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CFP: Language and Sociocultural Theory

Call for Papers

Language and Sociocultural Theory announces the call for papers for a special issue on
Overview and purpose of the special issue:
SCOBAs (Schema of a Complete Orienting Basis of an Action) are a fundamental component of Systemic Theoretical Instruction (STI), the pedagogical model proposed by Gal’perin andcolleagues (Gal’perin, 1989, 1992; see also Lantolf & Poehner, 2014). In North America, STI is becoming more widely known under the label Concept-based Instruction (CBI). As a fundamental component of CBI, SCOBAs represent the essential tools at the heart of instruction leading and driving development (Vygotsky, 1987). CBI emphasizes the importance of both the quality of cognitive tools as well as the way in which the tools are deployed in the instructional process. In this special issue on SCOBAs, we invite authors to focus on the former or the latter or both. A series of recent and current studies framed within Sociocultural Theory and guided by essential tenets of CBI have explored the conceptualization, implementation, and evaluation of SCOBAs for foreign/second language (L2) instruction. SCOBAs have been produced to teach a variety of language features across a range of L2s. Examples include verbal tense, aspect, and voice (Negueruela, 2003; Swain et al., 2009; Gánem-Gutiérrez & Harun, 2011; Lai, 2012; Masuda et al., 2017; Fazilatfar et al., 2017; García, 2017), polysemous items (White 2012; Masuda & Labarca, 2015; Buescher & Strauss, 2018), pragmatics (van Compernolle 2012; Kim 2013; Zhang, 2014; Ohta, 2017; Ohta & Tsujihara, 2017), genre (Johnson, 2008), and discourse (Hadid, 2017). The diversity apparent in how scholars interpret and produce SCOBAs has shone a light on the need to reflect on issues regarding the conceptualization and materialization of such tools. Attention to SCOBA design as a critical component of STI is essential given the key role of mediation tools to support and lead development (Arievitch & Stetsenko, 2000). The overall objective of this special issue is, therefore, to offer a collection of theoretical and empirical papers based on a discussion and critical analysis of the concept of SCOBA asoriginally envisaged by Gal’perin, and expanded in contemporary SCT-L2 research. The ultimate aim is to elucidate the essential and specific characteristics of SCOBAs. On this basis, specific topics may include, but are not limited to the following: How do we define and understand the concept of SCOBA? What is the SCOBA’spurpose within CBI and Language Education in general? What distinguishes SCOBAs from other types of pedagogical materials? What role do SCOBAs play in the process of materialization of concepts? How are SCOBAs best utilized? How do we assess the quality of the content of SCOBAs (e.g., underlying concepts, models, characteristics) designed to teach specific language features (e.g., tense/aspect distinctions, mood, voice, etc.)?

Preparation and submission of papers and review process
Interested authors should submit a 200-word abstract as email attachment to the guest editors (see below). Upon an in-house review of the abstracts, authors will be invited to submit a full paper. The full paper will undergo the normal external peer review for the journal Language and Sociocultural Theory. Manuscripts submitted for consideration must not have been published, accepted for publication or be under consideration for publication elsewhere.
For specific details on submission requirements, please follow Author Guidelines as stated in Language and Sociocultural Theory (
Please address all questions to the guest editors:
Benjamin White, email:
Gabriela Adela Gánem-Gutiérrez, email:
Mathias Schulze, email:

Timeline Call for Papers: January 28, 2019
Submission of 200-word abstract: February 28, 2019
Invitation to submit full paper: March 15, 2019
Submission of full paper: September 1, 2019 Publication of special issue: September 2020

