Second linguistic communication acquisition ( SLA ) is a comparatively new field, which was seen as an adjunct of linguistic communication learning teaching method before 1960s ( Myles, 2010 ) . Ellis ( 1994 ) defined three facets that are responsible for L2 acquisition: external factors ( societal factors, input and interactions ) ; internal factors ( scholar ‘s bing cognition and internal mechanisms ) and single scholar factors ( P. 193 ) . The societal factors was investigated under heavy influence from Vygotsky ‘s Zone of Proximal Developments ( ZPD ) . In this paper, major focal point would be around the impression and application of ZPD, including:
specifying ZPD and cardinal constructs of Vygotsky ‘s theory relating to ZPD: symbolic mediation, internalisation, larning procedure, the function of middleman and scholar ;
comparing Vygotsky ‘s societal cultural theory ( SCT ) with Piaget ‘s cognitive theory ;
comparing Vygotsky ‘s Zone of Proximal Developments with Krashen ‘s impression of “ i+1 ” hypothesis
Symbolic mediation, internalisation, larning procedure and ZPD
The social-cultural theory, stemmed from Vygotsky ‘s ideas claims that the linguistic communication larning procedure is socially mediated ( Lantolf, 2000 ) . Lantolf ( 1994 ) stressed that from Vygotskian position, the higher signifiers of human mental activity are “ ever, and everyplace, mediated by symbolic agencies ” ( P. 418 ) The symbolic mediation refers to the external procedure via symbolic marks or tools in societal context through which scholar can command mental procedure after internalisation ( Lightbown & A ; Spada, 2006 ) . Lantolf ( 2000 ) respects linguistic communication, among all the symbolic tools, as “ the most powerful psychological tool ” ( P. 81 ) . Through the mediation of linguistic communication, the kid or scholar learns how to execute a undertaking or work out a job with the aid from a more skilled person ( Mitchell & A ; Myles, 2004 ) . In other words, the acquisition procedure starts as an inter-mental activity, by the more skilled person sharing through talk, and ends as an intra-mental activity, with the shared cognition taken in by the unskilled person. Therefore, harmonizing to Vygotsky, larning includes two phases: shared apprehension in societal context through symbolic mediation ( chiefly in the signifier of duologue ) and internalisation of the shared cognition by single. The larning procedure from a Vygotskyan position is described as “ new constructs continue to be acquired through social/interactional agencies ” ( Mitchell & A ; Myles, 2004, P. 147 ) .
Vygotsky defines the construct of zone of proximal development ( ZPD ) , as the distance between the “ existent developmental degree as determined by independent job resolution and the degree of possible development as determined through job work outing under grownup counsel or in coaction with more capable equals ” ( Vygotsky, 1978, p. 86 ) . In other words, the function of more advanced middleman is stressed by helping single traversing the spread between existent degree ( what the scholar can make entirely ) and possible degree ( what the scholar can accomplish with aid ) . The scholar is cognitively prepared for work outing more complex jobs if supported by an middleman. More importance has been attached to societal interaction between scholar and middleman, which is regarded as a “ causative force in acquisition ” ( Saville-Troike, 2006, P. 111 ) .
Vygotsky versus Piaget
Zuengler and Miller ( 2006 ) reviewed the on-going arguments on whether a separation should be made between 2nd linguistic communication acquisition and 2nd linguistic communication usage and the arguments on the commensurability of theories from different schools. It may be interesting to detect that the differences between sociocultural theory and cognitive theory bear relationship with their beginnings -Vygotsky, the male parent of socioculture theory and Piaget, the male parent of cognitive theory.
Piaget and Vygotsky are among the earliest advocates to associate kids ‘s linguistic communication development with their cognitive development ( Lightbown & A ; Spada, 2006 ) . For Piaget, the cognitive development for kids is realized through interaction with things around them and is presented by linguistic communication which is non different from Vygotsky ‘s position. They portion the position of scholar as a societal human being who are larning through interaction with environment and of larning and development as a “ contextually embedded procedure of interactions ” ( Vianna & A ; Stetsenko, 2006, P. 85 ) .
