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Scaffolding English Language Learners' Reading Performance

ProQuest Dissertations and Theses, 2011
Dissertation
Author: Lolita D McKenzie
Abstract:
English language learners (ELLs) spend a majority of their instructional time in mainstream classrooms with mainstream teachers. Reading is an area with which many ELLs are challenged when placed within mainstream classrooms. Scaffolding has been identified as one of the best teaching practices for helping students read. ELL students in a local elementary school were struggling, and school personnel implemented scaffolding in an effort to address student needs. The purpose of this mixed methods study was to examine how personnel in one diversely populated school employed scaffolding to accommodate ELLs. Vygotsky's social constructivist theory informed the study. Research questions were designed to elicit the teachers' perceptions related to the use of scaffolding for ELLs and to examine the impact scaffolding had on ELLs reading performance. The perceptions of 14 out of 15 participating teachers were investigated via focus group interviews that were transcribed. Observation data were gathered to determine teachers' use of particular strategies. Hatch's method for coding and categorical analysis was used. Emerging themes included background knowledge, comprehension and evaluation . Participating teachers felt scaffolding strategies were crucial for building a solid foundation for ELL academic success. Pre and posttest scores in reading of 105 ELLs were analyzed using a paired samples t test. There were statistically significant gains in 13 of 15 performance indicators over the 3-month cycle of instruction. Implications for social change include strategies for classroom teachers and their administrators concerning scaffolding reading instruction with ELLs in order to help these students increase their reading performance levels.

Table of C ontents

List of Tables……………………………………………………………………… ... iii

Section 1: Introductio n

to the Study……………………………………………… ... 1

Problem Statement

……………………………………………………………….. 5

Nature of the Stud y…………………………………… ………………………….. 6

Research Ques tion ……………………………………………………………….. 7

Hypotheses ………………………………………………… …………………….. 7

Theoretical Framework ………………………………………………………….. 7

Definitions ………………………………………………………………………10

Assumptions, Limitations, Delimitations, and S cope…………………………...12

Significance of Study …………………………………………………………...12

Summary ………………………………………………………………………..13

Section 2: Review of Literature ………………………………………………… 15

Elements of Scaffolding………………………………………………………...15

Scaffolding Techniques……………… …………………………………………16

Scaffolding and Cooperative Learning Approach………………………………23

Scaffolding and Sheltered Instruction Approach ……………………………… 25

Cultural Aspect ...……………………………………………………………… 28

Summary ………………………………………………………………………. 32

Section 3: R esearch Methods ………………………………………………….. 33

Research Design and Approach ………………………………………………. 34

Population and Sample ……………………………………………………….. 36

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Qualitative Aspect ……………………………………………………………..37

