An Integrated Theory of Thinking and Speaking that Draws on Vygotsky and Bakhtin/Vološinov

Main Article Content

Wolff-Michael Roth


Vygotsky’s social-psychological theory of human development and Bakhtin/Vološinov’s theory of language and the dialogical nature of thought have received increasing interest in the educational research literature but tend to remain unrelated even where co-citation occurs. In this article, I first present a model that integrates the fundamentally common features in the two approaches and present a table with the correspondences of the theoretical terms across four European languages; the model thereby integrates the psychological and sociological dimensions at the heart of the two approaches. I then articulate and elaborate on six main issues that are relevant to and have implications for research: (a) sensual life as integrative unit, (b) self-movement and development, (c) the nested relations between activity and living utterance, (d) signification, (e) vernacular as the origin and locus of development, and (f) unit analysis.

Article Details

How to Cite
Roth, W.-M. (2013). An Integrated Theory of Thinking and Speaking that Draws on Vygotsky and Bakhtin/Vološinov. Dialogic Pedagogy: A Journal for Studies of Dialogic Education, 1.
Author Biography

Wolff-Michael Roth, University of Victoria

Wolff-Michael Roth is Lansdowne Professor of Applied Cognitive Science in the Faculty of Education at the University of Victoria. His research is concerned with knowing and learning across the life span, especially as it relates to mathematics and science. His research approach is transdisciplinary, and he publishes his research in many different scholarly fields. Recent publications include What First-Person Method (Sense, 2012), Passibility: At the Limits of the Constructivist Metaphor (Springer, 2011), and Geometry as Objective Science in Elementary Classrooms (Routledge, 2010). He can be contacted at: MacLaurin Building A567, University of Victoria, Victoria, BC, V8P 5C2, Canada. Email: