Scaffolding: Teaching and Learning in Language and Literacy Education by Jennifer Hammond

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“This book presents six essays that explain where the educational term “scaffolding” comes from and what it means, then journeys into classrooms that demonstrate effective scaffolding in practice. In the process, it shows that “content” cannot be taught apart from the language about that content. The essays in the book are also about the role of language in learning, and about language and literacy education in the context of schooling. Essays in the book are: (1) “What Is Scaffolding?” (Jennifer Hammond and Pauline Gibbons); (2) “Scaffolding and Language” (Jennifer Hammond); (3) “Scaffolding in Action: Snapshots from the Classroom” (Tina Sharpe); (4) “Scaffolding Oral Language: ‘The Hungry Giant’ Retold” (Bronwyn Dansie); (5) “Mind in the Classroom” (Pauline Jones); and (6) “Learning about Language: Scaffolding in ESL Classrooms (Brian Dare and John Polias). An Afterword discusses further questions and a 17-item glossary is attached. (RS)”

Scaffolding: Teaching and Learning in Language and Literacy Education. by Jennifer Hammond

Mediating Language Learning: Teacher Interactions with ESL Students in a Content-Based Classroom by Pauline Gibbons

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ABSTRACT

” This research draws on the constructs of mediation from sociocultural theory and mode continuum from systemic functional linguistics to investigate how teacher-student talk in a content-based (science) class room contributes to learners’ language development. The illustrative texts show how two teachers, through their interactions with students, mediate between the students’ current linguistic levels in English and their commonsense understandings of science, on the one hand, and the educational discourse and specialist understandings of the subject, on the other. Through this mediation, students’ contributions to the discourse are progressively transformed across a mode continuum into the specialist discourse of the school curriculum. The data reveal ways teachers build linguistic bridges to span the two orders of discourse by showing how the interactions provide sites for L2 learning, in terms of the development of the new academic register. The illustrative texts suggest that in interactions that are effective in terms of L2 develop ment, both teachers and learners are active participants in the co construction of language and curriculum knowledge. The article also argues for the value of qualitative interpretive approaches and grounded knowledge in L2 research that is concerned with teacher development and educational improvement.”

Mediating Language Learning: Teacher Interactions with ESL Students in a Content-Based Classroom by Pauline Gibbons

‘Becoming’ in classroom talk by PAUL DUFFICY

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ABSTRACT

“The nature of the talk between teachers and children is highly significant in a pedagogy that seeks to assist all children in their progress towards both individually and socially productive learning and development. In the long term, such progress is made difficult, especially for bilingual children, when talk is characterised by tight teacher control and relatively narrow and predictable patterns of participation. And while these restricted patterns of communication afford little opportunity for children to develop both linguistically and cognitively, they also frame for the child the kind of learner they are considered to be. Similarly, children also learn about themselves in more open forms of classroom communication, and these forms only come about when teachers loosen the reins on the minds of the children in their classrooms and assist them to move into challenging new cognitive domains through dialogue. This paper will look at a sample of talk, between a teacher and a small group of children, taken from a larger action research project that sought to expand the talk opportunities for all the children in a combined Year 3/4 multilingual classroom. The suggestion will be made that, in expanding talk roles and responsibilities in classrooms, teachers not only engage children more effectively with the language and content of the curriculum, they assist young people to come to see themselves as capable doers and thinkers. It is this ‘gift of confidence’ (Mahn and John-Steiner 2002) that encourages children to engage with the next challenge that teachers place before them.”

‘Becoming’ in classroom talk by Paul Duficy

High challenge, high support: Integrating language and content instruction for diverse learners in an English literature classroom. By Jennifer Hammond

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ABSTRACT

“In this paper, I argue for a response to the needs of linguistically and culturally diverse students that is both high challenge and high support.  In elaborating this argument I draw on an English literature programme that was designed for a year 7 boys’ class (the first year of high school) in an Australian public school.  The students in the programme were diverse in terms of their socio-cultural and linguistic backgrounds and although academically capable, required on-going English language support.  Although all were English as a Second Language (ESL) students, they worked in a ‘mainstream’ class, and were expected to participate in full content instruction of all key curriculum areas.

In the paper, I focus in particular, on the ways in which the teacher, in a Unit of work on Romeo and Juliet, drew on socially oriented theories both of learning and of language to articulate the nature of the challenge that students faced in their engagement with academic language in the mainstream curriculum.  I suggest that the ways in which the teacher wove both content and lanaguge teaching in her lessons.  Her explicit teaching of language, as well as her ability to incorporate drama into the Unit, contributed to her students’ successful learning of intellectually challenging curriculum content and their affective engagement with that content.  The teacher’s approach to ESL learning in a mainstream content classroom, I suggest, provided a constructive and positive alternative to the more common response of modifying the curriculum for ESL learners.”

High challenge, high support: Integrating language and content instruction for diverse learners in an English literature classroom. By Jennifer Hammond

Tensions in Building Toward Disciplinary Literacy by Steven Z. Athanases and Luciana C. de Oliveira

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ABSTRACT

“Scaffolding is widely referenced in educational literature and practice, in literacy education in particular, but often in reductive ways. Scaffolding is key for diverse youth in high-need settings, but few studies examine complexities and tensions of scaffolding in practice. This study asked how, if at all, teachers at a California high school with a mission to prepare urban, low-income, mostly Latina/o youth for academics and college admission enacted scaffolding to help students, many of them English learners, achieve academic goals. Drawing upon school and classroom data collected over a year and a half, including video recorded observations, interviews, and student work samples, the study used observation instruments and qualitative analyses to answer questions using two teacher cases. Considering scaffolding for whom, teachers supported students they hoped to see achieve but whom they felt needed many supports, given histories of low test scores and some academic failure. In scaffolding for what purpose(s), much attention was devoted to scaffolding basic and intermediate levels of literacy activity, with less evidence of scaffolding disciplinary literacy and higher-order thinking. For scaffolding how, planned scaffolds of sequenced activities dominated, with promising examples of interactional scaffolds. One teacher case illustrates routine support, while the second illustrates scaffolding aligned with core elements of contingency, fading, and transfer of responsibility and with use of sociocultural dimensions of learning. The study highlights
one urban public high school, with implications for teaching youth of color in low income settings, teaching English learners, and preparing teachers for this work.”

Tensions in Building Toward Disciplinary Literacy by Steven Z. Athanases and Luciana C. de Oliveira

 

Translanguaging in the Bilingual Classroom: A Pedagogy for Learning and Teaching? Author(s): Angela Creese and Adrian Blackledge

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ABSTRACT

“This article reports on research that questions commonsense understandings of a bilingual pedagogy predicated on what Cummins (2005, 2008) refers to as the “two solitudes” assumption (2008, p. 65). It sets out to describe a flexible bilingual approach to language teaching and learning in Chinese and Gujarati community language schools in the United Kingdom. We argue for a release from monolingual instructional approaches and advocate teaching bilin gual children by means of bilingual instructional strategies, in which two or more languages are used alongside each other. In developing this argument, the article takes a language ecol ogy perspective and seeks to describe the interdependence of skills and knowledge across languages.”

Translanguaging in the Bilingual Classroom