On Wednesday October 21, I’ll be speaking at Penn State’s Center for Language Acquisition in their Invited Speaker Series. My topic?
Performing Other—The Life of a Languager
In his essay on the development of personality in children, Vygotsky wrote that the preschool child “can be somebody else just as easily as he can be himself.” Vygotsky attributed this to the young child’s lack of recognition that s/he is an “I.” Performing as someone else— simultaneously being who you are and other than who you are—is an essential source of development at the time of life before “I.” The “performance turn” among researchers and practitioners in human development and learning provides strong evidence that it is also a source of development after “I”. Implications for how we understand, relate to, research and “teach” language will be discussed.