Zone of Proximal Development: The Effect of Verbal Scaffolding on Improving Iranian Young EFL Learners’ Vocabulary Learning

Elnaz Shoari, Nader Assadi Aidinlou


We make use of spoken and written words every day to converse and also to convey ideas, thoughts, and emotions to those who are around us. Occasionally we- as EFL users- communicate fruitfully but sometimes we’re not fairly so successful. The term scaffolding, it was introduced by Wood, Bruner and Ross (1976) in their attempts to provide an operational definition to the concept of teaching in the zone of proximal development (ZPD) (cited in Wells, 1999). Thus, the current study aimed at investigating the effect of verbal scaffolding on improvement of vocabulary learning of Iranian EFL learners. For the sake of solving the issues related to the homogeneousness of the level of the subjects, before starting the program a language proficiency test was administered to 120 learners. Afterwards a pre-test on the participants word knowledge was taken and after the program there was a post-test for both groups in order to measure the effectiveness of the self-regulation strategies. According to the results of the quasi- experimental study self-regulation strategies are of great importance for learners, since they learn to be autonomous learners, they learn how to take control their learning, they feel they are doing something valuable, and all of these yield in a very relaxed environment for learning and using the language.


context acquaintance, vocabulary learning, zone of proximal development

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