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Effective Strategies for English Language L earners in Science. Melinda Moya Edu 7201T Fall 2011. Table o f Contents. Statement of the Problem Review of Related Literature Statement of the Hypothesis. Statement of the Problem.

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effective strategies for english language l earners in science

Effective Strategies for English Language Learners in Science

Melinda Moya

Edu 7201T

Fall 2011

table o f contents
Table of Contents
  • Statement of the Problem
  • Review of Related Literature
  • Statement of the Hypothesis
statement of the problem
Statement of the Problem

Today’s curriculum seeks to differentiate instruction for all learners. Differentiation for English Language Learners or ELL’s has proven to be a challenge for many teachers. The teacher is constantly faced with the question on how to develop language skills for ELL’s. The issue that has arisen through years of testing ELL’s is that on the surface it may seem that ELL’s are communicating with teachers and peers in the new language, but the struggles seem to be within the content or academic language that is needed to excel in today’s educational system. One major struggle for ELL’s is in the content area of Science. Within the fourth and Eighth grades students are expected to gain a passing score in the state exam. In the recent past this has been a major concern for individuals educating ELL’s since success in these exams are abysmal.

review of related literature
Review of Related Literature
  • Carlone, H. B., Haun-Frank, J., Webb, A. (2010). Assessing Equity Beyond Knowledge- and Skills-Based Outcomes: A Comparative Ethnography of Two Fourth-Grade Reform-Based Science Classrooms. Journal of Research in Science Teaching. Volume 48(5), 459-485.The article focuses its attention on reevaluating and questioning true equality when teaching science. It states that cultural aspects of science need to be implemented in order to truly create equality in the science classroom.
  •  Colombo, M.W., Colombo, P.D., (2007). Blogging to Improve Instruction in Differentiated Science Classrooms. Phi Delta Kappan. Retrieved from the JSTOR database.This article demonstrates the usefulness of blogging into the science inquiry units.Blogginggives all learners the opportunity to engage in a inquiry units and students can work at their pace.ELL’s can benefit from this since they will engage in the academic language at their own rate and pace.
  • Gibbons, B.A., (2003). Supporting Elementary Science Education for English Learners: A Constructivist Evaluation Instrument. The Journal of Educational Research. Volume 96(6), 371-380. Gibbons uses the Constructivist Evaluation Instrument when evaluating teachers teaching English language learners. This evaluation instruments helped teachers guide and support English language students to become more verbal and active participant of science inquiry.

Janzen, J., (2004). Teaching English Language Learners in the Content Areas. Retrieved from ERIC database. Each content area was assessed by how the English Language Learner used and developed linguistically, cognitively, and the “socio-cultural features of academic literacy.” Incorporating literacy in the content area is crucial for the development of ELL’s basic and academic language skills.

  • Lee, O., Buxton, C., Lewis, S., LeRoy, K., (2005). Science Inquiry and Student Diversity: Enhanced Abilities and Continuing Difficulties After an Instructional Intervention. Journal of Research in Science Teaching. Volume 43(7), 607-636.This article looks at the diverse students in an instructional intervention program for science. The study was conducted on several elementary schools with diverse classroom settings. The review found that students improved in science inquiry and abilities. The research showed that there was still a lack in relationships among linguistics and making a connection to cultural experie. There was also a lack of scaffolding and a superficial monitoring system in place.

Lee, O., (2005). Science Education with English Language Learners: Synthesis and Research Agenda. Review of Educational Research. Volume 75(4), 491-530. Many science classrooms fail to acknowledge the development of oral and written proficiency in English. In addition there are insufficient assessment tools that will assess ELL’s knowledge in the scientific language since it is based on how much the student knows in the target language and not in the home language.

  • Lee, O., Fradd, S.H., (1998). Science for All, Including Students From Non-English-Language Backgrounds. Review of Educational Research. Volume 27(4), 12-21.This article mentions how science education needs to be equal for all, especially those from diverse backgrounds. Implementation of literacy and background knowledge is crucial to achieve success in the content area of science.
  • Murphy, A.F., (2009). Tracking the Progress of English Language Learners. Phi Delta Kappan. Retrieved from JSTOR database. Assessments used in today classroom demonstrate the level the students is currently on and not on the progress that has been made through the years.Educators need to understand the stride (if any) is being made by the student in all content areas.

Niss, M. L. (2005). Preparing Teachers to Teach Science and Mathematics with Technology: Developing a Technology Pedagogical Content Knowledge. Teaching and Teacher Education. Volume 21, 509-523. Examines the use and skills teachers use to teach science with the use of technology. It helps the reader make stride to build a more successful plan when teaching diverse students with the guidance of technology.

  • Pluta, W.J., Chinn, C. A., Duncan, R.G. (2010). Learners’ Epistemic Criteria for Good Scientific Models. Journal of Research in Science Teaching. Volume 48(5), 486-511.In this study scientific products were evaluated known as the epistemic criteria. These products include models, evidence, and arguments. These products are what scientist use to measure accuracy and validity in scientific inquiry. The study found that when students used this form of criteria they seemed to gain higher order thinking skills and gained a in-depth knowledge of the scientific concept. This gives the ELL hands on experience as well as help develop an understanding of the concept.
research hypothesis
Research Hypothesis
  • Teachers need to be adequately trained in language development as well as be able to develop effective academic language strategies for English Language Learners in content areas such as science. Effective strategies include graphic organizers with a focus on language development skills. In this way the academic language is being developed in succession with the content knowledge. Another language strategy is the use of technology, which adheres to visual and independent growth. Students work at their pace while developing the knowledge and linguistic skills necessary to succeed in Science.