Advertisement

The Triangulation of the Science, English, and Spanish Languages and Cultures in the Classroom: Challenges for Science Teachers of English Language Learners

  • Regina L. Suriel
Chapter

Abstract

Science classrooms for Latinos become the crucible for the triangulation of cultures and languages: Spanish, English, and the language of science. Science teachers teaching Latinos/as face the challenge of effectively triangulating three distinct languages and cultures. If this trio is not adequately addressed, science becomes incomprehensible and unattainable, impeding knowledge construction for Latino/a bilingual students acquiring the English language. This chapter examines sociocultural learning and language acquisition for Latino/a emergent bilinguals. From a pedagogical perspective, a teaching scenario serves as the platform for understanding the linguistic barriers and challenges experienced by Latino/a children while in science classrooms. Specific approaches addressing science learning and language development in Latino learners and English language learners are presented. This chapter also considers cultural barriers that may impede Latinos from participating in science and offers a synopsis of challenges science educators face relative to how Latino students experience science as they transition into colleges and science-related majors, highlighting how teachers can facilitate this transition.

Keywords

Science Teacher Science Classroom Knowledge Construction English Language Learner Cultural Tool 
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.

References

  1. Abrams, J., & Ferguson, J. (2004/2005). Teaching students from many nations. Educational Leadership, 62(4), 64–67.Google Scholar
  2. Aikenhead, G. S. (2001). Students’ ease in crossing cultural borders into school science. Science Education, 85, 180–188.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Akerson, V. L., & Young, T. A. (2005). Science the “write” way. Science and Children, 43(3), 38–41.Google Scholar
  4. Allard, D., Bourdeau, J., & Mizoguchi, R. (2011). Addressing cultural and native language interference in second language acquisition. CALICO Journal, 28(3), 677–698.Google Scholar
  5. Ashton, P. (1996). The concept of activity. In L. Dixon-Krauss (Ed.), Vygotsky in the classroom: Mediated literacy instruction and assessment. White Plains, NY: Longman.Google Scholar
  6. Aukrust, V. G. (2011). Learning and cognition in education. Oxford, UK: Elsevier.Google Scholar
  7. Bandura, A. (1977). Self-efficacy: Toward a unifying theory of behavioral change. Psychological Review, 84, 191–215.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Banks, J. A. (2004). Multicultural education: Historical development, dimensions and practice. In J. A. Banks & C. A. M. Banks (Eds.), Handbook of research on multicultural education (pp. 3–29). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  9. Beck, I., McKeown, M., & Kucan, L. (2002). Bringing words to life: Robust vocabulary instruction. New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  10. Beeth, M. E., & Hewson, P. W. (1997). Learning to learn science: Instruction that supports conceptual change. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the European Science Education Research Association, September 2–6, 1997, Rome, Italy.Google Scholar
  11. Bergman, D. (2011). Synergistic strategies: Science for ELLs is science for all. Science Scope, 35(3), 40–44.Google Scholar
  12. Bialystok, E., Craik, F. I. M., & Luk, G. (2012). Bilingualism: Consequences for mind and brain. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 16(4), 240–250.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Bravo, M., & Garcia, E. (2004). Learning to write like scientists: English language learners’ science inquiry & writing understandings in responsive learning contexts. Paper presented at the American Educational Researchers Association. Retrieved from http://www.ncela.gwu.edu/files/rcd/BE022124/Learning_to_Write_Like_Scientists.pdf
  14. Brown, T. M., & Rodríguez, L. F. (2009). Empirical research study: School and the co-construction of dropout. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 22, 221–242.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Bruner, J. S. (1961). The act of discovery. Harvard Educational Review, 31(1), 20–32.Google Scholar
  16. Bryan, R. R., Glynn, S. M., & Kittleson, J. M. (2011). Motivation, achievement, and advanced placement intent of high school students learning science. Science Education, 95(6), 1049–1065.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Bryan, L. A., & McLaughlin, H. J. (2005). Teaching and learning in rural Mexico: A portrait of student responsibility in everyday school life. Teaching and Teacher Education: An International Journal of Research and Studies, 21(1), 33–48.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Buxton, C., & Allexsaht-Snider, M., co-PIs. (2012). Language-rich inquiry science for English language learners (LISELL) project. University of Georgia. http://www.coe.uga.edu/lisell/whats- new/
