Improving EFL Learners' Argumentative Writing Ability: Teacher vs. Peer Scaffolding

Document Type : Original Article


1 Buein Zahra Technical University

2 Imam Khomeini International University


Scaffolding is a temporary entity which enables the novice to achieve his/her potential and then is eliminated when they enhance their learning. Accordingly, this project aimed to investigate the impact of teacher and peer scaffolding on the participants' argumentative writing ability. To this end, one hundred students at Imam Khomeini International University were randomly assigned to four groups: teacher scaffolding, peer scaffolding, teacher and peer scaffolding, and the control group. The treatment lasted for six sessions for each group in three months for the experimental groups. The participants in the control group, however, received no scaffolding treatment. The results of one-way ANOVA conducted on the participants' post-test writings indicated that the total argumentative writing ability of the participants in the three experimental groups significantly improved compared to the control group. The treatment was effective, and the difference between the four groups was statistically significant. The results of the MANOVA also corroborated the ANOVA results. The argumentative writing ability of the participants in terms of the total organization and linguistic accuracy was significantly enhanced through scaffolding, and the difference between the four groups was statistically significant. However, among the three experimental groups, the group receiving teacher scaffolding made the most significant improvement. The results of this study imply that teachers should apply more scaffolding strategies while instructing. The materials developers and syllabus designers should also produce materials which entail more teacher and peer scaffolding in class.


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