Mediated Development

Inter-psychological activity for L2 education

Authors

  • Matthew E. Poehner The Pennsylvania State University
  • Paolo Infante The Pennsylvania State University

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.1558/lst.v2i2.26982

Keywords:

Mediated Learning, Zone of Proximal Development, Systemic Theoretical Instruction, L2 Writing, Sociocultural Theory

Abstract

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 Biographies

Matthew E. Poehner, The Pennsylvania State University

Matthew E. Poehner is Associate Professor of World Languages Education and Applied Linguistics at The Pennsylvania State University. His research employs Vygotskian theory to understand and promote processes of learner second language development. He has authored numerous book chapters and articles, and his work has appeared in The Modern Language Journal, Language Teaching Research, TESOL Quarterly, and Language Testing.

Paolo Infante, The Pennsylvania State University

Paolo Infante is a PhD candidate in the College of Education at The Pennsylvania State University. His research focuses on Vygotskian-based approaches to second language teaching and learning to support language development. He has served as a teacher educator and as an ESL instructor at both secondary and post-secondary levels.

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. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-4781.1994.tb02064.x

Bakhurst. D. (1991). Consciousness and revolution in Soviet philosophy. From the Bolsheviks to Evald Ilyenkov. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511608940

Fauconnier, G. (1994). Mental spaces: Aspects of meaning construction in natural language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511624582

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. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4899-6128-0

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. http://dx.doi.org/10.2753/RPO1061-0405300460

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. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09658416.2010.551125

Haenen, J. (2001). Outlining the teaching-learning process: Piotr Gal’perin’s contribution. Learning and Instruction 11: 157–170. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0959-4752(00)00020-7

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. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511814655

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. http://dx.doi.org/10.1558/japl.1.1.49.55872

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. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-0-387-75775-9

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. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0969594X.2011.567116

Radden, G., & Dirven, R. (2007). Cognitive English Grammar. Volume 2. John Benjamins Publishing. http://dx.doi.org/10.1075/clip.2

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.

Published

2015-07-30

How to Cite

Poehner, M. E., & Infante, P. (2015). Mediated Development: Inter-psychological activity for L2 education. Language and Sociocultural Theory, 2(2), 161–183. https://doi.org/10.1558/lst.v2i2.26982

Issue

Section

Articles