When teaching second language learners, it can be important to allow for scaffolding in their native language at the beginning. This may involve using Google Translate for certain phrases or complex concepts. Scaffolding entails providing language learners with support within the Zone of Proximal Development as advocated by Russian psychologist Lev Vygotsky. It is a widely accepted approach when teaching English to native speakers and is effective for second language learners as well. This learning theory has many applications, from language learning to game design.

Scaffolding strategies can be numerous and enjoyable to create once the instructor understands the student’s skill level. However, the most important priority is for the instructor to determine what the student already knows, what they can do with assistance, and what they cannot do even with help. Experienced teachers who understand their students’ ability levels, tolerance for making mistakes, and perceptions of success can guide them towards the next level. Bright students may not progress at their optimal rate if they are overly critical of their performance and lack patience with the learning process. The instructor can play a critical role in fostering a positive attitude towards making mistakes and developing resilience in the face of challenges.