Teachers’ Use of Scaffolds Within Conversations During Shared Book Reading

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Posted on April 9, 2022 by childrenslearninginstitute


November 24, 2021 online and January 5, 2022 in issue


Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools

CLI Author:

Tricia Zucker, PhD


Purpose: We studied conversations initiated through teacher questions during shared book reading in prekindergarten and kindergarten classrooms as these conversations provide opportunities for the teacher to scaffold emerging language skills. This study provides detailed analysis of scaffolding strategies used by teachers after children answered teachers’ questions.

Method: Participants included 93 prekindergarten and kindergarten teachers who read aloud a standard narrative text to their class of students. All the sessions were video-recorded, transcribed, and then coded for conversational turns and teacher scaffolding strategies.

Results: Descriptive findings showed great variability in the length of conversations and the extent to which teachers used scaffolding strategies. Most teacher scaffolds matched children’s accuracy of response such that they provided support after incorrect responses and provided additional challenge after correct responses. Significant sequential associations were observed between the level of children’s response and multiple types of scaffolds (e.g., corrective feedback scaffold after incorrect response; discussing factual questions after a correct response).

Conclusions: Findings indicate that during shared reading, teachers are responsive to children’s answers and are able to provide challenge or support as needed. However, teachers infrequently used scaffolding strategies like causal effects, predictions, and recasts. Given evidence that strategies such as recasts support early language skills, professional development experiences could encourage early childhood teachers to incorporate this and other key scaffolding strategies.


Deshmukh, Richa & Pentimonti, Jill & Zucker, Tricia & Curry, Bridget. (2021). Teachers’ Use of Scaffolds Within Conversations During Shared Book Reading. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools. 53. 1-17. 10.1044/2021_LSHSS-21-00020.