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[Xmca-l] Re: "Mediation" as Error Correction

Hi David,

Well, we can ask direct and indirect with respect to what?  The sign
systems, in this case, are what is being 'directly' corrected.  The
indirect, is that which the sign systems are about.  So, a good situation
in which to learn appropriate grammar for this phrase is one in which
ambiguity and confusion is induced in the receiver of such a message,
thereby allowing for a contextualised and situated understanding of the
meaning.  For students who are comfortable with talking about notation
itself, however, perhaps you can do both, but I still think it merits
pointing to the real meanings.

>From the encyclopaedia of social behavioural sciences:

Actiity Theory and Errors

Activity theorists define errors as the non attainment of an activity goal.
The comparison of the activity outcome with the goal determines whether the
goal has been achieved or whether further actions have to be accomplished.
If an unintended outcome occurs, an error will be given. Consequently, a
definition of an error based on Activity Theories integrates three aspects:
(a) errors will only appear in goal-directed actions; (b) an error implies
the nonattainment of the goal; (c) an error should have been potentially
avoidable (Frese and Zapf 1991). Frese and Zapf (1991) developed an error
taxonomy based on a version of Action Theory. This taxonomy and other
comparable ones are inevitable in the examination of causes of errors and
faults as a prerequisite of error prevention. Error prevention became an
inevitable concern in modern technologies, e.g., the control rooms of
nuclear power plants.


On 11 February 2016 at 20:24, David Kellogg <dkellogg60@gmail.com> wrote:
> I don't think error correction or even "making a student say 'This is a
> book' is always "direct" or "immediate", quite the contrary. Most of the
> sources I am referring to (yes, I am thinking of Lantolf and Poehner)
> distinguish between the highly indirect and the direct. We can lay out a
> kind of cline.
> a) What did you say?
> b) Did you say a book?
> c) A book?
> d) A book.
> e) You mean a book.
> f) No, you have to say "a book".
> There are various ways of discussing this cline in the literature, e.g.
> "implicit" to "explicit" correction (Long and Doughty), or
> "interventionist" vs. "non-interventionist" (Lantolf and Poehner), or
> "recasts" vs. "prompts" (Ellis and others), "other repair" vs. "self
> repair" (the Conversation Analysts). I don't agree that direct
> is bad, and indirect intervention good. Since the work of Lyster and
> we have become acutely conscious that most teacher intervention is highly
> indirect and thus highly ineffective.
> The real thing that needs to be "mediated" is this:
> g) Every singular noun must have a determiner in English.
> Now, I think grasping this (is it implicit? Is it explicit?) is mediation
> only in the following sense: in order to be able to use it, you need to
> understand concepts like "noun", "singular", and "determiner". These are
> all academic concepts and not everyday concepts and they cannot be
> taught (c.f. Chapter Six of Thinking and Speech). I think that all error
> correction, direct and indirect, is a way of indirectly teaching it.
> Perhaps the two "forces of nature" that are being played against each
> are the eidetic memory, which is concrete and based on everyday
> and forgetting, which produces an involuntary form of abstraction. Neither
> force can overcome the other, but a learner can use a voluntary form of
> abstraction to overcome both.
> I think the problem with the way "mediation" is interpreted as the
> learner's "internalization" of the correction is simply this: it falls
> to what Chaiklin calls the "assistance" assumption: the idea that the site
> of development, and not simply the source, is the environment nad not the
> learner. The environment (the correct form) is indeed the source of
> development (and I do think grasping the English article system does
> represent a form of real development, and certainly academic concepts do).
> But the learner and only the learner is the site.
> David Kellogg
> Macquarie University
> On Thu, Feb 11, 2016 at 8:04 PM, Huw Lloyd <huw.softdesigns@gmail.com>
> wrote:
> > Perhaps you should respond in kind, David:
> >
> > 1.  A failure to understand that speech and systems of notation mediate,
> > i.e. guide and structure, activity which is the phenomenon that benefits
> > from contact with reality.
> > 2.  Failure to understand that direct correction of these systems can
> > inculcate an erroneous sense that systems of notation and speech are the
> > "objective material" to be worked upon, rather than the efficacy of
> > use in realising object systems from which natural feedback can be
> > obtained.
> > 3. Failure to grasp the opportunity to frame these minor situations in
> > context of encouraging the student's own self-regulation and confidence
> > thinking.
> >
> > Any good?
> >
> > Best,
> > Huw
> >
> >
> > On 10 February 2016 at 21:38, David Kellogg <dkellogg60@gmail.com>
> >
> > > I am occasionally, out of deference to a few papers I once published
> > > TESOL, sent articles to review on the use of Vygotskyan concepts in
> > > language learning. Time was that these articles were mostly about
> > > scaffolding and the ZPD; of late they have been mostly concerned with
> > > "internalization" and "mediation".
> > >
> > > The problem is that most of these articles have taken these concepts
> > > entirely out of child development and placed them in an alien
> > > context--classroom error correction, which is now referred to as
> > > Assessment".
> > >
> > > I am not sure what to do about this. It seems to me that one way to
> > > to address the issue is to go back to the original Hegelian idea of
> > > "mediation" as using one force of nature against another: the force of
> > air
> > > pressure against gravity in flying, or the friction of snow vs. the
> > > momentum of the fall line in skiing.
> > >
> > > When a teacher corrects an error in a classroom, e.g. when a teacher
> > makes
> > > the student say "This is a book" instead of "This is book", what are
> > > forces of nature that are being used against each other? Is this
> > an
> > > instance of mediation at all?
> > >
> > > David Kellogg
> > > Macquarie University
> > >
> >