Quantitative Aspect ……………………………………………………………40

Evide nce of Quality ……………………………………………………………41

Participants Protection ………………………………………………………... 43

Summary ……………………………………………………………………… 44

Section 4: Findings…………………………………………………………….. 45

Overview………………………………………………………………….........45

Research Question

1……………………………………………………………46

Research Question 2……………………………………………………………49

Research Question 3……………………………………………………………51

Class Observations……………………………………………………………..55

Themes………………………………………………………………………… 56

Quantitative Findings………………………………………………… ………. 58

Summary…………………………………………………………………….....71

Section 5: Discussion, Conclusions, and Recommendations…………………...71

Introduction……………………………………………………………………71

Interpretations of Findings…………………………………………………….73

Bounded by Evidence……………………………………… …………………74

Findings and Relationship to Literature………………………………………74

Implications for Social Change……………………………………………….75

Recommendations for Action………………………………………………...76

Recommendations for Further Study…………………………………………77

iii

Researcher’s Reflectio n……………………………………………………….77

Summary………………………………………………………………………78

References …………………………………………………………………… 80

Appendix A …………………………………………………………………...84

Appendix B …………………………………………………………………...86

Appendix C……………………………………………………………………87

Curriculum Vitae………………… …………………………………………...97

iv

List of Tables

Table 1. Scaffolding Strategies…………………………………………57

Table 2. G1 T - Test Analysis…………………………………………..59

Table 3. G1 T - Test Analysis…………………… ……………………..59

Table 4. G1 T - Test Analysis…………………………………………..60

Table 5. G2 T - Test Analysis…………………………………………..61

Table 6. G2 T - Test Analysis…………………………………………..62

Table 7. G2 - T - Test Analysis…………………………………………..62

Table 8. G3 - T - Test Analysis…………………………………… ……..63

Table 9. G3 - T - Test Analysis…………………………………………..64

Table 10. G3 - T - Test Analysis…………………………………………..64

Table 11. G4 - T - Test Analysis…………………………………………..65

Table 12. G4 - T - Test Analysis…………………………………………..66

Table 13 G4 - T - Test Analysis…………………………………………..67

Tab le 14 G5 - T - Test Analysis…………………………………………..67

Table 15 G5 - T - Test Analysis…………………………………………..68

Table 16 G5 - T - Test Analysis…………………………………………..69

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Section 1: Introduction to the Study

According to Reed and Railsback (2003), the population of English lang uage learners (ELLs) attending schools in the United States, prekindergarten through Grade 12 was 4.6 million between 2000 and 2001. Echevarria, Vogt, and Short (2004) noted, “Each year, the United States becomes more ethnically and linguistically diverse with more than 90 percent of recent immigrants coming from non - English speaking countries” (p. 3). Many of the children who come to the United States are struggling to learn the English language. The students who are categorized as ELLs are placed in main stream classrooms where they may feel intimidated because a majority of their classmates are fluent English speakers. (Cloud, Genesee, and Hamayan, 2009) The students who are labeled as ELLs are also referred to as Limited English Proficiency (LEP). The fi rst term is the most common term used today for second language learners.

Most schools in the United States have mandatory programs for non - English speaking students to attend during class hours for a short period; however, the time spent in these programs

is not sufficient time for ELLs to develop the English language to take back to normal classrooms. As Bae (2002) stated.

The education of those students are now no longer the concern of just a few ESL teachers but of all teachers. Under such circumstance s, LEP students are usually at a disadvantage due to the failure to understand academic, social, and linguistic standards at school. (p. 2)

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Schools need strategies that will promote more effective results with mainstream teachers’ instruction to show imp rovement in the academic performance of ELLs. The U. S. federal legislation, No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB, 2002) requires that all students in public schools achieve at or near grade level on standardized tests in reading and math (Abedi and Dietel, 2004 ) who reported:

By 2014 all children including English language learners must reach high standards by demonstrating proficiency in English language arts and mathematics. Schools and districts must help English language learners, among other subgroups, make

continuous progress toward this goal, as measured by performance tests, or risk serious consequences. (p. 782)

The No Child Left Behind Act presents several dilemmas for educators. First, just from my experience as a classroom teacher, the curriculum and

expectations in the regular classroom are typically designed for English - speaking students. Secondly, the regular classroom teacher generally has limited training and support with ELLs. Lastly, needs of the ELLs have not been considered; consequently, the

impact on the school’s academic performance is effected because these needs have been neglected. Cloud, Genesee, and Hamayan (2009) pointed out how students should not have to suffer academic consequences, especially during testing, because they have not

learned the English language. Cappellini (2005) stated:

We have the challenge of figuring out how to teach them effectively and of setting up an environment where all of them can succeed. We need to show them that we

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value both their primary languages an d cultures and their learning of English reading and language skills. (p. 1)

Educators need to set a goal on seeking and implementing strategies that are more conducive to ELLs learning. Although similar approaches exist on the cognitive development of EL Ls, theorists have concluded numerous ways ELLs can learn to master the English language, which is essential before learning to read and to comprehend what has been read. Many strategies have been used to instruct students who are new to the language, and researchers have reported that some teaching strategies are more effective than others. More evidence of the strategies used in classrooms with ELLs will follow in the literature review in section 2 of this study.

Scaffolding instruction has been used by many mainstream classroom teachers with ELLs to help promote learning of content subject areas. According to Fitzgerald and Graves (2005), “Scaffolding is a temporary and supportive structure that helps a student or group of students accomplish a task they

could not accomplish - or accomplish as well - without the scaffold” (p. 6). Teachers have implemented scaffolding strategies using the sheltered instruction observation protocol model (SIOP) and cooperative learning groups. Some schools have chosen to provid e special training for teachers who are not accustomed to dealing with the challenge of educating ELLs in mainstream classrooms.

The purpose of this research was to explore scaffolding when applied to ELLs’ reading skills by mainstream classroom teachers.

I examined how mainstream classroom teachers felt about teaching ELLs reading during inclusive instruction.