  19. Buxton, C., Allexsaht-Snider, M., Suriel, R., Kayumova, S., Choi, Y., Bouton, B., et al. (2013). Using educative assessments to support science teaching for middle school English language learners. Journal of Science Teacher Education, 24(2), 347–366.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Calabrese-Barton, A., & Tan, E. (2008). Funds of knowledge and discourses and hybrid spaces. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 46(1), 50–73.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Carlo, M. S., August, D., McLaughlin, B., Snow, C. E., Dressler, C., Lippman, D., et al. (2004). Closing the gap: Addressing the vocabulary needs of English-language learners in bilingual and mainstream classrooms. Reading Research Quarterly, 39(2), 188–215.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Ceglie, R. J. (2009). Science from the periphery: Identity, persistence, and participation by women of color pursuing science degrees. (January 1, 2009). Dissertations Collection for University of Connecticut. Paper AAI3361001.Google Scholar
  23. Chalmers, A. F. (1999). What is this thing called science (3rd ed.). Indianapolis, IN: Hackett Publishing Company.Google Scholar
  24. Chomsky, N. (1969). The acquisition of syntax in children from 5 to 10. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  25. Crissy, S. R., & Bauman, K. B. (2010). Between a diploma and a bachelor’s degree: The effects of sub-baccalaureate postsecondary educational attainment and filed of training on earnings. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Population Association of America. Dallas, TX, April 15–17, 2010. Retrieved from http://www.edweek.org/media/censusdiplomas-34jobs.pdf
  26. Cummins, J. (1981). The role of primary language development in promoting educational success for language minority students. In Schooling and language minority students: A theoretical framework. Los Angeles: California State University; Evaluation, Dissemination, and Assessment Center.Google Scholar
  27. Cummins, J. (1988). Language proficiency, bilingualism and academic achievement. In J. Cummins (Ed.), Bilingualism and special education: Issues in assessment and pedagogy (pp. 130–151). San Diego, CA: College-Hill Press.Google Scholar
  28. Cummins, J. (2001). Empowering minority students: A framework for intervention. Harvard Educational Review, 71(4), 656–675.Google Scholar
  29. DeLuca, E. (2010). Unlocking academic vocabulary. Science Teacher, 77(3), 27–32.Google Scholar
  30. Dewey, J. (1929). The sources of a science of education. New York: Horace Liveright.Google Scholar
  31. Dressler, C., Carlo, M. S., Snow, C. E., August, D., & White, C. E. (2011). Spanish-speaking students’ use of cognate knowledge to infer the meaning of English words. Bilingualism: Language and cognition, 14, 243–255.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Echevarria, J., Vogt, M., & Short, D. (2004). Making content comprehensible for English language learners: The SIOP model (2nd ed.). Boston: Pearson Education.Google Scholar
  33. Ellis, E. S. (1994). Integrating writing strategy instruction with content-area instruction: Part 1–Orienting students to organizational devices. Intervention in School and Clinic, 29(3), 169.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Farrell, M. (2011). Bilingual competence and students' achievement in physics and mathematics. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 14(3), 335–345.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Fillmore, L. W., Snow, C. E. (2000). What teachers need to know about language. Report of the Clearinghouse on Languages and linguistics. Retrieved from Clearinghouse on Languages and linguistics website: http://www.cal.org/resources/digest/0007bredekamp.html
  36. Francis, N. (2005). Research findings on early first language attrition: Implications for the discussion on critical periods in language acquisition. Language Learning, 55(3), 491–531.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Freire, P. (1993). Pedagogy of the oppressed: New revised 20th-anniversary edition. New York: Continuum.Google Scholar
  38. Fry, R., & Gonzales, F. (2008). One-in-five- and growing fast: A profile of Hispanic public school students. Retrieved from PEW Hispanic Center website: http://pewhispanic.org/reports/report.php?ReportID=92
  39. Gándara, P., Gutierrez, D., & O’Hara, S. (2001). Planning for the future in rural and urban high schools. Journal of Education for Students Placed at Risk (JESPAR), 6(1&2), 73–93.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Gándara, P., & Rumberger, R. (2009). Immigration, language and education: How does language policy structure opportunity? Teachers College Record, 111, 6–27.Google Scholar
  41. Garbin, G., Sanjuan, A., Forn, C., Bustamante, J. C., Rodriguez-Pujadas, A., Belloch, V., et al. (2010). Bridging language and attention: Brain basis of the impact of bilingualism on cognitive control. NeuroImage, 53(4), 1272–1278.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Garcia, O., Kleifgen, J. A., & Falchi, L. (2008). From English language learners to emergent bilinguals (A research initiative of the campaign for educational equity, equity matters: Research, review, Vol. 1). New York: Teachers College, Columbia University.Google Scholar
