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[Xmca-l] Re: Why Doesn't Vygotsky Use "Microgenesis"?

David and all,
Back in the day (the 80s) there were articles on L2 learning on two themes that you might find relevant to the subject line:
1) L2 learning as culture shock. More than one author on this. Culture shock = Crisis maybe.
2) The optimal distance model of L2 learning. H.D. Brown was known for his articles on this. The model, as I recall, explained “foreign accents” not as the inability to attain native pronunciation but as a intra- and inter-subjective need to maintain identity that is closely associated with L1.
May be of interest 

> On Oct 21, 2016, at 3:11 PM, David Kellogg <dkellogg60@gmail.com> wrote:
> Mike:  I think the flaws in methodology are exactly what Arturo is talking
> about. In foreign language teaching, the only real acknowledgement of the
> nonlinear nature of language development is in the mysterious "U-shaped
> curve" that seems to accompany the learning of grammar but not vocabulary.
> But the general response to this been to switch the focus in teaching
> to...vocabulary (e.g. Michael Lewis's "Lexical Approach", Nattinger and
> DeCarrico's work on formulaic phrases, Keyword method studies, etc.). Part
> of the problem is that the vast majority of published studies are done by
> professors on their undergraduates.
> A.N. Leontiev's denial of crises is to be found in his book "Problems of
> Development of Mind" (and also in "The Neo-Vygotskyan Approach to Child
> Development" by Yurie Karpov, excellently reviewed for MCA by Bert Oers).
> A.A. Leontiev wrote, as far as I can figure out, one book on foreign
> language teaching. " Psychology and the Language Learning Process", OUP.
> There is very little on age specific teaching at all: he seems to think
> that movies are great way of teaching foreign languages (I think all
> foreign language teachers go through a "movie" phase when they discover how
> difficult it really is to use and teach a language at the same time). But
> it's clear that a lot of his students are adults and not children.
> Not one of the half dozen papers that I submitted on ZPDs and crises of
> language development over the last year has been accepted for publication.
> I had exactly the same problem about fifteen years ago when I first started
> writing about group ZPDs--as soon as you raise the idea that there might be
> a ZPD for a whole class of children, the editor tells you to go and read
> Vygotsky. Now every time you say that real language development entails
> crises, editors ask indignantly where Vygotsky could have said THAT. I
> think the only mention of the crisis in language learning (and not foreign
> language learning) I've managed to get in print  was the Commentary on
> Roth's piece that just came out in MCA (Roth calls everything a crisis,
> even when water turns into ice).
> With the sole exception of MCA (I just got another reject, but it was a
> real, thoughtful and very useful one), I think Huw is right--the system's
> broken. We need new ways of getting ideas around or we're really at the end
> of our own intellectual development. Who will reject the rejecters? Where
> will THEIR crises come from?
> David Kellogg
> Macquarie University
> On Fri, Oct 21, 2016 at 11:40 AM, mike cole <mcole@ucsd.edu> wrote:
>> David & Arturo. You lost me you got to AA Leontiev,
>> David. Which of his writings on the organization of language learning
>> activity can I find that he denied crises in development. In principle,
>> such ideas should show up in flaws in his methodology. How does that work?
>> I have read more than I have forgotten, but I would like to see how this
>> issue influences the pedagogy.
>> Maybe you would be interested in helping us identify texts, Arturo.
>> Note, in our own published work on the acquisition of reading we adopt a
>> developmental model of the process. To tell the truth, the whole process
>> felt like a crisis for us and the kids, but qualitative change, and new
>> modes of diagnosis, emerged. Both microgenetically (in a day's
>> interactions) and in the ontogeny of the child as the new form of behavior
>> spread and solidified.
>> I have access to articles in Soviet Psychology/Journal of Russian
>> Psychology if the requisite materials are not already in your hands.
>> Seems like a place where questions of theory and questions of practice come
>> together. David has been teaching L2 for a long time. Others, like Phillip,
>> are teachers in schools where students are highly varied in their
>> acquisition of English.