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Scaffolding has been reported as one of the most effective strategies for enhancing reading achievement in ELLs by teachers who have employed it in mainstream classrooms with ELLs during reading instruction. (Reed & Railsback, 2003). According to Lessow - Hurley (2003), “Every teacher in the United States must work toward the special understandings, skills, and dispositions needed to facilitate the l anguage and academic development of students for whom English is a new language” (p. 2). In order for teachers to present progression and achievement, they need to become educated on effective strategies and methods to achieve the goal of increasing readin g performance levels with ELLs. Teachers who are accustomed to the traditional teaching styles are more likely to accept teaching contemporary styles once they are exposed. However, exposure is the keyword. Exposure includes strategies conducive to ELLs le arning styles, theory of language learning, and cultural background. As Lieberman and Miller (2001) reported:

Teacher learning can be characterized as problem solving or inquiry that starts with teachers’ particular goals for their students; theories abou t their particular goals; and theories about what conditions are necessary for the students to achieve the particular goals. (p. 75)

Teachers need to extend their learning beyond the classroom. They have to put forth extra effort into making sure the stud ents are learning the curriculum. Genuine teacher leaders will insure the learning of students, not only within their spectrum, but outside the spectrum as well. In other words, teachers have to expand their knowledge on useful strategies that have been us ed in mainstream classrooms with ELLs. According to

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Fitzgerald and Graves (2004), “One powerful tool that teachers of English language learners can use to enable “maximal” reading and learning experiences is instructional scaffolding” (p. 5). Based on this

research, the following questions guided my study: (a) What perceptions do teachers have on instructing ELLs during mainstream classroom reading instruction? (b) In what ways do mainstream teachers implement scaffolding as a strategy into their classroom s to assist with improving the reading achievement of ELLs? and (c) How are reading performance levels influenced? These questions will be addressed following an examination of how ELLs build and develop language and reading skills.

Problem Statement

The

population of ELLs have grown tremendously throughout the years. According to Cobb (2004), “ELLs represent a growing subgroup population in schools across the United States, and the total enrollment of elementary and secondary students in the United State s has grown by nearly 12 percent in the past decade” (p. 2). The students who are also categorized as ELLs are being pressured to master standardized tests in critical subject areas such as reading. Due to the NCLB (2002), Lissitz and Huynh (2003) stated,

“The students are required to meet or exceed proficiency levels on the state’s assessments each year” (p. 1). Whether the students have been in the United States for 2 months or 2 years federal mandates states that they must be assessed in reading. Howeve r, many ELLs are placed into classrooms where mainstream teachers teach content areas in English. Most likely teachers who are not properly trained to teach ELLs are still eager to seek effective techniques and strategies to use during reading with

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student s whose first language is not English. Vacca (as cited in Echevarria, Vogt, & Short, 2004) stressed the following:

In the classrooms, teachers scaffold instruction when they provide substantial support and assistance in the earliest states of teaching a ne w concept or strategy, and then decrease the amount of support as the learners acquire experience through multiple practice opportunities. (p. 86)

In other words, teachers begin with building a foundation for learning and slowly pull away as the students d isplay signs of mastering the concept.

Nature of the Study

I used a mixed - methods research design to investigate scaffolding as implemented by mainstream classroom teachers and the possible influence this has on ELLs reading performance levels. I included observations and focus group interviews over a 3 - month cycle and data were collected from academic tests. The participants included 105 students and three classroom teachers each in K - 5 in a public elementary school. I collected data from teacher participa nts in the form of focus group interviews and observational notes and students’ results from pre and posttests. Creswell (2009) described how using mixed methods as a research method provides a combination of data to explore (p. 14). The mixed methods stud y was designed to acquire information on how ELLs learn best when placed in mainstream classrooms amongst mainstream classroom teachers. The most resourceful way to gain knowledge was to collect a mixture of data using tangible and visual resources. This g ave me an in - depth look at how mainstream classroom teachers approach teaching with ELLs and how well the approach affects the students’ learning.

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Research Questions

The research questions that guided this study were:

1.

What were mainstream classroom teache rs’ perceptions of the

effectiveness of scaffolding when applied to English language learners’ reading skills?

2.

In what ways did mainstream teachers implement scaffolding as a strategy

into their classrooms to assist with improving the reading achievemen t of English language learners?

3.

How were reading performance levels influenced?

