In her article, Walqui (2006) examines and describes scaffolding as a highly efficient strategy for second language learning that allows students to progress and achieve substantial results. The significance of this research is determined by the increased number of adolescents from “the second or third generation of immigrants” in the United States (Walqui, 2006, p. 159). Despite the fact that these students have been educated exclusively in American public schools, “they are still learning English, failing academically and dropping out of school in large numbers” (Walqui, 2006, p. 159). In addition, while learning the new language’s academic subject matter, adolescents frequently face multiple local and global challenges. That is why the author proposes a specific model of scaffolding that emphasizes “the interactive social nature of learning and the contingent, collaborative nature of support and development” (Walqui, 2006, p. 159). The investigator has chosen the method of critical review and analysis of previous studies dedicated to scaffolding in order to develop this subject on the basis of her own experience.
Considering the learning theory of Lev Vygotsky, social interaction may be regarded as the basis of development and learning (Walqui, 2006). In turn, scaffolding focuses on social interaction, mutual engagement, and the cooperation between a teacher and a student to achieve better results in second language learning. It is defined as a process of the teacher’s management, help, and control to make the student’s entry successful and easy and then “gradually pulling back and handing the role to the child as he becomes skilled enough to manage it” (Walqui, 2006, p. 163). In terms of education, scaffolding has three pedagogical scales – the provision of a support structure for the development of certain skills and activities, these activities’ actual carrying out in class, and assistance in moment-to-moment interaction (Walqui, 2006). All scales have sox main features – continuity, contextual support, intersubjectivity, contingency, handover, and flow (Walqui, 2006). In addition, the collaboration with other language learners and scaffolded interaction among classmates is highly efficient for learning as it connects conversational language to both spoken and written academic discourse. In general, scaffolding provides appropriate instructions for English Language Learners and supports the idea that good teaching is inextricably bound with development.
From a personal perspective, the article may be regarded as highly comprehensive and detailed. The author provides all the necessary information related to the basis of scaffolding, its features, and differences from other teaching strategies. As a matter of fact, scaffolding helps students to elicit their potential and develop self-support and critical thinking as a teacher encourages them to develop their ideas, search for appropriate solutions, and express their personal opinions. In addition, the teacher’s support, encouragement, and respect to the student’s native language and personality as the characteristics of scaffolding, make this approach literally unique.
During individual preparation in order to become a competent teacher, it is highly essential to get acquainted with different techniques for students’ successful learning. This article provides considerably useful information about the new perspectives of scaffolding and its practical application for language learning in schools. In addition, several techniques of scaffolding described in the article, for instance, the explanation of the learning process to students and the necessity to connect the subject matter with their personal life, were unfamiliar to me. It goes without saying that received information contributes to my professional development in the future.
Walqui, A. (2006). Scaffolding instruction for English Language Learners: A conceptual framework. The International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 9(2), 159-180.