Sociocultural Theory and the Teaching of Second Languages - James P. Lantolf

Sociocultural Theory and the Teaching of Second Languages - James P. Lantolf

5 Embodied Language Performance: Drama and the ZPD in the Second Language Classroom

Sociocultural Theory and the Teaching of Second Languages - James P. Lantolf

John R Haught [+-]
Wright State University
Department of English
Steven G. McCafferty [+-]
University of Nevada -- Las Vegas
Steven G. McCafferty is a professor of applied linguistics in the Department of Educational Psychology and Higher Education at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. His research interests center primarily on the application of sociocultural theory to L2 development with regard to learners of English. Along with other publications, he served as the editor for a Special Issue of the International Journal of Applied Linguistics on “Private and inner forms of speech and gesture and second language learning” (2004), was the co-editor with Marianne Gullberg for a Special Issue of Studies in Second Language Acquisition on L2 gesture studies (2008), and co-editor of a book on L2 gesture studies with Gale Stam, Gesture: Second Language Acquisition and Classroom Research (2008). He also taught a course on L2 gesture studies at the 2009 Summer Institute in Applied Linguistics, is an active member in AAAL and ISGS, a former Chair of the Applied Linguistics Interest Section, TESOL, and the seventh Host/Chair for the SCT and L2 gathering (conference) in 1997.

Description

In the chapter by Haught and McCafferty ‘Embodied Language Performance: Drama and the ZPD in the Second Language Classroom,’ play in the ZPD is not concerned directly with students’ lived experiences but rather with engaging them in the life and identity of another. These authors build directly on Vygotsky’s analysis of role playing as a leading activity in child development to devise an ESL pedagogy around drama. While acknowledging that the value of drama in the classroom has been recognized for some time, Haught and McCafferty argue that through a process of careful modeling by the teacher, individual and class rehearsals and eventual performance, learners are guided into ‘playing’ beyond their current level of development. In other words, drama serves as a mediating activity to support learners’ development as they act out the part of another in the L2. The power of drama-based pedagogy, according to Haught and McCafferty, is that rehearsal and performance involve not simply repeating lines or copying a model but imitation in the Vygotskian sense of transformative appropriation, or internalization, of ways of thinking and behaving. They also rely on Bakhtin’s notion of ventriloquation to explicate the dynamics of learners’ emergent and embodied performances, which went well beyond the teacher’s modeling to include unique interpretations of characters, their feelings and motivations as communicated through facial expression, gesture, intonation and improvisation. In effect, the students created roles for themselves through the second language and culture.

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Citation

Haught, John; McCafferty, Steven. 5 Embodied Language Performance: Drama and the ZPD in the Second Language Classroom. Sociocultural Theory and the Teaching of Second Languages. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. 139-162 Jul 2008. ISBN 9781845532505. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=29306. Date accessed: 21 Feb 2024 doi: 10.1558/equinox.29306. Jul 2008

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