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ESOL Online. Every child literate - a shared responsibility.
Ministry of Education.

Learning task 1

Provide context-embedded support

Provide context-embedded support that scaffolds the learning of ESOL students so they can achieve the same learning outcomes.

Mainstreaming ESOL students and planning specific language support for them enables the students to develop content knowledge at the same time as they develop language skills.

Support students' learning by:

  • beginning with context-embedded tasks (practical work, visual support, 'hands-on' experience)
  • linking new information to what the students already know
  • focusing on the language of science in whole class feedback sessions.

What to consider:

  • What activities have I included that provide a context embedded scaffold for my ESOL learners?
  • Where have I written the learning outcomes?
  • Are the students aware of them?

Write the language and content learning outcomes on the board and refer to these criteria regularly.

Content learning outcome

  • Students will be able to describe the difference between acids and bases.

Language learning outcome

Language structure

  • Lemon juice stings on a cut because it is corrosive (simple present tense verb with causal conjunction).
  • Toothpaste is used to remove plaque on teeth (passive verb).
Learning task 1
Teaching and learning activities Principles

Provide context embedding

Use the Picture Sequence (Word 42KB) for discussion before students complete this interactive cloze.


Interactive cloze


Interactive clozes help students to work out meaning from context and to think about how written language works. Some of the gaps can be accurately filled by a variety of words and discussion of these in class can be very productive.


  • When using the cloze activity the students first work on their own to fill in the gaps, then discuss their answers in pairs or small groups. The teacher then leads a class discussion, looking at the alternatives and pointing out the clues in the text.
  • Read the text carefully and use the context and grammatical clues in the sentence to work out the missing words.

    Acids are very common substances and are widely used in everyday life. Citric ..... is found in tomatoes and citrus fruits such as oranges and lemons. The bubbles in fizzy ..... are due to carbon dioxide which dissolves in water to form carbonic acid. Acids on your skin sting because they are corrosive and attack your ..... tissues. This is why lemon juice ..... if you get it in a cut on your finger. You ..... eat fruit that contains acids because the concentration is very dilute. A ..... acid is one that contains a large amount of water and a small amount of acid. Your stomach contains gastric juice. Gastric ..... is made up of hydrochloric acid and enzymes. Both chemicals help to kill microbes and aid in the digestion of food. The stomach wall ..... protected from acid attack by a sticky fluid mucus lining.

    Bases are used in the home for two purposes. Firstly, they can neutralise acids. Toothpaste is an example of a weak base that is used to ..... acids formed by plaque bacteria on your teeth. Bases can also be used to dissolve grease ..... dirt. Bases which are soluble in water are called alkalis. Household cleaners are bases which are made up of ..... such as ammonia and sodium hydroxide (commonly called caustic soda). Common alkalis include indigestion powders and tablets ..... neutralize acids in the stomach. Some alkalis feel soapy to touch, this is ..... they turn the oils on your skin into soap.


Published on: 19 Feb 2018