RE: [xmca] looking for some direction

From: Emily Duvall <emily who-is-at>
Date: Sun Oct 21 2007 - 18:54:43 PDT

HI Mark,
Although I'm in C & I, I did a lot of my doc course work at Penn State
in applied linguistics... and had my intro to Vygotsky from Jim Lantolf
who is most known for his work with sociocultural theory and L2. Steve
Thorne is also there and offers some exciting directions in SCT. It
might be a good place to look into; the College of Ed, specifically the
Language & Literacy dept in C & I, is very open to a wide range of
student interests.

Of course, so are we at the University of Idaho!

I'll send my ch.2 to your personal email as it's already hit the list
once before.
~ Em

-----Original Message-----
From: []
Sent: Sunday, October 21, 2007 5:54 PM
To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
Subject: Re: [xmca] looking for some direction


I'd love to read your chapter! My MA program has required readings
which unfortunately don't cover what I would like to know, or the
direction in which I would like to take my MA.

I have just recently picked up a copy of Dorothy Robbins' Vygotsky's
and A.A. Leontiev's Semiotics and Psycholinguistics, thank you for
the heads up on that one.

I'm also beginning to look at PhD programs, because I would love to
be able to research the link between Vygotsky and the TEFL classroom
as well as link to applications for teacher training for schools here
in Japan.


On Oct 22, 19 Heisei, at 1:31 AM, Emily Duvall wrote:

> Hi Mark, I don't know if this is helpful, but my dissertation
> chapter 2,
> which was posted by Mike some time ago, digs into the Vygotskian
> legacy
> and then works through the ZPD in reference to dynamic assessment.
> I use
> a lot of Dot Robbins work to help articulate an understanding of where
> Vygotsky was in his project and then connect it to the ways his
> followers have shifted the work in different directions. The focus,
> for
> me is on the original Vygotskian cultural-historical approach as, as
> Robbins considers it, a metatheory. I am particularly interested in
> the
> Marxist link, the dialectical aspects but I don't spend a lot of
> time on
> CHAT or sociocultural theory per se, but do make the connections.
> My other interest, which may criss-cross somewhat with yours, is in
> the
> ZPD of the child and the teacher, where the latter is related to as
> reflective and reflexive teacher praxis. I take into consideration the
> work of Dewey and Gadamer among others. This work is coming out as a
> book chapter, probably before Christmas. I'd be happy to share this
> with
> you if you think it would be helpful.
> Best,
> ~Em
> Emily Duvall
> Assistant Professor Curriculum & Instruction
> University of Idaho, Coeur d'Alene
> 1000 W. Hubbard Suite 242 | Coeur d'Alene, ID 83814
> T 208 667 2588 | F 208 667 5275 |
> -----Original Message-----
> From: []
> On Behalf Of MARK DE BOER
> Sent: Sunday, October 21, 2007 7:40 AM
> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
> Subject: [xmca] looking for some direction
> Hello all,
> One of the items in the recent Wells article which caught my eye, was
> the section on Planning and Writing a Conference Paper (275).
> In my current area of study, I have a few questions concerning this.
> I hope that someone on the list can help me with the direction I need
> to take.
> My current paper (as part of my MA) is to do with ELT management. In
> this paper, I am discussing a year-long project in which 4 students
> have used computers and Skype (an online conference calling software
> program that allows up to 9 people to be able to talk in a conference
> setting. This software also allows the exchange of documents (in real
> time), and text messaging, where weblinks can be added). This year-
> long collaboration effort has resulted in the following:
> 1. An increase in the overall average of the students involved (now 6
> students). We peer review, discuss readings, and discuss the theory
> based on our own classroom experiences.
> 2. Collaborative research has resulted and two papers are now under
> review for publication that was submitted by three of the members.
> 3. Teacher training and reflective teaching has now become part of
> the project in which discussions of applications of the theory of the
> program are tested in the classroom and the results brought back to
> the Skype meetings for discussion.
> 4. A new website is being built along these concepts for the use of
> collaborative learning and teaching as well as the discussion of
> theory. This site will be used by MA students, to take their
> knowledge to the next level. This site will be launched at JALT 2007
> in Tokyo next month.
> Point 3 has become the focus of my paper, as I would like to discuss
> the benefits of a distance ed MA program in which 'going it alone'
> vs 'don't go it alone' has some key issues, especially when it
> applies to the application of the theory of TEFL in the classroom.
> My paper will propose that the benefits of distance education are
> great, supported by the fact that being already in the classroom has
> its benefits for immediate trial of new concepts or theories.
> But I would also like to propose that collaboration is a big part of
> teacher training and reflective teaching with other teachers who are
> experiencing the same learning. 'Don't go it alone' proposed by the
> university in this distance ed course is great advice, but up to now,
> so many groups have failed and not continued beyond a few months.
> My arguments for collaborative learning are supported by this year-
> long effort, but more importantly I would like to incorporate
> arguments outside of our own study to support collaborative learning
> in a distance ed program, using tools such as Skype (or other).
> I have searched for information on constitutive and ancillary
> discourse as well as read a lot of Wells' books to grasp the ideas
> behind my arguments (Dialogic Inquiry; Action, Talk and Text;
> Learning through interactions). I have also read through Lantolf and
> Thorne, as well as a few others trying to grasp the Activity Theory
> concepts vs the Sociocultural Theory concepts and how I can
> incorporate them into my paper. The paper by Wells most recently
> discussed on this list I thought had a lot of applications towards my
> arguments, yet I need to understand this more, before I can use it in
> my paper.
> I would like to follow my discussions of the group dynamics with
> theory of collaboration. I am really confused with some of the
> terminology (mainly in the Activity Theory and Sociocultural Theory
> areas).
> Vygotsky's zpd concept is one that I would like to discuss, as it is
> an excellent example of using Skype to assist each other through our
> zpd's (not only in the understanding of various concepts, but also in
> the application of the theory in our classrooms). I need to support
> my arguments though using the idea of student-student interaction
> moving to teacher-teacher interaction. (as a group we are students,
> but in our professional lives we are teachers)
> I would like to know more about ancillary and constitutive discourses
> to discuss what is actually happening inside of the Skype meetings.
> My paper will ultimately be used to propose an innovation to the
> distance ed programme based on 1. the year-long study and its results
> and 2. applications supported by the activity and sociocultural
> theories.
> From my readings so far, I have gone as far as I can without asking
> questions. I've reached the point though where I things need
> clarification, or I need to be pointed in the right direction to get
> the answers I am looking for.
> Mainly in how I can apply these two theories to support my arguments
> for benefits of distance ed learning with collaborative support from
> peers using Skype.
> This has turned out to be a very interesting study between the MA
> students involved and the results of the collaboration have been
> fantastic.
> Could someone please help point me in the right direction for the
> answers I'm looking for?
> Mark
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Received on Sun Oct 21 18:57 PDT 2007

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