  43. Garcia, O., & Torres-Guevara, R. (2008). Monoglossic ideologies and language policies in the education of U. S. Latinas/os. In E. Murillo Jr., S. A. Villenas, R. T. Galván, J. Sánchez Munoz, C. Martínez, & M. Machado-Casas (Eds.), Handbook of latinos/as and education: Theory, research and practice (pp. 182–192). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  44. Garcia-Preto, N. (2005). Latino/a families: An overview. In M. McGoldrick, J. Giordano, & N. Garcia-Preto (Eds.), Ethnicity and family therapy (3rd ed., pp. 153–165). New York, NY: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  45. Greenfield, P., Trumbull, E., Keller, H., Rothstein-Fisch, C., Suzuki, L. K., & Quiroz, B. (2006). Cultural conceptions of learning and development. In P. Alexander & P. H. Winnie (Eds.), Handbook of educational psychology (2nd ed., pp. 675–692). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  46. Hammers, J. F., & Blanc, H. A. (Eds.). (2000). Bilinguality and bilingualism (2nd ed.). New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  47. Hampton, E., & Rodriguez, R. (2001). Inquiry science in bilingual classrooms. Bilingual Research Journal, 25(4), 461–478.Google Scholar
  48. Harper, C., & de Jong, E. (2004). Misconceptions about teaching English-language learners. Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, 48(2), 152–162.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Harper, C. A., & de Jong, E. J. (2009). English language teacher expertise: The elephant in the room. Language and Education: An International Journal, 23(2), 137–151.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Hay, I., & Fielding-Barnsley, R. (2012). Social learning, language and literacy. Australasian Journal of Early Childhood, 37(1), 24–29.Google Scholar
  51. Holmes, V. L., & Moulton, M. R. (1997). Dialogue journals as an ESL learning strategy. Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, 40(8), 616–621.Google Scholar
  52. Howe, C. J., Tolmie, A., Thurston, A., Topping, K., Christie, D., Livingston, K., et al. (2007). Group work in elementary science: Towards organizational principles for supporting pupil learning. Learning and Instruction, 17, 549–563.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Huerta, M., & Jackson, J. (2010). Connecting literacy and science to increase achievement for English language learners. Early Childhood Education Journal, 38(3), 205–211.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Hussar, W. J. & Bailey, T. M. (2011). National center for education statistics, 2011. Projections of Education Statistics to 2020 from http://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=2011026
  55. Jackson, J., Tripp, S., & Cox, K. (2011). Interactive word walls: Transforming content vocabulary instruction. Science Scope, 35(3), 45–49.Google Scholar
  56. Keengwe, J. (2010). Fostering cross cultural competence in preservice teachers through multicultural education experiences. Early Childhood Education Journal, 38(3), 197–204.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Kelley, A., & Kohnert, K. (2012). Is there a cognate advantage for typically developing Spanish-speaking English-language learners? Language Speech and Hearing Services in Schools, 43(2), 191–204.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Key, S. G. (2003). Enhancing the science interest of African American students using cultural inclusion. In S. M. Hines (Ed.), Multicultural science education. New York: Peter Lang.Google Scholar
  59. Kirch, S. A. (2010). Identifying and resolving uncertainty as a mediated action in science: A comparative analysis of the cultural tools used by scientists and elementary science students at work. Science Education, 94(2), 308–335.Google Scholar
  60. Kohler, A. D., & Lazarin, M. (2007). Hispanic education in the United States. Retrieved from. http://www.nclr.org/index.php/site/pub_types/issue_briefs/P20/
  61. Ladson-Billings, G. (1995). Toward a theory of culturally relevant pedagogy. American Educational Research Journal, 32(3), 465–491.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Lee, O. (2003). Equity for linguistically and culturally diverse students in science education: A research agenda. Teachers College Record, 105(3), 465–489.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Lee, O., & Buxton, C. (2010). Diversity and equity in science education: Theory, research, and practice. New York: Teachers College Press.Google Scholar
  64. Lee, O., Penfield, R. D., & Buxton, C. (2011). Relationship between “form” and “content” in science writing among English language learners. Teachers College Record, 113(7), 1401–1434.Google Scholar
  65. Lemke, J. L. (1990). Talking science: Language, learning and values. Norwood, NJ: Ablex.Google Scholar
  66. Levine, R., Gonzalez, R., Cole, S., Fuhrman, M., & Floch, K. C. L. (2007). The geoscience pipeline: A conceptual framework. Journal of Geoscience Education, 55(6), 458–468.Google Scholar
