The saying, ‘through others, we become ourselves’ as used by Vygotsky, describes the happenings beyond our knowledge or control. He refers to the external forces that mould us and determine how we finally turn out to be. The tools of this exterior system are vital to the development of consciousness, and they consist of language, letters and numbers. To Vygotsky, the external meant the social settings around us that ultimately shape us according to the ‘social tools’ available in the environment. Therefore, the learning process does not just involve grasping the knowledge and skills given in the classroom; development also comes from the social settings of the immediate surrounding.
Translated to a language classroom environment, Vygotsky’s idea relates to the influence that the social setting around a student has on his L2 development. A teacher can enhance language development by providing an ideal environment with the right ‘social tools’. For example, the inclusion of pair and group activities can enhance the student’s learning and development process. Through such activities, a student grasps the skills relevant to his development. Consequently, the absence of these resources may inhibit the growth and development course.