Document Type : Research Paper


English Department, Humanities Faculty, Bu Ali Sina University, Hamedan, Iran


This study investigated the comparative effects of audio-visually prompted collaborative dialogue on the listening comprehension development of symmetrical, asymmetrical, and asymmetrical teacher-fronted EFL learner groups. Besides, it explored the attitude of the participants of the groups concerning the effectiveness of collaborative dialogue for their listening comprehension improvement. The participants of the study were 120 Iranian female EFL learners who were conveniently chosen from several English language institutes and put into three experimental and one control groups, each with 30 learners. In the first experimental group, coequal learners engaged in collaborative dialogue. In the second experimental group, the expert peer(s) and less knowledgeable peers applied collaborative dialogue, and in the third experimental group, in addition to the peers, the teacher was involved in collaborative dialogue with the group members. As for the control group, the collaborative dialogue was abandoned and the participants worked individually. Quantitative and qualitative analyses revealed that collaborative dialogue in asymmetrical teacher-fronted, asymmetrical peer and symmetrical peer groups were respectively the most effective procedures for listening comprehension development of the EFL learners. Also, it was found that the participants of the asymmetrical teacher fronted group had a more positive attitude towards the efficacy of audio-visually prompted collaborative dialogue compared with asymmetrical and symmetrical peer groups. The findings underscore the cognitive and affective efficiency of a more knowledgeable source, either a teacher or a peer, in asymmetrical dyadic interactions for the less knowledgeable partners' ZPD sensitive development.   


Ahmadi Safa, M., & Rozati, F. (2017). The impact of scaffolding and non-scaffolding strategies on EFL learners' listening comprehension development. The Journal of Educational Research, 110(5), 447-456.

Ableeva, R. (2008). The effects of dynamic assessment on L2 listening comprehension. In J.P. Lantolf, & M. E. Poehner (Eds.), Sociocultural theory and the teaching of second languages (pp.57-86). London: Equinox Publishing Ltd.

Al-Yami, S.A. (2008). The effectiveness of scaffolding interactive activities in developing the English listening comprehension skills of the sixth-grade elementary schoolgirls in Jeddah. (Unpublished Master's thesis). Retrieved from:

Anderson, C. W., Holland, J. D., & Palincsar, A. S. (1997). Canonical and sociocultural approaches to research and reform in science education: The story of Juan and his group. The Elementary School Journal, 97, 359-384

Antón, M., & DiCamilla, F. (1999). Socio-cognitive functions of L1 collaborative interaction in the L2 classroom. The Modern Language Journal, 83(2), 233-246.

Baines, E., P. Blatchford, & P. Kutnick. (2009). Promoting effective group work in the primary classroom: A handbook for teachers and practitioners. London: Routledge.

Baker, M.J. (2020). Types of educational dialogue. Learning, Culture and Social Interaction, Advance online publication. doi: 10.1016/j.lcsi.2020.100387

Battistich, V., Solomon, D., & Delucci, K. (1993). Interaction processes and student outcomes in cooperative groups. Elementary School Journal, 94, 19-32.

Bonsignori, V. (2018). Using films and TV series for ESP teaching: A multimodal perspective. System, 77, 58-69.

Bruti, S. (2015). Teaching learners how to use pragmatic routines through audiovisual material. In B. Crawford Camiciottoli, & I. Fortanet-Gomez (Eds.), Multimodal analysis in academic settings: From research to teaching (pp. 213-236). London: Routledge.

Burns, A., & Siegel, J. (2018). International perspectives on teaching the four skills in ELT: Listening, speaking, reading, writing. Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan.

Cohen, J.W. (1988). Statistical power analysis for the behavioral sciences (2nd ed.). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

de la Colina, A. A., & García Mayo, M. (2007). Attention to form across collaborative tasks by low-proficiency learners in an EFL setting. In M. P. García Mayo (Ed.), Investigating tasks in formal language learning (pp. 91-116). Clevedon, England: Multilingual Matters.

DiCamilla, F., & Antón, M. (1997). Repetition in the collaborative discourse of L2 learners: A Vygotskian perspective. Canadian Modern Language Review, 53, 609-33.

Dobao, A. F. (2012). Collaborative writing tasks in the L2 classroom: Comparing group, pair, and individual work. Journal of Second Language Writing, 21(1), 40-58.

Dobao, A. F. (2016). Peer interaction and learning: A focus on the silent learner. In M. Sato & S. Ballinger (Eds.), Peer interaction and second language learning: Pedagogical potential and research agenda. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Donato, R. (1994). Collective scaffolding in second language learning. In J. P. Lantolf and G. Appel (eds.), Vygotskian approaches to second language research (pp. 33-56). Norwood, NJ: Ablex.

Edstrom, A. (2015). Triads in the L2 classroom: Interaction patterns and engagement during a collaborative task. System, 52, 26-37.

Educational Testing Service (2015). Handbook for the TOEFL junior standard test. USA: ETS.

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

Flowerdew, J., & Miller, L. (2005). Second language listening: Theory and practice. NY: Cambridge University Press.

Fulcher, G. (2010). Practical language testing. London, UK: Hodder Education.