>> A lot of others on xmca could also describe (or deny the presence of )
>> crises that arise when there is a qualitative shift in L1-->L2 students. I
>> seemed to go through distinct stages, qualitative shifts, in the
>> acquisition of spoken and written Russian. I acquired the ability to speak
>> more quickly than to write. Reading was the refuge where I had to figure
>> out what people had been saying in the seminar from written texts. I do not
>> remember any moment of crisis (except that of a dumb, dangerous, foreigner,
>> newby) when I became qualitatively different. My best evidence that it was
>> a qualitative shift is that my wife, who went through all these events with
>> me, does not like my personality when I spoke Russian to this day. :~)
>> It would be totally neat to find convergence around AA Leontiev here that
>> could generate a classic article in *Mind, Culture, and Activity.*
>> mike
>> On Thu, Oct 20, 2016 at 2:39 PM, David Kellogg <dkellogg60@gmail.com>
>> wrote:
>>> Arturo:
>>> Yes, exactly! As soon as we ripped applied linguistics out of
>> linguistics,
>>> we started down a path of social-behaviourism. The result is, as you say,
>>> that L2 teaching has become behavioristic and naïve in the extreme.
>>> Although, as you'll see from the other posting I wrote today, I think
>> it's
>>> important to stress how different learning is from development, I also
>>> think that one thing that all forms of genetic change have (phylo-,
>> socio-,
>>> onto- and micro-) is the crisis: crises are simply inherent in the
>> process
>>> of development itself, because at some point the process of development
>>> turns back on itself and the means of development itself develops. That's
>>> why Vygotsky speaks of "cycles of development".
>>> The problem with both Leontievs (A.A. and A.L.) is that they were
>> committed
>>> to demonstrating that development could take place without crises. I
>> think
>>> this was a political commitment, linked to Stalin's declaration of the
>> end
>>> of history. It is always a mistake to declare that history is at an end:
>>> that is one of the main differences between sociogenesis and ontogenesis.
>>> David Kellogg
>>> Macquarie University
>>> On Thu, Oct 20, 2016 at 5:21 PM, Arturo Escandon <
>>> arturo.escandon@gmail.com>
>>> wrote:
>>>> Dear David,
>>>> I am laughing load about your exchange with Mike.
>>>> Of course I do not discard microgenetic processes at all. Perhaps my
>>>> "unfortunately" comes from the fact that L2 teaching continuous to be
>>>> so behaviorist and naive. SLA advocates try to go round the notion of
>>>> input-output unsuccessfully. These conditions influence my research as
>>>> any social or production condition does. It is as if one could not
>>>> abstract of the institutional object set for "learning".
>>>> What I have done is base my approach on A.A. Leontiev notions of
>>>> speech activity vis a vis communication activity to determine at least
>>>> four stages that a learner with no knowledge of a L2 must go through
>>>> to master it. Those I renamed substructural, structural, functional
>>>> and rhetorical stages. They all differ in the object of the activity.
>>>> But none of these stages is reached by one single learning activity.
>>>> So no microgenetic process can "trigger" mastery. On the contrary,
>>>> learners need to go through many learning tasks until they develop
>>>> comprehensive conceptual models for each stage. The developments of
>>>> those models run against their very understanding of their own L1. It
>>>> is hard to grasp the actual genesis of that development for the stages
>>>> cannot be clearly separated one another and because instructions is
>>>> distributed. You see, learners learn grammar with L1 speakers and
>>>> conversation with L2 speakers in more or less chaotic and asystematic
>>>> learning settings.
>>>> The question is how one can deal with zones which do not have an age
>>>> crisis that help distinguishing one from the next. Risking deforming
>>>> the notion of zoped,I still prefer to have some kind of developmental
>>>> targets and stages rather than basing instruction on an endless chain
>>>> of learning tasks just to fill teaching time.
>>>> Thanks for providing those Russian excerpts.
>>>> All the best.
>>>> Arturo
>>>> On 18 October 2016 at 09:33, David Kellogg <dkellogg60@gmail.com>
>> wrote:
>>>>> Arturo:
>>>>> Thanks for the very thoughtful reply. I think the only word I might
>>>>> possibly disagree with is "unfortunately". I suppose there may also
>> be
>>> a
>>>>> "zone of proximal learning", just as there is a zone of proximal
>>>> evolution
>>>>> (I suspect, given the mass extinctions which are going on in the
>>>>> Anthropocene, that we are in one of these at present), and a zone of
>>>>> proximal social progress (these have turned out to be far longer
>> than I
>>>>> ever thought as a young person). But I think for now it's a very good
>>>> idea
>>>>> to focus on the D in ZPD, and not to forget that it's for
>> "development"
>>>> and
>>>>> not for learning.
