Item Details

Mediated Development: Inter-psychological activity for L2 education

Issue: Vol 2 No. 2 (2015)

Journal: Language and Sociocultural Theory

Subject Areas: Writing and Composition Linguistics

DOI: 10.1558/lst.v2i2.26982


L2 Vygotskian research has turned increasingly toward the design of educational practices to promote learner development. Two important strands of work that have emerged are Systemic Theoretical Instruction (STI), wherein L2 curricula are organized around linguistic concepts, and Dynamic Assessment, emphasizing mediators and learners engaged in what Vygotsky described as inter-psychological activity. This paper examines processes of mediator-learner interaction in the context of an STI program targeting learner understanding of the English tense-aspect system. Importantly, the focus of interaction was not to diagnose learner L2 abilities but to introduce specially designed pedagogical materials, or tools. The framework of Mediated Learning, developed by Reuven Feuerstein through his work with learners with special needs, guided the approach taken to joint mediator-learner functioning. Close analysis of transcribed mediator-learner interactions point to processes through which materials come to function as tools and the importance of the social relation created by mediators and learners.

Author: Matthew E. Poehner, Paolo Infante

View Original Web Page

References :

Aljaafreh, A., & Lantolf, J. P. (1994). Negative feedback as regulation and second language learning in the Zone of Proximal Development. The Modern Language Journal 78: 465–483.

Bakhurst. D. (1991). Consciousness and revolution in Soviet philosophy. From the Bolsheviks to Evald Ilyenkov. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Fauconnier, G. (1994). Mental spaces: Aspects of meaning construction in natural language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Feuerstein, R., Falik, L., Rand, Y., and Feuerstein, R.S. (2003). Dynamic assessment of cognitive modifiability. Jerusalem: ICELP Press.

Feuerstein, R., Feuerstein, R. S., & Falik, L. H. (2010). Beyond smarter: Mediated learning and the brain’s capacity for change. New York: Teachers College, Columbia University.

Feuerstein, R., Rand, Y., & Rynders, J. E. (1988). Don’t accept me as I am. Helping retarded performers excel. New York: Plenum.

Gal’perin, P. Ya. (1992). Stage-by-stage formation as a method of psychological investigation. Journal of Russian and East European Psychology 30: 60–80.

Gánem-Gutiérrez, G. A., & Harun, H. (2011). Verbalisation as a mediational tool for understanding tense-aspect marking in English: an application of Concept-Based Instruction. Language Awareness 20: 99–119.

Haenen, J. (2001). Outlining the teaching-learning process: Piotr Gal’perin’s contribution. Learning and Instruction 11: 157–170.

Haywood, H. C., & Lidz, C. S. (2007). Dynamic assessment in practice. Clinical and educational applications. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Ilyenkov, E. (1977). Dialectical logic. Moscow: Progress Press.

Kinard, J. T. & Kozulin, A. (2008). Rigorous mathematical thinking. Conceptual formation in the mathematics classroom. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Kozulin, A. (1998). Psychological tools: A sociocultural approach to education. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Langacker, R. W. (1991). Foundations of cognitive grammar. Volume 2. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.

Lantolf, J. P. & Poehner, M. E. (2004). Dynamic Assessment: Bringing the past into the future. Journal of Applied Linguistics 1: 49–74.

Lantolf, J. P. & Poehner, M. E. (2014). Sociocultural theory and the pedagogical imperative in L2 education. Vygotskian praxis and the research/practice divide. London: Routledge.

Luria, A. R. (1979). The making of mind: A personal account of Soviet psychology. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Negueruela, E. (2003). A sociocultural approach to the teaching and learning of second languages: Systemtic-theoretical instruction and L2 development. Unpublished Ph.D. dissertation. The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA.

Novack, G. (1971). An introduction to the logic of Marxism. Atlanta, GA: Pathfinder Press.

Poehner, M. E. (2008). Dynamic assessment: A Vygotskian approach to understanding and promoting second language development. Berlin: Springer.

Poehner, M. E. (2009). Group Dynamic Assessment: Mediation for the L2 classroom. TESOL Quarterly, 43(3), 471-491.

Poehner, M. E. & van Compernolle, R. A. (2011). Frames of interaction in Dynamic Assessment: Developmental diagnoses of second language learning. Assessment in Education: Principles, Policy and Practice 18: 183–198.

Radden, G., & Dirven, R. (2007). Cognitive English Grammar. Volume 2. John Benjamins Publishing.

Vygotsky, L. S. (1978). Mind in society. The development of higher psychological processes. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Vygotsky, L. S. (1987). The collected works of L. S. Vygotsky. Volume 1: Problems of general psychology, including the volume thinking and speech. R. W. Rieber & A. S. Carton (Eds.). New York: Plenum.

Vygotsky, L. S. (1997). Educational psychology. Boca Raton, FL: Nova Science.

Vygotsky, L. S. (1998). The collected works of L. S. Vygotsky. Volume 5: Child psychology. R. W. Rieber (Ed.). New York: Plenum.