It is important to understand that learners of all abilities may require scaffolding in order to learn, understand, and apply knowledge. Scaffolding supports a student while they learn something new or build on existing knowledge, and then at a later time it is removed by the teacher as the student demonstrates understanding. It is important to remember, as stated by Alber (2011), that "scaffolding a lesson and differentiating instruction are two different things. Scaffolding is breaking up the learning into chunks and then providing a tool, or structure, with each chunk. When scaffolding reading, for example, you might preview the text and discuss key vocabulary, or chunk the text and read and discuss as you go. With differentiation, you may give a child an entirely different piece of text to read, you might shorten the text or alter it, and you may modify the writing assignment that follows." (para. 2)
Herrera and Murry (2011) offer number of scaffolding approaches a teacher can use that will allow them to effectively scaffold student learning. These approaches include: "write language and content objectives on the boards for CLD students and refer to them throughout the lesson", "try to include a variety of listening, speaking, reading, and writing activities to achieve your language objectives", "and provide a predictable daily routine so that the adolescent CLD student understands teacher expectations" (p. 77)
For veteran teachers these approaches might seem obvious because they are the same as typical classroom and learning management approaches, but it is important to remember that for second language learners these approaches can be invaluable because they go hand in hand with creating a safe and comfortable learning environment where students can take risks and will not fear failure or feel the sting of criticism that might otherwise discourage them from learning.
Rebecca Alber (who I cited above) suggests some other great ways to scaffold and keep learning fun including giving students time to talk, pre-teaching vocabulary, and using visual aids. Here website can be found here . Olenka Bilash offers some insights on how to include scaffolding in planning here. Finally, Lauren Scharff gives a presentation on scaffolding as a teaching strategy here.