creativity in first graders was developed in a

public school located in the third locality (Santafe) of Bogota, Colombia. It is a school which is

in charge of educating students of primary and high school. It counts with two headquarters; in

one of them operates the pedagogical processes of the high school and the administrative

department of the school and in the other operates the primary school and all its concerns. The

study was carried out with twenty-two students of first grade belonging to the first and second

social strata that live in the neighborhoods around the school, places characterized for poverty,

drug addiction and trafficking, prostitution, so thus, Their parents work as watchmen, traders,

mailmen, housekeepers, housewives, recyclers, builders, waitresses and among others with low

payment and none of them have obtained a mayor degree than the high school or even than the

primary school. Twenty-five percent of the students present a high degree of aggressiveness
                        LINGUISTIC CREATIVITY ON THE ELF CLASSROOM                       59




apparently instilled at their homes and television. Students spend five hours daily at school from

Monday to Friday and we perceived a minimum degree of absence. Among the students’

problems we identified malnutrition, domestic violence, lack of attention by their parents,

poverty and slovenliness. On the other hand it is important to recognize those the students are

very active people, who make evident their desire for learning new things, participating and

living novel experiences.


Data collection instruments:


   To gather data for this study, different tools such as journals, video recordings, and field notes

were used in order to collect qualitative data about students’ utterances and patterns of linguistic

creativity while teaching so in this order we have:


   Field notes: Emerson (1995) defines it as 'accounts describing experiences and observations

the researcher has made while participating in an intense and involved manner. Field notes allow

the researcher to access the subject and record what they observe in an unobtrusive manner.

However one major disadvantage is that field notes are recorded by an observer and are subject

to (a) memory and (b) possibly, the conscious or unconscious bias of the observer. Through

fields notes we were able to capture and describe by writing the experiences which portrayed

Linguistic creativity features. They were carried out in every class by one of the researcher. Each

one must contain the date of the lesson, the experience or evidence of data and one teacher

reflection made at the right moment. They allowed us to record data as it was observed and

understood by us as researchers.
                        LINGUISTIC CREATIVITY ON THE ELF CLASSROOM                         60




   Video recordings: Many studies of foreign language acquisition that use a qualitative

approach require microanalysis of the speech of the learners of the target language. in order to

meet this requirement and to study the acquisition process in the socio-cultural context in which

it occurs, linguistic data are typically obtained by audio or video recording of speech during

naturalistic interaction.(Dufon, 2002).


   Video recording also provided us with denser linguistic information than does field note

taking, for ideally it allows us to record every word. When taking field notes, the researcher is

limited to writing down the gist of what the interlocutors said, or recording only brief

interactions consisting of a few short turns because of constraints on memory and the inherently

slower speed of writing as compared with speaking (Beebe and Takahashi, 1989). They were

surreptitiously implemented every class in order to not to influence students anxiety when

speaking. Video-recording was done by the researcher who took the field notes. They allowed

us to record the class events, especially oral productions as they were really produced, and back

up the field notes’ evidence.


   Journals: A Journal is a book or notes that a researcher takes with him or her into the field.

According to Bryman (2004), the journal should be a record of the methods the researcher used,

why the researcher preferred one method over another and the researcher's own observations,

sometimes referred to as analytic memos. This tool was the most important for the researchers

because with them, we were able to confront field notes and video recordings data and reconsider

the relevant one. Also they allowed us to evaluate each lesson methodologically and

instructionally, taking into account that this action research permitted to evaluate and reflect

about teaching and learning processes to implement changes in practice.
                        LINGUISTIC CREATIVITY ON THE ELF CLASSROOM                      61




  After the process constantly monitored over a period of time, the research Method applied was

the Triangulation one including the role of the researcher as participant observer within the

environments of the study. This direct observation allowed us to gather data that was organized

by means of written documents, as teacher field notes and journals; recordings (audio and video).
                        LINGUISTIC CREATIVITY ON THE ELF CLASSROOM                      62




                                            Chapter V


                                          Data analysis


   In this chapter we explain the outcome of this research study. First we introduce the data

gathered that was relevant for achieving the objectives (students oral inaccuracies). Posteriorly,

we explain the way we identify patterns and the relation among them with the aim of finding

categories. The objective of this chapter was to analyze children’s linguistic errors gathered

through the data collection instruments with the aim of knowing the most recurrent among them

and characterized them. The findings presented in this chapter demonstrate the relation between

theory and practice.


   First of all, it was important to understand how language production must be analyzed and the

different processes must be followed to obtain significant findings after evaluating the collected

samples of data. Rod Ellis and Gary Barkhuisen (2005) present a clear explanation about the

methods that have been used to analyze learner language and the different kinds of data that can

be collected. Consequently, after a deep study of it, we came to the conclusion that the type of

the data gathered in this research process has to be obtained from the samples of learner’s

language evident through their VERBAL reports. So it is important to examine the learner’s kind

of performance that provides the most valid and reliable information for the research purpose. In

this sense, the samples of learners’ language correspond to the output they utter, more

specifically, learner’s language inaccuracies.       Those samples of learners’ language are

experimentally-elicited samples due to the fact that the methodological objectives involve an

attempt to elicit a specific, and predetermined linguistic feature in learners’ production, in this
                        LINGUISTIC CREATIVITY ON THE ELF CLASSROOM                     63




sense the predetermined linguistic feature is Linguistic creativity. For this reason Total Physical

Response method was the instructional base to be implemented in this process (see chapter 4)


   One of the two types of experimental elicitation is the elicited imitation in which the child

listens to a set of sentences or vocabulary. After a period of listening they are asked to produce

or imitate that set of vocabulary and later they are able to construct more complex language

using their own linguistic resources. This experimental elicitation was achieved through the

implementation of Total Physical Response method.


                                   Samples of learner language


                                         Verbal Reports


                                Experimentally- elicited samples


                                        Elicited imitation


Data managment


   Grounded theory about data management and analysis, Glaser & Strauss (1967), was the

approach implemented to this process which led us into the process of identifying patterns and

comparing concepts though an ongoing process of open coding, axial coding, selective coding,

conditional relational matrix, and finally, theorizing. In that sense, it is explained the way the

data was named, connected with relationships, characterized and explained.
                        LINGUISTIC CREATIVITY ON THE ELF CLASSROOM                     64




   As it was explained before in research design chapter, each instrument was applied with a

specific objective, which pointed to the main question; the data gathered from them must reflect

those objectives and the relation among them.


   In each session, the three instruments were applied. The researcher took notes while the class

development about the features and relevant aspects related to Linguistic Creativity, so that,

he/she recorded by writing children inaccuracies when speaking and in each note, made a

comment. After each session, researchers discussed about they perceived in the class thought

field note comments, evaluating the class procedures and results and finally they posted them in

the journals.


   Journals reflect instructional and methodological procedures evaluation of each session

through a set of questions:


      Did I accomplish my objectives?

      What did I like the most about this class?

      Which difficulties do I have to overcome for the next class?

      Were my students involved in a positive and productive way?

      What did I find interesting to write down for my project? I can add this information to…

      A question or a doubt to discuss with my colleges and teacher?


   In that way, journals allowed researchers to analyze deeply field notes and also, to propose a

better lesson plan for next session that could meet the instructional and methodological needs.
                        LINGUISTIC CREATIVITY ON THE ELF CLASSROOM                       65




   Teachers; perceptions, reflected through field notes, were backed up by videos recordings

which captured each children oral production or utterance. After transcribing videos we found

data that were not perceived by the researchers before.


   The first step to follow was to read the data and select children inaccuracies to be classified

into different sets which were posted according to the different fields of linguistic, following

Zawada’s (2005) premise that states that different domains of language are acquired from the

construction of grammar and lexicon, which are biologically given, to the pragmatic

constructions, which are socially given. Those domains are mastered by the multidirectional

characteristic of human being: Linguistic Creativity. The sets to classify the data were: Morph-

syntactic creativity, phonetic creativity, semantic creativity and pragmatic creativity. The

objectives of classifying data into these sets were first, to validate that Linguistic Creativity can

be mastered through the different domains of language, and second, to simplify patterns

discovery.


   Data were classified through matching them with specific codes which were: (MSC) for

Morph-syntactic creativity, (PHC) for phonetic creativity, (SC) for semantic creativity and (PC)

pragmatic creativity.


   After that step, we focused our attention on each set individually in order to get common

features and then establish patterns which posteriorly were grouped into categories.


