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Learning: A Social Perspective

  • Dawn Karen Booth
Chapter
Part of the English Language Education book series (ELED, volume 12)

Abstract

A key obstacle to investigating the effect of testing on learning is the plethora of often conflicting conceptions of learning in SLA (Second Language Acquisition). The concept of learning is also often unclearly defined in studies investigating washback on learning. The aim of this chapter, therefore, is to present a conceptualisation of learning that may untangle some of the complexity associated with language testing and learning. It begins by establishing the focus of learning under investigation in this book aslearning as a process, and discusses key differences between cognitive and social theories in SLA. The chapter further describes the central tenets of social cultural theory (SCT) within social SLA and establishes a theoretical framework from which learning may be operationalised. The chapter then considers the important role of human agency in the language learning process and examines the complex interplay between the learner and their situated (social, cultural, and historical) context. Finally, Activity Theory (AT), within SCT, is introduced as a theoretical framework from which to explore washback. Through the triangulation of washback theory and Activity Theory, four major research questions are presented as a guide from which to investigate the washback of the TOEIC on language learners.

Keywords

Washback Learning Language learning English Second language acquisition Social SLA Sociocultural theory Activity theory TOEIC Agency Sociocultural framework Vygotsky 

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© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dawn Karen Booth
    • 1
  1. 1.AucklandNew Zealand

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