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Academic Journal of Humanities & Social Sciences, 2020, 3(8); doi: 10.25236/AJHSS.2020.030808.

Using Digital Scaffolding Materials to Enhance Learners’ Autonomous Learning: A Case in a Chinese University


Chen Chen

Corresponding Author:
Chen Chen

International College, Southwest University, Chongqing, China


This case study explores Chinese university students’ perceptions of using digital materials as scaffolding to facilitate their English as a Foreign Language (EFL) learning in an autonomous context. A total of 30 students participated in the study. Data were collected via multiple methods, including participants’ reflective reports, individual interviews and documents. The collected evidence was categorized by themes and research questions. This study found gradual changes of students’ perceptions and uses of digital materials as scaffolding to their EFL learning, which was not a linear process but a recursive one. Participants’ understanding was deepened as more digital supportive materials were used to scaffold their language development. Their autonomy was also elevated in this process. The study found that students’ perceptions and uses of scaffolding materials were different in linguistic learning and cultural knowledge learning. Recommendations for future studies are provided on the base of these findings.


Scaffolding, Autonomy, Supportive materials, ZPD, English as a Foreign Language

Cite This Paper

Chen Chen. Using Digital Scaffolding Materials to Enhance Learners’ Autonomous Learning: A Case in a Chinese University. Academic Journal of Humanities & Social Sciences (2020) Vol. 3, Issue 8: 82-96. https://doi.org/10.25236/AJHSS.2020.030808.


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