   In that sense, the following charts reflect the procedures before explained and later the results

that from them emerged.
                         LINGUISTIC CREATIVITY ON THE ELF CLASSROOM                      66




Chart # 7. It reflects how data, per session, were classified linguistically


Date                 Data

03/10/2010           S. Granguelo SC - MPC

                     S: Sintau PHC -PRC

                     S: Teacher mira mi dibujo
                     T: quien es?
                     S: Mi hermana Monica
                     T: In English?
                     The student didn’t utterance any sound while in other place of the
                     classroom the other teacher was remaining the vocabulary learned (father,
                     mother, brother) and when he pronounced “sister” the student recognized
                     the word and she was able to utterance it and give to it a meaning. SC

                     Students try to pronounce the target language as if they had something
                     inside their mouths or try to exaggerate the sound in order to make it
                     similar to the target language; we think it is because they are able to
                     identify that between Spanish language and English language there are
                     many differences regarding pronunciation, vocabulary and meaning. PHC


17/10/2010           S: Pencil: /pensil/ PHC

                     S: Book: /bud/ /bu/ /but/ PHC

                     S: Crayon: /crallon/ PHC

                     S: Put the book: /poo de but/ PHC

                     Students repeat what the teacher speaks even if she did not ask to do it.

                     Trying to say the word “scissors” they produced /sistors/ making the
                     relationship with the word sister learned in the previous class. PHC- MSC


                     Other words “mispronounced” were cencil (pencil), /bluk/ joining the
                     words blue and book.PHC
                   LINGUISTIC CREATIVITY ON THE ELF CLASSROOM                     67




               Other “mixtures” were “pisol” “crayors” and they repeat among them
               “veby bud”. PHC

24/10/2010     T: Para ustedes ¿que es el ingles?
               S1: Para mi el ingles son los ojos, la nariz, la boca y las orejas
               S2: Pintar, colorear, dibujar
               T: ¿Por que ustedes creen que esta clase se llama la “clase de Ingles”?
               S3: Por que es en ingles y aprendemos
               T: ¿Y que aprenden?
               S4: a dibujar, a colorear, a pintar y a jugar.
               But after this, the teacher asked for a volunteer to make an exercise and
               they said: Yo, yo, yo and the teacher said, please speak in English and they
               said: Me, me, me. SC - PRC

               They associated the word “circle” with the word in Spanish circo so they
               say it as such. SC – PHC - MC
31/10/2010 -   S: Dog: Dock: PHC
               Chicken Chicle – chiclen - chiquito (porque es chiquito el pollo) SC-PHC
               S: Babis: guavis, PHC 24
               S: Rabbit: rabid PHC
               S: ¿Teacher como se dice Shakira en ingles? PRC

               S: Pencil: Pincel SM - PHC
               S: Mother Mather: PHC
11/11/2010     S: Father Fodor: PHC
               S: ear Ar : PHC
               S: Triangle: Trangol PHC
               S: Rectangle: Rectangol PHC
               S:Apple: Apel, arpol, manpol, eipol, pol,.PHC
               S:Purple: pupurl PHC
               S:Pineapple: Piño SC 40
               S:lemon: limonada, limón, nemo PHC
               S:orange: naranj, naranjo, oras SC - PHC
               They learned the word “teddy” as it was a bear because of the image of the
               teddy.PRC
               Students also made “mistakes” in their mother tongue “pusiendo atencion”
                      LINGUISTIC CREATIVITY ON THE ELF CLASSROOM                      68




20/02/2011        Teacher introduced the topic to be learnt that day, so he said. ”today we
                  are going to learn about number and friends”. So first, he asked “do you
                  know what a number is?” And children answered “los números”, so then
                  teacher asked “do you know what a friend is? And they answered “las
                  letras”. SC - PRC
                  After this teacher sais. “My friends are Gabriel, Juan and Pilar, So what is
                  the meaning of friend? Students answered “nombres, niños, niñas” SC -


                  The teacher said. “Now you, can you please tell us your telephone
                  number”. And the student said. “One, four, Rocio...” but he meant “cero”.
                  PHC

                  when some children pronounced the word two they point to one of their
                  partners referring to the personal pronoun tu in Spanish SC


12/03//2011       Teacher: ¿qué vamos a aprender hoy? (pointing to the city poster)
                  Ss: las casas
                  Teacher: y estos (pointing to the jobs flash cards)
                  Ss: la gente PRC-SC

                  S: policeman: poli, SC
                  S:Doctor: doctor, docot, doc PHC
                  S: Fireman: Bomber, bomber, bomb. SC
                  S: Estudiante student: estudien,. SC
     06/03/2011   T: How do you say pequeño in Englsih? And Ss said several words as
                  “good, Washington” When they had just learnt the concept of “short” ,
                  then teacher asked “how do you say niño in English? and one boy said
                  “Short por lo pequeño” SC



                  Then teacher said “I have two eyes, so what is eye? And they said “dos
                  zapatos, dos sacos” SC - PRC

                  How do you say cabello? And one boy said four, so others students
                  continued saying “five, six, seven, eight, nine” SC
                   LINGUISTIC CREATIVITY ON THE ELF CLASSROOM                   69




               Teacher said. “how do you say mano? . One student said muñeca and other
               responded “pero seria la mano de la mujer por que es muñeca, y las
               muñecas son de niñas” SC


21/03/2011     Children make the distinction of gender in words when talking in English
               as they do it when talking in Spanish, SO when teacher asked how to say
               enfermera they said Doctar, and then, how to say estudiente mujer thay said
               studa.
               SC

               Teacher asked where does the student study? And they said in the schoolent
               They use lot patterns of mother tongue.MSC

               Teacher asked how to say bombero and they said bomber. The he asked
               how to say conductor and they said condor.SC


03/04/2011     In the words that they find a similar phoneme, they make the relation by
               interchanging the pronunciation, so for example, with the words under, on
               and in, it was common instead of hearing the word /'ʌndər / we heard the
               word /ɑ:ndər / mixing the word on and the word under.PHC



               After some minutes of instruction and presentation of the topic, students
               started to produce according to what the teacher asked. Their outputs were
               based on more complex sentences interrelating their previous knowledge.
               Although those sentences were not grammatically correct, children
               achieved to communicate. They produced sentences like
               Policeman is car
               policeman a between
               policeman a in the car
               MSC




             Chart # 8. It reflects how each data was analyzed linguistically
LINGUISTIC CREATIVITY ON THE ELF CLASSROOM   70
                 LINGUISTIC CREATIVITY ON THE ELF CLASSROOM       1




    Linguistic      Semantics                     Morph- syntax                Phonology                Pragmatics
    creativity
    evidence

Rectangle                                                             Students try to imitate the
/ˈrektæŋɡəl/                                                          word but in the last phoneme
rectangol                                                             the sound schwa / ə/ they
                                                                      could not, so they took a
                                                                      “similar” phoneme in Spanish
                                                                      in which most of the students
                                                                      choose
                                                                      /o/. It is important to mention
                                                                      that the phoneme schwa does
                                                                      not exist on Spanish, so as a
                                                                      response to his lack of
                                                                      phoneme Ss overgenelralize
                                                                      and make hypothesis by
                                                                      testing the respective sound
                                                                      in Spanish /o/

Apple /ˈæpəl/                                                         The students instead of
Apel                                                                  pronouncing             /ˈæpəl/
                                                                      pronounce
                                                                      /´ɑ:pel / which is important
                                                                      due to that in this word there
                                                                      were two phonemes which
                                                                      were “replaced” as the are the
                                                                      phoneme /æ/ for /ɑ:/ and the
                                                                      phoneme schwa by /e/ as
                                                                      they are being immersed into
                                                                      a new language with their
                                                                      respective phonology and
                                                                      they    as     creators    and
                                                                      manipulators of language try
                                                                      to test their hypothesis by
                                                                      applying rules they know in
                                          LINGUISTIC CREATIVITY ON THE ELF CLASSROOM                 72



                                                                             their mother tongue , so in this
                                                                             way we observed how they
                                                                             test the phonemes in Spanish
                                                                             to     see    in   they     can
                                                                             communicate or not and if
                                                                             they get understood.
                                                                             This is important because we
                                                                             can see how the child make
                                                                             their own hypothesis to what
                                                                             he hears and what kind of
                                                                             connections       he        she
                                                                             establishes while learning
                                                                             English, in this study it has
                                                                             been        frequent         the
                                                                             replacement of phonemes for
                                                                             other in the L1 as well a the
                                                                             respective testing of them.
                                                                             Especially with the phoneme
                                                                             schwa.
Apple /ˈæpəl/   What happened? How it can be                                 In this lesson the students
                linguistically explained?                                    were testing different kind of
Manpol          Did it happen before?                                        words which maintain a
                How and why is it important                                  resemblance with the ONE IN
                for achieving the main                                       SPANISH, so it is very
                                                                             interesting to see how the
                purpose?
                                                                             process of acquisition in the
                What does it suggest?                                        children they are making
                .                                                            relationships and bounding
                                                                             words between L1 and L2, Ss
                                                                             could get confused by adding
                                                                             the same mental image to the
                                                                             same word. Or maybe it was
                                                                             a strategy to recall the word
                                                                             more effectively. Also here
                                                                             the phoneme /æ/ is replaced
LINGUISTIC CREATIVITY ON THE ELF CLASSROOM                73



