Scaffolding language learning in an academic ESL classroom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


This study investigated how ESL learners in an academic oral skills class sought, responded to, and directed scaffolding across various classroom interactions, and how powerrelations affected scaffolding. The scaffolding episodes in three different types of classroom discourse were identified, analysed recursively, and interpreted within the broaderclass context using other data sources. The findings demonstrated that student and teacher questions scaffolded language learning and use, and positively affected students' participation during teacher-led whole class interactions. However, scaffolding did not occur or mostly failed in small group work and student-led discussions as power struggles amongstudents were dominant and students were less responsive with their peers. Implications and suggestions for effective scaffolding in ESL classrooms are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)324-335
Number of pages12
JournalELT Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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