Ontogenesis of speech act

Facility of child’s psychological and personal development.

The analysis of possibility of reaching the first educational aim – all-around development of child’s personality expects consideration of one of the main conceptions of pedagogical psychology. According to this conception education is considered not only as condition, but also as base, facility of child’s psychological and personal development.

This concept was accepted not only by Soviet scientists but also by cognitive psychologist J. Bruner.

L.S. Vygotsky wrote “ .. education and development are always in close relationship. Herewith education overtakes development, stimulates it and at the same time leans on actual development. Consequently education must be oriented not for past, but for future child’s development.’

L.S. Vygotsky basing on the close relationship between education and development and formulated important for pedagogy and psychology concept about two levels of child’s mental development: level of actual development and level (zone) of nearest development. According to L.S. Vigotskij, child reaches this level of psychological development in cooperation with adults not only by direct imitation his activities, but also by solving problems which are in child’s zone of intellectual possibilities. On this basis in pedagogical psychology the principle of ‘overtaking education’ was formulated. This principle defines effective organization of education which is aimed at strengthening, developing intellectual activities of children, formation their abilities in self-development and abilities independently to produce knowledge in collaboration with other children. Characteristics of child’s mental development necessarily includes an analysis of the driving forces of this process. These are all sorts of contradictions:

- between child’s need’s and circumstances;

- between increasing opportunities and old forms of activities;

- between requirements generated by the new activity and opportunities of their satisfaction;

-between new performance requirements and unformed skills.

In other words, driving forces of child’s mental development are contradictions between achieved level of knowledge, skills and abilities development and types of person’s relationships with environment.

According to L.S. Vygotsky mental development – is a quality of personality changes during which in different dynamics age new entities (новообразования) are formed. Development can proceed slowly and gradually or violently and rapidly.

L.S. Vygotsky also introduced the concept ‘social situation of development’, which defines content, direction of this process and formation of the central line of development associated with new entities.

‘Social situation of development’ – is a system of relationship between child and environment. Changes in the following system are defined by main law of age dynamics. According to this law ‘force which move child’s development at the defined age leads to the denial and destruction of age’s developmental basis….’

L.S. Vygotsky always noted that mental development is a holistic personal development. But in our analysis we will proceed from the understanding that development may be considered as structural notion. So in personal development we can point out following lines of development:

- cognitive sphere (mental development, development of consciousness mechanisms);

- psychological activity structure(formation of goals and motives and development of their relationships);

- personality (directivity of value orientations, self-consciousness, self-appraisal).

In research works of L.S. Vygotsky, A.N. Leontiev, D.B. Elkonin, L.I. Bojovich child’s personality development is defined by consistent formation of personal entities. L.I. Bojovich analysis mentioned entities through five periods of child’s personality development.(Illustration – 1.1)


Illustration 1.1 - Child’s personality development by L.I. Bojovich

The age periods considered by L.I. Bojovich match personal life crisis of 1st, 3rd and 7th year and two phases of teenage. General and the most important for pedagogical psychology deduction is that during educational process teacher must take into consideration particularities of personal development. It will help to overcome age crisis of pupil and prevent frustration and nervous breakdowns.

For better understanding of child’s personal development in special interest are the early periods under 7 years. It is called personal genesis, i.e. formation and development of personality. One of the leading researchers of this matter V.S. Muhina considers this process as consistent, level, step-by-step formation of child’s consciousness’ structure.

Evolving as a person child forms as a subject of activity process. It is the 3rd line of child’s mental development. During activity development, first of all, child learns how to arbitrarily set the link between motive and purpose, aim. Child learns to plan, organize his activity. On the basis of reflection self-verification and self-regulation skills are worked out.

The analysis of child’s mental development shows that all tree mentioned lines are closely interconnected. Only in their correlated realization such complicated progressive process called personal, mental development is possible. At the same time all pointed concepts of pedagogical psychology pays attention on such important thing as developing education with the help of all teaching subjects and also of foreign language.

All of the above shows that PTFL as the branch of pedagogical psychology has its own research subject which bases on common to all pedagogical psychology’s methodological and theoretical principles. At the same time, specifics of the foreign language as an educational discipline assumes determination of psychological principles, such as:

- communicability of education, i.e. inclusion communication as a form of relationship in educational process;

- personal significance of communicational subject, i.e. significance of communicational problem and subject for the student;

- satisfaction of a student with communicational situation;

- student’s reflexivity;

- positive experience of the student’s success of communication;

One more moment which we have to mention when talking about language learning is such comparatively young branch and connecting link between person (psychology) and speech (linguistics) is Psycholinguistics.

