ELL

Professional Development Approaches to Strengthen Collaboration among Educators with Different Roles to Improve Student Math Learning

STEM Categorization: 
Day: 
Thu

Discuss the benefits and challenges of creating mathematics professional development that brings together educators with different roles to build knowledge, practices, and collaboration for teaching students with diverse needs.

Date/Time: 
9:30 am to 11:00 am
Session Materials: 

In order to broaden the participation of underrepresented student groups, such as students with disabilities and English Language Learners (ELL), mathematics professional development (PD) programs need to include educators with different areas of expertise, not just mathematics teachers. This session will focus on the benefits and challenges of creating effective PD programs that bring together educators with different roles to build knowledge, practices, and collaboration for improving the mathematics learning of all students.

2016 Session Types: 

Analysis of the National Science Foundation’s Discovery Research K–12 ELL Projects

Background/Context: Educational and societal phenomena can converge to draw attention to a new focus, such as ELs and STEM, and then trigger new research interests. A funding program can play a critical role in shaping these new research interests by prioritizing specific research topics and designs or by requiring particular specializations of researchers.

Year: 
2016
Short Description: 
Educational and societal phenomena can converge to draw attention to a new focus, such as ELs and STEM, and then trigger new research interests. A funding program can play a critical role in shaping these new research interests by prioritizing specific research topics and designs or by requiring particular specializations of researchers. The study examined whether funding provided through the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Discovery Research K-12 (DR K-12) program has made a unique contribution to the research in the fields of science and mathematics education for ELs.

A Review of DR K–12 English Language Learner Projects and Their Contribution to Research

Day: 
Wed

This session explores the role of funding programs in shaping research agendas. The springboard for discussion is a case study that investigated DR K12 contribution to research in science and mathematics education for English language learners.

Date/Time: 
9:45 am to 11:45 am
2014 Session Types: 
Mini-plenary Presentation
Session Materials: 

This session explores the role of funding programs in shaping research agendas through deliberate and targeted funding for priority areas. With the English language learner (ELL) population in U.S. schools on the rise and a growing demand for expansion and development of STEM education, intersecting research in these two fields represents an important effort to address pressing issues in U.S. schools and the STEM workforce.

Meaningful Support for Teachers: Specific Ways to Encourage Game-Based Learning in the Classroom

Day: 
Tues

Panelists from three projects share lessons learned in guiding game use in classroom learning, highlighting specific examples of effective resources.

Date/Time: 
9:45 am to 11:45 am
2014 Session Types: 
Collaborative Panel Session
Session Materials: 

The three panelists in this session are in the last one or two years of their game-based learning projects, and all have done extensive work in supporting use of their games in classroom learning. As their work has progressed, each has discovered valuable ways to support teachers as well as encountered surprises in what teachers wanted (and didn’t want), and now recognize things they wished they had learned in the beginning of their projects. Session participants leave with recommendations they can use in their current projects, including:

Collaborative Online Projects for English Language Learners in Science (Español)

Terrazas-Arellanes, F., Knox, C., & Rivas, C. (2013). Collaborative Online Projects for English Language Learners in Science. Cultural Studies of Science Education Journal, 3(8), DOI 10.1007/s11422-013-9521-8.

Lead Organization(s): 
Year: 
2013
Short Description: 
This paper summarizes how Collaborative Online Projects (COPs) are used to facilitate science content-area learning for English Learners of Hispanic origin. This is a Mexico-USA partnership project funded by the National Science Foundation. A COP is a 10-week thematic science unit, completely online, and bilingual (Spanish and English) designed to provide collaborative learning experiences with culturally and linguistically relevant science instruction in an interactive and multimodal learning environment. Units are integrated with explicit instructional lessons that include: a) hands-on and laboratory activities, b) interactive materials and interactive games with immediate feedback, c) animated video tutorials, d) discussion forums where students exchange scientific learning across classrooms in the USA and in Mexico, and e) summative and formative assessments. Thematic units have been aligned to U.S. National Science Education Standards and are under current revisions for alignment to the Common Core State Standards. Training materials for the teachers have been integrated into the project website to facilitate self-paced and independent learning. Preliminary findings of our pre-experimental study with a sample of 53 students (81% ELs), distributed across three different groups, resulted in a 21% statistically significant points increase from pretest to posttest assessments of science content learning, t(52) = 11.07, p = .000.

