Scaffolding Literacy Meets ESL: Some insights from ACT classrooms

Misty Adoniou, Mary Macken-Horarik

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    In second language classroom contexts, enabling ESL students to access school learning is a double challenge. Teachers need to scaffold students’ engagement with written language at the same time as they move them from (often diverse) first languages into English itself. How do we bring students into the written mode when oral English is still developing? For ESL students, learning to read and write English is more complex if only because native speaker intuitions based on spoken language cannot be presumed upon. Literacy pedagogies - even those most successful with native speakers of English - need adaptation if they are to meet the needs of ESL students. While the use of ‘scaffolding’ as a metaphor has been widely taken up in language teaching, this paper looks closely at one ‘take’ on scaffolding – Scaffolding Literacy (Gray and Cowey, 2001). This paper reports on a project which introduced ESL teachers in ACT primary and secondary schools to the principles and practices of Scaffolding Literacy in order to evaluate their effectiveness for ESL learners
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)5-14
    Number of pages10
    JournalTesol in Context
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2007


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