Learning & Teaching Foreign Languages

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A number of learning theories, including situated cognition, distributed cognition, social cognitive theory, social constructivism, and socio-cultural theory, all emphasise the social dimensions of human behaviour and learning. In this learning resource the term socio-constructivism is used as a neutral umbrella term.

Socio-constructivist theories date from Russian research in the 1920s and 1930s by scholars such as Vygotsky and Bakhtin, whose work was not published in the West until the 1960s and only became widely recognised in the 1990s (well after their deaths).  These theorists developed approaches which extend our notion of learning beyond the individual´s cognitive development to the role of social interaction, as such concepts as dialogism and mediation make clear.

These notions have been revisited by Western scholars over the past two decades to inform investigation of, for example, informal learning, as shown in the work of Lave and Wenger on situated learning and communities of practice.

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Socio-constructivism: Learning

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