Document Type : Research Paper


Shiraz University


This investigation postulates Vygotsky’s (1978) concept of zone of proximal development (ZPD) and his related “scaffolding” metaphor as well as Norton’s (2006) principles of sociocultural identity as its theoretical foundation. This research intends to scrutinize the socioculturally-oriented mediational mechanisms utilized in student-student and student-teacher collaborations in an Iranian EFL writing class. Such scrutiny is to reveal the learners’ sociocultural change in behavior, and how their sociocultural identity is scaffolded and developed through collaborative negotiation in writing. For this purpose, Lidz's Rating Scale (1991) was adopted to delve into the sociocultural-identity-conducive interactions produced by 32 sophomores of English Language and Literature at Shiraz University as they collaborated in writing. The analysis of such scaffolding-mediated discourse provides useful insights into the nature of the learners’ sociocultural identity development. Particularly, the results provide evidence that dialogic exchanges through linguistic means on the part of peers and the teacher include some behaviors such as intentionality, joint regard, affective involvement, communicative ratchet, contingent responsivity, intersubjectivity, and L1 use in collaborative writing tasks which play the most significant role in establishing new identities and gaining self-regulation, i.e. developing sociocultural identity.


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