Variability in Peer-peer Scaffolding during Writing Tasks in L2 English

Document Type: Original Article

Authors

Department of Foreign Languages and Linguistics, Faculty of Art and Humanities, Shiraz University

Abstract

 

 Although the literature on collaborative writing has revealed the advantages of collaboration in improving the writing quality of learners, few studies have examined the development of the interaction qualities during collaboration. Thus, the present study tracked the development of scaffolding episodes (SEs) in the collaborative performance of two purposively selected pairs (from among eight pairs) of EFL learners within the frameworks of sociocultural theory (Vygotsky, 1978) and dynamic systems theory (Thelen & Smith, 1994). The pairs were asked to write on eight tasks during the semester. The microgenetic analysis of the pairs’ interactions in terms of SEs showed that suggesting was the most frequently used SE by Pair C and Pair D; instructing was the least frequently used SE by Pair C; translating was the least frequently used SE by Pair D. In addition, the analysis of the language related episodes (LREs) used during the scaffolding process indicated that although Pair C produced more turns than Pair D, the frequency of LREs per turn was more in the productions of Pair D. Moreover, among different types of LRE (i.e., form, lexis and mechanics), lexis was produced most frequently by both pairs. 

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