anxiety/neg. ZPD

Date: Tue Sep 21 2004 - 07:15:08 PDT

Dear Kristine,
What are you relating "anxiety" to in your research? Within psycholinguistics,
A. A. Leontiev wrote about "tension," which was different than much work in
the West, such as Bailey and others who list various factors of anxiety of
students learning a foreign language (all of which appear to be different for
me than what I experienced in Russia). For me it is interesting that Leontiev
divided "tension" into "emotional tension": which "arises when, in assessing a
given stressful situation, one finds that there is a real or imagined
incompatibiility between one's motives, plans, possibilities, capacities,
etc., and the demands of that situation, most frequently, when the aims and
motives of the activity do not coincide... Then, there is "operational
tension"..which "is connected with the necessity of carrying out a particular
activity: it allows a person to settle into that activity, and always leads to
the best possible performance. A driver in the rush hour, a pilot at
landing...." What I find interesting is the connection of tension with the
semiotics of "image," and Dimtry Leontiev's understanding of "sense"...(if
anyone has ideas on "image," "sense," and "functional systems," I would
appreciate hearing from you). Related to the issue of tension, Leontiev speaks
of "the image of the result" (G. Miller, K. Pribram, E. Galanter), "imagined
situation" (I. T. Bzhalava), "model of the future" (N. A. Bernshteyn). I
believe that Rommetveit's "prolepsis" fits in here, as it is described by
Mike. Regarding a negative ZPD, I don't believe there is one ZPD, and feel
that without an adequate inclusion and understanding of components such as
regression, anxiety-tension, we cannot grasp the overall feeling of the ZPD.
Overcoming these elements ties in with "image," "sense," and "functional
systems," and how to understand them related to motives. I believe A. A.
Leontiev gave some good answers to this. Regarding psycholinguistics, I have
also tried to address the issues of anxiety/negative ZPD in a 2003 book.
Before closing, there will be an attempt to publish some of A. A. Leontiev's
earlier thoughts in English in future. The publisher has been located, now it
is just a question of financing the translations.
Here is the information:
A. A. Leontiev (1981): Psychology and the Language Learning Process (Ed. C. V.
James), New York: Pergamon Press.
D. Robbins (2003):Vygotsky's and A. A. Leontiev's Semiotics and
Psycholinguistics: Applications for Education, Second Language Acquisition,
and Theories of Language. CT:

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