Learning & Teaching Foreign Languages

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In Vygotskyan sociocultural theory, internalisation is described as:

Reconstruction on the inner, psychological plane, of socially mediated external forms of goal-directed activity.

(Lantolf, 2000)

Cognitive development occurs via the transformation of innate capacities through mediation with psychological tools.  This transformation is triggered by social interaction:

Any function in the child's cultural development appears twice or on two planes. First it appears on the social plane, and then on the psychological plane. First it appears between people as an interpsychological category, and then within the child as an intrapsychological category.

(Vygotsky, 1981, p.163).


  1. Watch: Vygotskyan theory
  2. Read more: Background on Vygotsky


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