Vygotsky Sociocultural Theory

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In recent years the concept of sociocultural perspective and Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) have emerged to have a great impact on learning and development. It can also be characterized as an approach in line with human science with the purpose of explaining and developing the relationship among some conditions such as mental functioning, cultural, institutional and historical condition in which mental functioning is needed. (van Lier, 2004). ZPD considered as the most fundamental idea in Vygotsky (1978) sociocultural theory. As to the importance of ZPD, Karpov's argument (cited in Haywood & Lidz, 2007) is revealing: “nowhere in the field of human endeavors is Vygotsky’s concept of zone of proximal development more relevant than in education”…show more content…
Some skills are too easy for students because they have ever mastered on them. In this side there is no learning. The other side is what student cannot do on their own. Information in this step is too hard for students and task too complicated for a student to complete without direct assistance. Between these two sides is what has been known as (ZPD). Vygotsky calls this distance sweet soft where he believes that instruction in this stage is most beneficial for students because it is just beyond the students’ current level of individual capability. Vygotsky thought of development in a series of steps. Once students have mastered the information of one step, then they would be ready to move on next step which is more slightly challenging in content. When they mastered that step then they would be able to move on next steps and the other steps. The next step is what Vygotsky called sweet soft. The best way to assist the students in this step is by using what he called the scaffolding. De Guerrero & Villamil, 2000 mentioned that the ZPD concept has been considered align with the idea of scaffolding. Scaffolding is a kind of supportive assistance on behalf of a proficient person by which an inexperienced person can achieve “higher level of regulation”.…show more content…
According to Richards (2008), the efficacy of a course can be evaluated by speaking skill because speaking can be considered as a tool to find out the proficiency in other language skills and sub skills. According to (Scrivener 2011), a common problem in discussion classes is that the students are often uninterested, lack relevant knowledge or experience, or feel nervous and even feared to talk. To improve students’ fluency and confidence, the teacher needs to enable all the students to speak as much as possible by interaction and collaboration. Pair work and small group discussion are some common communicative activities in improving speaking skills therefore, interaction is important in speaking task. However, less attention has been paid to investigate the effect of homogenous group (symmetrical scaffolding) and heterogeneous group (asymmetrical scaffolding) on speaking skills to improve their speaking ability and doing communicative

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