The Effects of Dynamic Assessment and its Mediating Factors on EFL Twelfth Graders’ Grammar Achievement in the UAE

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The British University in Dubai (BUiD)
The present study investigates the effects of dynamic assessment (DA) and its mediating factors on EFL twelve graders’ grammar achievement in a private school in Dubai, UAE. The study attempts to answer the following research questions: 1) What are the effects of implementing DA versus non-dynamic assessment (NDA) on the grammatical achievement of EFL twelve graders?, 2) What effects does DA have on the level of performance of EFL twelve graders’ grammar achievement?, 3) What effects does DA have on the proficiency level of EFL twelve graders’ grammar achievement? and 4) What are the views of EFL twelve graders with regard to their grammar achievement when DA is implemented? The study adopts the explanatory sequential mixed-methods research approach. The first part is the quantitative phase, which involves implementing the quasi-experimental pretest-posttest design to collect quantitative data to examine the overall impact of DA versus NDA on learners’ grammar achievement levels. It also examines DA’s effects on EFL twelve graders’ performance and proficiency levels. However, the second part is the qualitative phase, where data have been collected using semi-structured interviews to explore EFL twelve graders’ views regarding their grammar achievement when DA is implemented. In order to achieve the purposes of the study, 140 participants have been selected using convenience sampling for the quantitative phase of the study, and 20 participants, representing the low and high achievers of the advanced and the general proficiency levels, have been chosen using purposive sampling for the qualitative phase of the study. While quantitative data have been analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics, including independent sample t-test, one-way ANOVA, two-way ANOVA, and post-hoc multiple comparisons, qualitative data have been analyzed using thematic analysis. Based on the results of the study, there is a significant effect of DA on the level of grammar achievement for EFL twelve graders for the experimental group that has undertaken the DA intervention compared to the NDA group. This indicates how learners of the experimental DA group have improved their grammar achievement more effectively than their peers of the control NDA group. The results also demonstrate a statistically significant difference in the level of grammar achievement among learners of the three levels of performance in which low-achieving learners have improved their grammar achievement substantially better than their counterparts of the average and high-performance learners who have undertaken the DA intervention. In addition, the results of the study point out that there is a statistically significant effect on the proficiency level for EFL twelve graders in the experimental and control groups, which means that the impact of DA on grammar achievement is higher for participants of the advanced proficiency level than it is for participants of the general proficiency level. The qualitative findings have indicated that most learners have positive views and prefer DA over NDA methods due to their engaging, communicative, supportive and comfortable nature. Moreover, the qualitative findings have resulted in some themes pertaining to (1) learners’ awareness and understanding of DA, (2) learners’ involvement in DA interactions, (3) the most effective DA interaction techniques, (4) learners’ general positive feelings towards DA, (5) learners’ positive views towards DA, (6) the role of DA in developing learners’ cognitive abilities, (7) diagnosing and improving learners’ weaknesses using DA, (8) learners’ challenges during the implementation of DA, (9) general drawbacks related to the use of DA in EFL classrooms, (10) the usefulness of DA in dealing with specific grammar rules, (11) learners’ preference of DA over NDA to be implemented in their future examinations, (12) learners’ recommendation of integrating DA into the English curriculum, and (13) learners’ views on how to improve the use of DA in EFL classrooms. Finally, the pedagogical and theoretical implications of implementing DA in EFL classrooms have been outlined.