Sociocultural Theory And Second Language Learning

902 Words Mar 22nd, 2016 4 Pages
Sociocultural Theory and Second Language Learning

“Language is the most pervasive and powerful cultural artefact that humans possess to mediate their connection to the world, to each other, and to themselves” [Lantolf & Thorne 2006:201]. The idea of mediation inherent in this notion of the language is a fundamental element of Sociocultural Theory [SCT], one of the most influential approach to learning and mental development since 1990s’, drawing on its origin from the work of soviet psychologist and semiotist Lev Vygotsky and many others.
In this essay, I am going to describe major principles of SCT and its central constructs [particularly Semiotic Mediation, The Zone of Proximal Development] and I am going to provide some examples of related research that have been framed in these concepts.

The concept of semiotic mediation focuses on understanding of the ways in which signs carry, mediate, and constitute sociocultural meaning. According to Lantolf [2014], this sign-based process arises from interactions that occur in the social relationship culturally organized at both a macro level [institutional arrangements] and micro level [e.g. conversation]. In this part, I will outline main principles of the Vygotsky’s theory of linguistic mediation [based on the definition of language as a mean of mediation] and Whorf ‘s theory [based on definition of the language is as a shaper of ideas].

1.1 The Linguistics Mediation of Psychological Processes
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