Piaget and Vygotsky have different opinions regarding the concept of scaffolding in education. Piaget assumes that learners can acquire skills in ZPD when they are aided by their peers in the same level of knowledge. However, Vygotsky advocates asymmetrical scaffolding in which learners are assisted by teachers or more knowledgeable peers. Willingness to communicate (WTC) as a necessary psychological mechanism affecting EFL education has attracted researchers’ attention for decades. This experimental study explores the comparative impact of Piagetian symmetrical and Vygotskyan asymmetrical scaffolding on EFL learners’ WTC. 77 intermediate EFL learners were selected based on the results of piloted OPT and were randomly assigned to two groups of 35 and 42 intermediate EFL learners. In one group, symmetrical scaffolding (Peers’ assistance) was employed, and in the other, asymmetrical scaffolding (teachers’ assistance) was implemented as the treatment. The data analyses revealed that learners’ WTC improved significantly through Vygotskyan asymmetrical scaffolding that advocated the significance of the assistance learners receive from the teachers or more competent peers. The findings of this study embrace pedagogical and theoretical implications for EFL curriculum planners, practitioners, teachers, learners, and material developers.
Keywords: piaget; vygostsky; scaffolding; intermediate EFL learners; willingness to communicate (WTC)
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