Science Education with English Language Learners: Synthesis and Research Agenda
University of Miami
Research on science education with English Language Learners
Journal Name or Institutional Affiliation:
Review of Educational Research
Vol. 75, No. 4, pp. 491-530
- Combined high levels of English language proficiency and reasoning skills enhanced students' ability to learn scientific content knowledge in English.
- ELLs science learning is affected by a variety of factors, including their cultural beliefs and practices, cognitive processes underlying elementary students of White and African American descent.
- Problem in science instruction: teachers are not prepared to recognize the diverse ways in which these intellectual resources can be used in academic settings.
- Research in science for ELLS is sparse, because it is not part of accountability measures.
- The mediation of science instruction by the linguistic and cultural knowledge of the mainstream serves to reduce science learning opportunities for ELLS.
- Learning environments that articulate the relation of science disciplines with ELLs' linguistic and cultural practices enable them to capitalize on their experiences as intellectual resources for science learning and to explore and construct meanings in ways that relate science to their linguistic and cultural identities.
- Teachers need to understand the complex dynamics between scientific practices and students' everyday knowledge and must facilitate and guide students' investigations of their own questions as they learn to speak, write, think, and act ass members of a science learning community.
- Science instruction is often largely ignored, especially with ELLs because of their perceived urgency of developing English language proficiency.
- Most of the difficulties faced by ELLs reside not in themselves, their families, or their communities, but in the education systems serving them.
Journal Article Empirical Research
Curriculum, Diversity, English Language Learners, Science
Method of Analysis:
Unit of Analysis:
- Studies that focus on the linguistic, cultural, and social contexts of student diversity in science education.
- Studies published from 1982 through 2004.
- Studies conducted within the US and abroad.
- Studies focusing on science education at the elementary and secondary levels, K-12 (science learning, science curriculum, science instruction, science assessment; and science teacher education.