Each student who enters our classroom, brings with them their own distinct academic needs, learning style, cultural background experiences as well as their own interests and attitude toward learning. The most effective teachers have to find a way to cater for each student individually and collectively. This is mainly achieved through intentional planning, specific teaching methods and through differentiation in their delivery of instruction.
Intentional planning is paramount for the success of your students. The teacher must ask themselves the following questions; who are my students, are they English language learners or dual language learners, what levels are they currently on and what prior schooling and cultural considerations do they have? What are your long-term and short term goals and objectives? The teacher can then start to think about which strategies they can use that will be sure to engage all of the students. The teacher must assess the students’ performance relative to the goals and objectives. This assessment must occur before the lesson takes place so that the students have the best chance of success.
An instructional teaching method that works for dual language learners is scaffolding. It is a strategy used to describe the assistance given to students to help them learn that otherwise they would have struggled to complete independently. It looks at what the child can do and what they need to work on and bridges the gap in between the two.
Scaffolding refers to a teaching method that is used to move students progressively toward stronger understanding and guides them to a place where they are ultimately more independent in the learning process. Teachers provide them with levels of temporary support.
Scaffolding is contingent, collaborative and interactive. It is contingent in that it is influenced by others actions, collaborative in that students work together and interactive meaning it occurs with multiple students who are engaged on the same task.
The six best scaffolding strategies to teach the four language domains of listening, speaking, reading and writing for dual language learners are modeling, bridging, contextualizing, schema building, text representation and developing metacognition.