                                   by /ɑ:/ as well as the sound
                                   schwa was replaced by the
                                   phoneme /ɔː/       this may
                                   explained taking into account
                                   that vowels reduction or
                                   omission is not constant in
                                   Spanish so students try to
                                   compensate this lack of
                                   knowledge of the L2 by
                                   applying their own thoughts
                                   about the l2.
                                   This use of phonological,
                                   patterns from two languages
                                   in
                                   the same utterance or stretch
                                   of conversation is referred as
                                   bilingual code mixing and
                                   this case in particular is
                                   known       as     “pragmatic”
                                   (Genesse, Paradis & Crago,
                                   2004).
                          LINGUISTIC CREATIVITY ON THE ELF CLASSROOM                   74



Apple /ˈæpəl/         .                                      Again students making their
                                                             own hypothesis about the new
                                                             language introduce rules as
Arpol                                                        relating the meaning of this
                                                             word not just not the l1
                                                             phonemes but to the meaning
                                                             as they established a relation
                                                             between apple as fruit and the
                                                             Spanish word for tree árbol,
                                                             making chain of words
                                                             because of the characteristics
                                                             it shares, it happened before
                                                             in through the English course.
                                                             This may be important due to
                                                             the information we can get
                                                             from students relations and
                                                             influences in L1 and L2. It
                                                             gives information relevant to
                                                             the study in the sense that 1st
                                                             students      make      relations
                                                             beyond the classroom they
                                                             relate   words       with    their
                                                             background and 2nd.
                                                              In terms of phonology it can
                                                             be found that they also utter
                                                             the word mixing L1 and L2 but
                                                             not of the same word but
                                                             other as apple and arpol tree
                                                             in English
                                                             So it was /´ɑ:rpɔːl/
Purple / ˈpɜːrpəl /                                          The students apply various
pupurl                                                       phonemes that are present in
                                                             Spanish as a way to avoid
                                                             those difficult phonemes for
                                                             the learners; In this way
                      LINGUISTIC CREATIVITY ON THE ELF CLASSROOM                75



                                                         sounds that are not familiar
                                                         for them are changed into
                                                         other which are present in
                                                         their L1.
                                                         It is useful in the sense that
                                                         may gives us information, the
                                                         learner
                                                         Searched their mental lexicon
                                                         for an appropriate word
                                                         candidate (or asked for
                                                         clarification).

Pineapple         /                                      As we see that they
ˈpaɪnˌæpəl/                                              mispronounced       the   word
piño                                                     /ˈpaɪnæpəl/ adding to the
                                                         word a bad transfer of l2 piña
                                                         and adding the phoneme /o/
                                                         at the end, it may be a
                                                         hypothesis about the sound
                                                         schwa and the ideas behind
                                                         the word rules.
                                                         This phenomenon can be
                                                         found to occur after students
                                                         have become aware of a
                                                         negative transfer effect and
                                                         arises from the strategy they
                                                         employ to deal with this , so
                                                         they hear many words ending
                                                         in /o/ so they mix two rules to
                                                         evaluate their performance
Lemon / ˈlemən/
Limonada                                                 This error may be analyzed
                                                         from the intonation as the
                                                         students did not utter the
                                                         intonation of limón at the end
                 LINGUISTIC CREATIVITY ON THE ELF CLASSROOM                   76



                                                    of the word and the word
                                                    limonada which its accent is
                                                    on the third syllable, also it
                                                    may be a chain in which the
                                                    word lemon and their meaning
Lemon /ˈlemən/                                      Students establish a relation
Limón                                               between the words in L1 and
                                                    L2
                                                    The word may have for them
                                                    certain resemblance /ˈlemən/
                                                    /li:m’o:n/
                                                    Something that has been
                                                    recurrent in the analysis is
                                                    that
                                                    the length contrast of /e/
                                                    versus /ɪ/ which causes a
                                                    negative transfer effect, also
                                                    the     sound     schwa       was
                                                    replaced by /o/ again being a
                                                    recurrent pattern.
Lemon /ˈlemən/                                       Even if the wwords lemon             The word nemo and the word
                                                    and       nemo     mianti       no    lemon has no resemblance
Nemo                                                resembalce at all in terns of         at all in terms of meaning but
                                                    memnaing is important to see          something that caught our
                                                    how the wss establish some            attention was the fact that
                                                    phnolological         similarities,   nemo
                                                    taking into account that the           /´nemo: / was the name of a
                                                    name nemo is not used as in           character in a famous movie
                                                    the original movie but after a        but pronounced different in
                                                    latinization of the name to           relation to this englihs name
                                                    /´nemo:/ and the word lemon           /nˈi:məʊ/       ( the main
                                                    /ˈlemən/ so it is still persistent    character in the animation
                                                    the sound schwa /ə /and /o:/          movie ( finding nemo) the
                                                                                          relation is not always with the
                                                                                          same signifier so this is abad
                                              LINGUISTIC CREATIVITY ON THE ELF CLASSROOM                  77



                                                                                                                     transfer een if the character’s
                                                                                                                     name is an American
                                                                                                                     product. The latinisagion of
                                                                                                                     its name may
Orange /ˈɑːrɪndʒ                                                                 This word is interesting tin the
/                                                                                sense that the students use
narandʒ                                                                          the    equivalent    word      in
                                                                                 Spanish at the beginning and
                                                                                 the new at the end in this
                                                                                 sense he says narandz but
                                                                                 changing the last phoneme
                                                                                 into the one he remember in
                                                                                 /ˈɑːrɪndʒ / so it was a
                                                                                 bilingual code mixing in
                                                                                 words      by    establishing
                                                                                 relations and adding new
                                                                                 information to the words
                                                                                 the      studens      kenew
                                                                                 previosluly this phenomeno
                                                                                 has occurred before with
                                                                                 some other words this
                                                                                 reflects that students are
                                                                                 not empty glasses but they
                                                                                 are actor sin their own
                                                                                 leairng process by means
                                                                                 of the relations they create,
                                                                                 even if they are not fully
                                                                                 accurate.

Orange /ˈɑːrɪndʒ What happened? How it can                                       In this word the student
/                be linguistically explained?                                    avoid the last phoneme
/o:r ɑ:s/        Did it happen before?                                           instead he/she added one
                 How and why is it important for                                 which was easier for
                                                 LINGUISTIC CREATIVITY ON THE ELF CLASSROOM                78



                   achieving the main purpose?                                      him/her. At the phonemic
                   What does it suggest?                                            level a avoidance is the
                                                                                    avoidance of using words
                                                                                    which         contain difficult
                                                                                    phonemes to pronounce.
                                                                                     We have observed how
                                                                                    students avoid tricky words
                                                                                    and replace them for others
                                                                                    easier to them not. So they
                                                                                    test the words and check
                                                                                    the feedback.
Teddy / ˈtedi/                                                                      The pronunciation was ok            They recognized the
                                                                                    and it was a sample of how        word “teddy” as it was a
/ˈtedi/                                                                             students relate their l1          bear because of the
                                                                                    because in this word              flashcard of the teddy.
                                                                                    students acquired the word        This word is analyzed form
                                                                                    easily     in     terms     of    a pragmatic perspective in
                                                                                    pronunciation all of the          the sense that context
                                                                                    phonemes are present in           influenced they learning
                                                                                    the ir mother tongue so it        because         of      the
                                                                                    was not difficult for them.       assumptions behind the
                                                                                                                      flash    card    and    the
                                                                                                                      meaning they gave to the
                                                                                                                      image     influence   they
                                                                                                                      performance
Pusiendo                                            Students     also     made We observed also that
atencion                                            “mistakes” in their mother syudents are not fully
Paying attention                                    tongue “pusiendo atencion” proficient in the mother
                                                                               tongue, the are over-
                                                                               generalizing L1 rules in the
                                                                               structure of the tenses
Teacher                                                                                                               Here it is evident how one
                                                    LINGUISTIC CREATIVITY ON THE ELF CLASSROOM   79