References & Suggested Readings

1 Bloom L. Language Development. – Cambridge (Mass.), 1970. – 564p.

2 Braine M.D.S. The insufficiency of a finite state model for verbal reconstructive memory // Psychonomic Science. – 1965. – V. 2. - p.132-138.

3 Bruner J.S. From communication to language // Cognition. V. 33. 1974–1975.

4 Carroll J.B. The Study of Language. – Cambridge (Mass.), 1953.

5 Carroll J.B. Language and thought. – Englewood Cliffs, 1964.

6 Chomsky N. A Review of Verbal Behavior, by B.F. Skinner // Language. V 35. – 1959. № 1.

7 Clark H.N., Clark E. V. Psychology of Language. An Introduction to Psycholinguistics. – New York, 1977. – 165p.

8 Diller, Karl Conrad. The Language Teaching Controversy. Rowley, Massachusetts: Newbury House, 1978. - 239p.

Lecture 4

Theme: Psychological features of speech acts and foreign language skills and habits on different age stages of learning


1.Speech act structure and speech function.

2.Speech development

Specificity of foreign language as an educational subject is determined by the fact that it being characterized by the features inherent to the language as sign system, at the same time is denoted by different from native languages peculiarities of possession and acquisition.

In consideration of foreign languages peculiarities we will talk about it through the analysis of particularities of acquisition of foreign language in comparison with native language. Foreign language acquisition differs from native language in following items:

1) according to the direction of language acquisition by L.S. Vigotskij;

2) according to the density of communication;

3) according to the existence of language in subjective-communicative activity;

4) according to the collection of functions realized by language;

5) according to the coincidence of foreign language acquisition with sensitive period of speech development.

Now we are going to consider foreign language acquisition particularities according to the following items in details.

L.S. Vygotsky was the first scientist who characterized different ways or direction of foreign language acquisition and native language acquisition. He defined this way to the native language as “from bottom to top” and to the foreign language inversely “from top to bottom”. “We can say that foreign language acquisition goes by the way opposite to the native language acquisition. A child posses native language unconsciously and without any purpose, but foreign language starting with purpose and setting goals. Because of it we can say that native language acquisition goes by the direction “from bottom to top” and foreign language acquisition “from top to bottom”. The concept about different direction of language acquisition must be first of all taken into account in foreign language teaching in school education.

Foreign language in school can no longer be the same extent as a native, to serve as a means of "appropriation" of social experience, an instrument of cognition of reality. Mastering a foreign language is most often determined by the 'satisfaction of learning and cognitive needs, or needs of understanding expressions of his own thought.''

As noted by L. Sherba, "Observation of the tongue are the observations of thinking ..." and "does this premise, compelling a person to stop the flow of his speech, and, therefore, thinking, making the penis it apart to try to understand the relation these parts and compare them with each other and deepen their understanding of it.". And further assertion that learning a foreign language is a means of "development of dialectical thinking", which correlates with the intrinsic human need analysis form of expression, speaking as a tool for reflection.

Considering the three aspects of linguistic phenomena, L. Sherba pointed out a very important for foreign language teaching position. According to the author, language system and language material are just different aspects of this unique experience in speech activities". In other words, L. Sherba, revealing the heterogeneity of "linguistic phenomena, identified a source that lies at their core - namely, person’s speech activity


Language is a complex, specialized skill, which develops in the child spontaneously, without conscious effort or formal instruc­tion, is deployed without awareness of its underlying logic, is qual­itatively the same in every individual, and is distinct from more general abilities to process information or behave intelligently,

On the other hand, you might have offered a synthesis of standard def­initions out of introductory textbooks: "Language is a system of arbitrary conventionalized vocal, written, or gestural symbols that enable members of a given community to communicate intelligibly with one another." Depending on how fussy you were in your response, you might also have included some mention of

a) the creativity of language;

b) the presumed primacy of speech over writing;

c) the universality of language among human beings.

A consolidation of a number of possible definitions of language are presented in Illustration – 1.3


Illustration 1.3 - Various definitions of “language”


These eight statements provide a reasonably concise "twenty-five-word-or-less" definition of language. But the simplicity of the eightfold definition should not be allowed to mask the sophistication of linguistic research underlying each concept. Enormous fields and subfields, year-long university courses, are suggested in each of the eight categories

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