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Developing the Speaking Ability of EFL Learners through Scaffolding

Azam Pishadast

Farhangian University, Zahedan, Iran

Corresponding author: Azam Pishadast, Farhangian University, Zahedan, Iran.

Email: pishadast2020@gmail.com


Introduction: The role of productive skills in social interactions is becoming more and more evident in modern communities. This study aimed to determine the effect of scaffolding on EFL learners’ speaking skills. Methodology: A total of 60 EFL students were recruited in the current study. The subjects were divided into two equal groups, namely experimental and control. Teaching speaking in the experimental group was centered on activities that offered the most aid to the students. To enhance their motivation, they were given tunes, a casual setting, and the opportunity to converse while taking turns and waiting. The control group attended a regular speaking class. Results: After conducting the pre-tests and post-tests, it was found that scaffolding could significantly improve EFL learners’ foreign language speaking skills. Scaffolding was beneficial to language learning as it aided the learning process by providing learners with linguistic support in genuine circumstances, linking their prior knowledge to the texts, and promoting interaction among learners. Conclusion: Based on the findings, EFL teachers are encouraged to employ digital games in a flipped instruction mode to enhance EFL learners’ willingness to communicate.


Nowadays, the ability to communicate in a foreign language has turned into a necessity rather than simply a need. An appropriate command of language skills is now considered a key to achieving many accomplishments in various sections, such as commerce, research, education, literature, technology, to name a few. Considering English as the lingua franca and the language through which a vast body of information is transferred, proper command of this language is important to many individuals. Taking non-native English speakers into account, who are more eager to develop their speaking skills than the other skills, writing, reading, and listening, developing a well-established approach to teaching them how to become efficient foreign language speakers has occupied EFL/ESL researchers’ minds for so long. In this regard, despite the availability of several techniques for language teaching, English learners have occasionally grumbled about the load and difficulty of language acquisition. Language learners, for example, do not appear to be content with the approaches presented to them so far (Olshtain & Celce-Murcia, 2001). As a result, the absence of another technique to assist learners in becoming more effective language learners is truly felt. The term scaffolding was first introduced to educational contexts by Wood et al. (1976) when they tried to explain the way adults help infants learn to solve problems. Later, Vygotsky (1978) outlined scaffolding as a tool for growth by relying on the concept of the zone of proximal development (ZPD). According to Vygotsky (1978), a learner’s developmental level is divided into two parts, namely the actual developmental level and the potential developmental level. ZPD is defined as “the distance between actual developmental levels as measured by autonomous issue solving and prospective developmental levels as indicated by problem-solving under adult supervision or in partnership with more capable peers” (Vygotsky, 1978, p. 86). ZPD may alternatively be defined as the gap between what a student can achieve on his or her alone and what can be accomplished with the assistance of a ‘more knowledgeable other’ adult or peer.

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