Hypotheses

H 01 : There was no statistically significant change in reading performance levels of English language learners when mainstream classroom teachers applied scaffoldin g as a learning strategy in reading.

Ha 1 : There was a statistically significant change in reading performance levels of English language learners when mainstream classroom teachers applied scaffolding as a learning strategy in reading.

Theoretical Framewor k

ELLs in mainstream classrooms usually exhibit a great deal of frustration because teachers, who are usually not accustomed to teaching ELLs, set high expectations for them in academic subjects. Theorists have offered several rationales on how language is

developed for ELLs. According to Vygotsky’s (1978) social constructivist theory , “As soon as speech and the use of signs are incorporated into any action, the action becomes transformed” (p. 24). Children are more susceptible to absorbing information whe n they

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are observing others model activities. Vygotsky stated, “Prior to mastering his own behavior, the child begins to master his surroundings with the help of speech” (p. 25). Therefore, social interaction is a necessity in a child’s life who is attemp ting to learn an additional language. If a child is observing others speak on a daily basis, they are sure to grasp language concept. Cooperative grouping of students is an example of how students can learn from one another.

Best practices when teaching EL Ls can provide a good foundation for learning English. Yang and Wilson (2006) discussed the foundation for social constructivism as a means to “provide a psycholinguistic explanation for how learning can be fostered effectively through interactive pedagogi cal practices” (p. 1). Consequently, “we learn not as isolated individuals, but as active members of society, what we learn and how we make sense of knowledge depends on where and when, such as in what social context, we are learning” (Yang & Wilson, 2006,

p. 1).

Children are exposed to words from the time they are born. According to Vygotsky (1978), “Children’s learning begins long before they attend school” (p. 84). Vygotsky’s (1978) Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) explained how it is important to kno w how a child processes information in order to connect how they learn. Children learn initial language by corresponding and talking to adults around them. Vygotsky’s (ZPD) also has a connection to the concept of scaffolding. For example, Vygotsky discusse d how a child has to be exposed to a scaffolding strategy that fits his or her needs in order to retain what being taught. On the other hand, Krashen (2003) expanded on how second - language development originates in five hypotheses:

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(1) Acquisition - Learning

Process - students have to be exposed to several strategies used to help develop the language in order to learn effectively. (2) natural order - students learn in different ways, they cannot be exposed to the same type of strategies. some students do not lear n English grammar in the same order. (3) monitor - Students are observed continuously to see if they are understanding what is being presented to them (4) input comprehension - students display that they are learning and retaining what has been taught and (5) affective filter - students will have a desire to participate in class activities because they feel secure about what they know.

Cummin’s (1981) theory has another approach on the development of language acquisition. Cummins theorized two learning approaches . The first stage is basic interpersonal communication skills (BICS), which involves students learning from interacting with others who speak the native language and the second stage is cognitive academic learning proficiency (CALP) is a stage where studen ts can take up to seven years to process the academic language (Cummins, 1981). Shoebottom (2003) suggested, if this theory is very beneficial to mainstream classroom teachers who desire to become experts with teaching ELLs in mainstream classroom. However , yet another theorist that focused on how ELLs develop language concluded that even when students appear to have a normal conversation, as if they can speak the language, they have to be able to transfer what have been taught, seen, or heard (Gibbons, 200 2). According to Gibbons (2002), there are two kinds of context to determining language and context of ESL learners (p. 2): (a) a context of culture - Students know how to speak enough to survive

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around others and (b) context of situation - What is being discu ssed, the relationship between the two parties, and what matter the language is being presented, spoken or written.

In order to produce effective teaching results from ELLs, teachers need to become more educated on the language needs of their students. In

order to reach the ELLs, teachers need to become knowledgeable on the theories developed around the learning of their students. If so, teachers will provide an enhanced comfort zone for ELLs during inclusive content learning

Definition of Terms

English l anguage learners (ELLs) : ELLs are referred to as students who do not speak English as a first language at home (Slavin & Cheung, 2004). These learners are also labeled as English as a second language (ESL) students. Scaffolding:

This term is described by Gibbons (2002) as a means of helping students learn new information by modeling the concept to help build a solid foundation of learning.

Assumptions, Scope, Limitations, and Delimitations

My assumptions were that mainstream classroom teachers were not e xperienced or trained to provide the proper reading instruction ELLs needed to perform well on assessments. I also assumed that ELLs placed in mainstream classrooms during reading instruction, amongst mainstream students, would cause a lack of motivation t o perform well in reading.

