Abstract : This thesis examines the potential of sociocultural theory, which considers human cognition as mediated through humans and cultural tools, and its impact on the domain of applied linguistics, particularly with respect to foreign language education. The analysis uses an experimental learning environment for future language teachers, while taking into consideration the social and technological dimensions of this training context. This study uses data from a pre-professional training project combining classroom meetings and online collaboration tools (called « le français en “première” ligne ») and has two research objectives: 1) to analyse the practices and inter-individual processes as situated in the technological environment and distributed amongst learners. 2) to develop powerful hybrid learning environments with a view to aiding training practices.
Theoretically underpinning this project is the idea that cognition is mediated through both social relations and cultural tools, and therefore the framework draws heavily on sociocultural theory. Using an interdisciplinary approach, this work draws on four approaches that are often associated with sociocultural theory: 1) activity theory, distributed cognition, situated cognition, and socially shared cognition. Also used within the project's analysis is the interdisciplinary field of Computer Based Collaborative Learning (CSCL).