introduced the       Students as a strategy apply                                                     word can take learners to
topic to be learnt   relations between words as a                                                     other Word. As at school
that day, so he      way to establish connections                                                     they have always found a
said. ”today we      and chains between words and                                                     relation of reciprocity or
are going to learn   meanings; this connection is                                                     antonyms, they thought that
about numbers        related to what is called                                                        when saying “numbers and
and friends”. So     transfer but in this time in was                                                 friends” it referred to
first, he asked      a negative relation. As they                                                     “numerous y letras” because
“do you know         have     been      taught    that                                                in their level it is common to
what a number        numbers and letters are joint                                                    learn letters and numbers
is?” And children    they infer friend was related to                                                 simultaneously, so the word
answered “los        the     word      letters,   and                                                 NUMBER has had always a
números”, so         stablishing the same L1                                                          relation with the word
then teacher         meaning associtiosn to the L2                                                    LETTER for them.
asked “do you                                                                                         Rodary suggested that “one
know what a                                                                                           word hits other by inertia”.
friend is? And                                                                                        Also, it is said that children
they answered                                                                                         form their though by pairs, so
“las letras”.                                                                                         the word NUMBER has to be
                                                                                                      constructed with the word
                                                                                                      LETTER which are acquired
                                                                                                      simultaneously and build a
                                                                                                      binary structure. Walon.
After this teacher   Students        were    applying
says. “My friends    overgeneralization           and
are Gabriel, Juan    establishing relation with the
and Pilar, So what   context they have in the
is the meaning of    sentence so by listening to
friend? Students     male and female names
answered             They associate the word friend
“nombres, niños,     as a higher level word which
niñas”               involves male and female and
                     try to test their assumptions.
                     As a strategy to learn they try
                     to understand the sound by
                                                   LINGUISTIC CREATIVITY ON THE ELF CLASSROOM                80



                      extracting info about the other
                      words input.
The teacher said.                                                                     In here it is important to see
“Now you, can                                                                         that this is considered a
you please tell us                                                                    mistake in the sense that the
your     telephone                                                                    student misunderstood the
number”. And the                                                                      word zero / ˈzɪrəʊ/ by a
student       said.                                                                   name rocio so this may be a
“One,         four,                                                                   mistake in the sense that is
Rocio...” but he                                                                      mistake product of his new
meant       “cero”.                                                                   adaptation AND the students
PHC                                                                                   is    not    used     to   THE
                                                                                      ORGANIZATIN of the word
                                                                                      So mispronounced as a
                                                                                      mistake.
when some             Here we can analyze how                                         What happened? How it can
children              learners make a relation                                        be linguistically explained?
pronounced the        between signifiers of                                           Did it happen before?
word two they         DIFFERENT LANGUAGES.                                            How and why is it important
point to one of       They attributed a relation of                                   for    achieving the main
their partners        homonymy between the word                                       purpose?
referring to the      TU (a personal pronoun in                                       What does it suggest?
personal pronoun      Spanish) and the word TWO (a
tu in Spanish         number in English) giving them
                      a condition of homophonic
                      words.
Teacher:      ¿qué    In this phenomena the teacher
vamos a aprender      try to see studest assumtipns
hoy? (pointing to     about some images so we
the city poster)      observed how was been
Ss: las casas         mediated the input through
Teacher: y estos      images so the results
(pointing to the      remained a clear effect of
jobs flash cards)     semantic relatedness in which
Ss: la gente PRC-     students reflected their
                                                     LINGUISTIC CREATIVITY ON THE ELF CLASSROOM                81



SC                   conceptual representation in
                     Spanish For our
                     present purposes, the
                     interesting observation was
                     that in
                     these activities a semantically
                     related context picture may
                     facilitate word recongnition in
                     comparison with an unrelated
                     picture.
Policeman            In the Word students may
[pə'lɪ:smən]         overgeneralizated a rule they
                     tend to shorten the words.
Poli                 So the main idea is that the
                     students were Extrapolating
                     limited experiences of the
                     language to make broad
                     generalizations. Because it
                     was frequent to them from
                     them that the “backward
                     translation”
Doctor: ˈdɑːktər /   Now the concept of doctor was                                      Even if the word was acquired
                     acquired easily because of the                                     relatively easy in terms of
/do:k´to:r/          word maintain resemblance to                                       meaning the word was not
                     the one in Spanish so here in                                      accurately pronounced, here
                     thers of meaning was a                                             we can see how may L1 affect
                     positive transfer from the l1                                      the acquisition in L2 and how
                                                                                        a word can be bad and good
                                                                                        transfer at the same time.
Doctor: ˈdɑːktər /   In the Word students may                                            Most of the times when a
                     overgeneralizated a rule they                                      translation question was done
/ dɒk/ Doc           tend to shorten the words.                                         students say most of the time
                     So the main idea is that the                                       monosyllable words suchs
                     students were Extrapolating                                        doc poli and tend to say
                     limited experiences of the                                         words      in    spanish   but
                                                  LINGUISTIC CREATIVITY ON THE ELF CLASSROOM                82



                   language to make broad                                            pommitng the last phonem of
                   generalizations.                                                  syllable.
fireman ['faɪəmən] Students did not find any                                          In this word the bad transfer
                   relation with the concept of                                      of
Bomber             fireman because the words
                   were very different in
                   pronunciation and it was very
                   difficult to make them realize
                   and establish the connections
                   and the semantic relatedness
                   because of that.
Bomb.              In the Word students may                                          the word was very notable
                   overgeneralizated a rule they                                     they pronounced the word as
                   tend to shorten the words.                                        bomb which is a shortened
                   So the main idea is that the                                      form of bombero the spansih
                   students were Extrapolating                                       word for fireman and with this
                   limited experiences of the                                        word it was really complicated
                   language to make broad                                            to avoid or establish the
                   generalizations.                                                  correct pronunciation. Both
                                                                                     bomber and bomb are not
                                                                                     even related words and it is a
                                                                                     shown on how students make
                                                                                     generalization and hypothesis
                                                                                     on language learning.
                    It was interesting to see the                                    Although the meaning word
                    relation and the crosslingusitic                                 was         acquired       the
Student             transfer in terms of meaning in                                  pronunciation Ss relate the
Estudien            this sense the target language                                   new sound to their prior
                    word reflects the way a multi-                                    knowledge in this case a word
                    word unit is mapped to                                           which was similar in terms of
                    meaning in                                                       pronunciation.
                    Another language. The word
                    estudien is an imperative form
                    in Spanish derived from
                    “estudio” study and in this
                                                 LINGUISTIC CREATIVITY ON THE ELF CLASSROOM   83



                   sense relate the word lexically
                   to one that remained similar in
                   the L1
T: How do you                                                                                      This error was interesting in
say pequeño in                                                                                     the sense that first we were
Englsih? And Ss                                                                                    aware that they were just
said     several                                                                                   saying things to have fun and
words as “good,                                                                                    not really thinking about the
                                                                                                   word so it was not an error in
Washington”                                                                                        the sense but a mistake. And
When they had                                                                                      secondly other point that in
just learnt the                                                                                    important to highlight is that
concept       of                                                                                   even if they did no say the
“short”                                                                                            meaning of the word in
                                                                                                   English they used English
                                                                                                   words such as good and
                                                                                                   Washington. The last one we
                                                                                                   never say it in class son they
                                                                                                   were showing us they
                                                                                                   understanding on L2.
then     teacher                                     In this words niño (BOY) and
asked “how do                                        SHORT the child gave the
you say Niño in                                      same signified to two different
English?     and                                     signifiers. This fact is a kind of
one boy said                                         connotative synonymy in which
                                                     the child gave to the words
“Short por lo
                                                     BOY and SHORT the same
pequeño”                                             connotative value taking into
                                                     account that a BOY is SHORT
Then     teacher   Students     were      applying
said “I have two   overgeneralization         and
eyes, so what is   establishing relation with the
eye? And they      context they have in the
said        “dos   sentence so by listening to the
                   word two
                                                    LINGUISTIC CREATIVITY ON THE ELF CLASSROOM   84



zapatos, dos They associate the word two
sacos” SC - with pair of things that hthe
PRC          teacher had got in that
                     moment and try to test their
                     assumptions.
                     As a strategy to learn they try
                     to understand the sound by
                     extracting information about
                     the meaning of the word. So
                     the take advantage of every
                     little set of information in a
                     word to make assumptions,
                     demonstrating the concept
                     connections they make.
How do you say        While the student say the
cabello?     And     number four just as a way to
one boy said         have fun and make the
four, so others      students make fun, students
students             directly relate the word with the
                     numbers and started to say
continued
                     them , so here we see how the
saying “five, six,   semantic concepts are joined
seven,     eight,    and one word are related with
nine” SC             the other.
Teacher     said.     In this error in particular we
“how do you          found to relations. First the
say mano? .          relation that the she student
One      student     made relating mano (hand)
said     muñeca      with muñeca (wrist) in L1 and
                     immediately a male student
and         other    replied to her ( but it may be
responded            the hand of a woman because,
“pero seria la       dolls are for women) it is
mano     de     la   important to mention that the
mujer por que        word “muñeca” has two
                                                     LINGUISTIC CREATIVITY ON THE ELF CLASSROOM   85



es muñeca, y las meanings one is referred to
muñecas son de the wrist and the other to a
niñas” SC        doll. In this sentence we can
                      see how one word that is
                      concept related as it was a
                      part of the body related with
                      the hand and in the other side
                      the male student established
                      the concept by assuming
                      muñeca as a women’s feature.
                      This creative feature can be
                      observed in L2 relation as we
                      could see in the example
                      above, where one word
                      doesn’t come along but brings
                      related ones which may share
                      general      features     and
                      conceptual relations.

