A sociocultural account of the role of imitation in instructed second language learning

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    Interaction is an important theme in current discussions of second language acquisition, second language pedagogy, and classroom second language learning. It is widely acknowledged in SLA that interaction is an essential factor for acquisition; equally, interaction is a cornerstone of second language pedagogy focused on developing learners’ communicative competence. Recent advancements have been made in SLA research as well as second language pedagogy in the area of interaction, with sociocultural theory based on several key constructs of Vygotsky’s providing new perspectives on the processes that are ignited when learners are steeped in interactive learning. This study reports on classroom investigations into these interactive processes that provide evidence for language learning. Of specific interest is the phenomenon of imitation, as defined in terms drawn from sociocultural theory, and the pedagogic practices which provide the stage for imitation to occur, and thus support second language development.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)61-91
    Number of pages31
    JournalJournal of linguistics and language teaching
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2012


    • classroom interaction
    • sociocultural theory
    • zone of proximal development
    • internalization
    • imitation
    • models
    • language development in context
    • second language pedagogy


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