Vygotsky's teaching-assessment dialectic and L2 education: The case for dynamic assessment

Matthew Edward Poehner, James Lantolf

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

31 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This article concerns a particular application of Vygotsky's concept of the Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) wherein conventional assessment situations are reorganized to allow for cooperation between assessor and learner as they jointly complete assessment tasks and work through difficulties that arise. This approach, known as Dynamic Assessment (DA), a term coined by Luria (1961), derives from Vygotsky's own work in the area of "defectology" and aims to reveal abilities that have fully developed as well as those that are still forming. Several models of DA have been developed and pursued in countries around the world, primarily in contexts of intelligence and abilities testing and in work with learners with special needs (Haywood & Lidz, 2007). We argue that DA in fact has profound implications not only for formal testing but for educational practice more generally, and for language education in particular, given that it posits a dialectical relation between instruction and assessment. Specifically, joint activity intended to reveal a learner's ZPD and the provision of mediation to support continued development are fully integrated in DA. Examples of this dialectical activity are presented involving classroom learners of French as a second language.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)312-330
Number of pages19
JournalMind, Culture, and Activity
Volume17
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2010

Fingerprint

Aptitude
dialectics
Teaching
Language
Education
Intelligence
education
language education
ability
educational practice
Dialectics
L. S. Vygotsky
Dynamic Assessment
mediation
intelligence
instruction
classroom
language
Testing
Zone of Proximal Development

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Anthropology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience

Cite this

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Vygotsky's teaching-assessment dialectic and L2 education : The case for dynamic assessment. / Poehner, Matthew Edward; Lantolf, James.

In: Mind, Culture, and Activity, Vol. 17, No. 4, 01.10.2010, p. 312-330.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

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