Learning from Fourth and Fifth Graders in a Summer School for English Language Learners

  • Molly H. Weinburgh
  • Cecilia Silva
  • Kathy Smith
Part of the ASTE Series in Science Education book series (ASTE, volume 1)


Three college professors collaborate with a school district to develop and teach an integrated curriculum to English language learners. Dr. Weinburgh and her collaborators reflect on the 6 years of teaching and outline what they have learned. Most significant is the influence it has made on their college teaching and research agendas. Their experience in “practicing what they teach” includes the planning and implementation of inquiry-based science lessons that contain authentic mathematics and English literacy skills. Returning to what their K-12 colleagues call the “real classroom” has been educative at two distinct levels. The first value is practicing the very methods of teaching that they advocate with pre- and in-service teachers. The second value is in terms of interactions with college students. With the added insight from current work with children, they now approach their methods and content courses differently.


Preservice Teacher Science Lesson English Language Learner Inquiry Lesson Summer Program 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Berlin, D., & White, A. (1999). Mathematics and science together: Establishing the relationship for the 21st century classroom. International conference on mathematics into the 21st century: Societal challenges, issues, and approaches, Cairo.Google Scholar
  2. Clarke, M. (1994). The dysfunctions of the theory/practice discourse. TESOL Quarterly, 28(1), 9–26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Echevarría, J., Vogt, M. E., & Short, D. J. (2013). Making content comprehensible for English learners: The SIOP® Model (4th ed.). Boston: Pearson.Google Scholar
  4. Fathman, A. K., & Crowther, D. T. (2006). Teaching English through science and science through English. In A. K. Fathman & D. T. Crowther (Eds.), Science for English language learners: K-12 classroom strategies (pp. 3–21). Arlington: National Science Teachers Association Press.Google Scholar
  5. Freeman, D., & Freeman, Y. (1988). Sheltered English instruction (ERIC Digest ED301070). Retrieved December 23, 2011, from
  6. Gee, J. (2002). Literacies, identities, and discourses. In M. J. Schleppegrell & M. C. Colombi (Eds.), Developing advanced literacy in first and second languages (pp. 59–175). Mahwah: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  7. Gee, J. (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 (pp. 13–32). Arlington: NSTA Press.Google Scholar
  8. Hollenbeck, J. E. (2007). Integration of mathematics and science: Doing it correctly for once. Bulgarian Journal of Science and Education Policy, 1(1), 77–81.Google Scholar
  9. Lemke, J. (1990). Talking science: Language, learning and values. New Jersey: Ablex Publishing Corporation.Google Scholar
  10. Lemke, J. L. (2004). The literacies of science. In E. W. Saul (Ed.), Crossing boarders in literacy and science instruction (pp. 33–47). Arlington: NSTA Press.Google Scholar
  11. Loughran, J. (2007). Research teacher education practices: Responding to the challenges, demands, and expectations of self-study. Journal of Teacher Education, 58(1), 12–20.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. (2000). Principles and standards for school mathematics. Resten: NCTM.Google Scholar
  13. National Research Council. (1996). National science education standards. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.Google Scholar
  14. National Research Council. (2000). Inquiry and the national science education standard. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.Google Scholar
  15. Schon, D. A. (1987). Educating the reflective practitioner. San Francisco: Wiley.Google Scholar
  16. Settlage, J., Madsen, A., & Rustad, K. (2005). Inquiry science, sheltered instruction, and English language learners: Conflicting pedagogies in highly diverse classrooms. Issues in Teacher Education, 14(1), 39–57.Google Scholar
  17. Silva, C., Weinburgh, M., Smith, K., Barreto, G., & Gabel, J. (2008/2009). Partnering to develop academic language for English language learners through mathematics and science. Childhood Education, 85(2), 107–113.Google Scholar
  18. Silva, C., Weinburgh, M. H., Smith, K., Malloy, R., & Marshall, J. N. (2012). Toward integration: A model of science and literacy. Childhood Education, 88(2), 91–95.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Sundby, S. (2000). Cut down to size at high noon: A math adventure. Watertown, MA: Charlesbridge.Google Scholar
  20. Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages. (2006). PreK-12 English language proficiency standards. Alexandria: TESOL.Google Scholar
  21. Weinburgh, M. H., & Silva, C. (2011). Integrating language and science: The 5Rs for English language learners. In D. F. Berlin & A. L. White (Eds.), Science and mathematics: International innovations, research, and practices (pp. 19–32). Columbus: International Consortium for Research in Science and Mathematics Education.Google Scholar
  22. Weinburgh, M. H., & Silva, C. (2012). An Instructional theory for english language learners: The 5R model for enhancing academic language development in inquiry-based science. In B. J. Irby, G. Brown, & R. Lara-Alecio (Eds.), Handbook of educational theories (pp. 291–301). Charlotte: Information Age Publishing.Google Scholar
  23. Zeichner, K. (2007). Accumulating knowledge across self-studies in teacher education. Journal of Teacher Education, 58(I), 36–46.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Molly H. Weinburgh
    • 1
  • Cecilia Silva
    • 1
  • Kathy Smith
    • 2
  1. 1.College of EducationTexas Christian UniversityFort WorthUSA
  2. 2.Department of MathematicsTarleton State UniversityStephenvilleUSA

Personalised recommendations