Article Title [Persian]
تکیه گاه سازی آموزشی به عنوان یکی از ,ویژگیهای تعاملی در مدل خودارزیابی کفتمان، در سه فاز مطالب درسی، مهارتها و سیستم ها و در فاز کلاسی ننمود می یابد ولی ساختار آن مشخص نیست. مطالعه حاضر به دنبال مشخص کردن نمود تکیه گاه سازی آموزشی در فازهای مختلف کلاس است. برای نیل به این هدف یک پیکره 9 ساعته از سه معلم تازه کار و سه معلم با تجربه شاغل در آموزشگاه های غیردولتی به وجود آورده شد. برای بررسی نتایج از روش تحلیل مکالمه استفاده شد. تعاملات تکیه گاه سازی بر اساس معیارهای پسشنهادی ولش (2011) انتخاب شدند و بر اساس یافته های پیشین تجزیه و تحلیل شدند. نتایج نشان داد که معلمان در فازهای مطالب درسی و سیستمها و مهارت ها اطلاعات بیشتری را در قالب مدل ها و اشارات به فراگیران انتقال دادند و در فاز کلاسی اطلاعات کمتری ارایه دادند. معلمان تازه کار ساختارهای هم پوشان و هم آغاز بیشتری به کار بردند که موجب اختلال در تعامل فراگیران شد در صورتی که معلمان با تجربه فضای تعاملی بیشتری را به وجود آوردند. ساختارهای معلمان تازه کار پاسخگویی کمتری نسبت به ساختارهای فراگیران داشت در صورتی که معلمان باتجربه پاسخگویی بهتری داشتند. کاربردهای پژوهش برای معلمان زبان و پژوهشگران ارایه شد.
Representation of Scaffolding in Different Modes of Self-Evaluation of Teacher Talk Framework for Iranian Novice and Experienced EFL Teachers
Research Paper IJEAP- 211-1800 DOR: 20.1001.1.24763187.2021.10.4.8.8
Received: 2021-11-04 Accepted: 2022-01-20 Published: 2022-01-22
Scaffolding as an interacture of self-evaluation of teacher talk framework is represented in materials, skills and systems, and classroom context mode with no characterization of its nature. The present study, using conversation analysis, was to examine representation of scaffolding in these modes for the Iranian novice and experienced language teachers. Three novice and three experienced English language teachers in a nongovernmental language institute were selected based on convenience sampling method. A 9-hour video corpus of their teaching at the intermediate level was compiled. The recordings were transcribed using conversation analysis conventions. Scaffolding interactions in different modes for novice and experienced teachers were selected based on criteria proposed by Walsh (2011). Then based on previous studies by Jefferson (1989; 1987), Radford (2010; 2014), and Radford and Bosanquet (2019), among others, the scaffolding extracts were analyzed. As a whole, both the experienced and novice teachers in the materials and skills and systems mode provided more information through models and hints. In the classroom context mode, less information was provided. The novice teachers used more overlapping and latching turns and were less contingent while the experienced teachers provided more interaction space and reacted more contingently. Practical applications for teachers and educators are emphasized.
Keywords: Scaffolding, SETT, Novice, Experienced, Classroom Phases, Conversation Analysis
Walsh (2006) proposed Self-Evaluation of Teacher Talk (SETT) to help teachers describe their interactions and deepen their understanding of interactional processes in class to become "better teachers" (Walsh, 2011, p. 111). Studying the interaction can help teachers and learners improve the teaching and learning processes (Walsh, 2021), therefore, SETT can be an invaluable tool for teachers. The basic premise of SETT is that "the L2 lesson context” is too general and "contexts are locally produced and transformable at any moment" (Drew & Heritage, 1992, p. 19), thus, considering the classroom as a fixed and static context has been challenged in recent years (van Lier, 2000). The framework is composed of four modes (micro-contexts) and 14 interactures (interactional features). A mode is "an L2 classroom microcontext with a clearly defined pedagogic goal and distinctive interactional features determined largely by a teacher's use of language" (Walsh, 2006, p.62). Alongside the shifts in lesson goals through switching the modes, the teacher talk also changes (Walsh, 2003). The four classroom modes are managerial, materials, skills and systems, and classroom context, each with its own pedagogic and linguistic features. Each mode consists of some interactional features called interactures. The interactures include scaffolding, content and form-focused feedback, questions, wait time, confirmations, extended teacher and learner turns, repair, seeking clarification, teacher echo, teacher interruptions, and turn-completion.
