Sociocultural Theory and the Pedagogical Imperative

James P. Lantolf

in The Oxford Handbook of Applied Linguistics

Second edition

Published in print September 2010 | ISBN: 9780195384253
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

Sociocultural Theory and the Pedagogical Imperative

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  • Linguistics
  • Sociolinguistics
  • Language Acquisition



This article focuses on the idea of sociocultural theory and the pedagogical imperative. Sociocultural theory has long been used as a lens to explain the processes involved in second language learning and instruction. This article extensively refers to some of the major theorists in the field of linguistics. It then presents selected data and findings from a recent study by Ferreira on ESL writing instruction that adopts Vygotsky's original perspective on theory and research. Two studies, by Negueruela and Poehner, have focused heavily on grammar learning and are already well known in the literature. These studies have approached grammar as conceptual knowledge that may help learners more effectively to create meanings that express their particular communicative intentions. This theory not only informs but also guides research carried out under controlled laboratory conditions, which includes the classroom setting when it is treated as a quasi-experimental venue.

Keywords: sociocultural theory; pedagogical imperative; second language; linguistics; quasi-experimental venue; communicative intentions

Article.  6534 words. 

Subjects: Linguistics ; Sociolinguistics ; Language Acquisition

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