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What is the meaning of “scaffolding”?

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Jennifer Gómez Boira

on 23 October 2013

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Transcript of What is the meaning of “scaffolding”?

What is the meaning of “scaffolding”?
What is scaffolding?
“Scaffolding is used in education to access, improve and add current knowledge”. Scaffolding is a technique used to build the students' learning, understand new content and develop new skills. This technique is based on students' prior knowledge, which will evolve gradually in steps. New learning can be used by students in different contexts.
There are many situations in our daily lives where we have not noticed but we have used the scaffolding. For example ...
- Ride a bicycle.
- Drive a car.

Learning is a social process

Scaffolding "leads learners to research beyond what they are able to achieve alone, to participate in new situation and to tackle new tasks" (Gibbons, 2002)
Scaffolding can be described as social learning, which depends on the environment and the situations which the student is facing.

One example of scaffolding technique:

1. The teacher models for the whole class how to do an assignment.
2. Students help the teacher work through a similar assignment.
3. Students do a similar assignment in groups.
4. Students work independently.

Vygotsky wrote that
“What learners can do today with support, they can do alone tomorrow”.
Can you tell me some situations in your daily lives which you have learned by scaffolding?
How are developed scaffolding contents?


Scaffolding helps students remember and access the knowledge acquired to incorporate information, create new relationships, and incorporate knowledge or language progressively. "It is a ladder which is taking a step further." Also, scaffolding helps students to lose the frustration and get motivation because they have fun and do not waste time.

There are many examples for developing scaffolding with the students:
- Creating interest.
- Breaking down tasks into small steps
- Providing before, during and after tasks support.
- Using visuals and realia.
- Demonstrating tasks.
- Using word banks, glossaries, sentence substitution tables, writing frames.
- Using model texts for production of language.
- Providing constructive feedback.
- Inserting synonyms or definitions in parentheses into the original text.
- Breaking material into chunks.
- Having students sum up a text by writing headings for each paragraph.
- Giving clues and asking follow questions.

We need to build on what learners already know about the subject and built on what language they already know. Then we need to support learners to achieve the next step in understanding subject content before they can work on their own. More scaffolding is needed when learners have to understand subjects which are new and unfamiliar. Scaffolding is also needed to create classrooms where there is interaction and collaboration.
What subjects can use the scaffolding?

The scaffolding can be used in all subjects for tasks that require listening, speaking, reading and writing.
The level of scaffolding depends on the needs of each student.
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