Children make the     Because of their mother
distinction      of   tongue, learners make a
gender in words       grammatical                gender
when talking in       distinction with adjectives and
English as they       nouns. This distinction is given
do it when talking    with the phoneme –a- for
in Spanish, SO        female gender, so the child
when        teacher   attributed the phoneme –a- to
asked how to say      the words DORTOR by saying
enfermera      they   doctar and STUDENT studa
said Doctar, and      to refer to a girl. In this sense
then, how to say      we can analyze how students
estudiente mujer      though their deductive thinking
thay said studa.      create hypothesis or patterns
                      of the language which are
                      used      for   them      to   be
                                                   LINGUISTIC CREATIVITY ON THE ELF CLASSROOM                 86



                   understood and express what
                   they infer. By applying the little
                   input and mixing it with their
                   priror knowledge
                                                                                      Although the meaning word
school /skuːl/                                                                        was       acquired.    In    the
                                                                                      pronunciation Ss relate the
Teacher asked                                                                         new sound to their prior
                                                                                      knowledge in this case a word
where does the
                                                                                      which was similar /eskuela/ in
student study?                                                                        terms of pronunciation and
And they said in                                                                      meaning in L2. Ss as a
the     /skuːla/                                                                      strategy relate words that are
instead       of                                                                      similar in meaning of sound
school.                                                                               and give them features to
                                                                                      remain them, in the process
                                                                                      students may be influenced
                                                                                      more for the word in L1 to the
                                                                                      point of join it or mixing. And
                                                                                      when tryg to say school takin
                                                                                      ingot account that
                                                                                      /eskuela/ and /skuːl/ may have
                                                                                      resemblance in /sku/ so the
                                                                                      studenta say /skuːla/, they
                                                                                      show how the relate the
                                                                                      words by meaning and how
                                                                                      they may affect pronunciation.
Teacher asked                                                                         The word bomber was very
how    to  say                                                                        difficult and even at the end of
bombero    and                                                                        the course they still continued
they      said                                                                        saying bomber, and when the
bomber. The he                                                                        teacher ask how to say
                                                                                      conductor (driver) they say
asked how to                                                                          condor, one of the thigns tha
say conductor                                                                         call our attention the most is
                    LINGUISTIC CREATIVITY ON THE ELF CLASSROOM                87



and they said /'k                                      that students tend to say that
ɔ:ndɔr].                                               the jobs are by-syllables for
                                                       example. Bomber-bomber
                                                       Student-studa, and conductor-
                                                       condor, and doctor-doctor,
                                                       this may be to the fact the job
                                                       that was acquired easily was
                                                       doctor, studems creatively
                                                       deducted that the words is
                                                       short and you need to change
                                              LINGUISTIC CREATIVITY ON THE ELF CLASSROOM                  88




              They associated the word               After hearing several times
              GRAND in English with the              the words “grandfather and
Grandfather   word GRAN in Spanish so                grandmother” they assumed
              they assumed that the word             that the morpheme “grand”
“Granguelo”   GRAND, as in Spanish,                  gives other meaning in the
              gives to any word a higher             entire world “ so children
              position in meaning. In this           give an specific meaning to
              case       when        saying          the morpheme grand. They
              GRANGUELO they reflect                 knew how to recognize the
              that the GRANDFATHER                   meaning of grandfather in
              has a bigger power position            Spanish (abuelo) so they
              in a family, so they attribute         heard the sound of grand
              the word GRAN to the word              and immediately related it
              ABUELO.                                with abuelo and making a
                                                     bad transfer of English to
                                                     Spanish       they       said
                                                     “granguelo”. In this sense,
                                                     they      CREATED          an
                                                     affix known     as     prefix
                                                     “grand” which is placed
                                                     before the stem of a word.

Sit down      They    find   a     relation     of                                   They made a relation of sound      When hearing the command
                                                                                     between particular phonemes        “sit down” students are
“Sintau”      meaning between the words                                              of their mother tongue and the     aware about the imperative
                                                                                     foreign one. They realized that    tone that it carries. They
              “sit   down”   and     “sentado”                                       the command “sit down” refers      know it is said in order to
                                                                                     to the act of getting seated and   express an order, so when
              creating a word that is product                                        at the time of verbally            saying “sintau” they keep
                                                                                     producing it, they found a close   that imperative tone. In this
              of mixing their mother tongue                                          relation with a word from their    sense, even they are no
                                                                                     mother tongue “sentado” which      aware of what a speech ac
              and    the foreign     language.                                       besides of having a sound          is, they project that in the
                                                                                     relation, has a meaning relation   foreign language also there
                                                                                     to the command “sit down”.         are some speech acts tha
                                                        LINGUISTIC CREATIVITY ON THE ELF CLASSROOM                 89



                            They associated the signifier                                     There is an elision of the shape and put our talking in
                                                                                              sounds /d/ and /n/.        a specific context.
                            with the signified.

S: Teacher mira mi          Learners first recognize the
dibujo                      sounds and associate them
T: quien es?                with a meaning. When
S: Mi hermana Monica        learning a foreign language
T: In English?              they (as in the mother tongue)
The student didn’t          make evident how they first
utterance any sound         internalize the signifier and its
while in other place of     signified and then they are
the classroom the other     able to produce the sign. In
teacher was remaining       this sense, we can see how
the vocabulary learned      learners are able to associate
(father, mother, brother)   the acoustic dimension with
and when he                 the meaning they have in their
pronounced “sister” the     minds. This event reflects how
student recognized de       acquisition of L1 and L2 are
word and she was able       closely related and keep the
to utterance it and give    same processes.
to it a meaning.
Students try to                                                                               They identify how English
pronounce the target                                                                          language contains a different
language as if they had                                                                       phonology to the mother
something inside their                                                                        tongue one. For that reason,
mouths or try to                                                                              they CREATIVELY try to
exaggerate the sound in                                                                       imitate English pronunciation
order to make it similar                                                                      by exaggerating their sounds
to the target language.                                                                       when speaking. In that sense,
                                                                                              language creativity allows them
                                                                                              to identify differences in terms
                                                                                              of pronunciation between two
                                                                                              languages. That exaggeration
                                                                                              could be given due to the
                                                      LINGUISTIC CREATIVITY ON THE ELF CLASSROOM                     90



                                                                                                difficulty they find to pronounce
                                                                                                target sounds.
Book:                                                         In Spanish it is not common to    In Spanish is not common to
                                                              add the grapheme K at the end     hear the sound /k/ at the end
/bud/                                                         of a word. This fact is new for   of a word, so for them it was so
                                                              them, so they choose to use       difficult to pronounce the word
/bu/                                                          other kind of graphemes as D      BOOK, as a result, they uttered
                                                              or T in order to produce the      it with some alteration using
/but/                                                         word.                             phonemes as /d/ at the end of
                                                                                                the word, they change a
                                                                                                voiceless sound by a voices
                                                                                                sound or simply they choose
                                                                                                elision of the sound.
Chicken:                 In this word CHIKEN, the child
                         gave the same signified to two
Chiquito (porque es      different signifiers. This fact is
chiquito el pollo),      a kind of connotative
because the chicken is   synonymy in which the child
little                   gave to the words CHIKEN
                         and CHIQUITO (little) the
                         same connotative value taking
                         into account that a chicken is
                         little. Besides of making a
                         meaning relation, they made a
                         phonetic relation between the
                         words when finding the same
                         sound at the beginning of
                         them / tʃI/
Chicken:                                                                                        When learners find a quite
Chicle – chiclen -                                                                              similitude between a word in
                                                                                                English and a word in Spanish,
                                                                                                they don’t feel ashamed to say
                                                                                                that similitude. With this, they
                                                                                                show how they are able to
                                                                                                make relation between mother
            LINGUISTIC CREATIVITY ON THE ELF CLASSROOM                   91



