The Sociological Effects of Peer/ Teacher Technology-Enhanced Scaffolding through Process Approach on Young Male vs. Female EFL Learners’ Vocabulary Knowledge

Document Type: Original Article


1 PhD. Candidate, Department of ELT, Tonekabon Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tonekabon, Iran

2 Assistant Professor, Department of ELT, Tonekabon Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tonekabon, Iran



Gender is considered a sociological construct and investigating the role of gender in foreign language learning contexts is highly important due to the effects of sociological factors in learning. Therefore, the present study set out to explore the sociological effects of peer and teacher scaffolding through the process approach in a technology-enhanced environment on the vocabulary learning of male and female EFL learners. The participants of the study were 120 EFL learners at the intermediate level of language proficiency who were selected out of 170 learners based on their performance on the Oxford Placement Test (OPT). The selected 120 learners were divided into three groups consisting of both male and female learners. The three groups were then given a vocabulary pretest. Then, treatment was carried out via Telegram in line with the tenets of process approach as explicated by Nation (2001) including the three stages of noticing, retrieval and generation. It should be noted that the treatment in both peer and teacher scaffolding groups was done based on Nation’s three stages. The difference was that scaffolding in peer scaffolding group was carried out by peers while scaffolding in teacher scaffolding group was conducted by teacher. Concerning the control group, the conventional instruction of vocabulary was followed via providing the learners with example sentences and also vocabulary exercises, and no specific steps were followed for providing the participants with peer or teacher scaffolding via a process approach. After finishing treatment, the three groups were given the vocabulary posttest. The results indicated that both teacher and peer scaffolding significantly affected learners’ vocabulary improvement irrespective of gender.


Agustín-Llach, M. P. (2015). Maximizing incidental vocabulary acquisition in Spanish as a foreign language. Open Journal of Modern Linguistics, 5(3), 262-276.

Ahmadi Safa, M., & Rozati, F. (2016). The impact of scaffolding and non-scaffolding strategies on the EFL learners' listening comprehension development. The Journal of Educational Research, 6(1), 1-10.

Alipour Madarsara, F., Youhanaee, M., & Barati, H. (2015). Intentional vs. incidental vocabulary learning through games by young EFL Persian speakers. International Journal of Research Studies in Educational Technology, 4(1), 23-24.

Amiri Samani, E., & Khazayie, S. (2017). Scaffolding low-intermediate adult EFL learners to write. Journal of Applied Linguistics and Language Research, 4(2), 216-230.

Ansari, M., & Sabouri, N. B. (2016). The relationship between the use of vocabulary learning strategies and gender of Iranian EFL learners. Research in English Language Pedagogy, 4(1), 88-100.

Arast, O., & Gorjian. B. (2016). The effect of listening to comic strip stories on incidental vocabulary learning among Iranian EFL learners. Journal of Applied Linguistics and Language Learning, 2(1), 1-7.

Bailey, P., Onwuegbuzie, A.J., & Daley, C.E. (2000). Correlates of anxiety at three stages of the foreign language learning process. Journal of Language and Social Psychology, 19, 474–490.

Bolger, D., & Zapata, G. (2011). Semantic categories and context in L2 vocabulary learning. Language Learning, 61(2), 614–646.

Bouhnik, D., &Deshen, M. (2014). WhatsApp goes to school: Mobile instant messaging between teachers and students. Journal of Information Technology Education, 13, 217–231.

Brown, M., Castellano, J., Hughes, E., & Worth, A. (2012). Integration of iPads into a Japanese university English language curriculum. The JALT CALL Journal, 8(3), 197-209.

Celce-Murcia, & M., Rosensweig, F. (1989). Teaching vocabulary in the ESL classroom. In M. Celce-Murcia, & L. McIntosh (Eds.), Teaching English as a second or foreign language (1st ed.). New York, Newbury House Publishers.

Chen, E., & Rao, N. (2011). Gender Socialization in Chinese Kindergartens: Teachers’ Contributions. Sex Roles, 64, 103-116.