Scaffolding as an interactional feature is represented in materials, skills and systems, and classroom context mode. In SETT, scaffolding is only mentioned without receiving full treatment in each mode. Despite abundant research on SETT (Ghafarpour, 2017; Asik & Kuru Gonen 2016; Howard, 2010), there is a paucity of similar research on its interactures, specifically scaffolding. Furthermore, as the focus and interactional activities of each mode are specific to that mode, it can be hypothesized that the same happens for the scaffolding. Hence it is estimated that scaffolding in the materials mode be different from the scaffolding in the skills and systems and classroom context mode.
Scaffolding represents one of the key concepts in characterizing the supportive interactions between teachers and learners and is of special appeal for teachers. Smagorinsky (2018) asserts that since teachers are more concerned with short-term learning, scaffolding seems more appealing to them. The reason is that scaffolding is concerned with immediate instructional results teachers are more responsible to show for accountability purposes. In comparison, ZPD is more concerned with long-term human development (Smagorinsky, 2018). Furthermore, efficient scaffolding is considered an integral part of the knowledge base of English language teachers (Pawan, 2008) through which they facilitate learners’ cognitive structuring (Winters et al., 2021). Successful scaffolding helps the learner internalize the process of doing a specific activity and generalize his understanding to similar situations (Puntambekar, 2021). This highlights the role of teachers’ expertise in conducting scaffolding in a manner conducive to fulfilling its aims.
It has been claimed that teachers’ expertise affects their communicative practices (Fagan, 2012), and novice and experienced teachers react differently to the teaching demands (Lossera, et al., 2018). Therefore, novice teachers’ scaffoldings may be different than the scaffolding provided by experienced ones. As the study is to examine scaffolding representation in different SETT modes for experienced and novice EFL teachers, conversation analysis (CA) seems an informed choice since it provides a detailed picture of the moment-to-moment analysis of the interaction (Ten Have, 2007). In line with these claims, the study seeks answer for the following research questions:
Research Question One: How is scaffolding represented in different phases of SETT for Iranian novice EFL teachers?
Research Question Two: How is scaffolding represented in different phases of SETT for Iranian experienced EFL teachers?
Walsh (2006) proposed SETT framework in a study of a group of teachers and students in a UK university. The university's language classes were recorded and applied CA (Ten Have, 2007) was used to analyze the corpus. The result was the proposition of SETT with four modes and 14 interactures. The framework has been used in enhancing understanding of classroom discourse and improving language teachers’ professional development.
Howard (2010) adopted SETT to testify the existence of typical classrooms in the observed and unobserved classes. He concluded that classroom modes claimed in SETT existed, although there were slight differences for the existence of some modes in observed and unobserved classes. Ghafarpour (2017) used SETT to study EFL university classrooms in Iran to identify SETT modes and their contribution to critical reflective practices of teachers. Classroom recordings coupled with teacher diaries were used for data collection. The findings indicated the context-specificity of classroom modes to the pedagogical focus of the class as well as the realities of the language classroom. She concluded that the focus of the course or the number of students may curb or arise the need for the domination of one mode at the expense of limiting the others. Yang (2014) used SETT in combination with corpus linguistics to study discourse markers in Chinese EFL classrooms. He concluded that teachers’ use of discourse markers changes in different SETT modes.
Asik and Kuru Gonen (2016) studied a group of pre-service Turkish EFL teachers' perceptions of teacher talk, and the ways this analysis helps their professional development. The participants received training on using SETT to analyze their talk. They were asked to record their classes, take part in peer sessions to discuss their classroom talk, and prepare three reflective diaries. The data were coded using the constant comparative method. They concluded that training helped teachers raise their awareness of their conduct and their language use in the class. SETT has also been used in analyzing the teacher’s identities in micro-teaching situations (Skinner, 2012), and in studying the interactional resources pre-srvice and in-service teachers use in enhancing their interactional competence (Ünal, Bozbıyık & Acar, 2019). In the above studies the focus is on the contributions of SETT and its modes to the classroom discourse and teacher’s professional development. Absent in studies on SETT is the focus on the interactures especially scaffolding.
The interacture of scaffolding was originally conceived of as a process of providing learners with a situation enabling them to do the task and then gradually removing the help to foster independent performance (Wood, Bruner, & Ross, 1978). Wersch (1979, p.11), defined it as a process of “dialogical, interpsychological” production activity through which learners appropriate the knowledge they have co-constructed with their more capable peers. Through this process, the teacher controls the elements beyond the learners’ current developmental level with the advantage of enabling them to act as their current abilities allow. Based on this conceptualization, it is an enabling process to help learners come up with a solution for a task initially beyond their current unassisted abilities (Wood et al., 1978). Subsequent studies ascribed some characteristics to this activity. Van de Pol, Volman, and Beishuizen (2010) in a review study on scaffolding identified three characteristics of contingency, fading, and transfer of responsibility. By contingency, a calibrated level of help is provided for the learner. Through fading, the support is removed upon the learner’s success. Finally, through the transfer of responsibility, the learner is independent to initiate the task (van de Pol et al., 2010). It has been claimed that contingency is the most important characteristic as it can lead to fading and consequently the transfer of responsibility (van de Pol et al., 2010).