                                                  and foreign language and how
                                                  the former influences and helps
                                                  them to create and shape the
                                                  later. Mother tongue sounds
                                                  determine in a high degree the
                                                  assimilation of new sounds in
                                                  the sense that any foreign
                                                  sound that keeps any kind of
                                                  similarity to a mother sound is
                                                  brought into context and they
                                                  don’t hesitate when saying it.
Pencil:                                           Children changed the sound of
                                                  schwa /ə/ for the sound /e/. As
/pensil/                                          the sound schwa does not exist in
                                                  Spanish, it is difficult for them to
                                                  utter it, so they choose a closed
                                                  sound that can replace it. in this
                                                  case they find the sound /e/ as the
                                                  most close to the utterance. They
                                                  overgeneralize phonetic rules
                                                  from one language to other. Here
                                                  there is case of vowel reduction
                                                  known as weakening of vowels.
Crayon:                                           They changed the sound of the
                                                  word “crayon” in English /ˈkreɪɑːn
/crallon/                                         / for the sound in Spanish of the
                                                  word ‘crayon” /krɑː dʒ ón/ but
                                                  keeping the English word stress,
                                                  so they pronounced the word
                                                  /’krɑː dʒ on/. They identified
                                                  stress patterns of the target
                                                  language and tried to apply them
                                                  even if they were not able to
                       LINGUISTIC CREATIVITY ON THE ELF CLASSROOM                   92



                                                               pronoun rightly the sound /eɪɑː/,
                                                               so they made an approximation of
                                                               the word.
Put the book:                In Spanish it is not common to    In Spanish is not common to
                             add the graphemes k and t at      hear the sound /k/ or /t/ at the
/poo de bu/                  the end of a word. This fact is   end of a word, so for them it
                             new for them, so they choose      was so difficult to pronounce
                             not to include them; they         the word BOOK and PUT, as a
                             omitted and avoided the           result, they choose elision of
                             patterns they find new or         the sound. They listened to new
                             difficult to assimilate.          sounds at the end of a word
                                                               and they identified that those
                                                               sounds do not belong to their
                                                               mother tongue. Linguistic
                                                               creativity allowed them to
                                                               identify differences between
                                                               languages.
Students repeat what                                                                               It is common to see that when
the teacher speaks                                                                                 a child is learning to speak his
even if she did not                                                                                first language, he pays
ask to do it.                                                                                      attention to what other
                                                                                                   people say and repeat
                                                                                                   everything adults say. In the
                                                                                                   classroom, children found
                                                                                                   useful for them to repeat
                                                                                                   constantly what teacher
                                                                                                   uttered. In that sense they
                                                                                                   reflected the natural way in
                                                                                                   which a language can be
                                                                                                   acquired. When they repeated
                                                                                                   statements, they used to
                                                                                                   repeat mainly the largest and
                                                                                                   most complex words, omitting
                                                                                                   prepositions or determiners.
                        LINGUISTIC CREATIVITY ON THE ELF CLASSROOM                   93



                                                                                                     As the acquisition of
                                                                                                     grammatical structures
                                                                                                     proceeds in a predictable
                                                                                                     order, they assume first verbs
                                                                                                     and adjectives and subjects
                                                                                                     than other kind of structures.
Trying to say the                                             They related the word “sister” and
word “scissors” they                                          the word “scissors” making a
produced “sistors”                                            mixture of the two words,
making the                                                    producing ‘sistors’ . It was
relationship with the                                         repetitive evidence. They
word sister learned                                           identified that the first two
in the previous                                               phones of the words are the
class.                                                        same, so they easily related them.
                                                              They don’t just relate L1 and L2
                                                              sounds but they make relations in
                                                              the same language. They
                                                              creatively use a previous phonetic
                                                              structure to infer a new one,
                                                              similar to when they learn the first
                                                              language. They find the two
                                                              words as phonological neighbors,
                                                              so that they develop a
                                                              phonological awareness.
                         LINGUISTIC CREATIVITY ON THE ELF CLASSROOM   94



T:    Para     ustedes                                                     They are not aware that
¿que es el ingles?                                                         English is another language
S1: Para mi el ingles                                                      even if use another code to
son los ojos, la                                                           communicate their ideas. They
nariz, la boca y las                                                       consider English class is not a
orejas                                                                     language class but a class in
S2: Pintar, colorear,                                                      which they can communicate
dibujar                                                                    their ideas by drawing,
T: ¿Porqué ustedes                                                         singing, painting or other kind
creen que esta clase                                                       of art activities. English is not
se llama la “clase de                                                      acquired consciously, so
Ingles”?                                                                   English learning is a process
S3: Por que es en                                                          that is giving as a natural
ingles y aprendemos                                                        procedure and it happens
                                                                           when learning the first
T: ¿Y que aprenden?
                                                                           language.
S4: a dibujar, a
colorear, a pintar y a
jugar.
But after this, the
teacher asked for a
volunteer to make an
exercise and they
said: Yo, yo, yo and
the teacher said,
please speak in
English and they
said: Me, me, me.
                                                   LINGUISTIC CREATIVITY ON THE ELF CLASSROOM                  95



                                                                                         Again, When learners find a
They associated the                                                                      quite similitude between a word
word “circle” with                                                                       in English and a word in
the word in Spanish                                                                      Spanish, they don’t feel
circo so they say it                                                                     ashamed to say that similitude.
                                                                                         With this, they show how they
as such.
                                                                                         are able to make relation
                                                                                         between mother and foreign
                                                                                         language and how the former
                                                                                         influences and helps them to
                                                                                         create and shape the later.
                                                                                         Mother tongue sounds
                                                                                         determine in a high degree the
                                                                                         assimilation of new sounds in
                                                                                         the sense that any foreign
                                                                                         sound that keeps any kind of
                                                                                         similarity to a mother sound is
                                                                                         brought into context and they
                                                                                         don’t hesitate when saying i
¿Teacher como se                                                                                                              Although students learn
dice Shakira en                                                                                                               English unconsciously, they do
inglés?                                                                                                                       know that English is different
                                                                                                                              to Spanish. They know that for
                                                                                                                              a same mental image it is
                                                                                                                              possible to use one phonetic
                                                                                                                              representation in Spanish and
                                                                                                                              another in English. When they
                                                                                                                              assume that even names can
                                                                                                                              be translated, they are
                                                                                                                              assimilating English as a new
                                                                                                                              way of communicating and
                                                                                                                              naming words or concepts.
                       In this case, children made a                                     Children found a phonetic relation
Pencil: Pincel         relation of sounds and meaning.                                   between the words “pencil” and
                                       LINGUISTIC CREATIVITY ON THE ELF CLASSROOM                    96



          They find a relation between the                                   “pincel”. Children assumed them
          words “pencil” (an object to write                                 as phonological neighbors
          or draw) in English and “pincel”                                   because the words keep a
          (an object to paint or draw) in                                    similarity in pronunciation. For
          Spanish. The two concepts were                                     them it is easy to make a relation
          semantically related besides of                                    between words in Spanish and
          being phonetic related.                                            English if they keep any similarity,
                                                                             ad more if the similarity is also
                                                                             done semantically.
                                                                             Children changed the sound of /
Mother:                                                                      ʌ/ and /ð/ for the sound /e/ and
                                                                             /d/. As the sound / ʌ/ does not
/mader/                                                                      exist in Spanish, it is difficult for
                                                                             them to utter it, so they choose a
                                                                             closed sound that can replace it. in
                                                                             this case they find the sound /a/
                                                                             as the most close to the utterance.
                                                                             The same happens with the sound
                                                                             /ð/ which is hardly listened in
                                                                             Spanish and that is commonly
                                                                             replaced by the sound /d/ or /t/.
                                                                             They overgeneralize phonetic
                                                                             rules from one language to other.
                                                                             Here there is case of vowel
                                                                             reduction known as weakening of
                                                                             vowels and also a case of fortition
                                                                             in which the fricative /ð/ became
                                                                             the stop /d/.
                LINGUISTIC CREATIVITY ON THE ELF CLASSROOM                 1




   After grouping data into different linguistic creativity dimensions, which were set taken into

account the different dimensions of language, we identified some patterns. Those patterns

emerged from the constant repetition of the same feature, the identification of the same solution

to a particular situation or problem that students commonly faced and the events that could be

contrasted with theory. In that sense, data were contrasted among them through a set of questions

that could lead them to the same focus. The questions were:


      What happened? How it can be linguistically explained?

      Did it happen before?

      How and why is it important for achieving the main purpose?

      What does it suggest?


Category 1: Using my L1 creatively


   One characteristic of linguistic creativity is given by the role that the mother tongue plays

while learning a foreign language. Children are bounded to the previous knowledge they already

have and it influences in the acquisition of phonetic, semantic and pragmatic domains. Taking

into account that languages have a similar organization of their respective grammars and that

each learner counts with a Language Acquisition Device (LAD) which provides learner’s brain

with a predisposition for acquiring language, they manage L2 acquisition as they manage L1

acquisition. In that sense, generalizations are constantly brought into context.


