Video analysis 3 socio cultural theory

Socio Cultural Theory Lecturer The socio cultural theoretical perspective views learning as a process where participation is transformed in socio cultural activities that are highly valued. Interaction becomes the main criteria for transforming culture, which involves the passage of cognitive and physical aspects. The theoretical perspective also holds that learning is facilitated when people are given a chance to practice using the tools given, which enhances their cognitive ability. However, their seniors or experts must guide them. As time goes by, the learners gain the required experience as they familiarize with the tools. They gain increased responsibility and become fully participative in the activities under consideration. It is worth pointing that when learners are engaged in playful environments, their cognitive abilities are enhanced. This enables them to perform challenging tasks with assistance (Mitchell and Myles, 2004, p. 262).

The video outlines the reasons behind fostering interaction in the classroom. Interaction accommodates learning differences and styles from different students while providing students with an excellent environment for getting involved in different cognitive abilities. Further, interaction motivates students to learn through improving on task engagement while enabling students to get involved in engaging activities. The video uses two examples to elaborate on the aforementioned reasons of fostering student interaction.

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According to Foster and Ohta (2005), assistance enables a learner to do something that he/she would not have otherwise done (p. 414). This is exemplified in the video, where students are seen assisting one another in the various tasks. For instance, in the second example in the video, we see the students assisting each other to write a correct sentence. The teacher finally assists them to develop correct sentences. Interaction is another crucial aspect, which is exemplified in the video. Establishment and management of an interactive environment is essential in facilitating learning (Zuengler and Miller, 2006). In the video, students are seen interacting with others and with their teacher in completing the tasks given.

Further, playing and attempting challenging tasks (in assistance) help students to enhance their cognitive abilities. In the video, specifically in the first example, students are seen engaging in a competitive situation. This is tantamount to playing, which enables students to think fast (whether the sentence given is true or false). In the second example in the video, students are seen carrying out challenging task, writing a sentence, with the help of their teacher.

According to Foster and Ohta (2005), learners are most probably to adhere to instructions if they expect to participate in the activity under consideration. This is essentially the active form of participation. In the video, students are seen to be keen to the instructions given by their teacher. For example, in the second example, students are seen striving to describe the animal as directed by their teacher. They discuss, in their groups, to ensure that their sentences are correct. A similar case is evident in the first example.

One alternative practice would be scaffolding, which involves interaction between a learner and the learning facilitator in order to assist the learner in gaining concepts that he cannot learn by himself. Like the socio cultural theory, the scaffolding theory supports for beneficial interaction, which is the basis of the video. For example, a teacher may pose a challenging task, ask for various approaches to the task and then give constructive feedback. This is essentially soft scaffolding.

Hard scaffolding would be another alternative to the interaction aspect of socio cultural perspective. Specifically, this approach is helpful where learners’ needs are diversified. In hard scaffolding, the facilitator helps learners to understand complex tasks by planning the assistance in advance. Consider, for example, a situation where students are supposed to develop a mathematical formula. The teacher could give them hints, which would enable them to reach a high level of thinking.


Foster, P., and Ohta, S. (2005). Negotiation for Meaning and Peer Assistance in Second

Language Classrooms. Applied Linguistics. 26/3, 402-430.

Mitchell, R., and Myles, F. (2004). Second Language Learning Theories, Second Edition.

London: Edward Arnold, p 262.

Zuengler, J., and Miller, E. R. (2006). Cognitive and Sociocultural Perspectives: Two Parallel

SLA Worlds? TESOL Quarterly. 40, 35-58.

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