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Scaffolding for mediated learning during 'whole-class exercises' in Kenyan Secondary English lessons

Lookup NU author(s): Dorine Lugendo, Professor Heather Smith


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International research on classroom interaction for second language learning situated within sociocultural theory emphasizes the role of teacher-pupil talk as a source for expert mediation. While certain features of this talk have been identified which create communicative spaces facilitative of cognitive development, this research often assumes the ready availability of particular culturally determined physical tools and artefacts and class sizes more often found in Western contexts. Research into second language learning undertaken within a sociocultural theory of mind is very rarely conducted in classrooms around the world which are untypical of Western contexts. This chapter reports on interactional practices observed in Kenyan lower secondary school classrooms taught by pre-service teachers. In Kenya, English is the official language of instruction and an examinable subject in the national secondary school curriculum. The analysis focuses on English lessons in their natural settings characterised by large numbers of pupils in the classrooms and limited resources for language pedagogy. The trainee teachers within this context were found to use various whole-class exercises involving English as a second language (L2) problem solving which promoted verbal participation and some learning affordances. The chapter describes these whole-class exercises demonstrating through extracts of interactive episodes how they operated as scaffolds in collaborative problem solving. Although the applications are drawn from Kenyan classrooms, they are globally relevant in contexts where teachers play a dominant role in classroom interaction and L2 pedagogy, their actions reflecting a prescribed curriculum.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Lugendo D, Smith HJ

Editor(s): Jenks, CJ and Seedhouse, P

Series Editor(s): Garton, S and Richards, J

Publication type: Book Chapter

Publication status: Published

Book Title: International Perspectives on ELT Classroom Interaction

Year: 2015

Pages: 129-148

Print publication date: 01/04/2015

Series Title: International Perspectives on English Language Teaching

Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan

Place Published: Basingstoke

Library holdings: Search Newcastle University Library for this item

ISBN: 9781137340719