   In the course, the creativity of students was constant while learning, making generalizations,

theorizing and applying external rules to L2, in order to establish and maintain relations and

concept connections. Those generalizations were manifested in different domains of language,
                          LINGUISTIC CREATIVITY ON THE ELF CLASSROOM                    98




and emerged thanks to the infinitive characteristic of languages and children’s mental skill of

using language creatively.


  1.1.      Identifying differences and similarities between L1 and L2


   Although children acquire the foreign language unconsciously, they know that English, as

Spanish, is a tool to express ideas and communicate them. Children are able to identify

differences and similarities between English and Spanish, so that, they believe that each single

word in Spanish must have a literal translation.


Example 1. Students: teacher ¿Como se dice Shakira en Ingles? (Teacher, How

             do you say Shakira in English?) journal 31/10/2010



Example 2.
                Students try to pronounce the target language as if they had

                something inside their mouths or try to exaggerate the sound in order

                to make it similar to the target language; Journal 03/10/2010



   In this sense students made generalizations caused by the similarities of the words in both

languages, as well as the concepts behind those words. As consequence children bring some

relations related to sounds and meanings that are creatively used when producing the second

language.
                          LINGUISTIC CREATIVITY ON THE ELF CLASSROOM                    99




  1.2.      Relating sounds of L1 and L2 with different mental image


     Children find useful to acquire a word by relating it with a word of their mother tongue.

  They find a phonologic relation between two different words from two different languages that

  keep a relation or equivalence even if they do not maintain a similar meaning relation.


Example 1
             While some children pronounced the word two they were pointing to one of
             their partners referring to the personal pronoun tu in Spanish. Journal
             20/02/2011

   Children find phonological neighbors between two languages, and any foreign sound that

keeps any kind of phonetic relation is brought into context by children as a response of their

phonological awareness. That is why, when speaking, children exaggerate sounds and articulate

them marking a difference. Hence the sound of the L2 words may have certain influence in the

way in which children approach and understand new input, for children establish relation based

on the information they gather form the words.


   In that sense, transfer is a common step when learning a foreign language. Transfer is given

by the linguistic creativity children develop while learning a language. As the acquirer utters a

word it may feature some resemblance to the L1. (Hakuta, 1974; Ervin-Tripp, 1974), without

caring weather the two words keep a meaning relation. This pattern, perfectly reflects that

transfer is the influence resulting from similarities and differences between the target language

and any other language that has been previously acquired. Odlin (1989). As in the examples cited

below.


Examples:
                        LINGUISTIC CREATIVITY ON THE ELF CLASSROOM                      100




                              Chicken assumed as Chicle (chewing gum)

                              Circle assumed as Circo (circus)



  1.3.      This is a new sound!


   Besides of relating words sounds, any foreign language learner can substitute foreign sounds

by mother language sounds similar to the foreign ones Gjerlow and Obler (2001). It may happen

due to the difficulty children find to utter new sounds and the little exposure they have to them.


   When children find an unknown weak sound, they opt to utter a stronger phone or vice versa,

or as the last option, they omit it. It was found, that the most common shifts that learner do, is

the change of voiceless into voiced, fricatives into stops, stops into fricatives


Examples:

                     Pencil: / ˈpensəl/                      /’pensil/


                     Mother: / ˈmʌðər /                      /ˈmader /


                     Father: / ˈfɑːðər /                         /fodor/


                     Rectangle: /ˈrektæŋɡəl/                 /ˈrektaŋɡol/


                     Apple: /ˈæpəl/                          /´ɑ:pel /


                 Apel
   The sounds schwa /ə/, /æ/ and /ʌ/ are commonly replaced by Spanish vowels which are

stronger than it. The fricative sounds /ð/ and /θ/ are commonly replaced by stops sounds like /t/

and /d/. Children when it is possible, use language creatively to express their outcomes,
                       LINGUISTIC CREATIVITY ON THE ELF CLASSROOM                       101




substituting sounds by similar ones, just with the aim of communicating. Children occasionally

use first-language structures to solve the riddle of second-language structures. McLaughlin

(1978:117). In some cases, when the sounds are at the end of the sentences are known but in their

mother tongue are not uttered at the end, they opt for omitting them.


Example:
                      Put the book: /pʊt ðə bʊk/                /pu de bu/



   Transfer therefore plays the role of a tool to hypothesize and test possible assumptions. In this

way it was persistent to see mixed words of L1 and L2 and behind of those errors how students

actively replace phonemes which are new for them for similar ones a good example is that

students usually try to say the word but replacing new phonemes that are present in L2 with L1

phonemes, so as they couldn’t utter a specific phoneme they uttered with phonemes easier for

them, testing the respective sound. Consequently, transfer features are commonly perceived, not

as a mistake but as a strategy to learn and assimilate new language


  1.4.     Relating sounds of L1 and L2 with different mental image


   Transfer is used by children positively. They assimilate vocabulary better when it keeps a

close relation in meaning and sound to the foreign vocabulary. Children always bring to context

mother concepts that they find useful to remind when uttering a foreign concept. This relation

goes beyond of relating sounds. This is a very interesting feature of using Linguistic creativity

when learning English. Children are able to make semantic relations between languages, mixing

the English and Spanish phonetic images into one created by them, keeping just one mental

image. As stating in the literature review, the speaker is able to relate both processes of speaking
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a language as well as separate them. Albert y Obler (1978). It was interesting to see the relation

and the cross-linguistic transfer in terms of meaning. In this sense the target language word

reflects the way a multi-word unit is mapped to meaning in another language.


Examples:


                            Sit down:        “Sintau”       (sentado)


                            Crayon:        /’krɑː dʒ on/    (crayón)


                            Pencil:          “Pincel”       (pincel)


                            Student:        “Estudien”        (estudien)




  1.5.    One word touches other; one language touches other


Semantic relatedness


 One of the features of linguistic creativity observed was how children relate the words not just

by the words itself but the context of the word. We observed how the input was

been mediated through images so the results remained a clear effect of semantic relatedness in

which students reflected their conceptual representation in Spanish. In other words children

interpret the specific wording of a sentence in the much larger context of their background,

Knowledge and experience.

Examples:
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       Teacher:           Today we are going to learn about numbers and friends


                         Do you know what a number is?


       Students:         las letras ( the letters)


 Students, as a strategy, apply relations between words to establish connections and chains

between words and meanings; these connections are related to transfer but in this time,

establishing a negative relation. As they have been taught –in Spanish- that numbers and letters

are joint they infer that the word friend was related to the word letters, and establish the same L1

meaning associations to the L2.

   Rodary suggested that “one word hits other by inertia”. As well as children shape their though

by pairs, so the word NUMBER with the word LETTER which are acquired simultaneously and

build a binary structure. Walon.

 But this relatedness also is constant when students as a strategy to learn they understand the

word by extracting information about the other words input or the context.

Example.

   Teacher: “My friends are Gabriel, Juan and Pilar, So what is the meaning of friend? Students

                                     : “nombres, niños, niñas”

  Students were applying overgeneralization and establishing relations with the context they

have in the sentence, so by listening to male and female names, they associate the word friend as

a higher level word which involves male and female and try to test their assumptions. Hence it is

important to see how students made their own concepts based on the input they have got and

how they organize their mental connections in terms of words that are related semantically.
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These words were assimilated based on the comprehensible background they have got in L1, but

this relatedness was not just on l1 knowledge but in the l2.

Example
                  Teacher: How do you say cabello (hair)?


                  Students: four (laughing), so others students

                  continued saying “five, six, seven, eight, nine”




   The concept connections were establish so one word attracts the other ones because of the

concept connections students have made. While the student say the number four just as a way to

have fun and make the students make fun, students directly relate the word with the numbers and

started to say them. Students showed that one word doesn’t come along but brings related ones

which may share general features and conceptual relations. The state of language of being

infinitive makes students enhance language creativity.


Example:

               Teacher:       “how do you say Niño in English?

               Student:        “Short por lo pequeño” (short, because he is short)


   In the example, the child related the words boy and short because one is characteristic of the

other, so they are semantically related. Short, the concept previously studied, was not

assimilated as an isolated word, it was not learned, but acquired. It was due to the linguistic

creativity children are able to foster. This feature, one word touches other word, is transfer from

language to language too, making that one language touches other language.
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Example:
                       Student produced the word chiquito (little)
                       referring to Chicken. He said “porque es
                       chiquito el pollo”, (because the chicken is
                       little)



   In the previous example, it is interesting to perceive how students semantically relate

concepts and at the same time, sounds. They found a sound relation between the words chicken

and chiquito and also found a concept relation, in the sense that one may be a characteristic of

the other, but more remarkable, they made it from one language to other.


