Re: [xmca] B.V. Belyayev

From: Carol Macdonald <carolmacdon who-is-at>
Date: Thu Apr 12 2007 - 02:46:05 PDT


The book that David cites is available in multiple copies from our library
(it was evidently a setwork book at some stage). If anyone can't get a copy
and would like one, please let me know and I will speak to your very
amenable education librarian and get you one of our copies (to keep).

PS Apt extracts David. I think we can add (using other LSV concepts) that
the foreign language is formed as scientific concepts, and then the native
language must catch up having been reformulated as scientific concepts. For
young children this will take ages.

On 12/04/07, David Kellogg <> wrote:
> Belyayev (Belaev?) did publish between 1940 and 1961. His book "The
> Psychology of Teaching Foreign Languages" was published as a series of
> essays in Russian by the State Educational Publishing House of the Ministry
> of Education of the RSFSR in 1959. Here are some snippets from the English
> version (1963):
> (p. 2) "It is possible and ncessary to distinguish two basic aspects of
> teaching--education and instruction. In practice neither exists without the
> other. When giving instruction the teacher is simultaneously educating and
> vice versa. In practice education and instruction form an organic unity, but
> education and instruction must be distinguished theoretically. Education
> must be understood as sassisting the development of the pupils while
> instruction consists of enriching them with theoretical knowledge and with
> practical skills and abilities.
> "A teacher can only educate his pupils successfully and
> correctly--i.e. assist the development of their intelligence and feelings,
> will and character--if he knows what intellgence and feelings, will and
> character are and if he knows precisely what stages the pupils pass through
> in their psychological development." (p. 3)
> p. 28: "A person's speech (i.e. the actual use of language in order to
> communicate cannot possibly understood as a habit (...) Speech habits do of
> course exist, but a person's speech is never subsumed by these habits being
> always a conscious and creative activity."
> The reason I find this a more INCISIVE critique than Chomsky's famous
> review of Verbal Behavior is that Chomsky does not (and cannot) include
> consciousness as an element in creativity, which he holds is really a
> function of our biological endowment.
> But for Vygotskyans consciousness and cultural transmission (the other
> essential factor in accounting for the complexity of grammatical structure)
> are essentially the same phenomenon viewed from two different angles, the
> one psychological and the other historical.
> p. 49:
> "Are any psychological changes involved in the use of a foreign language
> in place of the native language? This question has great theoretical and
> practical importance. It has a close connection with the psychological
> analysis of thought and speech, which cannot yet be considered to have been
> conducted sufficiently widely and deeply. And in its practical implications
> the question is closely linked with the problem of how to teach languages.
> "In investigating the psychology of thinking in a foreign language we take
> it as a principle that language and thought are directly linked to each
> other and form an indissoluble whole. This gives an interesting slant to the
> question whether a person's thinking has the same character when he uses a
> foreign language as when he uses his own, or whether it is somehow
> modified."
> Belyayev then undertakes a discussion of whether concepts exist in the
> external world very similar to what Martin and I were doing not too long
> ago. He decides that only concepts at the extreme end of "object
> relatedness" are independent of mediated pychological processes and there
> are no "external" concepts.
> But he argues on the basis of a word association experiment he argues that
> logical operations such as association and generalization are independent of
> language once the mediating link of translation to the native language have
> been removed; they exist in all languages, and are equally accessible
> through education.
> This is a very strongly egalitarian and anti-relativist position, similar
> to what Vygotsky and Luria were arguing in their Uzbek work. (He is not
> arguing that languages are functionally equivalent in context; he is arguing
> for their functional equivalence across contexts!)
> David Kellogg
> Seoul National University of Education
> ---------------------------------
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Received on Thu Apr 12 04:20 PDT 2007

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