Zone of proximal development (ZPD) by Vygotsky’s gives a clear understanding of learning, though the implications for teachers are limited and could be explored. Conceptual analysis is used to sharpen the Zone of proximal development. This model of education includes a strong bent towards collaborative and social learning. It is defined as the difference between what an individual can do on their own, and what they can do with assistance which is scaffolding. It is therefore significant in learning and language development depending on the age and social. This process takes several steps and each stage is critical to enhancing the student learning.

Zone of Proximal Development: An Affirmative Perspective in Teaching ELLs

Zone of Proximal Development: An Affirmative Perspective in Teaching ELLs

The Process of Learning for Adolescence

A seventeen-year-old student is in the process of learning a new language. In order to teach the student the new language, several steps must be followed to ensure it is a success. The first step is continuity. According to Culligan (2013), this is the repetition of occurrences over time, where variations are connected. This will enable mastery of speech. The second step is a contextual support which is a safe but also a challenging environment. In this process, there may be errors which are accepted since it’s a learning process. The third step is intersubjectivity which involves mainly in support and mutual engagement. This can be interpreted as two minds thinking as one. Contingency is the fourth step that plays a big role in the learning process by taking measures to ensure the process stays on course. This is because scaffolding depends on learner’s understanding and reaction. The student is able to handover or takeover that is the fifth step. During this stage, the leaner’s role increases due to increase in skills and confidence. The last step is flow where the student perfects the skills and is able to communicate in a natural flow. Communication is not forced.

How to Identify the Zone of Proximal Development and How to Use Scaffolding

In order to identify that a student needs materials that are more challenging or the student needs assistance, one needs to identify the ZPD. The student is given a close examination to be able to determine this. Zone of proximal development can be seen after skill level is identified as a staircase. This shows that zone of proximal development is above one’s current skill. Scaffolding involves giving assistance to a student, in order to help them be able to complete a certain task successfully, and in the process, be able to gain knowledge and skills that can help them meet other needs in future. This method would be very helpful to a student since they lack the requisite experience or skills to complete certain tasks on their own. Scaffolding makes tools, techniques, and guidance used in effective learning available and easy to access.

When students gain competence, they are able to rely on themselves and will no longer rely on their mentors’ guidance. However, the scaffolding dynamic will be used as the student progress to the next level. The aim of scaffolding is to move students to increase levels of autonomy, competence, and knowledge. The students are able to work effectively by working with individuals who have higher comprehension levels or skills (Fitzpatrick et al., 2016).

Internalization of Social Speech

Vygotsky argued that the relationship between the world and humans is indirect. It is mediated not only by physical tools but also by symbolic tools including numbers and language. These tools allow students to change and control the world in which they live in. thus, when students master the language, cognitive activity is also mastered. According to Vygotsky, the term speech reflects that he viewed mental functioning of an individual as deriving from the internalization of social processes through mastery. Individuals use inner speech to plan what to do after engaging in verbal interaction.

By Day 4

Identify the age of the individual you are helping and explain the preliminary steps you would use to help the individual get started with the new skill. Include how you would identify the zone of proximal development for the individual and how you would use scaffolding to provide developmentally appropriate support for the individual’s learning. Indicate whether internalization of social speech is likely to occur and why.


Culligan, K. (2013). The relationship between language and thought: Exploring Vygotsky and     sociocultural approaches to second language research. Atlantic Journal of Graduate       Studies in Education, 1(1).

Fitzpatrick, J., Kostina-Ritchey, E. R. I. N., & Zadeth, S. H. (2016). Chapter five The Relevance  of Educational/Clinical Psychology: Principles to mentorship with student assistants.            Passing the Torch: Mentoring the Next Generation, 63.