Scaffolding literacy learning: Research on the non-Chinese speaking students learning Chinese in the classroom

Che Ying KWAN

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


Scaffolding in education refers to the strategies of support which facilitates student development and aims at assisting them to learn effectively. When students are able to learn independently, the scaffolding can be withdrawn. This paper aims at analyzing how effective scaffolding is to the non-Chinese specking students in learning Chinese through video-recording of actual classroom teaching of three periods in a Hong Kong primary school. Research methods include observing classroom teaching and analyzing video-recording-turned scripts. The research finds out that teachers and students can communicate through the target language (Cantonese) without the need for translating. This implies it is feasible to apply immersion method in the teaching Chinese as the second language. The research also finds out that teachers applied eight scaffolding strategies in helping students to learn Chinese, namely: 1. recall scaffolding; 2. language scaffolding, including dialogue scaffolding, sentence pattern scaffolding and dominant language scaffolding; 3. predictable book scaffolding; 4. concept scaffolding; 5. “directed reading-thinking activity” structure scaffolding; 6. peer scaffolding; 7. demonstration scaffolding; 8. multi-media scaffolding. Most of the scaffolding strategies are effective in helping students to learn Chinese. However, a few of them are not running effectively and need to be improved.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2010


video recording
activity structure
research method
primary school
Hong Kong


Kwan, C. Y. (2010, October). Scaffolding literacy learning: Research on the non-Chinese speaking students learning Chinese in the classroom. Paper presented at the Languages of education: The Chinese context conference, The Hong Kong Institute of Education, China.