>>>>> Let me give three reasons. First of all, if we are interested in the
>>> what
>>>>> word value looks like when we remove the sound that realizes it, we
>> are
>>>>> necessarily interested in a psychological rather than an
>> interpersonal
>>>>> phenomenon. Secondly, the focus on quick results in learning very
>> often
>>>>> ends up victimizing teachers for problems in development that have
>>>> nothing
>>>>> to do with teaching methods and are really developmentally rooted.
>>>> Thirdly,
>>>>> just as we need to understand exactly what teachers are doing before
>> we
>>>> go
>>>>> about introducing interested changes, we also need to understand what
>>>>> Vygotsky was trying to do before we decide it is irrelevant to our
>>>> teaching
>>>>> needs.
>>>>> This morning I was working on the beginning of the "Crisis at Three",
>>>> part
>>>>> of which (but not the good part) can be read in Vol. Five of the
>>>> Collected
>>>>> Works in English (Vol. Four in Russian):
>>>>> Во-первых, мы должны предположить, что все перемены, все события,
>>>>> совершающиеся в период этого кризиса, группируются вокруг какого-либо
>>>>> новообразования переходного типа. Следовательно, когда мы будем
>>>>> анализировать симптомы кризиса, мы должны хотя бы предположительно
>>>> ответить
>>>>> на вопрос, что нового возникает в указанное время и какова судьба
>>>>> новообразования, которое исчезает после него. Затем мы должны
>>>> рассмотреть,
>>>>> какая смена центральных и побочных линий развития здесь происходит. И
>>>>> наконец, оценить критический возраст с точки зрения зоны его
>> ближайшего
>>>>> развития, т. е. отношения к следующему возрасту.
>>>>> "Firstly, we must presume that all of the transformations, all the
>>>>> happenings, that take place during the period of the crisis may be
>>>> grouped
>>>>> around some sort of neoformation of the transitional type.
>>> Consequently,
>>>>> when we analyse the symptoms of the crisis, we must at the very least
>>>>> presume to answer the question of what newness emerges at this
>>> appointed
>>>>> time and what the fate of these neoformations which disappear
>>> afterwards
>>>>> might be. Next, we should consider how the central and peripheral
>> lines
>>>> of
>>>>> development here will unfold. And lastly, we ought to evaluate the
>>>> critical
>>>>> age from the point of view of the zone of its proximal development,
>>> i.e.
>>>>> its relationship to the subsequent age."
>>>>> "The zone of its proximal development" is its relationship to the
>>>>> subsequent age! Almost by definition, if you present some
>>>>> pedagogical intervention and it immediately becomes part of the
>> child's
>>>>> psychological system, you are looking at the zone of actual
>>> development,
>>>>> and not the zone of proximal development at all.
>>>>> Years ago, I told Mike that I kept mixing up microgenesis and
>> learning.
>>>> He
>>>>> told me "Don't do that!" but he didn't exactly spell out how to avoid
>>> it:
>>>>> instead, he arranged for me to review a book on Ganzheitpsychologie
>>> that
>>>>> left me more confused than ever. So I think that's still what we need
>>> to
>>>> do
>>>>> now: but one way to start is simply to kick learning out of the ZPD.
>>>>> David Kellogg
>>>>> Macquarie University
>>>>> .
>>>>> On Tue, Oct 18, 2016 at 1:44 AM, Arturo Escandon <
>>>> arturo.escandon@gmail.com>
>>>>> wrote:
>>>>>> Thank you for this David.
>>>>>> I agree with what you are saying at many levels.
>>>>>> Unfortunately, the kind of assessment I introduced did not have
>>>>>> significant learning components. So the evaluation part of the
>>>>>> assessment is not giving me much data about microgenesis but about
>>>>>> ontogenesis. The "outcome" is not the result of the learning
>> component
>>>>>> for sure.
>>>>>> My bet is that the links between L1 and L2 (which allow students to
>> go
>>>>>> beyond sound perception of words) are possible because of
>> development
>>>>>> in high school. More to do with L1 development. Again, the kind of
>>>>>> interventions I am allowed to make in the classroom are very narrow
>>>>>> and the structure and shape of the study programme prevents me from
>>>>>> doing large longitudinal studies.
