This introduction to the special issue, L2 Dynamic Assessment Research in China, examines the theoretical foundations of Dynamic Assessment (DA) in the writings of L. S. Vygotsky, with particular attention to the concepts of praxis, mediation, and zone of proximal development, while also recognizing contributions from notable DA researchers such as Israeli psychologist and educator Reuven Feuerstein. Trends in the general and L2 DA research literatures are considered, including: flexible, open-ended mediation (interactionist DA) and standardized, scripted mediation (interventionist DA); formats of embedding mediation in assessment procedures (so-called ‘sandwich’ and ‘cake’ formats of DA); DA administered in classroom and group settings; DA in formal testing contexts, including computerized DA procedures; mediated scores and learning potential scores; and uses of learner profiles resulting from DA to inform instructional enrichment programs. Each article in the special issue reports original research conducted by scholars in China. How the individual studies take up and extend trends in L2 DA research is explained. Given that learning activities and the thinking associated with them are deeply saturated in specific cultural practices and norms, it is argued that extension of DA principles to new cultural contexts, such as those reported in the special issue, is informative not only for assessment researchers in China but for the international community of assessment scholars, and it is essential for the continued development of DA frameworks.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Language and Linguistics
- Linguistics and Language