Meaningfully Designing and Implementing SCOBAs in Socioculturally-based L2 Teacher Education Programs
Keywords:teacher agency; professional development; mediated conceptual expansion; double stimulation; conceptual and procedural SCOBAs
In recent years, the adoption of a socioculturally based perspective on teacher development has led to significant advances in L2 teacher education (Esteve, 2018a; Lantolf and Esteve, 2019; Johnson, 2009; Johnson and Golombek, 2016; Negueruela, 2011). The authors’ practice-based research over the past ten years on the impact of socioculturally based formative interventions on teacher professional development has shown that conceptual mediation through SCOBAs enables (student) teachers to gain new ways of thinking and acting in the classroom (Esteve, 2018a; Esteve, Fernández and Bes, 2018; Lantolf and Esteve, 2019). Conceptual mediation consists of promoting a dialectic relationship between everyday concepts and scientific concepts, and more specifically between everyday concepts and core concepts. Core concepts are the scientific concepts informing the socioculturally based perspective of language teaching and learning that are to be appropriated by the (student) teachers throughout the formative interventions. After being introduced to core concepts, (student) teachers progressively appropriate them throughout a structured mediational process, a process that enables them to informedly design and carry out, from their own agency, purposeful, pedagogically valid classroom practices.
The article specifically seeks to answer the following questions that are often posed by teacher educators willing to adopt a sociocultural perspective in their formative interventions: 1) how to select the scientific concepts for SCOBA-driven formative interventions; 2) how to design SCOBAs and 3) how to facilitate the appropriation of the selected concepts so that they become psychological tools. To this end, the article focuses on the criteria guiding the selection of core concepts, as well as on the tools that help (student) teachers to apprehend them and, by that means, to develop new ways of thinking and acting.
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