  67. Lynch, S., Kuipers, J., Pyke, C., & Szesze, M. (2005). Examining the effects of a highly rated science curriculum on diverse students: Results from a planning grant. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 42(8), 1–35.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Manavathu, M., & Zhou, G. (2012). The impact of differentiated instructional materials on English language learner (ELL) students’ comprehension of science laboratory tasks. Canadian Journal of Science, Mathematics and Technology Education, 12(4), 334–349.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Mason, L. H., & Hedin, L. R. (2011). Reading science text: Challenges for students with learning disabilities and considerations for teachers. Learning Disabilities Research and Practice, 26(4), 214–222.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. McInstosh, S. (2011). State high school tests: Changes in state policies and the impact of the college and career readiness movement. Center for Education Policy. From: http://www.cep-dc.org/displayDocument.cfm?DocumentID=385
  71. Menken, K., & Kleyn, T. (2010). The long-term impact of subtractive schooling in the educational experiences of secondary English language learners. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 13(4), 399–417.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Mercer, N. (2008). Talk and the development of reasoning and understanding. Human Development, 51, 90–100.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Moje, E. B., Collazo, T., Carrillo, R., & Marx, R. W. (2001). “Maestro, what is ‘quality’?”: Language, literacy, and discourse in project based science. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 38(4), 469–498.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. National Academy of the Sciences [NAS]. (2010). Expanding underrepresented minority participation: America’s science and technology talent at the crossroads. (A research report co-sponsored by the Committee on Underrepresented Groups and the Expansion of Science and Engineering Workforce Pipeline; Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy; Policy and Global Affairs; National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, Institute of Medicine). Washington, DC: National Academies Press. Available from http://www.nap.edu/catalog/12984.html
  75. National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education. (2011). Unit Standards in effect 2008, Standard4: Diversity. Retrieved from. http://www.ncate.org/Standards/NCATEUnitStandards/UnitStandardsinEffect2008/tabid/476/Default.aspx#stnd4
  76. National Research Council. (2005). How students learn: Science in the classroom. (Committee on How People Learn: A Targeted Report for Teachers.). In M. S. Donovan, & J. D. Bransford, (Eds.), Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.Google Scholar
  77. Nieto, S. (2002). Language, culture, and teaching: Critical perspectives for a new century. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  78. No Child Left Behind Act, U. S. C. §107 (2001).Google Scholar
  79. Peyton, J. K., & Reed, J. (1990). Dialogue journal writing with nonnative english speakers: A handbook for teachers. Alexandria, VA: TESOL.Google Scholar
  80. Pintrich, P. R. (2000). The role of goal orientation in self-regulated learning. In M. Boekaerts, P. R. Pintrich, & M. Zeidner (Eds.), Handbook of self-regulation (pp. 451–502). San Diego, CA: Academic.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  81. Pray, L., & Monhardt, R. (2009). Sheltered instruction techniques for ELLs. Science and Children, 46(7), 34–38.Google Scholar
  82. Quigley, C. (2011). Pushing the boundaries of cultural congruence pedagogy in science education towards a third space. Cultural Studies of Science Education, 6(3), 549–557.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  83. Quinn, H., Lee, O., & Valdés, G. (2012). Language demands and opportunities in relation to next generation science standards for English language learners: What teachers need to know. Understanding language: Language, literacy, and learning in the content areas. http://ell.stanford.edu
  84. Ramirez, J. D., Pasta, D. J., Yuen, S., Billings, D. K., & Ramey, D. R. (1991). Final report: Longitudinal study of structural immersion strategy early-exit, and late-exit transitional bilingual education programs for language minority children. San Mateo, CA: Aguirre International.Google Scholar
  85. Rivard, L. P. (2004). Are language-based activities in science effective for all students, including low achievers? Science Education, 88(3), 420–442.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  86. Sandoval, T. C., Gollan, T. H., Ferreira, V. S., & Salmon, D. P. (2010). What causes the bilingual disadvantage in verbal fluency? the dual-task analogy. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 13(2), 231–252.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  87. Santos, M., Darling-Hammond, L. & Cheuk, T. (2012). Teacher development to support english language learners in the context of common core state standards. Understanding language: Language, literacy, and learning in the content areas. http://ell.stanford.edu
