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European Centre for Modern Languages

Step 2: Teaching

In this section, you will find different scaffolding techniques you may use in your teaching. For example, how to support your students in writing, speaking, and reading tasks, and in what way you could draw on students’ first language in your teaching.

Putting it into practice

History: Learning concepts

The tasks listed below are simple examples of how a teacher might scaffold students’ learning of new concepts in history. The focus here is integrating language and content goals by analysing a new text from word to discourse level. The three phases coincide with a students’ gradually increasing degree of autonomy in completing tasks.

Phase 1

- Student makes a list of the concepts s/he does not understand in the text (word level). Teacher scaffolds students’ understanding of these words/concepts.

Phase 2

- Elaborating: students make (alone, with peers, with teacher) sentences, write definitions, make questions based on the listed words (sentence level)

Phase 3

- Student start writing a short text where s/he uses the concepts while focusing on the text structure (discourse level)

Practice Exercise 1:

  • Make a plan for a teaching unit where you define the three ‘language aware’ phases in relation to the subject you teach.  
  • Think first what should be learned and in what order? And how do you integrate, in a concrete way, language aware activities in your plan?