PDI-13: Science for English Language Learners (ELL): Integrating Reading, Writing, Listening, Speaking, and Thinking into the K–8 Classroom
Date: Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Location: New Orleans—Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, room 350
Science Area: Integrated/General
Intended Audience: Elementary; Middle Level; Supervision/Administration; General
Recommended Pathway Sessions
David T. Crowther, Ph.D./University of Nevada-Reno
David Crowther, Professor Science Education, College of Education, University of Nevada, Reno
Joaquin Vila, Associate Professor & ESOL Advisor, Salisbury University
- Can effective science instruction (hands-on / minds on guided inquiry) enhance the literacy skills (reading, writing, listening, speaking, and thinking) of English language learners (ELL) in the science classroom?
- How is guided inquiry (scaffolded) different than open ended inquiry used in regular classrooms?
- How can I work with students who do not speak English in a hands-on science course?
- What teaching strategies can I use to work with EL students while teaching science? Will these strategies benefit all of my students?
This Professional Development Institute (PDI) will focus on teaching strategies and methods that incorporate language acquisition with science instruction for English Language Learners (ELL) in the K-8 classroom. Specifically, this institute will begin with an overview of research on the EL population, instruction, and programs available to teachers who have responsibilities for teaching science. The bulk of the 6 hours of instruction will provide guided inquiry activities that model integrated (Sheltered Instruction) strategies in Science and reading, writing, listening, speaking and thinking.
The follow up workshops will provide more in-depth research and instruction in each of the language skills (reading, writing, listening, speaking, and thinking) as they apply to science instruction as well as working with specific populations of EL students and available programs.
Classrooms in the United States are becoming more diverse thus requiring regular classroom teachers to develop new skills in working with students whose first language is not English. Recent census data show that over the past twenty five years the number of English Language Learners (ELL) (ages 5-17) grew from 3.8 million to 9.9 million or approximately 10% of the entire U.S. school population (NCES, 2006). With this incredible growth, regular classroom teachers are in need of learning new teaching skills in language acquisition to integrate into everyday classroom content instruction.
Sheltered Instructional strategies or Specially Designed Academic Instruction in English (SDAIE) involve teaching strategies used in developing language skills in reading, writing, listening, and speaking and incorporates them into content area (Science) planning, instruction and assessment. These strategies include clearly defined language and content objectives, creating instruction that relates to students’ prior knowledge, tailoring teacher talk to students’ English language proficiency levels, allowing students to process material in a variety of formats including Guided Inquiry, scaffolding content instruction, and using assessment methods that allow students to display learning in a variety of ways (Becijos,1997; Echevarria, Vogt, & Short, 2008). This is especially important to teachers at the Elementary and Middle School as the majority of EL students are entering schools at these levels. Of all EL students entering school, 44% are in grades K-3 and 35% in grades 4-8 (Kindler, 2002).
This Professional Development Institute will be conducted by David Crowther, a Professor of Science Education at the University of Nevada, Reno. Dr. Crowther is the co / author / editor of Science for English Language Learners by NSTA Press. He has written several chapters in books / articles on Science for ELL, presented many workshops at NSTA and TESOL on the subject, and teaches science methods using Sheltered Instruction strategies at the University of Nevada, Reno.
Joaquin Vilá is a Professor of English and Second Language Acquisition at Salisbury University in Maryland. In his numerous years of experience he has conducted many workshops on teaching EL students, written chapters / articles, and led departments and programs for ELL within the English departments at several universities. Dr. Vilá is also a NCATE evaluator of TESOL programs and is the Special Assistant to the Vice President of the University for Diversity.
The Follow-up sessions are still being coordinated and will be added to this proposal when the presenters agree to participate. Presenters are recognized as top researchers, authors, and workshop facilitators in the field of science and language acquisition.