Interaction: Activity 5

Scaffolding and co-construction in learner-learner interaction

Consider the interaction in the table below in which Henry and Raúl are comparing the homes in the two photos, one of which has a fence with peeling paint. Then answer the questions below the table.

Description: Ate the cake  Description: Ate the cake

Task Line #
Comparison 41

R: cerca, tienes razón, parece vieja. Se está
despintando y comparada con esa casa…
H: Sí, la...sí la pinta, la..
R: Pintura.
H: Pintura
R: La pintura es
H: La pintura es… es muy es muy deferente. Hay, uh,
hay, um, no s-, la problemas en la pictura como
aquí, aquí, aquí…
R: Oh, mhm, se está cayendo la pintura.

How does Raúl try to scaffold and support Henry’s learning when Henry uses the wrong word “la pinta” to refer to “paint” in line 43?

When you have finished typing your answer, click to compare your response with the Learner Language staff response.

After Raúl describes the peeling paint on the fence in line 41 as se está despintando,* Henry responds using an erroneous word la pinta (for “paint”) in line 43.In an intensive sequence of scaffolding and co-construction, Raúl plays a mentor role, providing a recast of this word with pintura in line 44; Henry uptakes pintura in line 45. Then Raúl uses “La pintura es…”  to start a sentence in line 46, and Henry repeats that and completes the sentence in line 47, saying “La pintura … es muy deferente”. Raúl’s strategy of trying to get Henry to use the new word in a meaningful sentence is one that many good teachers use to promote acquisition. But perhaps because Raúl thinks Henry’s sentence inadequately describes the state of the paint, in line 49, he recasts it with “Se está cayendo la pintura”  -- introducing “Se está cayendo” for Henry to consider as well.

*A native speaker informant has told us that while this phrase may not be used commonly, it is something a native speaker might say if they were struggling to refer to peeling paint, and it is entirely comprehensible.


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