Nancy QueisiTSL 5085Article 1: Connecting Literacy and Science to IncreaseAchievement for English Language LearnersArticle 2: Urban Elementary School Teachers’ Knowledge andPractices in Teaching Science to English Language Learners.Article 3: Text-Based Questioning: A Comprehension Strategy toBuild English Language Learners Content Knowledge
There has been an overwhelming increase in the number ofEnglish language leaners (ELLs) in mainstream classrooms. There has been changes in the science curriculum. Standards have been created which explain what students mustknow and what to do in science class. Elementary, middle, and high school students are assessed onscience knowledge and skills yearly. ELLs must acquire both the English language and learn sciencesimultaneously in order to become successful.
A study was conducted to find the correlation between vocabularyand reading comprehension in addition to questioning andreading comprehension in the content of science in a 5th gradeclassroom. The results concluded both vocabulary knowledge andquestioning had a powerful impact on the reading compression ofall students. English only speakers (EOs) text-based questioning was a strongerpredictor of reading comprehension whereas ELLs generalvocabulary was the stronger predictor. Questioning is beneficial for ELLs only after they achieved acertain level of vocabulary.
Another study was conducted to examine the instructionaltechniques used to help 4th grade students enhance their text-based questioning in the content of science. The results concluded that regardless of students’ Englishlanguage proficiencies and initial questioning skills, all of theirquestioning skills improved. It also showed that ELLs with the at least intermediate languageproficiency are able to improve their questioning over a period oftime by being taught the skill explicitly.
Vocabulary plays a big role in reading comprehension. ELLs must gain vocabulary knowledge before they cancomprehend a skill or a concept that is being taught. Vocabulary development is the first step in readingcomprehension. When students including ELLs acquire good vocabulary, they arethen able to learn a content such as science.
Teachers should focus their teaching on four components whichare listening, reading, writing, and speaking. According to research, individuals retain 90% of contentinformation when they write and talk about what they learned. Teachers should create an inquiry-based classroom givingstudents an opportunity to ask open and closed ended questionsbecause it helps with the development of students’ high-orderthinking and vocabulary. Teachers should also incorporate student collaboration and hands-on activities in their classrooms which will increase studentmotivation.
This teacher advises other teachers to implement two research-based instructional strategies into their instruction. The two strategies include word walls and science notebooks. The purpose of these strategies is to help incorporate literacy skillsand science content simultaneously. As these strategies are implemented, teachers must be aware ofELLs English levels of proficiency.
The study was conducted to examine the knowledge and practicesof 38 teachers from urban elementary schools. The knowledge and practices of teachers in their first year ofprofessional intervention were compared to the knowledge andpractices of teachers who used reform-oriented practices. The goal of the study was to develop a better professionaldevelopment intervention to help teachers use methods in orderto inform and explain their content, specifically science, to ESOLstudents. The intervention focused on helping teachers create plans for ELLsand for them to better understand the science content to teach it toall students.
The results of the study concluded that teachers had the properknowledge to teach the content of science to their students butthey were having difficulties with scientific inquiry within theirstudent population. Teachers were uncomfortable teaching science to ELLs. Teachers using reform-oriented practices were more successfulwith the constructs mentioned above. Modifications must be applied to future interventions in order togain a higher success rate in teaching ELLs.
They must understand that each student has a different learningstyle. It is important to reinforce accommodations for each ELL in orderfor them to acquire literacy skills and learn content areas such asscience. Students are more prone to comprehending content when they useall four components listening, reading, writing, and speakingwhen learning. Some students are visual learners, therefore, it is beneficial toinclude writing and drawing activities in lessons (showstrategies). Incorporating literacy skills and content simultaneously willbenefit ELLs tremendously.
All three articles were informative and can be applied to teaching. They aim at providing an opportunity for ELLs to develop literacyskills and content knowledge such as science simultaneously. They all include teaching techniques and activities that fall undershow, show and tell, tell strategies which are beneficial for ELLs. An example of a show strategy is building word walls. An example of a tell strategy is allowing students to ask open andclosed ended questions. An example of a show and tell strategy is creating a sciencenotebook that includes drawings and explanations .
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