ZPD/Chaiklin and Vygotsky/Bakhtin

From: Phil Chappell (phil_chappell@access.inet.co.th)
Date: Wed Jan 14 2004 - 03:00:05 PST

Dear Mike and All,

For starters, The Seth Chaiklin article can be found at
http://equity1.clmer.csulb.edu/~xmcacourse - you can enter as a guest
if you don't have a password. Click on component 4 and the list of
readings will appear in the right hand side window. It's titled

I'll see how some of your other references can be located, Mike. I
don't have scanning facilities for documents - can anyone help out?

Also, the short Palincsar article reference is Palincsar, A.S., (1999)
Keeping the Metaphor of Scaffolding Fresh – A Response to C. Addison
Stone’s “The Metaphor of Scaffolding: It’s Utility for the Field of
Learning Disabilities, Journal of Learning Disabilities, Vol. 31, No.
4, July/August, pp. 370-373. I can attach it to the list if you don't
have access to it. The paper by Addison Stone that Palincsar is
responding to is also in the same issue, pp. 344-365- I can forward
that on to anyone too, but it is a little large to send to the whole

A question based on the article that might be worthwhile pursuing once
the discussion of Paul's paper has subsided is based on Mike's
observation of the underplaying of the idea of imitation. What is the
"special" meaning that LSV attaches to the word imitation? My
understanding (and application for second language learning) is that
imitation is a key feature of transformation, which distinguishes
imitation from copying. L2 learners create new meanings from
utterances noticed in dialogue with others - both past and present
dialogue (if in collaboration with peers, then the "expert other" is
distributed across the activity setting). This collaborative learning
effort is itself the subjective zones of proximal development as
learners co-construct meaningful dialogue. This differs markedly from
behaviourist principles (that are very evident in L2 learning
environments today) in that the appropriation of others' utterances to
make new meanings (or if you like the renting of past utterances) is
transformation in flight rather than more "meaningless" copying of a
linguistic structure.

A small example (from my own data of two Thai learners of English in a
classroom setting):

G: We start with [writing] Phuket
N: Hm. Hmm.
G: **which**
N: ---w-h-i-c-h [spells]
G: ---which
N: ---is located in the southern
G: ---which, which is locate***cate in, or on?
N: Which is located on southern of Thailand
G: IN, IN the south west [gestures directions]
N: On or in?
G: Because**on the south coast
N: ---Hmm.
G: ---You see, Phuket is uh huh is the island, which is locate
N: ---Okay
G: [writes “located in the southern of Thailand]” Hm

This is not the space for a full commentary, but there is clearly some
"peer scaffolding" evident here as N and G co-construct more delicate
meanings of the location of islands and towns geographically; each had
incomplete knowledge at the beginning of the episode, but through
reference to prior dialogic experience are capable of jointly making
more delicate, or meaningful (more complete) utterances.

Another example is from a chapter from Newman and Holzman's book, Lev
Vygotsky: revolutionary Scientist.

Child: (opening cover of tape recorder) open, open, open
Adult: Did you open it?
Child: (watching the tape recorder) open it
Adult: Did you open the tape recorder?
Child: (watching tape recorder) tape recorder

Notice how the child creates new meanings by appropriating part of the
adult's utterance.

Apologies - this message began as a call for help to make available
the readings Mike referred to. I guess I got a bit carried away.

Any thoughts?


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