Document Type : Research article


1 PhD candidate, Tabriz Branch Islamic Azad University

2 Department of English, Tabriz Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tabriz, Iran


The shift from teacher-centered to learner-centered approaches in second language acquisition and from product to process approach in writing pedagogy over the last few decades has stimulated quite a number of researchers to focus on learners' voices in collaboration passing through multiple drafts and revisions. This study based on the concept of scaffolding learning in Vygotsky's sociocultural theory and process writing approach to second language writing investigated Iranian EFL learners' negotiation types in small groups of different scaffolding patterns; symmetrical and asymmetrical. To this end, 15 students at High and Low Intermediate Proficiency levels were assigned into three groups in different scaffolding patterns; one asymmetrical group with two High Intermediate - three Low Intermediate learners (H-L), two symmetrical groups with five High Intermediate learners (H-H), another with five Low Intermediate learners (L-L). Small group interactions were observed and recorded. Transcriptions were analyzed to identify negotiation types in terms of language functions among different groups of scaffolding patterns. According to Chi-square test results, negotiation types were significantly related to the scaffolding pattern as the asymmetrical (H-L) group was superior in the number of language functions used over the symmetrical (L-L, H-H) groups. Nevertheless, members in all groups enjoyed high equality and mutuality in interaction with each other. The findings suggest teachers raise learners' awareness of the diverse strengths and abilities that different scaffolding patterns give them; for instance, a sense of responsibility for their group members’ engagement.