Scaffolding classroom instructions for activities: Lockhart or Lupin?

Creative Commons License

Yeşilbursa A. A. J. A.

Other, pp.22-29, 2020

  • Publication Type: Other Publication / Other
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Page Numbers: pp.22-29
  • Bursa Uludag University Affiliated: Yes


As English Language teachers, we often spend a lot of time preparing activities and materials to use with our students. We take great pains to ensure that our activities meet the objectives of the lesson, and that they are engaging for the students. Not to mention the portion of our salaries that we set aside for stationery costs. However, no matter how imaginative or appealing our activities may be, if we have not planned our instructions well beforehand, students will have difficulties understanding, and the lesson can fall flat. Then we get frustrated and resort to using Turkish. Is the limited use of LI helpful in monolingual contexts? It may be so as argued by some scholars. However, limited use of L1 can be helpful in monolingual contexts only if it ultimately facilitates the learning of English. So, creating an ‘English atmosphere’ in the classroom from the beginning is far more conducive to language learning (Scrivener, 2012). Put simply, if we resort to Turkish at the first sign of a problem, then we are robbing our students of valuable exposure to English. Often problems are not caused by the use of English as such, but rather the quantity and the quality of the English we use. We may use over-complicated language or sentences that are too long. Maybe we do not pay attention to pausing or using stress in the right places, or breaking long instructions into more manageable chunks. Fortunately, classroom instructions have a very recognisable structure that can be learned and practised by both student and novice teachers. In this article, I aim to present concrete and practical suggestions for planning classroom instructions for communicative activities. I will first touch upon some of the typical problems that English language teachers face when giving instructions. I will then outline Scrivener’s (2012) framework for effective instructions. Finally, to show this framework in action, I will present two observation activities that can be used while watching the first lessons of two professors from the Harry Potter film series: Gilderoy Lockhart and Remus Lupin.