The social genesis of self-regulation: The case of two Korean adolescents learning english as a second language

Eun Young Jang, Ana Christina DaSilva Iddings

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


From a sociocultural perspective the concept of self-regulation is associated to voluntary control over higher and culturally organized mental functions such as, for example, focusing attention, planning a course of action, solving a problem, or deliberately remembering something. Thus, the ability to self-regulate is highly related to school success. The present article examines the ways by which two newly arrived immigrant Korean students, learning English as a second language while enrolled in a middle school in the United States, made use of old and new systems of signs (i.e., native and target languages) to (re)gain and maintain self-regulation in a new cultural and linguistic context. We conducted a microgenetic analysis of student-teacher and student-student interactions during two specific classroom writing practices that occurred regularly in the classroom. We found that the development (or activation) of self-regulation for the students was tightly intertwined with social and cultural contextual factors of the English-dominant classroom environment, which in turn afforded or constrained the use and acquisition of newly formed semiotic resources (e.g., hybrid sign systems) for the creation and expression of meaning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)350-366
Number of pages17
JournalMind, Culture, and Activity
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Anthropology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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