Vygotsky's Sociocultural Theory

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According to Lantolf and Pavlenko (1995) the aim of socio-cultural theory is recognizing the way human beings arrange and employ their minds for performing the act of living. However, as Vygotsky (1978) believes, the study of people’s mental activities is not adequately achievable through particular tests or by introspective techniques. Vygotsky (1978) suggests that mental functions will be thoroughly studied while perceived either during development by the passage of time, or while it is interrupted, like in pathological conduct. That is, human’s mental activities could be analyzed while interacting with other people. Or as Lantolf and Appel (1994) argue, socio-cultural theorists use participation metaphor rather than the acquisition in their works, since learning is a social activity rather than an individualistic one. It is argued that mental functions and socio-cultural activity are closely connected and the ontogenetic growth of children, involves the combination of considered mediational methods into biological sets of manners (Lantolf & Pavlenko, 1995). A key concept of the SCT, which was drawn from Vygotsky’s law of cultural development, is the Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD). Lantolf and Thorne (2006), maintain that based on ZPD, interaction with other persons forms an activity frame that relates the present developmental level to the prospective development that may occur through collaboration with a more competent individual. Vygotsky (1978) defined ZPD as the
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