Fascinating discussion! As Steve T. mentioned quote that "language evokes ideas, it does not represent them" brought to mind a quote from Vygotsky and a problem for me concerning language as sign/tool and developmental stages as well as ZPD.
The quote form Vy is " a young child thinks by remembering, an adolescent remembers by thinking."
My problem is that some research looks at young children's use of language and learning language and L1 & L2 users of language and through extrapolation seems to see children as "little adult learners", which means if we study young children's use and processes, we can some how understand adult usage and processes.
What if there are different processes at work? And what if different schemata are needed to truly understand languaging and thought for these differing learners? Although there may be some commonalities, what are the salient differences that need to be addressed? And when do these seemingly disparate processes mesh, or strands weave. When does the child truly become the "adult" user of language as tool/sign?
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