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Volume 14 Number 1, Spring 2017, Pages 1-210 PDF Download

ZPD-Based Dynamic Assessment and Collaborative L2 Vocabulary Learning

    Azizullah Mirzaei, Leila Shakibaei & Ali Akbar Jafarpour

Despite growing interest in the implementation of dynamic assessment in second or foreign language learning research, few studies have attempted to incorporate the notion into real second language classrooms. This study explored the effect of cumulative Group-Dynamic Assessment on depth of vocabulary knowledge in an EFL context. To this end, 50 EFL learners were selected from a junior high school in Iran after administering the Oxford Quick Placement Test. Then, they were randomly assigned to two equal groups, namely, experimental Group-Dynamic Assessment and control Non-Dynamic Assessment. The Group-Dynamic Assessment group was instructed through interactionist cumulative Group-Dynamic Assessment procedures while the control group was taught without providing any cumulative ZPD-sensitive feedback. Before and after the instruction, a vocabulary knowledge scale (Paribakh & Wesche, 1993, 1996) was administered to measure both groups' depth of second language vocabulary knowledge. The split-plot ANOVA results revealed that the implementation of interactionist cumulative Group-Dynamic Assessment helped the learners outperform the Non-Dynamic Assessment group on both immediate and delayed posttests. Additionally, complementary qualitative analysis showed that cumulative Group-Dynamic Assessment had both diagnostic and developmental potentials to contribute not only to individual participants but also to the whole class to increase their depth of vocabulary knowledge. The findings pointed to the use of ZPD-based collaborative frameworks in teaching second language vocabulary in meaningful contexts and thereby helping learners develop deeper word knowledge.

Keywords: sociocultural theory, dynamic assessment, group-dynamic assessment, concurrent G-DA, cumulative G-DA, depth of vocabulary knowledge