As the teachers’ expertise affects their communicative practices (Fagan, 2012), it can be claimed that teachers’ scaffolding can be influenced by their expertise. Skinner (2019) studied a group of teachers with limited language teaching experience in the UK. The teachers were MA students of TESOL and had become familiar with SETT in their courses. She used recordings, interviews, and stimulated recalls to study how teachers’ talk impacts learning. She concluded that latching and overlapping are frequent features in the inexperienced teacher’s talk. Frequent use of these features showed that inexperienced teachers were inclined to fill the interactional gaps and rectify the awkward learner contributions to move the lesson ahead, with the consequence of minimizing the opportunity for learner interaction. This deprived the learners of the opportunity to contribute and have time to initiate interaction. She added that latching and overlapping limits the quality and frequency of the learners’ initiations. Radford (2010) in a study compared the differences between the talk of teachers and teacher assistants with limited experience in mathematics and literacy classes. Research on the differences between the talk of teachers and teacher assistants demonstrated that teachers had a more formal style in their talk while teacher assistants used more informal and wordy talk and mostly used colloquial language with learners (Rubie-Davies et al., 2010). They further added that teachers made frequent use of prompts and questions to enhance learners thinking and understanding while teacher assistants mostly supplied answers and models. Teachers were more concerned with learning and using feedback to increase learning while teacher assistants were more concerned with task completion.
Considering the paucity of research on SETT interactures and especially scaffolding, and the claims that teachers’ expertise affects their interactions, it is estimated that novice and experienced teachers provide different types of scaffolding in different SETT modes.
Three novice and three experienced teachers were selected based on convenience purposes for the present study. They were four females and two males. Three female and two male teachers held an MA in TEFL and another female had a BA in English translation. The inclusion of novice and experienced teacher was based on the distinction made by Farrell (2012). He asserts that despite full agreement on when teachers transit from being novice to experienced, and the amount of 1 to 5 years have been mentioned in research articles, he takes 3 years as a more realistic measure. In this study, novice teachers were selected from those with up to 3 years of teaching experience and experienced ones from those with more than 5 years of experience. The learner participants were adult language learners with varying socioeconomic backgrounds. Their goals of learning English ranged from seating international exams to career or educational purposes.
The teachers’ classroom teachings were video-recorded to compile a corpus. The classes were general English classes at the intermediate level in a nongovernmental institute in Tehran. Each teacher was recorded for a 90-minute session making a nine-hour corpus. Official protocols were observed for using the recordings and the teachers voluntarily agreed that their classes be used for study purposes.
The recordings were transcribed following CA conventions. The final database of the study yielded a corpus of more than 75000 words. SETT modes were located in the corpus, then the corpus was analyzed to locate the scaffolding episodes. The criteria proposed by Walsh (2011) was applied to find the scaffolding episodes. Walsh (2011) believes that an episode is an instance of scaffolding if there happens to be a breakdown in the flow of discourse necessitating the teacher's timely intervention based on the learner's needs. In this process, the teacher listens attentively and makes wise use of language. Furthermore, in some cases, scaffolding is marked by latched modeling when the teacher immediately intervenes at the end of the previous turn using alternative phrasing and prompting. The result of this joint construction of discourse is a longer and more complex turn by the learner. The final analysis yielded 108 scaffolding extracts. The conventions used to produce transcripts can be found in Appendix 1.
4.1. Identifying Classroom Modes
4.1.1. The Managerial Mode
The managerial mode is used for organizing learning such as setting up the conditions for conducting a task, concluding a particular stage of a class, or giving feedback on a stage of a lesson. One function of this mode is to locate learning temporally or spatially (Walsh, 2011) and serves an enabling function by providing support to the other three modes (McCarthy & Walsh, 2003). It mostly occurs at the beginning of the lesson to plan the route of the activities. It may also occur after an activity is finished or to provide a link between two stages of a lesson. Overall, it comprises one long turn with no learner involvement and deals with the main business of the core activity. Directives, repetitions, and instructions are frequently used as the teacher try to make a smooth transition to the next mode, especially by using discourse markers like OK, right, so, etc. As this mode is characterized by a unilateral discourse, no scaffolding occurs in it.
