Examination of instructional strategies: Secondary science teachers of mainstreamed English language learners in two high schools in southern New England

Matthieu Wakalewae Yangambi, Johnson & Wales University

Abstract

Increasingly, English Language Learners (ELLs) are mainstreamed in science classes. As a result, science teachers must assume responsibility for these students' education. Currently, state tests show a wide performance gap between ELLs and non-ELLs in science and other content area courses. For instance, the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) shows a two years average performance of 6% for ELLs and 33% for non-ELLs in English Language Arts (ELA), Mathematics, and Science and Technology, a 27% performance gap (Lachat, 2000). The use of research based effective teaching strategies for ELLs is indispensable in order to meet ELLs' learning needs (Jarret, 1999). ^ The purpose of this study was to determine if differences exist between ELLs and non-ELLs regarding instructional strategies that secondary science teachers employ. Four areas were examined: instructional strategies mainstreamed ELLs and non-ELLs report as being most frequently employed by their science teachers, instructional strategies ELLs and non-ELLs consider most effective in their learning, the existing differences between ELLs and non-ELLs in the rating of effectiveness of instructional strategies their teachers currently practice, and factors impacting ELLs and non-ELLs' performance on high-stakes tests. ^ This study was conducted in two urban high schools in Southern New England. The sample (N = 71) was based on the non-probability sampling technique known as convenience sampling from students registered in science classes. The questionnaire was designed based on research-based effective teaching strategies (Burnette, 1999; Ortiz, 1997), using a Likert-type scale. ^ Several findings were of importance. First, ELLs and non-ELLs reported similar frequency of use of effective instructional strategies by teachers. However, ELLs and non-ELLs identified different preferences for strategies. Whereas non-ELLs preferred connecting learning to real life situations, ELLs rated that strategy as least effective. ^ The results of this study may inform education policy makers and school systems about instructional strategies to implement in classrooms in order to meet the learning needs of every student. Recommendations for practice are included. ^

Subject Area

Education, Bilingual and Multicultural|Education, Sciences|Education, Curriculum and Instruction

Recommended Citation

Matthieu Wakalewae Yangambi, "Examination of instructional strategies: Secondary science teachers of mainstreamed English language learners in two high schools in southern New England" (January 1, 2005). Dissertation & Theses Collection. Paper AAI3177202.
http://scholarsarchive.jwu.edu/dissertations/AAI3177202

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