>>>>>> I agree the notion of DA as it is used in the SLA literature
>> presents
>>>>>> many problems.
>>>>>> Arturo
>>>>>> On 11 October 2016 at 05:17, David Kellogg <dkellogg60@gmail.com>
>>>> wrote:
>>>>>>> Arturo:
>>>>>>> Dynamic assessment is a really good example of what I'm talking
>>> about.
>>>>>>> Dynamic assessment is supposedly based on the ZPD. But I think
>> there
>>>> are
>>>>>>> three linked ways in which it is actually based on a distortion of
>>> the
>>>>>> ZPD.
>>>>>>> a) Dynamic assessment looks at microgenesis, not ontogenesis. I
>>> think
>>>> the
>>>>>>> idea was originally that the microgenetic perturbations that were
>>>> picked
>>>>>> up
>>>>>>> in DA were, actually, predictive of the "next zone of
>> development".
>>>> But
>>>>>>> there are two reasons why this has not happened. Firstly, there
>>> hasn't
>>>>>> been
>>>>>>> a clear demarcation between learning and development, and the idea
>>>>>>> that what the child can do today with assistance will be done by
>> the
>>>>>> child
>>>>>>> independently tomorrow--literally, in twenty-four hours--is just
>> too
>>>>>>> attractive to people like Matt Poehner and Jim Lantolf. Secondly,
>>>> there
>>>>>>> hasn't been a clear scheme for figuring out what the next zone of
>>>>>>> development really is (it's there in Vygotsky's pedological
>>> lectures,
>>>> but
>>>>>>> these haven't been translated yet).
>>>>>>> b) Dynamic assessment is "dynamic" and not diagnostic. It's
>>>> interesting
>>>>>> to
>>>>>>> compare the two Russian versions of Vygotsky's pedological
>> lectures:
>>>>>>> https://www.marxists.org/russkij/vygotsky/pedologia/
>>>>>> lektsii-po-pedologii.pdf
>>>>>>> https://www.marxists.org/russkij/vygotsky/cw/pdf/vol4.pdf
>>>>>>> Compare 2001: 191 with 1984: 260 (and also the English version,
>>> 1998:
>>>>>>> 199!). It's not just that the Russian editors insist on replacing
>>>> "test"
>>>>>>> with "task"--it's that they consistently replace "diagnostic" with
>>>>>>> "dynamic", even where this leads to redundant headings and total
>>>>>> nonsense.
>>>>>>> Why? Well, because in the Soviet scheme of things, the ZPD is NOT
>>>>>>> diagnostic: it's dynamic. That means that a personality is
>>> infinitely
>>>>>>> malleable and tomorrow's development, with the right kind of
>>>> mediation,
>>>>>> can
>>>>>>> become today's. This is something that DA has largely adopted from
>>> its
>>>>>>> Soviet roots....but it's not Vygotsky.
>>>>>>> c) As a result DA has to reject the core of Vygotsky's method: for
>>>>>>> Vygotsky, structure is to be explained by function, but function
>>> MUST
>>>> be
>>>>>>> explained by history, by development. Suppose I have two children.
>>> One
>>>>>>> learns, the other doesn't. The structural explanation is simply
>> that
>>>> the
>>>>>>> first one has the right mental structures to learn and the second
>>> does
>>>>>> not.
>>>>>>> The functional explanation is that the first has the right
>>> functional
>>>>>>> motivation (putative career, middle class aspirations, etc) while
>>> the
>>>>>> other
>>>>>>> does not. But the sad truth is that the vast majority of learning
>>>>>>> difficulties really are developmental. I don't think that means
>> that
>>>> they
>>>>>>> are destiny. But I do think it means that prevention is a whole
>> lot
>>>>>> easier
>>>>>>> than cure. In DA, development is Markovian: the present and the
>>> future
>>>>>> are
>>>>>>> linked causally--but not the past and the present: it's a weird
>>>> inversion
>>>>>>> of Aristotle's belief that the past was determined but the future
>> is
>>>>>>> intrinsically non-determinable.
