Education, Science, Technology, Innovation and Life
Open Access
Sign In

Application of the Zone of Proximal Development in College English Teaching

Download as PDF

DOI: 10.23977/aduhe.2022.040709 | Downloads: 25 | Views: 754


Lulu Ni 1


1 Department of Educational & Counselling Psychology, McGill University, Montreal, Canada

Corresponding Author

Lulu Ni


As an important teaching theory, Vygotsky’s theory of the zone of proximal development (ZPD) has an undeniable guiding role in English teaching. This article is mainly aimed at college students’ English teaching classrooms and provides teachers with specific teaching processes and methods based on ZPD theory. Among them, heuristic teaching method, interactive teaching method and scaffolding teaching method are all based on the actual development level and potential development level of students in ZPD theory, as well as the peer help point of view emphasized by ZPD. This article uses the literature analysis method, combined with the actual classroom situation, to illustrate the effectiveness, limitations and further research directions of ZPD. In terms of effectiveness, this article focuses on the actual application results of ZPD in college English classrooms; In terms of limitations, this article discusses the limitations of ZPD and the deficiencies of the research in this article; In terms of future research, this article proposes empirical research necessity.


Zone of proximal development (ZPD), college English teaching, teaching process, teaching methods, scaffolding


Lulu Ni, Application of the Zone of Proximal Development in College English Teaching. Adult and Higher Education (2022) Vol. 4: 49-54. DOI:


[1] Vygotsky, L. Interaction between learning and development. Readings on the development of children, 1978, 23 (3): 34-41.
[2] Valsiner, J., vander Veer, R. Encountering the border: Vygotsky's zona blizaishego razvitya and its implications for theory of development//The Cambridge handbook of cultural-historical psychology. Cambridge University Press, 2014: 148-174.
[3] Lantolf, J.P., Thorne, S.L., Poehner, M.E. Sociocultural theory and second language development//Theories in second language acquisition. Routledge, 2014: 221-240.
[4] Van Compernolle, R.A., Williams, L. Promoting sociolinguistic competence in the classroom zone of proximal development. Language Teaching Research, 2012, 16 (1): 39-60.
[5] Rezaee, A. A., Azizi, Z. The role of zone of proximal development in the students’ learning of English adverbs. Journal of Language Teaching and Research, 2012, 3 (1): 51-57.
[6] Nassaji, H., Cumming, A. What's in a ZPD? A case study of a young ESL student and teacher interacting through dialogue journals. Language teaching research, 2000, 4 (2): 95-121.
[7] De Guerrero, M.C.M., Villamil, O.S. Activating the ZPD: Mutual scaffolding in L2 peer revision. The Modern Language Journal, 2000, 84 (1): 51-68.
[8] Guk, I., Kellogg, D. The ZPD and whole class teaching: Teacher-led and student-led interactional mediation of tasks. Language Teaching Research, 2007, 11 (3): 281-299.
[9] Khaliliaqdam, S. ZPD., scaffolding and basic speech development in EFL context. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 2014, 98: 891-897.
[10] Fani, T., Ghaemi, F. Implications of Vygotsky's zone of proximal development (ZPD) in teacher education: ZPTD and self-scaffolding. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 2011, 29: 1549-1554.
[11] Wass, R., Harland, T., Mercer, A. Scaffolding critical thinking in the zone of proximal development. Higher Education Research & Development, 2011, 30 (3): 317-328.
[12] Vygotsky, L.S. Thought and language. MIT press, 2012.
[13] Gregg, K.R. The input hypothesis: Issues and implications. 1986.
[14] Mirzaei, A., Eslami, Z. R. ZPD-activated languaging and collaborative L2 writing. Educational Psychology, 2015, 35 (1): 5-25.
[15] Bruner, J. Vygotsky’s zone of proximal development: The hidden agenda. New directions for child development, 1984.

All published work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Copyright © 2016 - 2031 Clausius Scientific Press Inc. All Rights Reserved.