A discussion of the work of Lev Vygotsky in the field of cognitive development focuses on how the Vygotskian concepts of internalization and mediated knowledge are crucial to the development of both learner and teacher autonomy in second language instruction. Focus is on theory, with empirical studies used as illustration. First, the Vygotskian notions of spontaneous and scientific concepts, scaffolding, and internalization in the zone of proximal development are explored as they relate to the concept of learner autonomy. It is then suggested that learner autonomy is dependent on teacher autonomy, and teacher autonomy is examined as both a pragmatic and a scientific concept. The roles of guided practice and self-regulation in such autonomy are considered. The final section applies what has been discussed to a number of issues, including teacher education, the classroom environment, the role of the first language in second language learning, and recent Vygotskian approaches in second language acquisition research. Contains 43 references. (MSE)
Vygotsky (Lev S)
1 - Available on microfiche
Trinity Coll., Dublin (Ireland). Centre for Language and Communication Studies.