>>>>>>> David Kellogg
>>>>>>> Macquarie University
>>>>>>> On Mon, Oct 10, 2016 at 3:52 PM, Arturo Escandon <
>>>>>> arturo.escandon@gmail.com>
>>>>>>> wrote:
>>>>>>>> David,
>>>>>>>> In my research about dynamic assessment I have been able to spot
>> a
>>>>>>>> moment students reorganise L1 and L2 concepts (related to
>>> urbanistic
>>>>>>>> and architectural city features) in such a way that they no
>> longer
>>>>>>>> "perceive" the sounds of words. Students who do not arrive to
>> that
>>>>>>>> reorganisation are not able to escape from the perceptual
>> challenge
>>>> of
>>>>>>>> oral utterances.
>>>>>>>> The first group of students tend to mediate their linguistic
>>>>>>>> production either in ideograms or Spanish-alphabet written words
>>> when
>>>>>>>> asked to take notes. The second group tend to use the Japanese
>>>>>>>> syllabic system to transliterate sounds.
>>>>>>>> Best
>>>>>>>> Arturo Escandón
>>>>>>>> On 9 October 2016 at 07:21, David Kellogg <dkellogg60@gmail.com>
>>>> wrote:
>>>>>>>>> When I read materials on Vygotsky, particularly in applied
>>>>>> linguistics or
>>>>>>>>> TESOL, I always get the "four timescales" (phylogenetic,
>>>> sociogenetic,
>>>>>>>>> ontogenetic, and microgenetic) from Mescharyakov's wonderful
>>>> article
>>>>>> on
>>>>>>>>> Vygotsky's terminology. At first, in the vain hope that it
>> would
>>>> help
>>>>>> us
>>>>>>>> to
>>>>>>>>> distinguish better between ontogenetic development and
>>> microgenetic
>>>>>>>>> learning, I used this myself (see Song and Kellogg 2011).
>>>>>>>>> Now I think that was a mistake. The term "microgenesis" was
>>> around
>>>>>> when
>>>>>>>>> Vygotsky was alive and he certainly knew about it: it's a
>>> constant
>>>>>>>> feature
>>>>>>>>> of Gestaltist studies of perception. It's also strongly
>>> associated
>>>>>> with
>>>>>>>> the
>>>>>>>>> Nazi psychology of Leipzig. Vygotsky knows about the term and
>>>> doesn't
>>>>>> use
>>>>>>>>> it, and I think he's got good reasons.
>>>>>>>>> Even where LSV agrees with the Gestaltists (Kohler, Koffka,
>>> Lewin,
>>>>>>>>> Wertheimer, Selz--they weren't all Nazis!) he doesn't seem to
>> use
>>>> the
>>>>>>>> term
>>>>>>>>> microgenesis. And actually, he's quite interested in Nazi
>>>> psychology
>>>>>> and
>>>>>>>>> not afraid to quote it, although he bitterly, scathingly,
>>> denounces
>>>>>>>>> Jaensch, Krueger, Ach, Kroh and others in "Fascism in
>>>>>> Psychoneurology". I
>>>>>>>>> think he doesn't use "microgenesis" because it conflates
>> external
>>>>>>>>> perception with perceiving meaning.
>>>>>>>>> Halliday, who also uses "phylogenetic" and "ontogenetic", calls
>>> his
>>>>>>>> "micro"
>>>>>>>>> scale logogenesis: the creation of semantics (as opposed to
>>>>>> biological,
>>>>>>>>> social, or psychological semiosis). Take Zaza's article. At a
>>>>>> particular
>>>>>>>>> point, the participants become uninterested in perceptual high
>>>>>> fidelity
>>>>>>>> and
>>>>>>>>> much more interested in meaning--what will Gogo think if she
>> sees
>>>> that
>>>>>>>> her
>>>>>>>>> daughter-in-law is using mechanical means for nursing?
>>>>>>>>> Of course, semantic meaning is always linked to perceptual
>>> meaning.
>>>>>> But
>>>>>>>>> "linked" never means equal or mutual or fully reciprocal: the
>>>> specific
>>>>>>>>> weight is first on one side and then on the other. Microgenesis
>>> is
>>>>>> what
>>>>>>>> you
>>>>>>>>> get in eye tests, and logogenesis is what you get when you are
>>>> reading
>>>>>>>>> Zaza's article (and when you are reading this post).
>>>>>>>>> David Kellogg
>>>>>>>>> Macquarie University
>> --
>> It is the dilemma of psychology to deal as a natural science with an object
>> that creates history. Ernst Boesch