The Role of the Teacher or Knowledgeable Peer in Language Learning: Visual Scaffolding
International Journal on Studies in English Language and Literature
What is the role of the teacher or more knowledgeable peer in language learning? This research examines a case study that has been conducted in the Middle East (Jordan) to examine the role of the teacher in language learning on the semantic and lexical levels. The case study targets two groups of Arabic speakers learning English. While visual scaffolding was used with Group B, Group A was not exposed to any form of visual scaffolding. The study touches on the role of "visual scaffolding" in
... scaffolding" in language learning, which is the very provision of appropriate assistance, using visual aids, given to the target student to help him/her achieve something that is beyond his/her sole potential way of learning. Based on this, the research claims that there is a gap between the learner's current level of development and that potential one that is guided by a teacher or by some peers who are more capable in this arena. This gap is often referred to as the Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD). To achieve this potential progress, input must be comprehensible. When the input is comprehensible, spectacular progress in language acquisition occurs provided that the "Affective Filter" is absent. The latter has to do with boredom and nervousness. According to the study, not only will this filter make the subject content incomprehensible, but it will also hamper learning the language itself. The study also claims that for a perfect setting of learning to happen, visual scaffolding must be present. The study concludes that this technique is very useful to kill the affective filter and make the input drastically more compreh ensible.