Purpose: This article describes a study on the scaffolding of learning to read in a primary-level, continuous-progress, inclusion classroom that stressed a critical thinking curriculum and employed a collaborative teaching model. Two emergent reading groups were the focus of studyone group that was taught by a general educator and the other by a special educator. The primary purposes were to discern the teachers' discourse patterns in order to define whether scaffolding sequences were more directive or more supportive and the degree to which these sequences represented differentiated instruction for children with a language learning disability (LLD).
Method: Two students with an LLD and two younger, typically developing peers were videotaped in their emergent reading groups during an 8-week period. The distribution, types, and functions of teacher scaffolding sequences were examined.
Results: Both team members primarily used directive scaffolding sequences, suggesting that the assistance provided to children emphasized only direct instruction (skill learning) and not analytical thinking concerning phonemegrapheme relationships (strategy learning). Distribution of scaffolding sequence types directed to the four students indicated that the two children with an LLD were receiving reading instruction that was undifferentiated from the two typically developing, younger children.
Clinical Implications: In order for children with an LLD to benefit from inclusion, explicit, systematic, and intensive instruction in phonological awareness and spelling-sound relationships should be implemented within the context of multilevel instruction that balances skill- and strategy-based learning.
KEY WORDS: inclusion, scaffolding, phonological awareness, word recognition, language learning disabilities
Submitted on October 18, 1999
Accepted on March 21, 2000
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