English Language Learners’ Online Science Learning: A Case Study

English Learners may struggle when learning science if their cultural and linguistic needs are unmet. The Collaborative Online Projects for English Language Learners in Science project was created to assist English learners’ construction of science knowledge, facilitate academic English acquisition, and improve science learning. The project is a freely available, online project-based, bilingual instructional web-site designed for English learners of Hispanic origin. The project website contains two units: Let’s Help Our Environment and What Your Body Needs.

Lead Organization(s): 
Year: 
2014
Short Description: 
Terrazas-Arellanes, F., Knox, C., Rivas, C., & Walden, E. (in press). English Language Learners’ Online Science Learning: A Case Study. In J. E. Aitken (Ed.), Cases on communication technology for second language acquisition and cultural learning. Hershey, PA: IGI Global.

Facilitating the Participation of Latino English language Learners: Learning from an Effective Teacher

Lead Organization(s): 
Year: 
2012
Short Description: 
Throughout my career, I have collaborated with dedicated and hard-working teachers who have opened their classrooms so that others could learn from them. Yet, one teacher, Sara, stood out from all the others. From the first time I visited Sara's classroom in 1992, I knew she was extraordinary--a teacher who could inspire a Hollywood production. Sara taught Latino English language learners (ELLs) in a low-income urban neighborhood in ways that I had not observed or read about in the literature. She did not reduce the curriculum's level of complexity, especially its language, even though the students were ELLs. Instead, Sara engineered a mathematics learning environment where students actively engaged in collaborative problem solving, oral and written communication and justification, and independent thinking. To give other practitioners insight into how Sara facilitated the participation of ELLs during mathematics, I share my experiences of researching Sara's fifth-grade classroom and provide images of her teaching.

Re-Mediating Second Language Acquisition: A Sociocultural Perspective for Language Development

Year: 
2011
Short Description: 
This article provides a cultural-historical (CHAT) analysis of the practices used by an effective teacher of Latino/a children previously classified as “underachieving” and “beginning/novice” English Language Learners. Although the teacher would not describe her practices in strict CHAT, or sociocultural theory (SCT) terms, our analysis shows that teaching practices in this classroom are better understood using a SCT model rather than more prevalent second language acquisition (SLA) models that dominate the field of bilingual/English as a Second Language education. We describe the fundamental limitations of SLA assumptions about learners vis-à-vis a SCT perspective and use classroom and case study data to illustrate how a CHAT perspective illuminates this teacher’s practices. From a CHAT perspective, teaching and learning are socially reorganized around the mediation of dynamic learner identities and include shifts in expert–novice status, dialogic interactions, and the use of innovative mediational tools (e.g., keystrokes on a calculator) to promote academic writing and oral communication. The mediational reorganization described in the classroom opened up access to students who might have been dismissed by a SLA model as “incapable” of engaging in such tasks. We draw on classroom-level data (i.e., standardized scores in reading and math) as well as the work of selected focal students to illustrate our case.

Designing Math Lessons for English Language Learners

Lead Organization(s): 
Year: 
2012
Short Description: 
A middle school mathematics teacher taught native English speakers for the first fifteen years of her career. As immigrants from other countries moved into the community and student demographics began to change, she realized that she was not prepared to teach mathematics to students who were English language learners (ELLs). The demands that she faced are not unique. The recent growth of the ELL population in the United States has challenged teachers to identify effective strategies to meet the needs of ELL students and their families.

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