International Journal of Business and Social Science

ISSN 2219-1933 (Print), 2219-6021 (Online) DOI: 10.30845/ijbss

Students’ Responses to Scaffolded Learning in the Asian University ESL Classroom
Dr. Paul C. Talley

This article reports on student responses to scaffolding in Asian university ESL classrooms. Scaffolding is an instructional style which provides intellectual support to offset students’ unfamiliarity with classroom social discourse. Inexperience with culturally-divergent methods of language learning often creates hesitancy that is viewed negatively and inhibitive of learning by others. Teachers’ scaffolding allows reticent students to perform tasks slightly beyond their capabilities without repetitive guidance. One-hundred, twelve first-year non-English majors from four English communication classes answered a 47-item questionnaire containing ten items specific to scaffolding. Data analysis revealed: (a) students regard scaffolded ESL instruction as significantly beneficial because of the positive learning environment it engenders; (b) supportive scaffolding offers students opportunity to overcome the social barrier of speaking during class; and, (c) teachers’ awareness of students’ thoughts on scaffolding insures acceptance of its beneficial principles. Based on these findings, implications are discussed to enhance scaffolding’s implementation and thereby mitigate reticence.

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