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A sociocultural perspective of second language writing: the impact of symmetric and asymmetric scaffolding on Intermediate English learners' writing accuracy, fluency, complexity and attitude

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Document pages: 10 pages

Abstract: This study investigated the effects of different scaffolding patterns (symmetry and asymmetry) on the accuracy, fluency and complexity of Iranian EFL Students writing. Therefore, 90 intermediate female English learners participated in the preliminary English test (PET). According to the test, those with a score below the average one standard deviation are regarded as low intermediate, and those with a score above the average one standard deviation are regarded as high school. Therefore, according to their language level, participants are divided into three symmetrical and asymmetric patterns: one is the asymmetric group of high middle low middle school learners (H-L), two are the symmetrical group of high middle school learners (H-H), and the other is the asymmetric group with Low Intermediate learners (L-L). There were 30 students in each group who were, then, divided into smaller groups to interact with each other to develop their essays during a treatment. To evaluate participants’ writing skill, they were made to take a pretest and a post-test. The results of one-way ANOVA and Kruskal–Wallis H tests showed that there were significant differences between the three scaffolding patterns in the writing accuracy and complexity of the EFL students, but not their writing fluency. The findings of the content analysis for the interview further showed that the students had positive attitudes towards the use of the collaborative writing method as they found it enjoyable and beneficial. The results have implications for teachers and learners.

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