Clark and Graves (2005) review three aspects of scaffolding and its effectiveness:
Scaffolding is flexible and supports students in their acquisition of basic skills and higher
thinking. It allows for explicit instruction, and allows teachers to teach students of diverse
Reciprocal teaching provides scaffolding through explicit instruction involving the
modeling and explanation of the four main strategies, guided practice, independent
practice, and the application of the strategies by the students themselves. Rosenshine and
Meister (1994) stated that it is easy to memorize strategies, but it is difficult to transfer or
apply independent strategic thinking. Teachers need to show their students how to do this
through explicit instruction that includes limiting tasks to make them manageable,
motivating the learners, pointing out critical features, and demonstrating solutions to
The four main strategies of reciprocal teaching.
The reciprocal teaching approach concentrates on four key reading strategies:
predicting, generating questions, clarifying, and summarizing. Each strategy is useful for
students to comprehend a reading text and can be used separately or combined according to
the situations, problems, and reading purposes the readers face (Wiseman, 1992).
Predicting involves finding comprehensive clues by using a reader’s own
background knowledge and personal experiences. The purpose of this strategy is to link
what the reader already knows about the topic with the knowledge she or he is about to
acquire through reading. In other words, predicting keeps the readers actively thinking on
the text while reading (Duffy, 2002).