This page contains materials teachers can use to scaffold activities and assignments for world language students.


Scaffolding - "Scaffolding consists essentially of the adult 'controlling' those elements of the task that are initially beyond the learner's capacity, thus permitting him to concentrate upon and complete only those elements that are within his range of competence" (Wood, Bruner, & Ross, 1976)[1] .

Zone of Proximal Development - "The distance between the actual developmental level as determined by independent problem solving and the level of potential development as determined through problem solving under adult guidance, or in collaboration with more capable peers" (Vygotsky, 1978)[2] .

Guiding Questions

How will you scaffold . . . ?
  • INPUT - . . . students' comprehension of the target language?
  • OUTPUT - . . . students' communication about the content of the lesson?
  • PROCESS - . . . students' completion of the tasks in the lesson? (What language, skills, or strategies will they need?)

Key Concepts

  • Imitation
  • Repetition
  • Assistance
    • Encourage student to attempt task
    • Provide correction/suggestions
    • Affirm/validate performance
  • Feedback


Arabic, Chinese, Hebrew Examples

Chinese - Unit 2 Test & Project (Grace Heebner - More from Grace)

Conversation Template


Venn Diagram

Comic Strips



CreatingEbooksWithPpt.jpg- Links to instructions and a downloadable template


CatawbaCountySchoolsFoldables.jpg - Templates for a wide variety of different kinds of foldables

FoldablesAreWonderful.gif - A wiki dedicated to foldables (includes templates for different types)

Pop-up Books

SimplePopupsYouCanMake.gif- A photo index of darling pop-up animals and cards (for which you can download the templates).

HowToMakeAPopUpPhotograph.jpg - Step-by-step instructions with diagrams for turning photographs into pop-ups

JapaneseHousePopUp.gif - Download the PDFs, print them out, and create a pop-up house (Instructions in Japanese)

PictureBooksPopUpJapanese.jpg - Blog in Japanese that contains lots of ideas and photos about making pop-up books

Shadow Puppet Stories

Ocean Life Shadow Puppet Templates

ShadowPuppets.jpg - Templates for a Chinese dragon and emperor

Smoosh Books

SmooshAnimals.jpg - Extinct Animal Project

Illustrated Instructions & Template

poofbooktitle.gif - Photo instructions and a link to a template

Photo Instructions in PowerPoint


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MultimediaSeedsLogo.gifVideo Warm-ups - An extensive list of fun, interactive activities to prepare students to create stories on video

VisualLiteracy.jpg - A beautifully designed site that walks students through the pre-, during, and post-production stages of video production (note the tabbed navigation on the right)


Scaffolding Techniques Chart

Activating Prior Knowledge




Cooperative Learning Techniques/Grouping

Discussions & Debates

Graphic Organizers

Compare & Contrast Graphic Organizer

Dual Language Immersion Wiki - Click through the links for a host of graphic organizers and templates for supporting language learners. Most are in Spanish, but there are quite a few in other languages (such as Chinese) as well

Free Graphic Organizers for Studying & Analyzing - Fantastic collection of free printables in English (many foster critical thinking), along with a set of customizable templates at the bottom
Scientific Writing Scaffolds - Several excellent examples (in English) of how to scaffold science writing in ways that build proficiency with academic language

Learning strategies

(Learning Strategies in Spanish)

Manipulatives, props, or visual aids

Process sheets

Reading/Observation Guides

Routines & Procedures

Story Maps

Synonyms & Antonyms


Word Banks

Word Walls

Word Walls
Word Wall Example 1
Word Wall Example 2 (Spanish)
Online Tool for Creating Word Walls in Spanish


Using Scaffolding Techniques - Links to explanations of different types of scaffolding, along with examples, scenarios, etc.
  1. ^ Wood, David, Bruner, Jerome S., & Ross, Gail. (1976). The role of tutoring in problem solving. Journal of Child Psychology & Psychiatry, 17, pp. 89-100. Retrieved May 19, 2012, from
  2. ^

    Vygotsky, Lev S. (1978). Mind in society: The development of higher psychological processes. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.