“Once upon a time there was a boy named Carl” : A study on the effects of scaffolding on the performance of students with reading and writing difficulties
Abstract: The aim of this study is to investigate what difficulties Swedish students with reading and writing difficulties may encounter when they write texts in English. A teaching experiment was done to see whether scaffolding, a process where the teacher shows the overall structure of e.g. a text, can help students with reading and writing difficulties improve their writing in English. Ten students in the 7th grade participated in the study, as well as four English teachers in a secondary school in Sweden. The students who participated were asked to write two texts in English. Before writing the first text, the students were told that they were going to write a fairy tale, but they were not given any other guidelines. Prior to writing the second text, two lessons of scaffolding were conducted. Then the texts were compared to see if the students had improved their ability to write in English in regards of content, spelling and genre-specific vocabulary. The results of the study show that students with reading and writing difficulties will indeed benefit from scaffolding when writing texts in English.
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