Garcia, P., & Asencion, Y. (2001). Interlanguage development of Spanish learners: Comprehension production, and interaction. The Canadian Modern Language Review, 57, 377-401.

Gibbons, P. (2003). Mediating language learning: Teacher interactions with ESL students in a content-based classroom. TESOL Quarterly, 37(2), 247-273.

Gillies, R., & Boyle, M. (2011). Teachers’ reflections of cooperative learning (CL): A two-year follow-up. Teaching Education, 22, 63-78.

Gillies, R, M. (2019). Promoting academically productive student dialogue during collaborative learning. International Journal of Educational Research, 97, 200-209.

Harmer, J. (2007). The practice of English language teaching (4th ed.). Harlow: PearsonLongman.

He, X., & Ellis, R. (1999). Modified output and the acquisition of word meaning. In R. Ellis (Ed.), Learning a second language through interaction (pp.115-143). Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company.

Herrero, C. (2016).The film in language teaching association (FILTA): A multilingual community of practice. ELT Journal, 70(2), 190-199.

Jewitt, C. (Ed.). (2014). The Routledge handbook of multimodal analysis. London: Routledge.

Kaufman, D. (2004). Constructivist issues in language learning and teaching. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, 24, 303-319.

Khatib, M., & Ahmadi Safa, M. (2011). The effectiveness of ZPD-wise explicit/implicit expert peers and co-equals’ scaffolding in ILP development. Iranian Journal of Applied Linguistics, 14, 49-75.

Kim, Y., & McDonough, K. (2008). The effect of interlocutor proficiency on the collaborative dialogue between Korean as second language learners. Language Teaching Research, 12(2), 211-234.

Klingner, J. K., & Vaughn, S. (2000). The helping behaviors of fifth graders while using collaborative strategic reading during ESL content classes. TESOL Quarterly, 34, 69-98.

Kowal, M. & Swain, M. (1994). Using collaborative language production tasks to promote students' language awareness. Language Awareness 3, 73-93.

Kowal, M. & Swain, M. (1997). From semantic to syntactic processing: How can we promote it in the immersion classroom? In K. Johnson and M. Swain (Eds.), Immersion education: International perspectives (pp. 284-309). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Lantolf, J. P., & Poehner, M. E. (2011). Dynamic assessment in the classroom: Vygotskian praxis for second language development. Language Teaching Research, 15, 11-33.

Lantolf, J. P., & Thorne, S. L. (2006/2009). Sociocultural theory and the genesis of second language development. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Leeser, M.J. (2004). Learner proficiency and focus on form during collaborative dialogue. Language Teaching Research, 8(1), 55-81.

Mennim, P. (2016). A discourse-based evaluation of a classroom peer teaching project. ELT Journal, 71(1), 37-49.

Mercer, N. (2004). Sociocultural discourse analysis: Analyzing classroom talk as a social mode of thinking. Journal of Applied Linguistics, 12, 137-168.

Mercer, N., Wegerif, R., & Major, L. (2020). The Routledge international handbook of research on dialogic education. London: Routledge.

McCarthy, S.J. & McMahon, S. (1992). From convention to invention: Three approaches to peer interaction during writing. In R. Hertz-Lazarowitz & M. Miller (Eds.), Interaction in cooperative groups: The theoretical anatomy of group learning (pp. 17-35). Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.

Mcdonough, K., & Sunitham, W. (2009). Collaborative dialogue between Thai EFL learners during self-access computer activities. TESOL Quarterly, 43(2), 231-254.

Mitchell, R., & Myles, F. (2004/2013). Second language learning theories. New York, NY: Routledge.

Nassaji, H., & Tian, J. (2010). Collaborative and individual output tasks and their effects on learning English phrasal verbs. Language Teaching Research, 14(4), 397-419.

Nishioka, H. (2016). Analyzing language development in a collaborative digital storytelling project: Sociocultural perspectives. System, 62, 39-52.

Ohta, A.S. (2000). Rethinking interaction in SLA: Developmentally appropriate assistance in the zone of proximal development and the acquisition of L2 grammar. In J. Lantolf (Ed.), Sociocultural theory and second language learning (pp. 51-78). Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.

Ohta, A.S. (2001). Second language acquisition processes in the classroom: Learning Japanese. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Philp, J., Adams, R., & Iwashita, N. (2014). Peer interaction and second language learning. London:Routledge.

Philp, J., Walter, S., & Basturkmen, H. (2010). Peer interaction in the foreign language classroom: What factors foster a focus on form? Language Awareness, 19(4), 261-279.

Poehner, M, E. (2005). Dynamic assessment of oral proficiency among advanced L2 learners of French. (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). Pennsylvania State University, USA.

Poehner, M. E. (2008). Dynamic assessment: A Vygotskian approach to understanding and promoting L2 development. USA: Springer.

Poehner, M. E. (2009). Group dynamic assessment: Mediation for the L2 classroom. TESOL Quarterly, 43,471-491.

Scott, V. M., & De la Fuente, M. J. (2008). What's the problem? L2 learners' use of the L1 during consciousness-raising, form-focused tasks. The Modern Language Journal, 92, 100-113.

