Advertisement

Scaffolding English Language Learners’ Literacy Development Through a Science Inquiry Approach

  • Sandra Mercuri
  • Natascha Mercuri
Chapter
Part of the English Language Education book series (ELED, volume 17)

Abstract

This chapter presents an interdisciplinary Life Sciences inquiry unit centered in a constructivist view of learning through macro and micro scaffolding. Drawing on both disciplinary literacy and discipline-specific academic language lenses, we discuss how the interrelated activities are aligned with national standards and show how the language and literacy practices are embedded throughout the science unit. The chapter provides examples of how teachers could help English Language Learners (ELLs) learn content and to read and write more, to use grammar and vocabulary more accurately, and to master an extensive range of linguistic features in order to meet the challenges presented by the curriculum standards.

References

  1. Bunch, G. C., Kibler, A., & Pimentel, S. (2012). Realizing opportunities for English learners in the common core English language arts and disciplinary literacy standards. Paper presented at the Understanding Language Conference at Stanford University, Stanford, CA.Google Scholar
  2. de Oliveira, L. (2017). A language-based approach to content instruction (LACI) in science for English language learners. In A. Oliveira & M. Weinburgh (Eds.), Science teacher preparation in content-based second language acquisition (pp. 41–58). Cham, Switzerland: Springer International Publishing.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Díaz-Rico, L. (2013). Strategies for teaching English learners (3rd ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson.Google Scholar
  4. Egbert, J., & Ernst-Slavit, G. (2010). Access to academics: Planning instruction for K-12 classrooms with ELLs. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.Google Scholar
  5. Erikson, L. (2007). Concept-based curriculum and instruction for the thinking classroom. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.Google Scholar
  6. Fang, Z., & Schleppegrell, M. J. (2008). Reading in secondary content areas: A language-based pedagogy. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press.Google Scholar
  7. Fang, Z., & Schleppegrell, M. J. (2010). Disciplinary literacies across content areas: Supporting secondary reading through functional language analysis. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 53(7), 587–597.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Freeman, D., & Freeman, Y. (2009). Academic language for English learners and struggling readers. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.Google Scholar
  9. Freeman, Y., Freeman, D., & Mercuri, S. (2018). Dual language essentials for teachers and administrators (2nd ed.). Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.Google Scholar
  10. Freeman, Y., Freeman, D., Soti, M., & Ebe, A. (2016). ESL teaching. Principles for success (Revised ed.). Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.Google Scholar
  11. García, O. (2009). Bilingual education in the 21st century: A global perspective. Malden, MA: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  12. García, G., & Godina, H. (2004). Addressing the literacy needs of adolescent English learners. In T. L. Jetton & J. A. Dole (Eds.), Adolescent literacy research and practice (pp. 304–320). New York, NY: The Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  13. Gibbons, P. (2009). English learners, academic literacy, and thinking: Learning in the classroom. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.Google Scholar
  14. Gibbons, P. (2015). Scaffolding language, scaffolding learning (2nd ed.). Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.Google Scholar
  15. Gottlieb, M. (2006). Assessing English language learners: Bridges from language proficiency to academic achievement. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.Google Scholar
  16. Gottlieb, M., & Ernest-Slavit, G. (2014). Academic language in diverse classrooms: Definitions and contexts. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.Google Scholar
  17. Hurley, S., & Tinajero, J. (Eds.). (2001). Literacy assessment of second language learners. Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.Google Scholar
  18. Mercuri, S. (2015). Teachers’ reflective practice: Implementing the Preview/View/Review structure as a tool for learning. In Y. Freeman & D. Freeman (Eds.), Research on preparing inservice teachers to work effectively with emergent bilinguals: Advances in research in teaching. Series director: S. Pinnegar. Bingley, UK: Emerald Books.Google Scholar
  19. Mercuri, S., & Ebe, A. (2011). Developing academic language and content for emergent bilinguals through a science inquiry unit. Journal of Multilingual Education Research, 2(81), 102.Google Scholar
  20. National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA) & Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). (2010). Common core state standards for English language arts and literacy in history/social studies, science, and technical subjects. Washington, DC: Authors.Google Scholar
  21. NGSS Lead States. (2013). Next generation science standards: For states, by states. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.Google Scholar
  22. Pawan, F., & Craig, A. (2011). ESL and content area teacher knowledge-base of English language learner (ELL) instruction. TESOL Journal, 2(3), 293–311.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Scarcella, R. (2008). Academic English: A conceptual framework. New York, NY: University Press.Google Scholar
  24. Schleppegrell, M. J., & O’Hallaron, C. L. (2011). Teaching academic language in L2 secondary settings. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, 31, 3–18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Shanahan, T., & Shanahan, C. (2008). Teaching disciplinary literacy to adolescents: Rethinking content area literacy. Harvard Education Review, 78, 40–59.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Short, D., & Fitzsimmons, S. (2007). Double the work: Challenges and solutions to acquiring language and academic literacy for adolescent English language learners—A report to Carnegie Corporation of New York. Washington, DC: Alliance for Excellent Education.Google Scholar
  27. Tobin, K. (2000). Constructivism in science education: Moving on. In D. C. Phillips (Ed.), Constructivism in education, National society for the study of education. Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  28. Tobin, K. (2009). Acknowledging and building on the work of others. Cultural Studies of Science Education, 4, 255–258.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Walqui, A. (2007). The development of teacher expertise to work with adolescent English learners: A model and a few priorities. In L. Verplaetse & N. Migliacci (Eds.), Inclusive pedagogy for English language learners. New York, NY: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  30. WIDA Consortium. (2007). WIDA ELP Standards and Resource Guide. VA, University Press.Google Scholar
  31. Wood, K. (2015). Interdisciplinary instruction. Unit and lesson planning strategies K-8. Long Grove, IL: Waveland Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sandra Mercuri
    • 1
  • Natascha Mercuri
    • 2
  1. 1.Sandra Mercuri Educational ConsultantsUniversity of Texas Rio Grande ValleyBrownsvilleUSA
  2. 2.Accadis International SchoolBad Homburg vor der HöheGermany

Personalised recommendations