Crossley, S., Salsbury, T., & McNamara, D. (2009). Measuring L2 lexical growth using Hypernymic relationships. Language Learning, 59(2), 307–334.

Eagly, A. H., & Karau S. (2002). Role congruity theory of prejudice toward female leaders. Psychological Bulletin, 109(3), 573-598.

Ebrahimi, S, Hajebrahimi, S, Nikfallah, A, Sari-Motlagh, & Shakiba, B. (2016). Lifelong learning in practice: The age of discussion through social media. European Urology, 69(6),1162-1163.

Edwards, J. (2009). Oxford placement test. Oxford. Oxford University Press.

Ellis, R. (2008). The study of second language acquisition. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Ertürk, Z. O. (2016). The effect of glossing on EFL learners’ incidental vocabulary learning in reading. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 232(4), 373 – 381.

Garrett, N. (2009). Computer-assisted language learning trends and issues revisited: Integrating innovation. The Modern Language Journal, 93(8), 719-740.

Gasciogne, C. (2006). Toward an understanding of incidental input enhancement in computerized L2 environments. CALICO Journal, 24 (1), 147-162.

Ghaemi, F., & Seyed Golshan, N. (2017). The impact of telegram as a social network on teaching English vocabulary among Iranian intermediate EFL learners. International Journal of Media and Communication, 1(1), 23-29.

Ghanbari, M., & Marzban, A. (2014). Effect of extensive reading on incidental vocabulary retention.  Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 116(40), 3854 – 3858.

Ghobadi, S., & Taki, S. (2018). Effects of Telegram stickers on English vocabulary learning: Focus on Iranian EFL learners. Research in English Language Pedagogy, 6(1), 139-158.

Green, J. M., & Oxford, R. L. (1995). A closer look at learning strategies, L2 proficiency, and gender. TESOL Quarterly, 29(2), 261-297.

Heidari Tabrizi, H., & Onvani, N. (2018). The impact of employing telegram app on Iranian EFL beginners’ vocabulary teaching and learning. Applied Research on English Language, 7(1), 1-18.

Hulstijn, J. (2001). Intentional and incidental second language vocabulary learning: A reappraisal of elaboration, rehearsal and automaticity. In P. Robinson (Ed.), Cognition and second language instruction (pp. 258–286). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Jiang, N. (2000). Lexical representation and development in a second language. Applied Linguistics, 21(1), 47-77.

Jiang, Y. (2013). Gender differences and the development of L2 English learners' L2 motivational self-system and international posture in China (Doctoral dissertation). Birkbeck, University of London. England.

Kaplan, A., M., & Haenlein, M., (2010). Users of the world, unite! The challenges and opportunities of social media. Business Horizons, 53 (1), 58-68.

Khaddage, F., & Lattemann, C. (2013). iTeach We Learn Via Mobile Apps "a Case Study in a Business Course". In R. McBride & M. Searson (Eds.), Proceedings of SITE 2013--Society for Information Technology &Teacher Education International Conference (pp. 3225-3233). New Orleans, Louisiana, United States: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE).

Khajeh Khosravi, S. (2017). The effect of symmetrical scaffolding on the reading comprehension of Iranian EFL learners. International Journal of Psychological and Brain Sciences, 2(4), 95-99.

Khodamoradi, A., Iravani, H., & Jafarigohar, M. (2013). The effect of teacher’s scaffolding and peers’ collaborative dialogue on the acquisition of English tenses in the zone of proximal development: A socio-cultural perspective. European Online Journal of Natural and Social Sciences, 2 (2).

Krashen, S. (1989). We acquire vocabulary and spelling by reading: Additional evidence for the input hypothesis. The Modern Language Journal, 73(4), 440–464.

Lantolf, J. P. (2000). Introducing sociocultural theory. In Lantolf, J.P. (ed.) Sociocultural theory and second language learning (pp-131-142). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Lantolf, J. P., & Thorne, S. L. (2006). Sociocultural theory and the genesis of second languagedevelopment. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Mansouri, S., & Mashhadi Heidar, D. (2019). Peer/teacher technology-enhanced scaffolding through process approach and Iranian EFL learners’ vocabulary knowledge: A probe into self-regulation. Journal of Teaching Language Skills, 38(3), 189-223.

