Learning & Teaching Foreign Languages

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Socio-constructivism

LANGUAGE LEARNING THEORY

The successive approaches to second language learning and teaching discussed in this learning resource trace an evolution from teacher-focused, behaviourist models, through cognitive models of input-processing driven by innate capacities, to constructivist approaches to learning in communicative contexts through interaction.  A logical extension of this evolution finds it expression in socially situated models of cognition, which view interaction as a context for cognition, rather than vice versa.  Rather than judging interaction in terms of its outcome for learning, learning is viewed an an inevitable outcome of interaction. Such views are broadly termed socio-constructivist, although this would not be the label of choice for any of the different models described here: the Vygotskyan sociocultural theory espoused by Lantolf, and which also informs Tarone's research on language play, the intercultural approach favoured by Kramsch, or Kasper’s socially grounded acquisition.

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Socio-constructivism: Language

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