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How do socioculturalism, context embedding, and Lily Wong Fillmore's three crucial components play into the language-learning environment?  Are there any ways that a program like Mango can employ all...

How do socioculturalism, context embedding, and Lily Wong Fillmore's three crucial components play into the language-learning environment?  Are there any ways that a program like Mango can employ all of these concepts?

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The language-learning theories of socioculturalism and context embedding, alongside the Mango Language Learning Program, stand in stark contrast to the theory proposed by Lily Wong Fillmore concerning what is crucial for teachers to know to be able to teach academic English language usage effectively. Academics note that there is a significant difference between conversational English and academic English and also note that English Language Learners (ELLs) can demonstrate fluency in conversational English without also being fluent in both reading and writing in academic English. The theories of socioculturalism and contextual embedding relate to conversational English; the Mango program also teaches only conversational English. Fillmore offers methods teachers can use to help ELLs achieve literacy in academic English.

Socioculturalism is a branch of the constructivism learning theory. Constructivism teaches that knowledge is not absolute; knowledge is only a subjective construction formed in a person's mind. As a person acquires new information, that information is shaped by the person's own personal beliefs and experiences, and it's this shaped information that we consider to be knowledge. Therefore, knowledge is never absolute but instead always a product of a person's own subjective thinking. Socioculturalism takes constructivism one step further. Instead of knowledge being shaped only by a person's own subjective mind, knowledge is also shaped by the community and environment a person interacts with. Hence, knowledge is shaped by a society's culture, history, and politics, not just shaped by the separate individual. Teachers of language learners apply socioculturalism in the learning experience when they understand that students learn based on their interactions with the teacher, other students, and even the rest of society (Simon Fraser University, "Major Learning Theories of the Twentieth Century"). If teachers can create a learning environment in which students can freely interact and participate, then learning is enhanced (Eun & Lim, "A Sociocultural View of Language Learning: The Importance of Meaning-Based Instruction," TESL Canada Journal).

The theory of context embedding goes hand in hand with socioculturalism. A context-embedded language is one in which understanding is not just derived by the words in the language but by physical gestures, facial expressions, oral cues, and other sociocultural contexts, such as setting (in a classroom, in a store, in a church, etc.) and who is speaking (a friend, a parent, an uncle, a supervisor, etc.). Context embedding is...

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