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THE EFFECTS OF RECIPROCAL TEACHING ON ENGLISH READING - page 42 / 233

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The second concept that forms the theoretical ground of the reciprocal teaching is

called proleptic teaching and refers to procedures most often found during apprenticeship

instruction in which a teacher shapes a student until he or she is ready to perform the task

independently (Palincsar& Brown, 1984). The important feature of proleptic teaching is

the transfer of responsibility from teacher to students. The teacher explains and models

the process for solving problems, and while decreasing his or her role, transfers the

responsibility of solving problems to the students (Rogoff & Garner, 1984).

The last concept is called expert scaffolding. The expert acts as a guide, shaping

the learning efforts of the students and providing support for the learning until the

students do not need it (Rosenshine & Meister, 1994). Scaffolding procedures include

limiting the tasks to make them manageable, motivating students, pointing out critical

features, and demonstrating solutions to problems and explaining them to the students

(Palincsar & Brown, 1984). These procedures help students to learn how to perform a

task, how to solve problems, and they support them in their attempt to learn until they can

perform the task independently. According to Greenfield (1984), scaffolding teaching is

adapted to the learners’ current learning state; when the learners’ skills are developed, the

teacher’s scaffolding is decreased, and if the text is difficult, greater assistance and

feedback are given to the students in order to shape their understanding. However, the

teacher acts as a facilitator after the students do not need much help. Scaffolding is

eventually internalized and thus promotes the independent performance of reading skills.

These approaches provided the background theories to reciprocal teaching

(Adunyarittigun & Grant, 2005) in which: (a) the teacher guides the students into the right

use of the four key strategies and gives them a chance to practice them; (b) the teacher

acting as an expert models the whole process of the reciprocal teaching approach for the

students’ benefit; (c) the students, supported by expert peers, work in cooperative groups

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