4.1.2. The Materials Mode
In this mode, the focus and interactions are centered around the material. Interaction for the most part is controlled by the teacher and is reminiscent of classic IRF exchanges (Walsh, 2006). The teacher's turn acts as an evaluation of the learner's contribution and at the same time initiates another turn. Since the interaction revolves around the material, little interactional space is provided for learners, and they have little freedom in selecting and managing topics. In some cases, the nature of the activities gives learners a leeway in having more space for interaction, although their freedom is limited by the task.
18.104.22.168. Novice Teacher’s Scaffolding in the Materials Mode
1548 L1: her boss uh (2.48) spell uh (2.15) her name mi⌈ssp⌉
1549 T: ⌊spelled⌋↑
1550 L1: () misspelled her
1551 T: spell (1.57) or ⌈pronounce⌉↑
1552 L4: ⌊pronounce⌋
1553 T: mispronounce
1554 L1: mispronounce her name and when he when she was to tell him
1555 he left the elevator and≈
1556 T: ≈left the elevator ye and this is very very awkward situation
In this extract, the teacher and learners are discussing a part in their coursebook called awkward situations. This section in the book comes after practice on some English prefixes to construct new words from the known words. The learner is going to describe one of the awkward situations in the book in which the boss mispronounces a colleague's name. The required word here is mispronunciation, but the learner in line 1548 chooses the wrong word. She searches for the verb to complete her sentence. She chooses the verb spell but she initiates to self-correct to misspell, but in the next overlapping turn, the teacher rushes in with repeating the learner’s production with an upward intonation. The upward intonation is used to locate the trouble (Radford, et al., 2014) and directs the learner’s attention to the wrong word choice. In line 1550, the learner appropriates the teacher’s prompting, adding a prefix to her previous word. In line 1551, the teacher repeats the learner’s wrong word choice with silence to give the learner time to self-correct and provides a hint for the learner with an upward intonation. The teacher’s upward intonation draws the learner’s attention to the fact that her choice of spell is not correct. At the same time, the teacher increases his level of support by providing models for the learner to choose from. The teacher’s upward intonation signals to the learner that she should choose between these two forms. In the next line, she chooses the teacher’s model. As the learner’s production is not acceptable, in 1553, the teacher exposes his correction to the turn. This kind of exposed correction is conducted in a way that the teacher provides the model and the learner has no choice whether to accept or reject it (Radford, 2010). Based on Radford (2010) in exposed corrections, the learner has no choice over the provided correction but to accept and repeat it in the next turn. The learner appropriates the teacher’s model and continues with her original sentence at the beginning of the extract. The teacher’s repetition of the learner’s turn in the last line indicates the teacher’s acknowledgment of the learner’s production.
This extract shows some specific features of the teacher’s talk. In line 549, the teacher’s untimely intervention through overlapping turns does not permit learner to draw upon her knowledge to provide the appropriate word. In 1553, again the teacher’s exposed correction hinders the learner’s initiation. Giving immediate corrections has been claimed to hinder the learner’s thought process (Radford et al., 2011, Skinner, 2019). Thus, teacher’s immediate feedback in 1553 is not contingent on the learner’s turn, therefore, the scaffolding cannot be considered a successful instance of scaffolding (van de Pol et al., 2010; Radford et al., 2015).
22.214.171.124. Experienced Teacher’s Scaffolding in the Materials Mode
673 T: leave a message no need to answer every call there are
674 other ways to answer ok good and masoud tip number four is keep your
675 inbox empty what does it mean↑
676 L4: ummm (3.60) it means that keep a (7.59)
677 T: what`s inbox↑
678 L4: inbox is (1.64) a place that
679 T: it`s a box
680 L4: yeah
681 T: it`s a box for↑
682 L4: email
683 T: for email messages not just email you can find a different
684 messages or social networking applications so ⁇when ⁇keep your inbox
685 empty it means
686 L4: delete uhh
687 T: delete
688 L4: delete
689 T: ya when you read a message delete it when you need it save
In this extract, the focus is on a section in the book about communication overload. There are some tips to avoid communication overload. The teacher puts a question to the learner in line 675. The learner’s turn in line 676 begins with a search word and after a long silence the learner partially repeats the turn initiated by the teacher but it ends in another unusual silence. This long silence makes the teacher take a turn and repair the trouble in the learner’s understanding. In 677, the teacher asks a wh-question directly to elucidate the first troublesome element in her original turn i.e., inbox. The use of what makes it clear that the teacher is searching for an entity. The learner in line 678, through the silence, searches for an answer to the teacher’s question. In line 679, the teacher restates the learner’s turn, showing the rejection of the learner’s answer and providing the model for the learner’s trouble that the inbox is a box. The learner in 680 corroborates the teacher’s initiation. In line 681, the teacher, having ensured the learner’s understanding of the word inbox as a box, initiates a turn with an upward intonation. The use of final upward intonation informs the learner that an answer is required of the learner about the use of the inbox. In 682, the learner answer teacher’s inquiry that the inbox is a box for email. In 683, the teacher acknowledges the learner’s answer by repeating it. She further generalizes the learner’s answer to state that inbox is used in other social networking applications as well as email messages. In 685, the teacher again returns to her original question at the beginning of the extract and redirects the question to the learner. The learner in line 686, having understood the meaning of the question, gives the correct answer that the keep the inbox empty means deleting the messages, which is acknowledged by the teacher.
