Document Type : Research Paper
1 Department of English, Faculty of Humanities, Imam Khomeini International University, Qazvin, Iran
2 Imam Khomeini International University
Grammatical accuracy has always been a concern for most Iranian EFL learners. This grammatical variability is more visible in the writing of Iranian IELTS candidates. In this study, the impacts of (distributed, peer and reciprocal scaffolding on IELTS learners' horizontal grammatical variability were investigated. An explanatory mixed design was employed to measure the differences among scaffolding types and to develop a better understanding of teachers' and learners' perception toward them. 120 IELTS candidates were randomly selected from a pool of 367 candidates, and they were put in three experimental groups and a control group. Each scaffolding type was used in one of the experimental groups as the treatment. Five different essay topics were given to each student before the course and after the course. Two official IELTS mock examiners rated the writing performances according to the details of IELTS criteria about grammar accuracy and variability. Next, using an ANCOVA procedure, the data were analyzed. Moreover, the data collected in the qualitative phase were content analyzed. The findings showed that in distributed and reciprocal scaffolding classes, the differences were significant. The qualitative findings showed that although there was a discrepancy between the teachers' and the learners' attitude toward the possible success of the treatments, at the end, both parties confirmed that they can be beneficial. Due to the fact that 'time' has always been a precious parameter in IELTS preparatory classes, these findings can be of help to IELTS teachers and candidates.