Re: [xmca] Syllogism and interlanguage

From: David Kellogg <vaughndogblack who-is-at>
Date: Sun Dec 30 2007 - 07:51:37 PST

Dear Sarah and Mark:
  This is just to say that I completely agree with what Sarah says about "acquisition" in language learning HERE:

"I also think there are some problems associated with students
'acquiring' new knowledge or language. My understanding of
sociocultural theory is that learners transform their understanding in
interaction with others and with artifacts to create new meaning and
create new knowledge in doing so, a kind of social constructivist
approach. I think the notion of 'acquisition' implies some sort of
blank slate approach where the learner simply fills up their mind with
the appropriate material instead of transforming it for their own
understanding and then externalisating that understanding."

  EXACTLY! Another problem with using "acquisition" in language learning is that it refers to a binary distinction between conscious, deliberate learning and subconscious, incidental "acquisition" of form brought in by Stephen Krashen and popularized in American applied linguistics.
  For Vygotsky, the whole point of foreign language learning is that it's volitional and deliberate; it's the ability to choose, not a word or a phrase, but a whole language when you speak. To use Andy's terms, it's not just a matter of choosing a new hairstyling habitus or a new manner of speaking; it's a matter of being able to choose a whole new profession/language for yourself. Now THAT's empowering a subject!
  David Kellogg
    Seoul National University of Education

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Received on Sun Dec 30 07:53 PST 2007

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