Mashhadi Heidar, D., & Kaviani, M. (2016). The social impact of Telegram as a social network on teaching English vocabulary among Iranian intermediate EFL learners (Payam Noor Center). Journal of Sociological Studies of Youth,7(23), 65-76.

Nation, I. S. P. (2001). Learning vocabulary in another language. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.

Nikolovska, A. (2010). Gender and vocabulary learning in EFL: A case study from Macedonia. Language & Literature Studies, 87(2), 185-197.

O’Dowd, R. (Ed.). (2007). Online intercultural exchange: An introduction for foreign language teachers. Multilingual Matters,6(15), 981-995.

Qian, W. A. N. G. (2015). A study of the influence of gender differences on English learning of senior high school students. Higher Education of Social Science, 8(6), 666-669.

Öztürk, G., & Gürbüz, N. (2012). The impact of gender on foreign language speaking anxiety and motivation. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 70,654 –665.

Radwen, A. A., & Boyer, J.R. (2011). Semantic processing and vocabulary development of adult ESL learners. Asian Journal of English Language Teaching, 21, 1–21.

Raymond, E. (2000). Cognitive characteristics: Learners with mild disabilities. Needham Heights, MA: Allyn & Bacon.

Schmitt, N. (2010). Key issues in teaching and learning vocabulary. In R. Chacón-Beltrán, C, Abello-Contesse & M. Torreblanca-López (Eds.), Insights into non-native vocabulary teaching and learning (pp. 221-231). Dublin: Multilingual Matters.

Söylemez, S. A. (2010). A study on how social gender identity is constructed in EFL coursebooks. Social and Behavioral Sciences, 9, 747–752.

Swain, M., &Lapkin, S. (1995). Problems in output and the cognitive processes they generate: A step towards second language learning. Applied Linguistics, 16(4), 371-391.

Swiatek, M. A., & Lupkowski-Shoplik, A. E. (2000). Gender differences in academic attitudes among gifted elementary school students. Journal for the Education of the Gifted, 23(4), 360-77.

Thornbury, S. (2002). How to teach vocabulary. London: Longman.

Toscu, S. (2013). The impact of interactive whiteboards on classroom interaction in tertiary level English as a foreign language classes (Unpublished master’s thesis). Bilkent University, Ankara.

Van Waes, L., Weijen, D., & Leijten, M. (2014). Learning to write in an online writing center: The effect of learning styles on the writing process. Computers & Education, 73, 60-71.

Venezky, R. (2004). Technology in the classroom: steps toward a new vision. Education, Communication & Information, 4(1), 3-21.

Vygotsky, L. S. (1978). Mind in society. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Walters, J. M. (2004). Teaching the use of context to infer meaning: A Longitudinal survey of L1 and L2 vocabulary research. Language Teaching, 37(4), 243-252.

Warschauer, M., & Meskill, C. (2000). Technology and second language learning. In J. Rosenthal (ED.), Handbook of undergraduate second language education (pp. 141-159). Mahwah, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Wiebe, G., & Kabata, K. (2010). Students' and instructors' attitudes toward the use of CALL in foreign language teaching and learning. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 23(3), 221-234.

Wu, J. (2011). Study on college students’ utilization of vocabulary learning strategies. Fudan Forum on Foreign Languages and Literature, 5(1) 84-89.

Zheng, L. (2016). The effectiveness of self-regulated learning scaffolds on academic performance in computer-based learning environments: a metaanalysis. Asia Pacific Education Review, 17(22), 187–202.

Xiaoxiao, L. & Yan, L. (2010). A case study of dynamic assessment in EFL process writing. Chinese Journal of Applied Linguistics, 33(1), 24-40.

Zafar, K., & Meenakshi, K. (2012). Individual learner differences and second language acquisition: A review. Journal of Language Teaching and Research, 3(4), 639-646.