However, the dissimilar accent that they place on societal interaction leads to three major differences. For Piaget, kids learn and develop in the environment. For Vygotsky, kids non merely larn and develop in the environment but besides change it through interaction. Therefore, for Vygotsky, linguistic communication is seen as a more powerful symbolic mediation ( Lightbown & A ; Spada, 2006 ) . The 2nd difference is “ adaptation ” versus “ transmutation ” ( Vianna & A ; Stetsenko, 2006, P. 87 ) . For Piaget, human develop by assimilation and adjustment to accommodate to the environment, whereas for Vygotsky, human develop by actively altering the environment. The 3rd difference prevarications in their position of the precedence between larning and cognitive development. For Piaget, kids need to be cognitively prepared to a certain phase before acquisition, while for Vygotsky, precedency is given to larning alternatively of development. Therefore, Vygotsky argue for learning or larning within ZPD, where scholars could make more with staging from middlemans than their independent public presentation ( Zuengler & A ; Miller, 2006 ) .
ZPD versus “ i+1 ”
Second linguistic communication bookmans have suggested the feasibleness of incorporating Krashen ‘s “ i+1 ” with Vygotsky ‘s zone of proximal development ( ZPD ) based on their similarities. Dunn and Lantolf ( 1998 ) have stated the incommensurability of these two constructs non merely because they are “ unrelated ” but besides because they are based on “ incommensurable theoretical discourses ” ( P. 411 )
In Krashen ‘s position, “ worlds get linguistic communication in merely one way-by apprehension messages, or by having ‘comprehensible input ‘ . . . that contains constructions at our following ‘stage’- constructions that are a spot beyond our current degree of competency ” ( Krashen, 1985, p. 2 ) . More specifically, three factors contribute to linguistic communication larning – scholar ‘s internalized grammar, viz. the “ I ” , input incorporating lingual construction a spot beyond scholar ‘s current degree, viz. the “ i+1 ” and learner ‘s internal linguistic communication processing mechanism ( LAD )
For Vygotsky, as mentioned above, ZPD is defined as “ those maps that have non yet matured but are in the procedure of ripening ” ( 1978, p. 86 ) . A more holistic image has been drawn with regard to linguistic communication larning – scholar, middleman, their societal cultural backgrounds, their ends and motivations and all the resources available ( Dunn & A ; Lantolf, 1998 ) .
Learning and development occur in both state of affairss, where scholar will excel their current degree either with aid from a more advanced middleman within scholar ‘s ZPD or with acquisition of lingual construction i+1, which may lend mostly to their seemingly similarities. However, it would be cautious to detect every bit good that the development occur with a comparing of scholar ‘s current degree, that is learner himself. Therefore, it would be less justifiable to see the development in Krashen ‘s term as an equivalent to that in Vygotsky ‘s theory. Besides it would be more sensible to detect that the concept of ZPD and i+1 can non stand without sing the theocratical frame that they root in severally. Therefore, a comparing would be made between theories that have incubated these two concepts with regard to the relationship between larning and development, the effect of acquisition, the function of linguistic communication, scholar and middleman and the function of societal interaction.
The cardinal difference between Krashen ‘s theory with Vygotsky ‘s theory is their diverse position on the relationship between direction acquisition and cognitive development. Krashen hold the position as a “ separationist ” , who perceive larning under direction and cognitive development as two independent procedure ( Dunn & A ; Lantolf, 1998, P. 491 ) . Therefore, Krashen deliberately draw a line between larning and acquisition, reasoning that merely though subconscious acquisition can comprehensible input be acquired, and scholar ‘s knowledge be developed. Conversely, Vygotsky presented a “ Manichaean quality to development ” , that is whether larning consciously or non, a common influence exists between larning and development ( Dunn & A ; Lantolf, 1998, P. 491 ) . Therefore, scholars are larning and developing at the same clip, and the site where acquisition and development meet is called ZPD.
