Vol. 4:2 (2016) ► pp. 251–273
Facilitating functional complexity
Differentiated linguistic scaffolding in two-way Spanish-English immersion
This article reports on a dissertation study that explored the efficacy of language-focused differentiated instruction targeted to facilitate student oral proficiency development. The study took place in a linguistically diverse Grade 3 immersion classroom. Students’ (n = 24) oral proficiency was assessed and focal student language was evaluated at different stages of the study with attention to complexity measures. The teacher and researcher collaboratively designed instructional language supports to promote more complex language production during math and reading classes. Overall, students expanded their language complexity although Spanish home language (SHL) students appeared to benefit less than English home language students. A functional approach to language development was key to the study as students took more risks to meet their communicative needs, thereby expanding their linguistic repertoires. The teacher provided increasingly more complex alternatives for students to integrate into their classroom interactions, particularly for SHL students.
Cited by 4 other publications
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