Topic

3 Scaffolding

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Another key term in CLIL is scaffolding …

… not this kind of scaffolding though the image is useful for our understanding 🙂

Rosie Tanner and Liz Dale describe CLIL scaffolding in their book “CLIL Activities” as

“The idea of scaffolding is based on work by Wood, Bruner and Ross (1976) and Vygotsky (1978). Builders use temporary scaffolds to support a building during construction, and then – once the building can stand alone – the scaffold is removed.”

In other words: Scaffolding is the process of supporting your learners during their learning process and slowly but surely removing that support as our learners become more independent.

Simple, right?!

As (CLIL) teachers we scaffold all the time and in many different ways. Scaffolding is the support that the teacher gives the learner in various forms and can range from hints or feedback to completing the task for the learner as a demonstration. It often involves combining controlled practice with work on a specific subject at a level that is accessible to the learner. The value of scaffolding is that the learner acquires the knowledge, strategy and/or skill, using relatively simple material, and then progresses toward understanding higher level content with more confidence and a better understanding.

Ross Forman (2008)  identifies three techniques for scaffolding interaction: priming, prompting and dialoguing.

Try the quiz below and see if you can match the three techniques to their descriptions

Quizzes