Supporting Diverse Learners in the Intermediate Classroom Using Scaffolding and Assistive Technology

Part 1 - Scaffolding to Support Diverse Learners in the Intermediate Classroom – Presenters, Kulbir Johal and Michel Gagnon

We will share scaffolding strategies to support students with learning differences and English language learners at the beginning stages of English language acquisition in the intermediate classroom.  We will review how students can use text features to help them ‘pull out’ content from the reading material, with a particular focus on vocabulary.  Instructional strategies such as cloze assignments to provide an entry point for students to engage with reading material will be reviewed.  We will explore how sentence frames can be used with vocabulary flash cards and graphic organizers to support writing activities, discussions and presentations.  While flash cards are often associated with rote memorization, vocabulary flash cards can be used for interactive games and to begin writing sentences.  We will explore how graphic organizers can be used to support specific language functions such as comparing/contrasting, sequencing, cause and effect.  The assistive technology tools reviewed in the session will include the Dictate and Immersive Reader in Office 365, the Immersive Reader extension, and the Read&Write and OrbitNote toolbar features including vocabulary charts.

Part 2 – Supporting Assistive Technology – How to Get Started & Grow Your Skills – Presenters Michel Gagnon and Kulbir Johal

Assistive technology tools can act as scaffolds to help students access curriculum content and share their ideas.  The goal of this session is to help teachers take a step into using Assistive Technology Tools or take a step further into the journey they have started.  Using a chart with entry points, you will be able to explore the Tech Tools available to you at your level of comfort.

Participants are encouraged to explore the Tech Tools Shared to All Folder to help them gain a sense of the available tools before the workshop, these include:

  • Dictate, Immersive Reader and Editor in Office 365, 
  • Immersive Reader in Office 365 or through the internet,
  • Read&Write, 
  • OrbitNote PDF Reader, 
  • Using One Drive to share digital novels and Textbooks from ARC-BC. 
  • How to get a license for Read&Write/OrbitNote free for all teachers.


If you are just starting out and want an introduction to assistive technology tools, or you are ready to use tools such as Read&Write and OrbitNote, we hope this workshop will help you on your assistive technology journey.

Target Audience


To Bring/Important Notes

Thank you for attending the Scaffolding & Assistive Technology workshops for the STA Convention, we hope you found it helpful.


  • Please note this gentle reminder to consider learning function (first column) and start at your comfort level. 
  • Teaching students one tool at a time is important to keep students  (and teachers) from feeling overwhelmed.
  • When introducing a tech tool, it is recommended to use the same Word document/website etc for the demonstration and for the students' try out/practice, and to have students working in pairs to help one another. 


11:45 AM - 3:00 PM

This session is full.


  • Student Support Services
    Kulbir Johal

    I have been classroom teacher at both the intermediate and primary levels, an LST Teacher, and has been an Elementary LST Helping Teachers since 2019.  I have a particular interest in exploring scaffolding ideas to support diverse learners both through intervention and in the classroom.  I have been working with Michel Gagnon to introduce assistive technology tools to teachers to help them introduce the tools to their students.

  • Student Support Services
    Michel Gagnon

    I was a French Immersion teacher for 14 years at the secondary level and then an Assistive Technology Helping Teacher.  I have been classroom teacher at the Secondary level, an LST Teacher, and an Assistive Technology Helping Teachers since 2014.  I have a particular interest in exploring how assistive technology can help students to become more independent.  I have been working with Kulbir Johal to introduce assistive technology tools to teachers to help them introduce the tools to their students.