Vygotsky’s Sociocultural Theory In The Context of Synchronous Computer Mediated Corrective Feedback

  • W A P Udeshinee ,Stockholm University Stockholm, Sweden (piyumi@dsv.su.se)
  • Ola Knutsson ,Stockholm University Stockholm, Sweden (knutsson@dsv.su.se)
  • Sirkku Männikkö-Barbutiu ,Stockholm University Stockholm, Sweden (sirkku@dsv.su.se)

This paper reviews two major theoretical principles associated with sociocultural theory (SCT), which was introduced in the writings of early Soviet Psychologist, Lev Semyonovich Vygotsky. Vygotsky’s sociocultural theory has widely been used in the second language acquisition research. His theory proposes four main domains that are supportive in language acquisition: mediation, genetic method, internalisation and Zone of Proximal Development. This paper will only focus on the notions of Mediation and Zone of Proximal Development. Mediation means the involvement of a third factor (mediator) into the interaction between two objects, events or persons. Zone of Proximal Development is defined as the distance between a child’s actual development level as determined by independent problem solving and the potential of development as determined through problem solving guided by an adult or other more capable peers. According to Vygotskian theory, maturation and direct interaction of a person with the environment is not sufficient to develop higher mental functions, so that an intentional mediation is necessary. Therefore, computer mediated corrective feedback could play the role of intentional mediation to develop language skills of adult learners of English.  However, mediation and zone of proximal development have not been much discussed in the context of computer mediated corrective feedback. Therefore, this paper will discuss the potential of corrective feedback through chat conversations in the light of mediation and zone of proximal development.

Keywords— Sociocultural Theory, Mediation, Zone of Proximal Development, Computer Mediated Corrective Feedback

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