Second language learning in the zone of proximal development: A revolutionary experience

James P. Lantolf, Ali Aljaafreh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

52 Scopus citations

Abstract

In this paper we provide empirical support from L2 learning for Vygotsky's claim that development and performance in mental systems is not a smooth linear process, but simultaneously entails forward movement and regression, or what some L2 researchers refer to as backsliding. After considering the specifics of Vygotsky's argument, we show that because learning arises in "zones of proximal development", regression is manifested not only in the linguistic features of the second language produced by learners, but also in the frequency and quality of help as other-regulation negotiated between learners and experts. Although other L2 researchers have recognized the appearance of regression among learners, we propose a different theoretical status for the phenomenon than is currently the case.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)619-632
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Educational Research
Volume23
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - 1995

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education

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