This page contains materials teachers can use to scaffold assessment 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 . . . ?

  • . . . students' comprehension of the target language?
  • . . . students' communication about the assessment task?
  • . . . students' completion of the assessment task? (What language, skills, or strategies will they need?)

Key Concepts

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


Arabic, Chinese, Hebrew Examples

Conversation Template


Venn Diagram


Activating Prior Knowledge




Cooperative Learning Techniques/Grouping

Graphic organizers

Learning strategies (Learning Strategies in Spanish)

Manipulatives, props, or visual aids

Process sheets

Routines & Procedures

Synonyms & Antonyms


Word Banks

Word Walls

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


Scaffolding Techniques Chart

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.