• A preservice teacher’s learning of instructional scaffolding in the EAL practicum

      Nguyen, Minh Hue; Penry Williams, Cara; Monash University (Victoria, Australia) (MHN); La Trobe University (Victoria, Australia) (CPW) (Australian Literacy Educator's Association, 2019-10-01)
      This qualitative case study examines how a preservice English as an Additional Language (EAL) teacher from the Faculty of Education at a large Melbourne-based university learned to scaffold EAL learning during a two-week practicum in a secondary school and the factors shaping his cognition. The data sources include individual interviews, oral reflections on lessons and recordings of those same lessons. The study was underpinned by a sociocultural perspective on scaffolding and van de Pol, Volman, and Beishuizen's (2010) framework for analysing scaffolding, which is based on a synthesis of previous models and findings. The findings indicate that the preservice teacher implemented a number of scaffolding strategies during the EAL practicum. The use of these strategies was shaped by the preservice teacher’s theoretical knowledge of scaffolding and belief about its importance, which he gained from the teacher education coursework and his prior practicum experience. Learning within practice was also found to be important in his cognition of scaffolding as through the practicum he developed knowledge about his students’ abilities and their difficulties in learning EAL, which are the basis for his contingent scaffolding strategies. Based on the findings, the paper suggests that instructional scaffolding is an important area of professional learning, especially for teachers working with EAL students, and needs to be explicitly built into teacher education in both coursework and the teaching practicum.