International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online)

Harison Mohd. Sidek

According to Vygotsky (1978), a learner has the potential to progress from their actual developmental level to their potential developmental level via scaffolding that occurs during interaction with superior others. This case study was conducted based on Vygotsky’s (1978) theory of scaffolding within the zone of proximal development (ZPD). In line with this theory, this case study attempted to examine the role of scaffolding via informal interaction in second language (L2) development in terms of syntax development on a young L2 learner. A set of pictures was used as an instrument in this study. The pre-description of the  pictures was obtained prior to the commencing of adult-child scaffolding sessions during which the child was presented with the model description. The child’s delayed post description was acquired one week after the conclusion of the scaffolding sessions. The child’s syntax development was measured by comparing the child’s pre-, post-, and target description in terms of MLU, verb substitution and omission, comparison of incomplete sentence, comparison of latency to full sentence production, comparison of articles, verbs and nouns usage, and comparison of correlation coefficient of articles, verbs and nouns usage between model- and post-descriptions. The results suggest that scaffolding within ZPD has its share in L2 syntax development.

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