Advertisement

MORPHOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENT LEVELS OF SCIENCE CONTENT VOCABULARY: IMPLICATIONS FOR SCIENCE-BASED TEXTS IN ELEMENTARY CLASSROOMS

  • Xavier FazioEmail author
  • Tiffany L. Gallagher
Article

Abstract

The science vocabulary from a science curriculum standards document (Ministry of Education Ontario, 2007) was classified by morphological developmental level and compared to the grade level topics of the curriculum (grades 1 to 8). Descriptive statistical analyses highlight the complex nature of science vocabulary and the incompatibilities between the conceptual nature of science vocabulary and the developmental reading levels of elementary students. These findings provide implications for teachers to encourage learning in science through scaffolded vocabulary instruction with multimodal, integrated resources. As learning through multiliteracies evolves in the twenty-first century, science-specific vocabulary acquisition should garner renewed interest to ensure that discipline-based texts are reflective of content standards and are accessible to all readers.

Key words

curriculum standards elementary science education science texts science vocabulary 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Baldwin, J. L., Adams, S. M. & Kelly, M. K. (2009). Science at the center: An emergent, standards-based, child-centered framework for early learners. Early Childhood Education Journal, 37(1), 71–77.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bear, D., Invernizzi, M., Templeton, S. & Johnston, F. (2012). Words their way: Word study for phonics, vocabulary, and spelling (5th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.Google Scholar
  3. Becker, W. C. (1977). Teaching reading and language to the disadvantaged: What we have learned from field research. Harvard Educational Review, 47, 518–543.Google Scholar
  4. Beyer, C. & Davis, E. A. (2009). Using educative curriculum materials to support preservice elementary teachers’ curricular planning: A comparison between two different forms of support. Curriculum Inquiry, 39(5), 679–703.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bianchini, J. A. & Kelly, G. J. (2003). Challenges of standards-based reform: The example of California’s science content standards and textbook adoption process. Science Education, 87(3), 378–389.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Biemiller, A. (2007). The influence of vocabulary on reading acquisition. Retrieved from http://www.literacyencyclopedia.ca/index.php?fa=items.show&topicId=19
  7. Blachowicz, C., Baumann, J., Manyak, P. & Graves, M. (2013). Flood, fast, focus: Integrated vocabulary instruction in the classroom. Newark, DE: International Reading Association.Google Scholar
  8. Bravo, M. & Cervetti, G. (2008). Teaching vocabulary through text and experience in content areas. In A. E. Farstrup & S. J. Samuels (Eds.), What research has to say about vocabulary instruction (pp. 130–149). Newark, DE: International Reading Association.Google Scholar
  9. Carey, S. (2009). The origin of concepts. New York: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Carlo, M. S., August, D. & Snow, C. E. (2005). Sustained vocabulary-learning strategies for English-language learners. In E. H. Hiebert & M. L. Kamil (Eds.), Teaching and learning vocabulary: Bringing research to practice (pp. 137–153). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  11. Cavagnetto, A. (2008). Factors influencing implementation of the science writing heuristic in two elementary classrooms. In B. M. Hand (Ed.), Science inquiry, argument and language (pp. 37–54). Rotterdam, NL: Sense Publishers.Google Scholar
  12. Cervetti, G. N., Barber, J., Dorph, R., Pearson, D. & Goldschmidt, P. G. (2012). The impact of an integrated approach to science and literacy in elementary school classrooms. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 49(5), 631–658.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Cervetti, G.N., Bravo, M.A., Duong, T., Hernandez, S. & Tilson, J. (2008). A research-based approach to instruction for English language learners in Science: A report to the Noyce Foundation. Retrieved from http://www.scienceandliteracy.org/research/efficacy_studies
  14. Cervetti, G. & Pearson, P. (2012). Reading, writing, and thinking like a scientist. Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, 55(7), 580–586.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Chall, J. S. & Conard, S. S. (1991). Should textbooks challenge students? New York, NY: Teachers College Press.Google Scholar
  16. Chall, J. S. & Dale, E. (1995). Readability revisited. The new Dale–Chall readability formula. Cambridge, MA: Brookline Books.Google Scholar
  17. Fang, Z. (2004). Scientific literacy: A systemic functional linguistics perspective. Science Education, 89(2), 335–347.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Fang, Z. (2006). The language demands of science reading in middle school. International Journal of Science Education, 28(5), 491–520.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Fazio, X., & Karrow, D. (2013). Science takes a back seat: An unintended consequence of prioritizing literacy and numeracy achievement. Education Canada 53(3). Retrieved from http://www.cea-ace.ca/education-canada/article/science-takes-back-seat
  20. Gallagher, T., Fazio, X., & Gunning, T. (2012). Varying readability of science-based text in elementary readers. Reading Improvement, 49(3), 93–102.Google Scholar
  21. Gee, J. P. (2004). Language in the science classroom: Academic social languages as the heart of school-based literacy. In E. W. Saul (Ed.), Crossing borders in literacy and science instruction: Perspectives on theory and practice (pp. 13–32). Arlington, VA: NSTA Press.Google Scholar
  22. Graves, M. F. (2006). The vocabulary book: Learning and instruction. New York: Teachers College Press.Google Scholar
