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Vygotsky’s psycho-semiotics

Theories, instrument and interpretive analyses- In collaboration with Frith Luton

Charlotte Hua Liu

Reviewing and elaborating L. S. Vygotsky’s view of language mediated development, this work presents an extension of the Russian thinker’s developmental psycho-semiotics to an educational psycho-semiotics. Interpreting original discussions of tool-mediation as developmental mechanism, this book addresses the question of what occurs in the interpersonal environment that enables the internalisation of tool and the development of thinking. Filling in a gap in Vygotsky’s theoretical framework, it discusses in detail inter-psychological processes as the social origins of changes in the intra-psychological domain.
Besides theoretical descriptions, this book also offers an original instrument for educational research or practitioners’ reflection of micro-genetic processes of interaction and change. This instrument is then applied in interpretive analyses of real-life classroom exchanges.


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APPENDIX 1 GENERAL BACKGROUNDS OF SCHOOLS, TEACHERS AND STUDENTS 1. School 1, Ms A The School School 1 was among the longest standing and most prestigious local educational institutes, with about 1000 students in its primary and secondary sections. The school established an image of enjoying high academic results and offering a multitude of sports, arts, and extra- curricular activities for its students. In the year before the research, a percentage of 95 was recorded of graduates’ university entrance. A rep- utation of being progressive had been nurtured through school publicity channels (website and newsletters) and in students and staff. During the school visits, more than once the researcher heard the teacher and stu- dent participants positively contrast School 1 with their neighbouring, ‘more conservative’ counterpart. In recent years, international student population saw an increase, as a result of, as reported by the school’s International Coordinator, strengthened emphases and efforts for overseas marketing. At the time of the research, the school had about 40 international students enrolled. To adjust for the growing needs of international students, the school recently assigned a classroom to their exclusive use (for language les- sons and lunches, etc.), and developed a new language program called the International Students’ Transition Program as part of new-comers’ curricula. Although images of their Asian clienteles had started to appear in school publications, from reports of teachers and students, international students were a new phenomenon at the school. Local stu- dents passing by often cast curious glances through the windows...

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