Multimodal Scaffolding Teaching: Role-Taking or Role-Creating in an English as a Foreign Language (EFL) Oral Communication Class in Japan


  • Samuel Nfor Rikkyo University Tokyo, Japan



This study is an investigation of the impact of multimodal scaffolding teaching through in-class drama workshop tasks among a group of first-year English education major students studying English in an EFL oral communication class at a national university in Japan. Students’ role-play dialogues were video-recorded and transcribed to identify oral communication challenges so as to make informed interventions in a series of drama workshops that were again video-recorded and transcribed after the intervention to assess progress made in addressing the original communication problems. Questionnaires and interviews at the start and end of the study were used to measure students’ enthusiasm and analyse their self-assessment. The findings indicate that scaffolding drama workshops in which students create role-play dialogues engages them in the subject, facilitates their learning, and brings out multimodal features that are necessary for effective oral communication. This study evaluates the effect of role-creating and role-playing on student interaction and oral communication improvement through the assessment of the efficacy of “multimodality” and “scaffolding”. Multimodality is “the phenomenon in texts and communicative events whereby a variety of semiotic modes are integrated into a unified whole” (Van Leeuwen & Kress 2001: 107). Scaffolding, first described by Wood et al. (1976) involves tailored ...