The Role of Visual Scaffolding in Enhancing Iranian EFL Students’ Writing Ability

Document Type: Research Paper

Authors

1 Assistant Professor, Applied Linguistics, Allameh Tabataba'i University, Tehran, Iran

2 Ph.D. Candidate, Applied Linguistics, Allameh Tabataba'i University, Tehran, Iran

10.22054/ilt.2020.51861.492

Abstract

To better illuminate the link between scaffolding and visual aids, this quasi-experimental study attempted to scaffold an intact group of 14 intermediate-level Iranian English as a foreign language (EFL) learners through providing graphs with the aim of enhancing their writing ability. Ensuring lack of familiarity with eight unknown words, they were scaffolded through visual images. The scaffolding process included three respective phases of contingency, fading, and transferring. As post-tests for checking the learners’ understanding of and opinion about the graph scaffolding process, a researcher-made questionnaire and a semi-structured interview followed the treatment phase. The results of the questionnaire showed that visual scaffolding aided the learners to better grasp the meaning of the target vocabularies and even some grammatical points in the materials. Moreover, the visual scaffolding helped them to produce the material in different modalities. The results also indicated all the three characteristics of scaffolding were met by the visual scaffolding. Finally, the interview results revealed the learners had favorable attitude toward visual scaffolding and considered the third phase of the scaffolding as the most challenging one. It can be concluded that the findings gave credence to the effectiveness of visual scaffolding in improving EFL students’ writing ability.

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