  23. Hand, B. M. (2008). Science inquiry, argument and language: A case for the science writing heuristic. Rotterdam: Sense Publishers.Google Scholar
  24. Harmon, J., Wood, K. & Hedrick, W. (2008). Vocabulary instruction in middle and secondary content classrooms: Understandings and directions from research. In A. E. Farstrup & S. J. Samuels (Eds.), What research has to say about vocabulary instruction. Newark, DE: International Reading Association.Google Scholar
  25. Herman, P. & Wardrip, P. (2012). Reading to learn: Helping students comprehend readings in science class. The Science Teacher, 79(1), 48–51.Google Scholar
  26. Hiebert, E. H. & Lubliner, S. (2008). The nature, learning, and instruction of general academic vocabulary. In A. E. Farstrup & S. J. Samuels (Eds.), What research has to say about vocabulary instruction (pp. 106–129). Newark, DE: International Reading Association.Google Scholar
  27. Kendall, J. S., & Marzano, R. J. (2000). Content knowledge: A compendium of standards and benchmarks for K–12 education (3rd ed.). Alexandria: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.Google Scholar
  28. Lemke, J. (1990). Talking science: Language, learning and values. Norwood, NJ: Alex.Google Scholar
  29. Mayer, R. (2005). Introduction to multimedia learning. In R. Mayer (Ed.), The Cambridge handbook of multimedia learning (pp. 1–16). New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Ministry of Education, Ontario (2007). The Ontario curriculum, grades 1–8: Science and Technology. Queen’s Park Printer: Toronto, ON. Retrieved from http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/curriculum/elementary/scientec18currb.pdf
  31. Nagy, W. E. (1988). Teaching vocabulary to improve reading comprehension. Newark, DE: International Reading Association.Google Scholar
  32. Nagy, W. (2007). Metalinguistic awareness and the vocabulary-comprehension connection. In R. K. Wager, A. E. Muse & K. R. Tannenbaum (Eds.), Vocabulary acquisition: Implications for reading comprehension (pp. 52–77). New York: Guilford.Google Scholar
  33. Nagy, W. E. & Scott, J. A. (2000). Vocabulary processing. In M. L. Kamil, P. B. Mosenthal, P. D. Pearson & R. Barr (Eds.), Handbook of reading research (pp (pp. 269–284). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  34. Nagy, W., Townsend, D., Lesaux, N. & Schmitt, N. (2012). Words as tools: Learning academic vocabulary as language acquisition. Reading Research Quarterly, 47(1), 91–108.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. National Governors Association Center for Best Practices & Council of Chief State School Officers: USA (2010). Common core state standards for English Language Arts & Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects. Retrieved from http://www.corestandards.org/assets/Appendix_A.pdf
  36. National Reading Panel (2000). Teaching children to read. Retrieved from http://www.nationalreadingpanel.org/Publications/summary.htm
  37. Next Generation Science Standards (2013). Next generation science standards Retrieved from http://www.nextgenscience.org/print/121
  38. Nippold, M. A. & Sun, L. (2008). Knowledge of morphologically complex words: A developmental study of older children and young adolescents. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 39, 365–373.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Norris, S. P. & Phillips, L. M. (2003). How literacy in its fundamental sense is central to scientific literacy. Science Education, 87(2), 224–240.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Olness, R. (2007). Using literature to enhance content area instruction. Newark, DE: International Reading Association.Google Scholar
  41. Padak, N., Newton, E., Rasinski, T., & Newton, R. M. (2008). Getting to the root of word study: Teaching Latin and Greek word roots in elementary and middle grades. In A. E. Farstrup & S. J. Samuels (Eds.), What research has to say about vocabulary instruction (pp. 6–31). Newark: International Reading Association.Google Scholar
  42. Regents of the University of California (2013). Seeds of science/roots of reading: teacher’s guide. Retrieved from http://www.scienceandliteracy.org/teachersupport/moreabouttg
  43. Spencer, B. & Guillaume, A. M. (2006). Integrating curriculum through the learning cycle: Content-based reading and vocabulary instruction. The Reading Teacher, 60(3), 206–219.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Vacca, R. T. & Vacca, J. L. (2002). Content area reading: Literacy and learning across the curriculum. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.Google Scholar
  45. Vygotsky, L. (1962/2012). Thought and language: Revised and expanded edition. Cambridge, MA: MIT PressGoogle Scholar
  46. Walsh, M., & Simpson, A. (2010). Research into the teaching of reading: Final report. Australian Catholic University.Google Scholar
  47. Wellington, J. & Osborne, J. (2001). Language and literacy in science education. Buckingham: Open University Press.Google Scholar
  48. Yore, L. (2004). Why do future scientists need to study the language arts? In E. Saul (Ed.), Crossing borders in literacy and science instruction (pp. 71–94). Arlington, VA: NSTA Press.Google Scholar
  49. Yore, L., Bisanz, G. & Hand, B. (2003). Examining the literacy component of science literacy: 25 years of language arts and science research. International Journal of Science Education, 25(6), 689–725.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Yore, L. D., Hand, B., Goldman, S. R., Hildebrand, G. M., Osborne, J. F., Treagust, D. F. & Wallace, C. S. (2004). New directions in language and science education research. Reading Research Quarterly, 39(3), 347–352.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© National Science Council, Taiwan 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Brock UniversitySt. CatharinesCanada

Personalised recommendations