Instructional scaffolding is a really cool strategy that helps students learn new skills and knowledge. It’s like having training wheels on a bike – at first, you need a lot of support, but as you get better, you need less and less until you can ride all by yourself! Many of us have had this invigorating experience as a child: the moment we notice our parent is not holding the bike anymore, and we are actually cycling on our own steam.
Using scaffolding in language training has lots of advantages. First, it helps students build their skills and confidence without feeling overwhelmed. When you feel supported, you’re more likely to take risks and try new things.
Second, scaffolding gives students a clear roadmap for learning. When you know what’s expected of you, it’s easier to focus on the task at hand and make progress. And trust me, in language learning, there’s always a lot of new stuff to learn!
Last but not least, scaffolding helps teachers identify any areas where students might be struggling. By providing support and guidance, teachers can quickly figure out what students need help with and give them the targeted assistance they need.
As English teachers, we use a bunch of different strategies to scaffold our language training products. For example, in the early stages of a lesson, we provide lots of guidance, examples, and the target language. The students are provided the pieces of the puzzle and the challenge level is low. We also use modeling to help students understand how to use the language effectively. As they get better, we gradually reduce the amount of support we give them until they can work completely independently. The learners gradually have to supply more and more pieces of language on their own, as the support of the trainer is tapered off. The goals is free production at the end of the learning cycle,
By the end of the course, we want our students to be confident and effective communicators in the language they’re learning. And instructional scaffolding is a big part of how we help them get there!