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The scope of the study was focused only on ELLs placed in mainstream classrooms during reading instruction. The population sample include ELL students from one local school where the study was conducted over a 3 - month timeframe.

The limitations of the study included the fact that I incorporated only one school’s results out of the entire school district. The study included mainstream classroom teachers only and not teachers who were trained to teach ELLs. The study also occurred

over a short time period, which limited my ability to obtain conclusive results.

Some researchers have shown that the selected strategy (scaffolding) has proven to work effectively with ELLs placed into mainstream classrooms. According to Fitzgerald a nd Graves (2004), because so many mainstream teachers without any type of formal education are facing a challenge with teaching ESL learners, scaffolding can facilitate their teaching instruction. Due to the circumstances surrounding the study, the results

are inclined to some discrepancies. For example, a small sample participated in the study (teachers and students); therefore, this could cause the outcome of the study to be inconclusive. However, the length of time spent in the classrooms provided adequ ate data for the study analysis.

On the other hand, The study was conducted over a 3 - month time frame, which provided some indication of what takes place in mainstream classrooms with ELLs, and a brief overview of how fundamental these strategies are to m ainstream classroom teachers and ELLs. Another aspect to consider is that I was not able to conduct classroom observations as scheduled because of other commitments or scheduled events such as

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mandatory meetings or school events. The focus group interviews

included all but one of the teacher participants’ perceptions on teaching ELLs.

Significance of Study

This study on the possible influence of scaffolding, when applied to ELLs reading performance levels in mainstream classrooms by mainstream classroom te achers is important for many reasons. Fry, Ruiz de Velasco and Fix (as cited in Walqui, 2006) noted how ELLs are receiving education in the U.S. for quite some time, however, they are still not producing passing grades, and they are not staying in high sch ool until graduation. Walqui (2006) suggested that there needs to be some type of intervention for this problem. Mainstream classroom teachers, who are accustomed to teaching only mainstream students, need to adjust to a new and ongoing situation by becom ing exposed to strategies that work. Secondly, because of the NCLB (2002) act, mainstream teachers are held accountable for all students’ reading achievement. ELLs performance is not excluded. Mainstream classroom teachers will benefit by becoming more kn owledgeable on some of the most effective strategies designed to facilitate ELLs reading performance in mainstream classrooms. The dilemma behind ensuring student achievement rests in the hands of our educators, parents, and reformers. Lifelong learners ar e produced by aspiring teams through collaborative efforts.

Methodological Insights

According to Cloud, Genesee, and Hamayan (2009) “ELLs are resourceful, they use whatever language, cultural, and other background resources they have in order to do well i n school”, (p. 9). Creswell (2009) described how using mixed methods as a research

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method provides a combination of data to explore (p 14). The mixed methods study was designed to acquire information on how ELLs learn best when placed in mainstream classro oms amongst mainstream classroom teachers. The most resourceful way to gain knowledge on this inquiry was to collect a mixture of data as described my Creswell (2009, p. 207).

Summary

The purpose of this mixed - methods sequential transformative study was to determine how the selected strategy (scaffolding) was used by mainstream classroom teachers with ELLs during reading instruction. A change in reading performance scores was also investigated. The quantitative data taken from the paired samples t test i ndicated that there were gains in most of the mainstream classroom teacher participants’ classroom scores; however, due to the length of time that the study was conducted, the scores cannot be viewed as conclusive information.

As Reeves (2006) expressed ho w even though teachers are very concerned, ELLs are continuously placed in mainstream classrooms in several schools. This applies to many schools in the United States, and this is a thought in the minds of many mainstream classroom teachers who struggle to

put ELLs on their expected reading levels. Theorists have presented information that relays how ELLs obtain a second language. Teachers must become more educated on how to improve ELLs achievement level, especially in reading. However, teachers need to ha ve more support in order to approach getting ELLs on the appropriate reading level. Many strategies are at hand for teachers to exercise with

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ELLs; however, mainstream teachers are not trained to deliver the intense instruction that is necessary to meet th e learners’ needs.

Researchers have shown that teachers can implement scaffolding into mainstream classrooms to facilitate teaching content subject areas such as reading to help ease the learning process of ELLs. The use of scaffolding does not imply suc cess, but it can be used as a useful teaching tool with students for linguistic and academic enhancement. Mainstream classroom teachers who are not comfortable teaching ELLs because of the lack of training are faced with difficulties when instructing conte nt classes to ELLs.