References: Arievitch, I. M., & Stetsenko, A. (2000). The Quality of Cultural Tools and CognitiveDevelopment: Gal’perin’s Perspective and Its Implications. Human development,43(2), 69-92. Buescher, K., & Strauss, S. (2018). Conceptual framework and L2 pedagogy: The case of French Prepositions. In A. E. Tyler, L. Ortega, M. Uno, & H. Park (Eds.), Usage- inspired L2 Instruction; Researched Pedagogy (pp. 95-115). Amsterdam: John Benjamins. Fazilatfar, A. M., Jabbari, A. A., & Harsij, R. (2017). Concept-based instruction and teaching English tense and aspect to Iranian school learners. Issues in Language Teaching,6(1), 179–145. Gal’perin, Piotr I. 1989 [1957]. Mental actions as a basis for the formation of thoughts andimages. Soviet Psychology, 27(2), 45–64. Gal’perin, Piotr I. 1992 [1978]. Stage-by-stage formation as a method of psychological investigation. Journal of Russian and East European Psychology, 30(4), 60–80. Gánem-Gutiérrez, G. A., & Harun, H. 2011. Verbalisation as a mediational tool for understanding tense- aspect marking in English: an application of Concept-Based Instruction. Language Awareness, 20(2), 99-119. García, P. N. (2017). Implementing concept-‐based instruction in the heritage languageclassroom: A pedagogical proposal. Euro American Journal of Applied Linguistics and Languages, 4, 1–19. Hadidi, A. (2017). Cognition and Rhetoric in English Language Learners' Writing: A Developmental Study (Unpublished PhD dissertation). York University. Johnson, N. H. (2008). Genre as concept in second language academic writing pedagogy(Unpublished PhD dissertation). The University of Arizona. Kim, J. (2013). Developing conceptual understanding of sarcasm in a second language through concept-based instruction (Unpublished PhD dissertation). The Pennsylvania State University. Lai, W. (2012). Concept-based foreign language pedagogy: Teaching the Chinese temporal system (Unpublished PhD dissertation). The Pennsylvania State University. Lantolf, J. P., & Poehner, M. (2014). Sociocultural Theory and the Pedagogical Imperative in L2 Education. New York & London: Routledge. Masuda, K., & Labarca, A. (2015). Schematic diagram use and languaging quality in learning Japanese polysemous particles ni and de. In K. Masuda, C. Arnett & A. Labarca (Eds.), Cognitive Linguistics and Sociocultural Theory: Applications for Second and Foreign Language Teaching (pp. 203–232). Berlin & Boston: Mouton de Gruyter. Masuda, K, Ohta, A., & Tsujihara, R. (2017). Shakaibunka riron to ninichi gengogaku no yuuwa o mezashite: Asupekuto maakaa teiru no jissen rei, The 28th Japanese Association of Second Language Acquisition Conference, Ochanomizu University, Tokyo, December 16-17, 2017. Negueruela, E. (2003). A sociocultural approach to the teaching and learning of second languages: Systemic-theoretical instruction and L2 development. (Unpublished PhD dissertation). The Pennsylvania State University. Ohta, A. S. (2017). From SCOBA development to implementation in concept-based instruction: Conceptualizing and teaching Japanese addressee honorifics as expressing modes of self. Language and Sociocultural Theory 4 (2). 1–32 Ohta, A. S., & Tsujihara, R. (2017). Teaching addressee honorifics in Japanese using concept-based instruction (CBI): A qualitative, intact classroom study. Paper presented at the Conference of the American Association for Applied Linguistics, Portland, Oregon, 18–21 March. Swain, M., Lapkin, S., Knouzi, I., Suzuki W., & Brooks, L. (2009). Languaging: University students learn the grammatical concept of voice in French. The Modern Language Journal, 93 (1), 5–29. Van Compernolle, R. A. (2014). Sociocultural theory and L2 instructional pragmatics (Vol. 74). Bristol: Multilingual Matters. Vygotsky, L. S. (1987). The collected works of L. S. Vygotsky, Volume 1. Problems of general psychology, including the volume Thinking and Speech. New York & London: Plenum Press. White, B. J. (2012). A conceptual approach to the instruction of phrasal verbs. The Modern Language Journal, 96(3), 419-438. Zhang, X. (2014). The teachability hypothesis and concept-based instruction topicalization in Chinese as a second language (Unpublished PhD dissertation). The Pennsylvania State University.

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