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Sociocultural Theory of SLA
Transcript of Sociocultural Theory of SLA
Second Language Acquisition Observable Phenomena Sociocultural Theory in the
Classroom Research Strengths and Weaknesses in the evidence for the Sociocultural Theory Interpersonal Interaction
Through scaffolding and the Zone of
Proximal Development, L2 learners can
better acquire a second language in
comparison to those with social interaction
Students can work together to communicate
in L2 and practice their language skills.
Students can practice their interpersonal skills
and L2 skills by using both oral language and non
verbal language to communicate 1. Zuengler & Miller (2006) examined the linkage between children's learning and the zone of proximal development. it was found that in comparative language tasks, children who worked alongside a more advanced learner performed better than children who worked alone.
2. Zygotsky (1987) Zygotsky studied the integration of L1 and L2 in the form of bilingualism. He found the learning or knowing two languages influences the developmental processes of each individual language. This means that by simultaneously being exposed to two languages, one gains a deeper and broader understanding of both languages. Strengths
Evidence of the effectiveness of scaffolding in L2 learners (see conversation example)
The evidence of private and inner speech helps L2 learners practice and formulate utterances
Some L2 learners can acquire a second language without any interpersonal interaction
Some L2 learners have incredible amounts of interpersonal interaction, yet can not develop effective language
What influences due L2 learners have
that may hinder their ability to
fully achieve a second language
and communicate effectively in
that language? Microsocial Factors Macrosocial Factors Potential effects of different
immediate surrounding circumstances Variation in learner language
zone of proximal development
inner speech Potential effects of global factors influencing acquisition Global and National status of L1 and L2
Boundaries and identities
Institutions, forces and constraints
Circumstances of learning
A soviet psychologist who developed the idea behind a sociocultural approach to SLA.
A distinguishing feature of his theory is that a social approach to
SLA not only facilitates language learning, but is a causative force
in acquisition; further, all of learning is seen as essentially a social
process which is grounded in sociocultural settings. Vygotsky (1896 - 1934) (Vygotsky, 1928) Key Features of the Sociocultural Theory Zone of Proximal Development
Symbolic Mediation of Language Zone of Proximal Development Vygotsky pioneered the notion that children learn within communities, rather than strictly as individuals.
The interpersonal aspect of his theory states that L2 learning occurs mainly from interactions individuals have with other individuals.
The zone of proximal development refers to children being able to learn more with the support of adults around them. Scaffolding Graduated and contingent assistance given by an expert to a novice during problem solving tasks
This assisted learning comes in the form of
structured guiding to accomplish a
task - giving a lot of help in the
beginning, and less as the learner
acquires his or her own skills to
accomplish the task alone. Symbolic Mediation of Language Vygotsky noted that when individuals are communicating with each other they use a set of tools to guide their interpersonal interactions. Language is one of these tools to be used
Language is a form symbolic mediation that humans use to communicate with one another. Sociocultural Theory Link to SLA (Wood, Burner, & Ross 1976) Variable: There is also considerable variation in
learners’ L2 production at every stage
along the way that can be attributed to
their social context
Limits on effect of output: Social speech in both L1
and L2 has a strong effect
on the acquisition of L2
Input is Necessary: According to the theory, both
input and interaction are
required in order for acquisition
to take place (Saville-Troike, 2007) (Lantolf, 2006)
1. Imitative Learning - Mainly learning through simply copying
2. Instructed Learning - Self-regulated behavior, imbibed by way
of remembering instructions from
authoritative persons such as teachers.
3. Collaborative Learning - A group of individuals who try and
understand each other, the common
denominator for their understanding
being the aim to learn a specific skill. Principles of Sociocultural Theory - Learning (Panse, 2011)