In this section, I elaborated on how academic achievement in reading is a main component in determining the promotion of students in U.S. schools, and this stipulation does not exclude ELLs. I utilized a mixed - methods study to investig ate scaffolding used as a strategy by mainstream classroom teachers and the effect the strategy has on ELLs reading performance levels. Language learning theorists have determined that learning for children takes place in various forms and stages. Definiti on of terms, significance of study, and limitations of the study were also discussed in this section.

In section 2, I describe suggested ways teachers can apply scaffolding in classrooms with ELLs. I also describe how teachers have become involved in rese arch - based instructional programs designed to help lift some of the frustration in mainstream classrooms amongst teachers and students. Some strategies that are very useful with ELLs will be described by other researchers.

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Section 2: Literature Review

I n the literature review it was revealed that mainstream classroom teachers can apply scaffolding to teach ELLs during reading instruction. Because limited studies have been conducted on the use of scaffolding with ELLs during reading instruction in mainstr eam classrooms, the review of literature was focused on suggested paths teachers should follow when applying the strategy with students. Therefore, teaching pedagogies such as scaffolding elements and techniques, scaffolding integrated with cooperative lea rning and instructional programs such as sheltered instruction observation protocol (SIOP) and cross cultural language academic development (CLAD) will be discussed in this section. Instructional textbooks and electronic databases were used to explore back ground information on the research topic.

Strategies for Searching the Literature

The research databases used to collect the information in the review of literature

were retrieved through the Walden library and reference center. The primary sources of i nformation included the Dissertations and Thesis, Academic Search Premier, ProQuest, and Eric - Educational Resource Information Center. An exhaustive review of the literature between 2005 and 2010 was conducted in these databases using the keywords scaffol ding ELLs reading, ELLs reading instruction and mainstream classrooms, and ELLs limited research studies on scaffolding reading instruction for English language learners . The database searches revealed no scholarly articles on the influence of scaffolding on ELLs reading skills when taught in mainstream classrooms.

Elements of Scaffolding

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Bradley and Bradley (2004) stated that scaffolding is an effective strategy for teaching content to ELLs in inclusive classrooms if teachers acknowledge the three types of strategies discovered the most effective for working with ELLs: (a) language should be simplified so that the students can understand; (b) teachers must make sure students complete assignments and do not accept incomplete work; and (c) make sure an abun dance of visuals are used with ELLs. For example, work should be modified to fit the needs of the ELLs and use pictures to help them understand what is being taught. On the other hand Kriteman (2006) believed that scaffolding for ELLs fall into five secti ons (p. 2): (a) peer to peer interaction –

students should be required to assemble into cooperative groups; (b) use hands on activities –

students are motivated to learn; (c) incorporate prior knowledge –

inquire about background of students on specific le ssons that are taught in the classroom; (d) make sure texts are accessible –

Full document contains 115 pages
Abstract: English language learners (ELLs) spend a majority of their instructional time in mainstream classrooms with mainstream teachers. Reading is an area with which many ELLs are challenged when placed within mainstream classrooms. Scaffolding has been identified as one of the best teaching practices for helping students read. ELL students in a local elementary school were struggling, and school personnel implemented scaffolding in an effort to address student needs. The purpose of this mixed methods study was to examine how personnel in one diversely populated school employed scaffolding to accommodate ELLs. Vygotsky's social constructivist theory informed the study. Research questions were designed to elicit the teachers' perceptions related to the use of scaffolding for ELLs and to examine the impact scaffolding had on ELLs reading performance. The perceptions of 14 out of 15 participating teachers were investigated via focus group interviews that were transcribed. Observation data were gathered to determine teachers' use of particular strategies. Hatch's method for coding and categorical analysis was used. Emerging themes included background knowledge, comprehension and evaluation . Participating teachers felt scaffolding strategies were crucial for building a solid foundation for ELL academic success. Pre and posttest scores in reading of 105 ELLs were analyzed using a paired samples t test. There were statistically significant gains in 13 of 15 performance indicators over the 3-month cycle of instruction. Implications for social change include strategies for classroom teachers and their administrators concerning scaffolding reading instruction with ELLs in order to help these students increase their reading performance levels.