Second, Krashen and Vygotsky differ in their position of the effect of acquisition, based on their divergent position on acquisition and development. For Krashen, the result of acquisition is the lingual construction that is a spot beyond scholar ‘s current degree, and with the acquisition of this characteristic, scholar has developed cognitively, ready to obtain the following I +1. Whereas for Vygotsky, scholars are developing along the whole acquisition procedure, which means that non merely the “ immediate hereafter ” , but besides the “ maturing procedure ” history for development ( Dunn & A ; Lantolf, 1998, P. 422 ) . Therefore, it is the variableness between “ acquisition ” and “ Internalization ” ( Kinginger, 2002, P. 418 ) .
Third, the functions of linguistic communication, scholar and middleman are interpreted otherwise. From Krashen ‘s point, linguistic communication is conceived as a “ container ” of lingual characteristics with comprehendible input and scholar as a “ container ” with Language Acquisition Device ( LAD ) , the single procedure mechanism built inside heads, and the aid from middleman is non necessary ( Dunn & A ; Lantolf, 1998, P. 418 ) . In contrast, from Vygotsky ‘s position, linguistic communication is one of the “ the most powerful psychological tool ” of semiotic mediation system ( Lightbown & A ; Spada, 2006, P. 81 ) , and therefore stand foring the “ mediated signifiers of knowledge ” ( Dunn & A ; Lantolf, 1998, P. 426 ) . Both learner and middleman are portrayed as a societal homo being, with motive and societal cultural individuality, alternatively of a lone wolf with an “ unconditioned ability to procedure ” ( Kinginger, 2001, P. 419 ) .
Furthermore, imbalanced attending is given to societal interaction in the frame developed by Krashen and Vygotsky. Krashen assigned comparatively small importance to societal interaction due to the being of LAD, despite his support for a weak signifier of interaction: significance negociating proposed by Long ( 1996 ) . In other words, Krashen argues that the strong signifier of interaction such as scaffolding or peer coaction every bit good as scholar end product bear no direct relevancy to SLA ( Dunn & A ; Lantolf, 1998 ) . In contrast, societal interaction is viewed as “ the medium and the consequence of development ” by Vygotskian bookmans ( Kinginger, 2001, P. 422 ) . Therefore in order to maximise scholar ‘s acquisition, middleman should scaffold the scholar along ZPD and scholar ‘s comprehendible end product is every bit of import as comprehendible input.
Over the past decennary, there has been an increasing figure of SLA researches conducted under the influence of socioculture theory ( SCT ) based on the work of Vygotsky ( Ableeva & A ; Lantolf, 2011 ; Brooks & A ; Swain et al. , 2010 ; Kinginger, 2002 ; Knouzi & A ; Swain et al. , 2010 ; Lantolf, 2007 ; Foster & A ; Ohta, 2005 ; Swain & A ; Deters, 2007 ; Swain & A ; Lapkin et Al, 2009 ) . This theory differs from other theory depicting the SLA in the stance that societal environment is non merely a learning context but instead a important subscriber to linguistic communication acquisition ( Swain & A ; Deters, 2007 ) . Thus the construct built in SCT model such as ZPD, can non be viewed individually off from its beginning, which implies that it would be best for any future comparing or commensuration of constructs from unlike theories be made with their roots considered. Besides the incommensurability exactly add the value to the theory edifice in SLA field, non merely for the interest of the this peculiar school itself but besides for a helpful contemplation for other schools.It is with this crisp comparing between different positions, a more holistic image can be draw for L2 acquisition, despite the unfavorable judgments been made and the arguments ongoing ( Zuengler & A ; Miller, 2006 ) . Lantolf ( 1996 ) have shown his welcome for a hereafter of “ allowing all the flowers bloom ” in SLA theory edifice and I merely can non hold more with him ( P.713-49 ) .