Date of Completion

Spring 5-1-2015

Thesis Advisor(s)

Mary Truxaw

Honors Major

Special Education


Bilingual, Multilingual, and Multicultural Education | Curriculum and Instruction | Educational Methods


This study’s objective was to determine the purposes of self-talk and related forms of talk (self-talk+) in linguistically diverse elementary mathematics classrooms, teacher moves that are often associated with self-talk+, and the relationship between self-talk+ and strategic teacher moves. This study analyzed transcripts, audio recordings, and video recordings from several elementary mathematics classrooms in dual language programs in order to determine the relationship among self-talk+ and strategic teacher moves. This study specifically focused on the purposes of self-talk+ that contributed to, or had the potential to impact, student cognitive advancement. The results of data analysis were mapped in order to visualize the relationships among self-talk+, strategic teacher moves, and cognitive advancement. The results associated with each research question were grouped by topic: purposes of self-talk+, teacher moves related to self-talk+, and relationship among self-talk+ and strategic teacher moves. The purposes of self-talk+ identified and aligned with the literature were found to include: ruminate on a difficult matter, increase understanding of a novel concept, redirect/restructure thought process, focus on technical aspects of a skill, effectively engage with a task, and increase understanding of a novel concept. Teacher moves used in conjunction with self-talk+ were found to include: wait time, modeling, and prompting. Finally, it was found that when self-talk+ and these strategic teacher moves were used together, students were more likely to make significant cognitive advancements.