This extract indicates the contingency of the teacher towards the learner’s production. At the beginning of the extract, upon the learner’s failure, the teacher contingently increases the level of support. The teacher’s turns show how the teacher assesses the learner’s understanding. This assessment has been claimed to be the first element to providing contingent instruction to the learner (Ruiz-Primo & Furtak, 2007). Upon this assessment, she increases or decreases her support. As the learner is in trouble, she feeds more information through models to the interaction. Upon the learner’s understanding, she reduces her assistance. She also keeps the original meaning in mind as after repairing the troubles, again the original meaning is recycled and the interaction returns to its original state.
4.1.3. The Skills and Systems Mode
In this mode, the focus is on providing practice on specific language systems or skills like grammar, vocabulary, speaking, or writing (Walsh, 2006). Interaction follows a predetermined path, and the IRF sequence is used extensively. The teacher handles turn-taking, and the topic at hand controls turn allocation and topic selection. Accuracy rather than fluency gains prominence. The aim is to make learners produce and manipulate stretches of linguistic forms. Direct repair and scaffolding abound in this mode. Direct repair helps to exert the minimum effect on the interaction and ease the flow of exchange. Scaffolding also helps teachers feed with the missing data, assist learners with producing their ideas, and grasp the new language items (Walsh, 2011). Walsh believes that the juxtaposition of scaffolding and direct repair in this mode” enables learners to attend to specific features of their interlanguage while keeping the interaction on track in line with the teacher's pedagogical goals, the agenda of the moment" (2011, p.119). Another feature of this mode is noticing and recognizing the patterns in the language system. Communicative functions and attention to meanings are kept to a minimum and receive scant attention since the focus is on language forms and structures. As a whole, the interaction is mainly focused on form with extended teacher turns, use of scaffolding, direct repair, and asking display questions.
126.96.36.199. Novice Teacher’s Scaffolding in the Skills and Systems Mode
1003 T: what's wrong with the car↑ the car has (1.31) we could say the car
1004 has (2.29)
1005 L2: problem↑
1006 L3: no
1007 T: you want to say that (1.04) it doesn't work
1008 L4: it is for another≈
1009 T: ≈aha another word how do we say it for car if the car
1010 doesn`t work properly we say (1.76) we say the car has (4.40) broke
1011 down ((simultaneously writing this word on the board))
1012 L2: aha
In this extract, the teacher and learners are reviewing some vocabulary. The problematic word here is the word break down. The teacher prompts the learners by showing a picture of a broken-down car and asks them to come up with the right word to describe it. The teacher first poses a question to the learners but his silence shows that he is asking for a word. He leaves the sentence incomplete asking for the learner to complete it. The learner in line 1005, comes up with the word problem with an upward intonation. The learner’s upward intonation shows that the learner seeks confirmation from the teacher (Radford, 2010). In 1007, the teacher gives more hints to the learner by defining the word in question. In 1008, another learner confirms that the teacher is searching for a word other than the word problem which is corroborated by the teacher’s latching turn in line 1009. In this turn, the learner’s attempt to find the word is curbed by the teacher’s latching turn as the learner is not given time to elaborate on her meaning (Skinner, 2019). In the next line, the teacher has two unusual silences seeking for learner’s answers. Upon learner’s inability to answer, the teacher provides the model himself and writes it on the board. In line 1012, the learner acknowledges the teacher’s model.
In this extract, the teacher’s question in line 1003 asks for the learner’s knowledge about the required word. In line 1007, the teacher upon the learner’s failure increases his level of support by changing the prompt to hints. In 1008, the learner initiates to provide the answer but the teacher’s latched turn deprives her of the time to continue. The hints are provided by adding semantic information to the prompt (Radford et al., 2014). Finally, after long silences, and giving time to learners to come up with the required word he provides the model for the learners. What is evident in this extract is that despite the teacher’s contingent scaffolding, scaffolding is not successful. The reason may be that the prerequisite condition of assessment has not been observed. Assessment before providing scaffolding has been considered the most crucial element for the success of scaffolding (Ruiz-Primo & Furtak, 2007; van de Pol Mercer & Volman, 2018). As learners are devoid of the knowledge to provide the required word, the teacher’s scaffolding is not successful in leading them towards the answer.
