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Scaffolding and cooperative learning

The effect on reading comprehension and vocabulary knowledge in EFL
PhD ceremony:Ms S. Wachyunni
When:July 02, 2015
Supervisors:prof. dr. M.H. (Marjolijn) Verspoor, prof. dr. H.P.M. (Bert) Creemers
Where:Academy building RUG
Scaffolding and cooperative learning

For university students in Indonesia, English reading comprehension, which partially depends on vocabulary knowledge, is key to success in academic achievement. The current study was set up to compare the effect of two commonly known teaching interventions during a whole semester to improve reading comprehension skills and vocabulary knowledge: scaffolding and cooperative learning.  University students of the faculty of Teacher Training and Education at Jambi University, majoring in English, were assigned to three different groups: scaffolding individual learning (SIL), scaffolding cooperative learning (SCL) and individual learning (IL) without scaffolding but help of dictionaries. The results show that there were no differences between the three groups in immediate effects of intervention. Nor were there differences among the three groups in the amount of vocabulary knowledge gain. On the post test, however, the students who had received scaffolding questions (individually or cooperatively) were significantly better than those who had not, but the students who had worked individually were better than those who had worked in small groups. In other words, there is a clear transfer effect for scaffolding. Lower ability students benefited relatively more in reading comprehension gain than the higher ability level students. Within the cooperative learning condition, attitudinal factors had a strong relationship with reading comprehension gain, but not with vocabulary gain. Thus, the more positive the attitude of the students, the more accountable the individuals, and the more comfortable the group members are with each other, the higher the gain.