Category 2: Linguistic Creativity as a response to a natural language learning process


   One fact that makes Linguistic Creativity enhances is that language learning is given by a

natural process. Due to children are not worried about mistaking when interpreting or producing,

Gjerlow and Obler (2001), they use foreign language openly, as natural as first language. When

learning a foreign language, as in the first language acquisition process, children follow some

steps that allow them to acquire language naturally. For that reason, the silent period, the input

hypothesis, the order hypothesis and the error step, were perceived. In each of those natural

steps, students reflected Linguistic Creativity.

   In our pedagogical intervention it was important to focus on comprehension rather than

production. As a consequence of that, the objective in our lesson was children to create

understanding even if they did not speak at the specific moment, and to make it similar to the

acquisition of the first language taking into account that in the initial phase of language learning,

students should not be required to respond in a target language but should concentrate on

comprehension.
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Example
            T: Para ustedes ¿que es el ingles? (what’s English for you?)
            S1: Para mi el ingles son los ojos, la nariz, la boca y las orejas ( For me
            , English are the eyes, nose, mouth and ears)
            S2: Pintar, colorear, dibujar (painting, coloring and drawing)
            T: ¿Por que ustedes creen que esta clase se llama la “clase de Ingles”?
            (why so you think this is called the English class)
            S3: Por que es en ingles y aprendemos (because is in English and we
            learn)
            T: ¿Y que aprenden? (and what do you learn)
            S4: a dibujar, a colorear, a pintar y a jugar. (to draw,to color, to paint
            and to play),
            But after this, the teacher asked for a volunteer to make an exercise and
            they said: Yo, yo, yo and the teacher said, please speak in English and
            they said: Me, me, me.


   Hence English class was not a space to force students to speak but motivate them to

understand, in this way students first developed comprehension regarding certain words and after

it they by themselves uttered it.

Example
                        S: Teacher mira mi dibujo
                        T: quien es?
                        S: Mi hermana Monica
                        T: In English

                        While the student was recalling the word
                        in other place of the classroom the other teacher
                        was remaining the vocabulary learned (father,
                        mother, brother) and when he pronounced
                        “sister” the student recognized the word and she
                        was able to utter it

   So students were not always conciuss about how to say the word but they recognize it and

they have the understanding of the concepts acquired, With understanding it is referred to the

meaning not the form, Krashen (2009:20).

   Krashen stated that the learner will produce language just when the acquirer understands it

and practices it. This is backed up for his own natural order hypothesis which states that the
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acquisition of grammatical structures proceeds in a predictable order. For a given language, some

grammatical structures or words tend to be acquired early, others late, regardless of the first

language of a speaker. Krashen (2009:12).

Example
                     Policeman is car
                     policeman a between
                     policeman a in the car

                     *Referring to the policeman is in the car.

  It was important when analyzing this error that the word policeman and car were understood,

so for them, it was not difficult to affirm that it was a policeman and a car effectively and the

same occurred when saying the preposition of place , but when referring to the verb “is” for them

was difficult due to the little exposure to the verb as well as it was new input for them, as a

consequence this error was understood as if they were babies communicating to their parents,

reflecting to us the similarities with the acquisition of the mother tongue. It is important to

highlight that according to Krashen it is common to see unfamiliar utterances created by

recombining familiar elements (2009. 13).

 Having said that, in the observation was common to see how students established a relation

among words not just with the L1 but with the foreign language. In that sense the error was not

taken as a mistake but as a natural process in the sense that the students creatively were

establishing relations of similarities between the words previously learned.


                         Trying to say the word “scissors”
                         they produced “sistors” making the
                         relationship with the word sister
                         learned in the previous class
                        LINGUISTIC CREATIVITY ON THE ELF CLASSROOM                      108




  In our observation, what we observed was that most of the errors students presented were

produced by learners making faulty inferences about the rules of the new language , but creating

and making inferences is a creative process as well, so as a consequence students, even if

receiving a certain language input, are not just passively assimilating it. but they are establishing

connections and establishing relations to their previous background whether if it is their mother

tongue or a new language being learned.


Mistaking

  As it was affirmed before, it is important to have clear the difference between a mistake and an

error. While errors may inform about the proficiency of the student and how the second language

acquisition is being developed in the EFL classroom, mistaking does not bring insights in this

sense.

   As a result, mistakes were registered but were not useful because they did not give any insight

on students’ second language acquisition rather than a way to have fun with their partner

applying languages. In the process we filed all the possible errors to analyze them, so by

watching and transcribing the video recordings we observed how they were just having fun with

language or simply they were tired of the activity that was carried out. According to Larsen

(1991) Mistaking is a random slip of the tongue caused by fatigue or hurry, it is a signal of

inappropriate performance.

Example                        T: How do you say pequeño in
                               English? And Ss said several
                               words as “(laughs) good,
                               Washington” When they had just
                               learnt the concept of “short” just for
                               having fun.
                        LINGUISTIC CREATIVITY ON THE ELF CLASSROOM                   109




    In this way, saying other words unrelated were present when they were very active or they did

not simply think about the word, so mistaking was also a part of the research. But what we

observed, was that mistaking is as important as errors because mistakes may bring with them

certain information on the language, as they are assumptions and previous background of the L2

e.g. (Washington in the former example which was not taught in the lessons.)



                                How do you say cabello? And one
                                boy said four, so others students
                                continued saying “five, six, seven,
                                eight, nine”


    Mistaking was also an important element while researching in the sense that they gave us

valuable information, not in terms of errors but on methodology so we as teacher researchers, in

the data could find information relevant to their learning styles and as a result we could plan

better lessons that could reinforce students participation by enhancing activities which students

enjoy.




.
                        LINGUISTIC CREATIVITY ON THE ELF CLASSROOM                       110




                                            Conclusions


   One of the purposes of this study was to explore first graders English production to

understand children’s linguistic creativity features which are reflected in this conclusions

chapter. Those conclusions we came to, are significant in the sense that they point to both

linguistic and pedagogic issues, which must be closely related when learning English at school.


  The first conclusion that arose was that creativity when learning a language, though it is not

usually perceived, it is present. By observing how students establish both conceptual and

phonological relations between L1 and L2, we found that students are not passive actors in the

process, so that, they make use of Linguistic Creativity as strategy or base to foster their

language, or even more, their language learning process. Those relations between L1 and L2 are

given as a result of the ability children have to identify similarities and differences between the

languages.


   The second conclusion set, suggests that thanks to the infinitive characteristic of language and

its natural dimension when learned, Linguistic Creativity is necessary and fostered by the

learners when learning a foreign language. When learners are given the opportunity to learn

English in a natural way, they are also given the opportunity to enhance Linguistic Creativity.

To do so, teachers must perceive language as a functional system rather than a formal one and,

on the other hand, perceive learners as active actors in the process.


  When perceiving language as a functional system and learners as active actors, the vision of

“errors” turns into a constructive concept. So errors are important since they may bring valuable

information on students’ performance, because by analyzing errors, teachers can find out a better
                       LINGUISTIC CREATIVITY ON THE ELF CLASSROOM                       111




understanding regarding students ’ language relations and concepts, and by means of that, foster

not only learning process but teaching professional development. Thus in this way a constructive

perspective on errors production may affect teaching itself, since a better understanding on

language errors needs to have clear goals aimed at errors analysis and comprehensible and

contextualized input to generate language proficiency.


   As a final consideration, Linguistic Creativity is highly related with the context which the

learner is emerged on, so the more suitable environment (English teaching method applied,

activities, syllabus, English intensity, English language exposure and so on) the teacher develops

in his classes, the more linguistic creativity intensity will be shown by children. English

language learning should be a process of acquiring a language as well as a process of developing

other linguistic skills as the one concerned to us: LINGUITIC CREATIVITY.
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                                     Further considerations

   There is not a huge range of research on regarding to Linguistic Creativity, or at least not in

Bogota frame; so it might be a good idea to go on researching on the field of linguistic creativity.

And there are many reasons why it should be studied more deeply. First of all, the view given to

the dimension of “errors” has been traditional so it should be given to it a more detailed study

having in mind that “errors’ is a complete process that has certain role in language learning. So a

reshaped overview of “errors” should lead to a better understanding of errors and the way in

which they can help language learning or, at the contrary, delay it. Up to this point, English

language learning and teaching policies play a major role on integrating linguistic creativity into

the curricula. Consequently, the children’s view about English language learning might be also

reshaped in the sense that they will not be afraid of mistaking and will not perceive a mistake as

a bad step in their process but as a step that may contribute to their language development.


   Studying and analyzing Linguistic Creativity with other kind of population as adults or people

with an advanced English level may convey interesting conclusions and English learning

improvement.

				
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