188.8.131.52. Expert Teacher’s Scaffolding in the Skills and Systems Mode
154 T: you prefer to text ok→ so when do you prefer to call↑
155 L1: when I wanna have a (2.58) uh near communication
156 T: what do you mean by near↑
157 L1: uhh uhh (3.28)
158 T: is it personal↑
159 L1: ah ye personal
160 T: a personal
161 L1: yeh personal
162 T: when you want to have a personal conversation≈
In this extract, they are talking about ways of communication. The teacher in line 154 poses an open-ended question. This question provides the least level of support to the learner (Radford et al., 2014). In line 155, the learner’s long silence indicates that she is searching for the right word and finally she chooses the wrong word. In line 156, the teacher by using the question prompt tries to narrow down the learner's response by focusing on the word near. The use of search words and long unusual silence (Jefferson, 1989) in the next turn signals to the teacher that the learner is unable to come up with the right word. The teacher’s close question in line 158 provides a model and acts as a candidate correction (Radford, 2010) for the learner’s trouble to accept or reject. In the next line, the learner accepts the teacher’s proposed correction. In line 160, the teacher acknowledges this word as the right word for the type of communication she prefers. Again, the learner acknowledges this and in the last line, the teacher puts the correct word in its original turn and repeats the original turn.
This turn is an instance of circumlocution in which the learner attempts an incorrect word that is semantically related but it is not the exact word for the turn (Radford, 2010). The teacher’s correction is located in the next turn after the trouble source which aims to remove the vagueness of the learner’s utterance. In this extract, the teacher’s proposed correction to the circumlocution reflects the teacher’s contingency towards the learner’s production. Upon circumlocution, the teacher paves the way for the learner to draw on her resources. As the learner fails, then the teacher increases her level of support to provide the model.
4.1.4. The Classroom Context Mode
The last mode in SETT is classroom context mode. In this mode turns and topics are locally constructed. Opportunities are provided for learners to have genuine communication. Teachers fulfill a less seminal role and hand over the responsibility for interaction to the learner (Walsh, 2006). There is also a change in the type of feedback as the teachers largely give feedback on content rather than form and ask more referential questions. The teacher allows the errors to go unrepaired and does not evaluate learners' contributions. Turn-taking is exclusively handled by learners, and they compete for the floor and produce longer turns. The learners shift topics, and the teacher is more an equal participant and allows the discourse to unravel within the frames chosen by the learners. The interaction resembles the ordinary conversation and more interactional space is created for learners.
4.1. 4.1. Novice Teacher’s Scaffolding in the Classroom Context Mode
127 T:......it`s not that bad shayan if you have someone maybe you
128 should look at it from a different point of view that
129 L3: i think i will be have not alone
130 T: what↗
131 L3: i think i think i will be (1.19) have someone
132 T: you ⌈will have very good⌉
This extract is a part of a free discussion in which the learners and teacher are discussing the merits of having relationships with others. In the previous turns, the learner believed that social relationship with others is a waste of time. In 127, the teacher’s turn is an invitation to the learner to change his view. In 129, the learner is not able to compose his sentence in a correct form as he uses the wrong auxiliary verb and the negative adverb is misused. In line 130, the teacher questions the whole turn by the use of what question. In line 131, the learner initiates to correct his sentence and through the silence shows that he is searching for the suitable form to complete the turn (Radford, 2010). After the silence, his turn is still incorrect because of the wrong auxiliary use. In 132, the teacher corrects the learner’s sentence by omitting the extra auxiliary.
As it is evident from this extract, the interaction resembles more like a natural conversation. The teacher sporadically intervenes to put the interaction on the right track and acts more like an equal partner. The extract seems like an ordinary conversation between two people of the same rank instead of a classroom one. Furthermore, the formal aspect of language receives a shallow treatment as grammar mistakes go unrepaired through the interaction. The teacher makes no attempt to feed in the required data and just provides a model for the learner. In the next turn, the teacher’s overlapping turn makes no room for the learner to elaborate on his response.
184.108.40.206. Experienced Teacher’s Scaffolding in the Classroom Context Mode
832 T: preparation↑ (3.60) for example how you said that you are good at
833 italian food yeah↗ how do you make pasta↗
834 L3: pasta alfredo pasta↑
835 T: ya ooh
836 L3: umm at first you (2.03) put the (0.98) water
837 T: uhum
838 L3: umm (0.72) and boil the water (0.98) then
839 T: uhumm
840 L3: ((gesturing the word pour))
841 T: and pour
842 L3: pour pour
843 T: mix it with water↑
844 L3: no no
845 T: yeah yeah
846 L3: after the after the water after the water is boil
847 T: aha
848 L3: ∇pour some pasta∇ into it and some salt ((mispronounced))
849 and (2.94) olive oil and just this.
