Academic journal article Modern Journal of Language Teaching Methods

The Study of the Effect of Dynamic Assessment on Iranian Intermediate Efl Learners' Recall of Collocation

Academic journal article Modern Journal of Language Teaching Methods

The Study of the Effect of Dynamic Assessment on Iranian Intermediate Efl Learners' Recall of Collocation

Article excerpt


According to Zimmerman, vocabulary is central to language and language learning. As a subcategory of vocabulary, collocations are believed to be the stumbling block for second and especially foreign language learning (Mohammadi Darabad, Bahrebar, & Javid, 2013). Collocations are frequently recurring two-to-three word syntagmatic units which can include both lexical and grammatical words, e.g. verb + noun (pay tribute) ,(adjective + noun (hot spice), preposition + noun (on guard) and adjective preposition (immune to).It has been widely argued (e.g. Boers et al., 2006; Boers & Lindstromber, 2009) that collocational competence is important for language production and reception, enabling both the L1 and L2 language user to make idiomatic choices and come across as native-like.

Teachers are well aware that every decision that they make or every step that they take in their class has a profound effect on learners' academic achievement. Teacher actions consist of both teaching and testing. Recent views and works in the field of applied linguistics have attempted to reveal the interfaces between teaching and testing so that these two fields are now considered interdependent. The recent approach known as dynamic assessment (DA) has established a stronger link between language teaching and language testing (Zoghi & Malmeer, 2014).

Nowadays educators are recommended to use multiple assessments to evaluate what learners have learned .Dynamic assessment (DA) is a kind of interactive assessment used most in education. DA is a relatively new approach to L2 assessment that has been introduced to L2 research and educational community by Lantolf and Poehner (2004) and Poehner and Lantolf (2005).

While several studies have been conducted to investigate DA in foreign language learning, (Lantolf & Poehner; 2005; Zoghi & Malmeer, 2013), it appears that almost no research has been carried out to examine the effect of dynamic assessment on recall of collocations. In line with the previous studies in DA and to extend the scope of its applications, this study aimed to apply dynamic approach to teaching and assessing of collocation by Iranian EFL learners. The present study aims to answer the following research question:

1. To what extent is dynamic assessment effective on EFL students' recall of collocations?

Based on the above research question, the following hypotheses were formulated:

H0. Dynamic assessment does not have any effect on EFL students' recall of collocations.

H1. Dynamic assessment has significant effect on EFL students' recall of collocations.

2. What is Dynamic Assessment (DA)?

DA in language learning derived from sociocultural theory (SCT) of Vygotsky and his idea on cognitive development offers new insights into assessment in the language classroom by revealing hidden aspects of individuals' abilities in answering each test item. While the results of traditional nondynamic assessment (NDA) or Static Assessment (hereafter SA) can only show the already existent abilities of the student, the analysis of zone of proximal development (hereafter ZPD) makes it possible to evaluate the ability of the student to learn from the interaction with a teacher or a more competent peer and predict their possible future development. Vygotsky (1978) defined ZPD as the distance between a child's "actual developmental level as determined by independent problem solving" and the higher level revealed in "potential development as determined through problem solving under adult guidance or in collaboration with more able peers" (p. 86). Unaided performance on static measures tells us what has already been learned or accomplished, whereas the breadth of ZPD is thought to provide prospective indications of what can be learned. While studying the development of children's mental abilities, Vygotsky (1978) observed that what a child is able to do independently only displays the tip of iceberg, that is, a partial picture of child's full capability, because the child can often do more when just a bit of assistance, or mediation, is offered by someone else. …

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