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Utilizing a Dynamic Model of Food Chains to Enhance English Learners’ Science Knowledge and Language Construction

Abstract

A learning format gaining attention that encourages language acquisition in science is the use of dynamic models as instructional tools. This grounded theory investigates the impact of the dynamic food chain model as an alternative lesson for teaching food chains. The researchers examined the impact of a paper-based activity and a dynamic model activity on 5th grade students’ content knowledge and language development. A total of 96 English learners (ELs) and 62 native English speakers participated. Data were collected using a What I Did/What I Learned reflection and analyzed qualitatively. Results indicate that ELs exceeded native speakers in academic language development and in understanding interconnectedness of organisms. In addition, students engaging in the dynamic model activity expressed more joyful learning than students in the paper-based activity.

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Correspondence to Erin Pearce.

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Pearce, E., Stewart, M., Malkoc, U. et al. Utilizing a Dynamic Model of Food Chains to Enhance English Learners’ Science Knowledge and Language Construction. Int J of Sci and Math Educ 18, 887–901 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10763-019-10004-5

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Keywords

  • English as a second/additional language
  • English learners
  • Food chains
  • Models