Maximizing the Potential of Intermediate EFL Learners' Formal Style of the Written Language through Dialogic Interaction

Iman Bakhoda, Mina Babaee, Karim Shabani


As a fundamental notion at the heart of dynamic assessment (DA), dialogic interaction derives from Vygotsky’s (1987) sociocultural theory with the insight that appropriate use of mediation blooms learners’ emerging capabilities and enables them to perform beyond their current level of developed abilities. The presentation of attuned mediations to the learners need through instructional dialogic interaction provides mediators with an opportunity to assess the learners’ current zone of actual development (ZAD) and assist them to develop new capabilities for reaching independency into a new ZAD.  The theoretical understanding of the present study involved the co-construction of the formal written language from Vygotsky's (1978) instructional implication. Drawing on sociocultural perspective, this case study scrutinized the dialogic interaction of Poehner's (2008) interactionist format of DA based on Aljaafreh and Lantolf's (1994) hierarchical (implicit to explicit) presentation of mediations. The present paper focused on the interaction between the learner and the teacher for optimizing the formal style of writing. Dyadic interaction contributed to guide learners walk through the problem and to enhance learning through the interaction. The impetus for the study came from working with intermediate colloquial and inaccurate writers. Exploiting the collaborative dialogue with the learners was a follow-up to the learners' self-awareness in the stilted style of writing. Following a sociocultural perspective, this study revealed the fact that how much teacher-student communication stretched the learners' potential level of competence in writing formally. This case study is in line with Sternberg and Grigorenko's (2002) interactionist approach in order to enhance the learners' Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) in the formal written language. The analysis of the interaction demonstrated that formal writing development took place as a result of responding to the learners' individual needs through dialogic interaction with the teacher.   



dialogic interaction, writing, formal style

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