Is Thinking Aloud Reactive When Writing in the Heritage Language?
Article first published online: 20 AUG 2012
© 2012 by American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages
Foreign Language Annals
Volume 45, Issue 3, pages 380–399, Autumn 2012
How to Cite
Yanguas, I. and Lado, B. (2012), Is Thinking Aloud Reactive When Writing in the Heritage Language?. Foreign Language Annals, 45: 380–399. doi: 10.1111/j.1944-9720.2012.01198.x
- Issue published online: 16 OCT 2012
- Article first published online: 20 AUG 2012
- Manuscript Accepted: 3 APR 2012
- Manuscript Received: 20 APR 2011
- Spanish heritage language learners;
- concurrent verbalizations;
- think-aloud protocols;
- writing tasks
Critics argue that requiring subjects to verbalize their thoughts while completing certain language tasks increases the participants’ cognitive load and impairs their final performance (e.g., Jourdenais, 2001). Despite the importance of this claim for language instructors, few studies have produced contradicting evidence after an empirical study (e.g., Goo, 2010).
This study investigates whether thinking aloud in either English or Spanish hindered performance during a semi-guided writing task completed by 37 college students whose heritage language (HL) is Spanish. This study also explores the validity of implementing think-alouds to investigate HL writing, an area which requires more research. Results indicate that thinking aloud while writing in the HL benefits fluency and accuracy. These results support studies that found positive reactivity and those concluding that concurrent verbalizations should be employed with caution.