Dogme Blog Challenge #3 The Scaffolding

The teacher's primary function, 

apart from promoting the kind of classroom dynamic 
conducive to a dialogic and emergent pedagogy 
is to optimize language learning affordances,
by directing attention to features of the emergent language;

learning can be mediated through talk, 
especially talk that is shaped and supported 
(i.e. scaffolded) by the teacher.

Luke Meddings & Scott Thornbury, Teaching Unplugged, Delta Teacher Development Series, 2009.

What do you mean "Unplugged"? 20081012_0809ed

Who coined the term "scaffolding" to describe the co-construction of learning between learners and teachers?  What was he trying to say through this?   
In your opinion, what do you think  it means to optimize language learning affordances?

Michael Long encourages us to focus on form, (1991) to draw our students' attention to linguistic elements as they arise incidentally in communication, to redress the weaknesses our language learners make and to help them to notice these - which requires the teacher to do more than simply provide the conditions of language to emerge: their language must be scrutinised, manipulated, personalised and practised; Nick Ellis suggests that 'by making the underlying patterns more salient' (1997) acquisition can be facilitated.

That is to say, if learners are having trouble identifying and abstracting patterns, seeing or understanding form, then their attention can be purposefully directed at them.

How?  Why is this different from teaching with grammar McNuggets?

What strategies do you generally apply in your language teaching classrooms to keep your own students focused on their own particular areas of individual concern?   What techniques work best?

Answer in the comments below or if you happen to have a blog, do write your own post explaining how this affects you and your work as an English language teacher.

And by the way, have really enjoyed travelling through the 'sphere, reading the posts and converations so far and am very much looking forward to learning from and sharing even more with you!


The Blog Posts Challenge #3
    Read previous Challenge blog posts:
    Read Next in the Challenge series

      What is all this about? 
      The Dogme Blog Challenge + links to the blogs discussing Dogme
      The dogma of Dogme - background info & links
      Dogme ELT - other stuff I've written on Dogme
      S is for Scaffolding by Scott Thornbury

      How to share on Twitter:  use the #dogmeme hashtag

      How to share your fellow teachers' blog posts with each other?  Add/link to the blog(s) written on the subject on your post so they form a ring and your readers can travel on from post to post!

      How to respond?

      Comment below with short thoughts
      Go to your nearest yahoo!group and share your opinions
      with like-minded teaching colleagues

      Blog it:
      Write a list or tell a story, 
      compare lessons: dogme and non-dogme, 
      relate an experience, a contrary opinion,
      quote research, your own theory,
      submit mere musings, rant...
      share an idea, a paragraph, a dictionary's definition
      come up with a clever sentence,
      a beautiful photograph,

      a video-log
      an article or draft the bones of an essay, 
      share examples from your own classroom experience...

      In short, be dogmeic: personalize  your response!)

      Important URLs to quote/link to in your post (if necessary):
      • Teaching Unplugged:
      • Scott Thornbury's website + articles:
      • Scott Thornbury's blog:
      • Luke Meddings' blog:
      • Luke Meddings' on the Delta blog:
      • Dogme ELT in Wikipedia:

      0 Responses to “Dogme Blog Challenge #3 The Scaffolding”


      Visitors and Regular Readers


      FEEDJIT Live Traffic Feed

      Communities of Practice

      Blog Archive

      Directories, catalogs and Back Links

      Adult Blogs - Blog Catalog Blog Directory Add to Technorati Favorites

      The EFL ESL Blog List - ESL/EFL/TEFL Teaching Jobs and Teacher Resumes

      International Blogging Directory

      Recent Posts

      Simply Conversations

      Pedagogically sound materials designed to get your students actively talking:

      Free Samples
      Conversation Control

      General English
      Business English

      Learn more on why these work