  88. Schleef, D., & Cavalcanti, H. B. (2010). Latinos/as in Dixie: Class and assimilation in Richmond. Virginia Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.Google Scholar
  89. Settlage, J., & Southerland, S. A. (2011). Teaching science to every child: Using culture as a starting point (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Routledge.Google Scholar
  90. Short, D. J., Vogt, M. J., & Echevarria, J. J. (2011). The science model for teaching science to english learners. Boston: Pearson.Google Scholar
  91. Slama, R. B. (2012). A longitudinal analysis of academic english proficiency outcomes for adolescent English language learners in the United States. Journal of Educational Psychology, 104(2), 265. Academic One File. Web. 10 July 2012.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  92. Suárez-Orozco, C., & Suárez-Orozco, M. M. (2001). Children of immigration. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  93. Suriel, R. (2010). Spanish moss: Not just hanging in there. Science Activities: Classroom projects and curriculum ideas, 47(4), 133–140.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  94. Suriel, R. (2011). The trilingual science teaching ambassador: Exploring the triangulation of Spanish, English, and the language of science. Unpublished dissertation, University of Georgia, Athens, GA.Google Scholar
  95. Suriel, R., & Atwater, M. M. (2012). From the contribution to the action approach: White teachers’ experiences influencing the development of multicultural science curricula. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 49(10), 1271–1295.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  96. Tafoya, S. M. (2005). Shades of belonging: Latinos/as and racial identity. Harvard Journal of Hispanic Policy, 17, 58–78.Google Scholar
  97. Torres-Saillant, S. (2005). Latino/a. In S. Oboler & D. J. González (Eds.), The Oxford encyclopedia of Latinos/as and Latinas in the United States (Vol. 2, pp. 507–510). East Los Angeles, CA: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  98. Treffers-Daller, J., & Sakel, J. (2012). Why transfer is a key aspect of language use and processing in bilinguals and L2-users. International Journal of Bilingualism, 16(1), 3–10.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  99. U. S. Census Bureau. (2011). Profile America facts for features: Hispanic heritage month 2011. September 15–October 15 from: http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/facts_for_features_special_editions/cb11-ff18.html
  100. U. S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2012). Postsecondary expectations of 12th-graders. Retrieved from http://nces.ed.gov/programs/coe/figures/figure-ect-1.asp
  101. U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2007). Science performance of students in grades 4, 8, and 12. Retrieved from http://www.ed.gov
  102. U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2011). The condition of education 2011 (NCES 2011–033). Retrieved from http://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=16
  103. Vygotsky, L. S. (1978). Mind in society: The development of higher psychological processes. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  104. Wallesrstein, I. (2005). Latin@s: What is in a name? In R. Grosfoguel, N. Maldonado-Torres, & J. D. Saldivar (Eds.), Latino/as in the world-system: Decolonization struggles in the 21st century U. S. empire (pp. 31–39). Hendon, VA: Paradigm Publishers.Google Scholar
  105. Walqui, A. & Heritage, M. (2012). Instruction for diverse groups of english language learners. Understanding language: Language, literacy, and learning in the content areas. http://ell.stanford.edu
  106. Welsh, L. C., & Newman, K. L. (2010). Becoming a content-ESL teacher: A dialogic journey of a science teacher and teacher educator. Theory into Practice, 49(2), 137–144.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  107. Wertsch, J. V. (1991). Voices of the mind: A sociocultural approach to mediated action. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  108. Winsor, M. S. (2008). Bridging the language barrier in mathematics. Mathematics Teacher, 101(5), 372–378.Google Scholar
  109. Wright, S. C., & Taylor, D. M. (2000). Subtractive bilingualism and the survival of the Inuit language: Heritage- versus second-language education. Journal of Educational Psychology, 92(1), 63–84.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  110. Young, H. (2005). Secondary education systemic issues: Addressing possible contributors to a leak in the science education pipeline and potential solutions. Journal of Science Education and Technology, 14(2), 205–216.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  111. Zimmerman, B. J. (2000). Self-efficacy: An essential motive to learn. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 25, 82–91.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Middle, Secondary, Reading, & Deaf Education, Dewar College of Education & Human ServicesValdosta State UniversityValdostaUSA

Personalised recommendations