Storch, N. (2001). How collaborative is pair work: ESL tertiary students composing in pairs. Language Teaching Research, 5, 29-53.

Storch, N. (2002). Patterns of interaction in ESL pair work. Language Learning, 52, 119- 158.

Storch, N. (2005). Collaborative writing: Product, process, and students’ reflections. Journal of Second Language Writing, 14, 153-173.

Storch, N. (2007). Investigating the merits of pair work on a text editing task in ESL classes. Language Teaching Research, 11(2), 143-59.

Storch, N., & Aldosari, A. (2013). Pairing learners in pair work activity. Language Teaching Research, 17(1), 31-48.

Swain, M. (1985). Communicative competence: some roles of comprehensible input and comprehensible output in its development. In S. Gass, & C. Madden (Eds.), Input in second language acquisition (pp. 235-253). Rowley, MA: Newbury House.

Swain, M. (1995). Three functions of output in second language learning. In G. Cook & B. Seidlhofer (Eds.). Principles and practice in applied linguistics: Studies in honor of H. G. Widdowson (pp. 125-144), Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.

Swain, M., (2000). The output hypothesis and beyond: Mediating acquisition through collaborative dialogue. In J. Lantolf (Ed.), Sociocultural theory and second language learning (pp.97-114). Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.

Swain, M., (2001). Integrating language and content teaching through collaborative tasks. Canadian Modern Language Review, 58, 44-63.

Swain, M. (2006). Languaging, agency, and collaboration in advanced second language learning. In H. Byrnes (Ed.), Advanced language learning: The contributions of Halliday and Vygotsky (pp. 95-108). London: Continuum.

Swain, M. (2010). “Talking-it-through”: Languaging as a source of learning. In R. Batstone (Ed.), Sociocognitive perspectives on second language learning and use (pp. 112-29). Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.

Swain, M., Brooks, L., & Tocalli-Beller, A., (2002). Peer–peer dialogue as a means of second language learning. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, 22, 171-185.

Swain, M., & Lapkin, S. (1998). Interaction and second language learning: Two adolescent French immersion students working together. The Modern Language Journal, 82(3), 320-337.

Swain, M., & Lapkin, S. (2001). Focus on form through collaborative dialogue: Exploring task effects. In M. Bygate, P. Skehan, & M. Swain (Eds.), Researching pedagogic tasks: Second language learning, teaching, and testing (pp. 99-118). London, England: Longman.

Swain, M., & Watanabe, Y. (2013). Languaging: Collaborative dialogue as a source of second language learning. In C. A. Chapelle (Ed.), The encyclopedia of applied linguistics (pp. 3218-3225). Oxford, England: Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Tavakoli, H. (2012). A dictionary of language acquisition: A comprehensive overview of key terms in first and second language acquisition. Tehran: Tehran University Press.

Thoms, J., Liao, J., & Szustak, A. (2005). The use of L1 in an L2 online chat activity. The Canadian Modern Language Review, 62(1), 161-182.

Toth, P.D. (2011).Social and cognitive factors in making teacher-led classroom discourse relevant for second language development. The Modern Language Journal, 95(1), 1-25.

Villamil, O. S., & Guerrero, M. C. M. de. (1996). Peer revision in the L2 classroom: Social-cognitive activities, mediating strategies, and aspects of social behavior. Journal of Second Language Writing, 3, 51-75.

Villamil, O. S., & Guerrero, M. C. M. de. (1998). Assessing the impact of peer revision on L2 writing. Applied Linguistics, 19, 491-514.

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

Vygotsky, L. S. (1986). Thought and language. MA, Cambridge: MIT Press.

Watanabe, Y. (2008). Peer–peer interaction between L2 learners of different proficiency levels: Their interactions and reflections. Canadian Modern Language Review, 64, 605-35.

Watanabe, Y., & Swain, M. (2007). Effects of proficiency differences and patterns of pair interaction on second language learning: Collaborative dialogue between adult ESL learners. Language Teaching Research, 11(2), 121-142.

Webb, S., & Rodgers, H. (2009). The lexical coverage of movies. Applied Linguistics, 30, 407-427.

Wigglesworth, G., & Storch, N. (2009). Pair versus individual writing: Effects on fluency, complexity, and accuracy. Language Testing, 26(3), 445-466.

Windschitl, M. (2002). Framing constructivism in practice as the negotiation of dilemmas: An analysis of the conceptual, pedagogical, cultural, and political challenges facing teachers. Review of Educational Research, 72, 131-175.

Woolfolk, A. (2016). Educational Psychology. England, Pearson Education Limited.

Xu, Y., Gelfer, J., & Perkins, P. (2005). Using peer tutoring to increase social interactions in early schooling. TESOL Quarterly, 39(1), 83-106.

Yule, G. & Macdonald, D. (1990). Resolving referential conflict in L2 interaction: The effect of proficiency and interactive role. Language Learning, 40, 539-556.

Zeng, G., & Takatsuka, Sh. (2009). Text-based peer-peer collaborative dialogue in a computer-mediated learning environment in the EFL context. System, 37, 434-446.