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ELL

First Name: 
Lorena Llosa
Professional Title: 
Associate Professor
Organization/Institution: 
Assessment, ELL

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 - 11:45 am
2014 Session Types: 
Mini-plenary Presentation
Presenters: 

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.

The session starts with a presentation of a case study investigating whether the NSF DR K12 program made a unique contribution to research in the fields of science and mathematics education for ELLs. The case study compared DR K–12-funded research projects from 2007 to 2011 with other (non DR K12-funded) research in terms of research topics, design, methods, outcomes, and researcher expertise. Findings indicated that the funding and the emphases of the DR K12 program did influence the research, suggesting that funding programs can shape research agendas by providing deliberate and targeted funding for priority areas.

The discussion engages the participants to explore two topics. First, what are the implications of the case study for future research on STEM with ELLs? Second, what is the role of funding programs for priority areas where targeted funding would be particularly helpful and ways in which funding agencies could promote progress in such areas? These topics are pertinent and urgent, given the current context of the Common Core State Standards and the Next Generation Science Standards for all students, including ELLs.

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 - 11:45 am
2014 Session Types: 
Collaborative Panel Session

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:

  • specific strategies for identifying teachers’ needs,
  • examples of tools for teachers that could be used as a models for other projects, and
  • resources and partnerships for future collaboration.

 Rather than presenting on each project in series, speakers work as a panel to address the following issues, leaving room for active discussion from workshop participants:

  • the process used to identify needs and develop tools;
  • types of materials the presenters have found helpful for:
    • professional development
    • use of games in general
    • use of these projects’ games
    • learning communities (for teachers and learners)
  • most significant discoveries in guiding teachers (such as the discomfort many teachers have in letting a game "teach" rather than "provide practice," and the types of support learners need in game play and different ways teachers can provide that support)
  • future steps for continuing teacher support in the use of developed games.

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

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.
Author/Presenter: 
Fatima Terrazas-Arellanes
Carolyn Knox
Carmen Rivas
Lead Organization(s): 
Year: 
2013
Resource Type: 
Publication

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.

English Language Learners’ Online Science Learning: A Case Study

in
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.
Author/Presenter: 
Fatima Terrazas-Arellanes
Carolyn Knox
Carmen Rivas
Emily Walden
Lead Organization(s): 
Resource Type: 
Publication

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. To create these collaborative online projects, two constructivist approaches were combined: The Cognitive-Affective Theory of Learning with Media and Project-Based Learning. These approaches to science education were used as the basis for culturally and linguistically relevant science instruction, which was delivered within a collabora-tive, online instructional platform. Using a case study design, two teachers demonstrated implementation of the project with fidelity, and students showed statistically significant gains in science content assessments. The Collaborative Online Projects for English Language Learners in Science project provides educators with a strong model for creating instructional materials that support English learners’ science learning by combining culturally-relevant, constructivist, collaborative projects using online, multimedia technology.

The Use of Pictorial Supports as an Accommodation for Increasing Access to Test Items for Students with Limited Proficiency in the Language of Testing

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Author/Presenter: 
Solano-Flores, Guillermo
Year: 
2010
Resource Type: 
Presentation

This paper reports on an NSF-funded project that examines vignette illustrations (VIs) as a form of testing accommodation for English language learners (ELLs)—students who are developing English as a second language yet they are tested in English, in major assessment programs in the U.S. VIs are pictorial supports intended to make the content
of test items more accessible to ELLs without altering their text and without giving away their answers. We have developed a procedure for systematically designing VIs. Based on semiotics, socio-cultural theory, and cognitive science, our procedure allows identification of both linguistic/cultural challenges—constituents (words, phrases, terms, idiomatic expressions) which may pose challenges to ELLs due to their limited English proficiency or their limited experience with certain contextual information)—and linguistic/cultural affordances (constituents that are not likely to pose these challenges to ELLs). Based on the identified linguistic and cultural challenges and affordances, illustration development teams composed by bilingual teachers, science teachers, and science content experts, write scripts that specify the characteristics that the illustrations should have. The paper discusses the procedure for developing VIs and discusses the potential of VIs as a valid, cost-effective, easy-to-implement testing accommodation in multilingual and multicultural contexts in which student language proficiency in the language of testing is a potential threat to test validity.

The Use of Illustrations in Large-Scale Science Assessment: A Comparative Study

Author/Presenter: 
Wang, Chao
Solano-Flores, Guillermo
Year: 
2011
Resource Type: 
Presentation

In this paper, we report on a study that compares state, national, and international assessment programs as to the characteristics and functions of the illustrations used in their science test items. We used our conceptual framework for examining the characteristics of illustrations in science items (Solano-Flores & Wang, 2009, 2011) to code the illustrations of samples of items. We examined the statistical significance of differences in the frequencies of different illustration variables observed in samples of science items from assessments from two countries (China and the U.S,) in four science areas, physics, chemistry, biology, and earth and space science. We observed statistically significant differences between the numbers of features in the illustrations originated in China and the illustrations originated in the U.S. Illustrations from China tended to have more varied and complex characteristics than their U.S. counterparts. We discuss the implications of these findings in the design of science items in assessment projects that involve culturally and linguistically diverse populations in both the U.S. and in the context of international test comparisons.

STEM ELL Publications Updated 9/22/10

in
Author/Presenter: 
CADRE
Year: 
2010
Resource Type: 
Tool

STEM ELL Publications Updated 11/2/10

in
Author/Presenter: 
EDC
Year: 
2010
Resource Type: 
Tool
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