The term "scaffolding" is an attractive metaphor for teachers, and has been useful in helping them to reflect on how they present new concepts and new language to school-aged learners. Nowadays, however, the term is sometimes used more generally, as simply a way of talking about 'good teaching' or 'help'.

In this session, I will illustrate, with practical classroom examples, the ways in which 'scaffolding' differs from 'help', and show how scaffolding can be seen as an approach to teaching, rather than as simply 'help', or an isolated strategy.  We will look at examples of two types of scaffolding. The first is planned scaffolding, which is reflected in the planning that teachers do before they teach. The second is interactional scaffolding, which is reflected in the ways that teachers talk with students, and respond to what students say.

During the talk I will introduce some language-based classroom activities that can be used in a range of subjects across the curriculum, and that provide scaffolding for students to understand and use the spoken and written academic language of school.

About the presentor

Dr Pauline Gibbons taught postgraduate and undergraduate TESOL courses at the University of Technology, Sydney, for many years, and is now an Adjunct Professor at the University of New South Wales. Her work with teachers has taken her to Hong Kong, Sweden, Laos, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, China, South Africa, Marshall Islands, Iran, Germany, UK, and USA, among other locations.

In recent years she has been working with teachers in remote indigenous communities in Australia, with English Language and subject/mainstream teachers across Australia, and in International Schools in South East Asia.

A major focus of her research has been on the ways that teachers can provide an intellectually challenging curriculum for their English language learners, while at the same time providing them with the language scaffolding essential to the development of academic language and literacy across the curriculum. This focus on a 'high challenge, high support' learning environment is the context for much of her current work with teachers.

In Sweden Pauline Gibbons is well known for two of her publications translated into Swedish: Stärk språket, stärk lärandet: språk- och kunskapsutvecklande arbetssätt för och med andraspråkselever i klassrummet (2013, 3e uppl) and Lyft språket, lyft tänkandet: språk och lärande (2013, 2a uppl). A selected list of her publications can be found on:


Av intresse för: alla skolformer

Nyckelord: stöttning, språk- och kunskapsutvecklande arbetssätt, ämnesdidaktik