Beyond Egocentricism: The Self-Regulatory and Mediating Role of Iranian EFL Learners’ Private Speech

Mehdi Shokouhi, Saber Hosseinzadeh


According to many scholars, inner speech plays a role of paramount significance considering human cognitive development. There have been traditionally two distinctive views considering the role of inner speech known as egocentric speech popularized by Jean Piaget and his disciple and private speech put forward by Lev Vygotsky and his followers. The present study rests on the Vygotskian perspective on the role of inner speech as private speech which is socially oriented. Additionally, considering the role of private speech in L2 acquisition, Steiner (1992) provided an excellent overview of some settings in which she identifies three main contexts: thinking aloud speech, embedded private speech, and self-regulatory utterances of second language (L2) learners. Drawing on a case analysis of adult L2 learner’s private speech and making use of a qualitative content analysis, the present paper sheds more light on private speech in L2, illustrating its self-regulatory and mediating role in cases such as: 1) finding a point to start, 2) commitment and internal locus of control, 3) decision making, 4) self-addressed questions and guiding behavior. 


inner speech, private speech, egocentric speech, Vygotskian sociocultural perspective, regulation

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