850 T: uhum
In this extract, the teacher and learners are talking about food preparation and their cooking expertise, if they have any. The learner in this extract talks about preparing alfredo pasta. In line 833, the teacher asks an open-ended question and asks the learner to talk about preparing Italian food. In 834, the learner initiates to talk about alfredo pasta but uses an upward intonation seeking the teacher’s confirmation and the teacher acknowledges it in the next line. In 836, the learner starts talking about his recipe in stages but he searches for the appropriate word through a long silence. The teacher corroborates his first step in line 837 and signals the learner to go ahead. In line 838, the learner adds the next step which is acknowledged by the teacher. In line 840, the learner is not able to find the suitable verb pour, therefore, he gestures it. In 841, the teacher adds the word, and the learner accepts the teacher’s intervention by repeating the word in the next line. In 834, the teacher provides a candidate next step (Radford et al., 2015) for the learner through an upward intonation which is rejected by the learner and corroborated by the teacher in line 845. In 846, the learner adds the next step in his recipe for the alfredo pasta. This turn is not grammatically well-formed as the learner fails to use the passive construction but the teacher in the next line does not initiate a repair. In line 848, the learner adds his last step hesitantly and through a long silence, searches for his last step.
As it is evident, after establishing the context, the teacher takes back from the interaction and provides assistance on-demand, and uses acknowledgment tokens to maintain the interactional flow (Jefferson, 1984). Even when the learner has a halting turn with unusual silences, the teacher does not intervene, and through minor contributions allows the interaction to continue. It is only in line 841, in which the teacher provides a single word after the learner has mimed it. In line with the purposes of the classroom context mode, the teacher in this episode acts as an equal interactant like the learner. The teacher’s intervention is as least as possible. One crucial point in this episode is that despite the teacher's minimal turns and limited contributions, she does not permit the interaction to go awry and provides timely interventions to maintain the contingency of the interaction. He endeavors to preserve the interaction within the boundaries of the original meaning.
This study examined how Iranian novice and experienced language teachers scaffolded their learners in different SETT modes. Scaffolding as an interacture is part of the materials, skills and systems, and classroom context mode. Walsh (2006) believed that the nature of discourse is different in each mode. Furthermore, based on the claim that alongside the changes in lesson goals the teacher’s talk changes (Wood, 2003), it was hypothesized that scaffolding be characterized differently in each mode. The results corroborated this as different characterizations of scaffolding for the novice and experienced teachers were found in each mode.
In the materials mode, the novice teachers provided scaffoldings by models and exposed corrections, so the teacher’s scaffolding provided the highest level of help. Furthermore, the teachers used overlapping and latching turns, depriving the learners the opportunity to have space for interaction. The experienced teachers in the materials mode provided support through prompts and hints. The prompts were in the form of posing open-ended questions to the learner. Upon learner’s failure, the form of the support changed to hints by adding more semantic information. One important point about the experienced teachers was that the teachers’ contributions were contingent upon the learners’. Upon the learner’s failure to understand a form, the teacher increased the support and as the learner showed understanding the support was faded to empower the learner to take responsibility for his learning.
In the skills and systems mode, the novice teachers provided scaffolding by prompts, hints, and models. Upon the learner’s failure to give the correct answer, the teachers increased the level of help by using hints and some definitions to guide the learner towards the correct form. Upon failure of hints, the teacher modeled the correct answer although the teachers’ untimely latching turns deprived the learners of the opportunity to come up with an answer. The experienced teachers in this study used prompts and models. One point about the experienced teachers’ scaffolding in this mode was the resolution of circumlocution. Circumlocution is the use of a near-synonym of a word and its resolution in the subsequent turns (Radford et al., 2015). The extract shows how the teacher resolved the circumlocution in her next turns and provides the exact models for the learner. The next important point is the maintenance of contingency by the experienced teachers. After identifying the troublesome point, the teachers resolved the issues in the next contingent turns through a step-by-step strategy. Expanded step-by-step contingent responses in which the teacher withholds immediate correction and the learner self-correction is encouraged are more conducive to enhancing learning (Bosanquet & Radford, 2019).
In the classroom context mode, the novice teachers acted as an equal partner. The formal aspects of the interaction received cursory attention as grammatical problems of the turn went unnoticed. Low levels of support were provided and the interactions were more like an ordinary conversation between two equal partners instead of classroom talk. The experienced teachers like the novice teachers provided the lowest support. The teachers withheld their support and limited their intervention to signaling the learner to go ahead. The teachers supported on-demand when the learners asked for it and the contingency was maintained throughout the interaction.
