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Vygotsky's Development Of Language And Cognitive Development

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Complex mental process begin as social activities
Vygotsky believed that children learn through social interaction with adults. He also believed that dialogue with others help a child in promoting cognitive development. Adults, teachers and peers have major impact on the child development of mental processes.
As children develop, they gradually internalize processes they use in social contexts and begin to use them independently. This internalization process allows children to transform ideas and processes to make them uniquely their own.
According to Vygotsky (1978), much important learning by the child occurs through social interaction with a skilful tutor. The tutor may model behaviours and/or provide verbal instructions for the child.
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Speech begins as a means of communication and socializing and later becomes a tool of thinking. At this point speech and thought become interdependent. When this happens, children's monologues internalized to become inner speech. The internalization of language is important as it drives cognitive development.
Vygotsky believed that children use language to plan, guide and monitor their behaviour. (Santrock, 2011, p.220)
Children do this by using language in three forms,
1. Social speech- talking to others
2. Private speech – this is speech directed to oneself by talking aloud
3. Internalized private speech – (inner speech) the child can act without talking aloud as self-regulation and thought begins to develop.

Children first use language to develop ideas socially, which are then internalised. First children think out loud, which slowly becomes internal, private speech, which they use to organise thought. (Follari ,2007,p. 56)
Children learn through social and cultural experiences. Interactions with peers and adults can help with this process. While interacting with others children learn the customs, beliefs, and language of their culture. (Herr, 2007, p. 80)
Children can perform more challenging tasks when assisted by more advanced and competent
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The more knowledgeable other (MKO) refers to someone who has a better understanding or a higher ability level than the learner, with respect to a particular task, process, or concept. Although the implication is that the MKO is a teacher or an older adult, this is not necessarily the case. Many times, a child's peers or an adult's children may be the individuals with more knowledge or experience.
The MKO is a person who guides a child through tasks that they cannot perform on their own. The term Vygotsky used for this is Zone of Proximal development (ZPD). The ZPD is defined as:
The area of development into which a child can be led in the course of interaction with a more competent partner, either adult or peer. It is not some clear-cut space that exists independently of joint activity itself. Rather, it is the difference between what the child can accomplish independently and what he or she can achieve in conjunction with another, more competent person. The zone is thus created in the course of social interaction. (Morrison, 2009, p. 121)
The range of learning that would be beyond what the novice could learn alone but could grasp with help. (Gordon and Browne, 2008, p.
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