Teacher Scaffolding of Academic Language in an Advanced Placement U.S. History Class


  • Kristine Gritter,

  • Scott Beers,

  • Robert W. Knaus


This article examines teacher scaffolding of academic language in an Advanced Placement United State History (APUSH) course throughout a school year for one student who received a perfect score on the end of year APUSH exam. Data includes four months of observation of teacher instructional strategies to scaffold student writing and vignettes of student writing with marked academic language change over time. We conclude that to construct effective arguments in writing, students need narrative continuity across the big ideas of history and sophisticated language to convey this knowledge in their writing. Teachers can scaffold this as part of their instruction and evidence of success can appear in student writing.