The analyses for both novice and experienced teachers show that the scaffolding strategies are congruent with the ongoing discourse of the classroom. Walsh (2003) notes that teacher talk changes as the focus of the lesson changes. As the materials and skills and systems mode are concerned with the formal aspects of the lesson, the scaffolding provided for the learners is to a great extent of high support move aiming to foster the focus on accuracy. In the classroom context mode, on the contrary, the focus of the discourse is on fluency and the teacher is like an equal partner with the discourse more resembling ordinary talk. Analyses of the scaffolding interactions also show that the scaffolding interactions in this mode have these characteristics. The formal aspects received shallow treatments and the teacher is more like an equal partner. The unasked-for help is scarce and many mistakes go unnoticed.
In the case of scaffolding theory, the most prominent feature of the scaffoldings provided by the novice and experienced teachers is that experienced teachers are more contingent than novice teachers. This rightly echoes Wong and Waring (2010) that maintaining contingency is difficult for novice teachers. Contingency has been claimed to be the most important feature of scaffolding (van de Pol et al., 2010) as it leads to fading and transfer of responsibility. Neglecting contingency, the learners may receive abundant, scarce, or incorrect types of assistance, which can hamper their growth (Athanases & de Oliveira, 2014; Daniel et al., 2016). As the transfer of responsibility is considered the ultimate goal of successful scaffolding (Wood et al., 1976), lack of teachers’ contingency leads to unsuccessful transfer (van de Pol et al., 2010). Scaffolds are conceived as temporary constructions and lack of contingency turns them to routine assistance (Athanases & de Oliveira, 2014) which may hinder the transfer of responsibility (Johnson, 2020). Skinner (2019) believes that effective language learning occurs when the teachers pinpoint the best time, amount, and type of scaffolding the learners need. Therefore, lack of contingency results in unsuccessful learning.
The next important point is the prevalence of latching and overlapping turns in novice teachers’ scaffoldings. Lack of features like pauses and delays and frequent uses of overlapping and latched turns has been claimed to deprive the learners of the opportunity to interact (Skinner, 2019). The latched and overlapping interactions show that there is limited interactional space for the learners as the exchanges are conducted in a fast way without giving them space to interact. Skinner (2019) concluded that inexperienced teachers’ classes are characterized by the wide use of overlapping, latching, display questions, IRF patterns, limited use of transitional markers, and lack of pauses in their attempts to get through the lesson instead of providing interactional space for learners. This leads to hurried close-down of the learner’s turn depriving the learner of interactional space or opportunity for interaction.
6.Conclusion and Implications
The aim of the study was to characterize how scaffolding represented in different phases of SETT for novice and experienced teachers. The results indicated that novice and experienced teachers provided different types of scaffolding in different phases of the classroom. The novice teachers in the materials mode provided the highest level of help through models or exposed corrections while the experienced teachers used more prompts and hints. In the skills and systems mode, the novice teachers used models and prompts while the experienced teachers used prompts and hints. In the classroom context mode, both groups acted more like equal partners although the experienced teachers provided on-demand support. As a whole, the novice teachers compared with experienced teachers were less contingent and provided more latching and overlapping talk.
The results of this study, although far from being conclusive, can have implications for language teachers and teacher educators. Language teachers can use the results to enhance their teaching by incorporating appropriate strategies in their scaffolding interactions. Teacher educators can also use the findings to develop better teacher education programs. They can use the differences between experienced and novice teachers’ discourse to prepare training courses to improve the quality of teachers’ scaffolding practices. Radford et al. (2014) claimed inexperienced teachers need training to provide better scaffolding strategies for their learners. These training courses can help language teachers provide high-quality scaffolding interactions.
Due to the lack of similar studies on other interactures in SETT, future studies can be conducted on them. As the interactures in SETT have rarely been studied especially in terms of teachers’ expertise, better characterizations of them can be provided. Another venue for research would be conducting more studies to develop language-specific frameworks to study scaffolding as the frameworks used in this study and similar studies are largely drawn from other disciplines.
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Appendix 1: Conventions used in the transcripts
↑ shift to high pitch
↓ shift to low pitch
↗ rise to mid
⌈ top begin overlap
⌉ top end overlap
⌊ bottom begin overlap
⌋ bottom end overlap
 Professor in TEFL (Corresponding Author), email@example.com; Department of English Language and Literature, Faculty of Persian Literature and Foreign Languages, Allameh Tabataba’i University, Tehran, Iran.
2 PhD Student of TEFL, firstname.lastname@example.org; Department of English Language and Literature, Faculty of Persian Literature and Foreign Languages, Allameh Tabataba’i University, Tehran, Iran.