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Scaffolding Structures to Support Academic Conversations for English Learners

Viewing and Discussion Guide

Resource List


Academic conversations are sustained and purposeful interactions centered around school topics. In response to the demands of the Common Core State Standards, English Language Development Standards, and the Next Generation Science Standards, students-even in the earliest grades-are expected to make meaning of rich complex text. This can be especially challenging for English and diverse learners: How does the teacher guide all students to engage respectfully and effectively in these classroom conversations? This 17-minute video uses a primary classroom example to explore strategies for procedures and routines for interaction as well as scaffolding supports to promote rich classroom conversations. The video and asssociated discussion guide are designed to help groups of teachers and school and district leaders reflect on their practice and consider small, targeted changes they can make to help all learners engage in effective academic conversations. A resource list is also provided.