Making Science Accessible to English Learners: A Guidebook for Teachers, Updated Edition / Edition 1

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This updated edition of the bestselling guidebook helps middle and high school science teachers reach English learners in their classrooms. The guide offers practical guidance, powerful and concrete strategies, and sample lesson scenarios that can be implemented immediately in any science class. It includes
  • rubrics to help teachers identify the most important language skills at five ELD levels;
  • practical guidance and tips from the field;
  • seven scaffolding strategies for differentiating instruction;
  • seven tools to promote academic language and scientific discourse;
  • assessment techniques and accommodations to lower communication barriers for English learners; and
  • two integrated lesson scenarios demonstrating how to combine and embed these various strategies, tools, techniques, and approaches.
The volume is designed for teachers who have had limited preparation for teaching science in classrooms where some students are also English learners.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780914409403
  • Publisher: WestEd
  • Publication date: 10/8/2007
  • Edition description: Updated Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 132
  • Sales rank: 1,208,907
  • Product dimensions: 8.30 (w) x 10.70 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Creator of the bestselling Map of Standards for English Learners, John Carr, Ph.D., develops resources and conducts workshops for teachers and teacher-leaders about practical approaches to standards-based classroom instruction and assessment for English Learners. He is senior research associate for the Evaluation program at WestEd.

Ursula M. Sexton conducts research and manages projects that investigate the roles that cultural diversity and language play in mathematics and science assessment development, testing, and instructional practices. She is senior research associate for the Culture and Language in Education project and the Mathematics, Science, and Technology program for WestEd.

Rachel Lagunoff, Ph.D, contributes to the development, review, and alignment of state standards and assessments, with special emphasis on English language development, secondary level language arts, and adult English as a second language. Coauthor with John Carr of the bestselling Map of Standards for English Learners, she is research associate for the Assessment and Standards Development Services program at WestEd.

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Table of Contents



Chapter 1. Teaching Science

This chapter reviews the 5 Es approach to science instruction and shows how three modes of instruction apply to English learners. The concept of differentiation for English learners is introduced.

Chapter 2. Understanding Language Development

Three theories of first- and second-language acquisition are succinctly defined. The three theories have practical implications for how teachers instruct English learners in their classrooms.

Chapter 3. Understanding Five Levels of English Language Development

When teachers know how to judge English learners' English proficiency levels, they can provide appropriate support. This chapter defines student skills in listening, speaking, reading, writing, and critical thinking at five levels of English language development, and at grade spans 6-8 and 9-12.

Chapter 4. Teaching the Language of Scientists

Powerful strategies for helping English learners learn and use academic language are described. These strategies support students to engage in the discourse of science.

Chapter 5. Scaffolding Science Learning

Scaffolds are temporary supports that can enable English learners to grasp concepts otherwise beyond their reach. Seven instructional strategies to scaffold students' understanding of science are introduced.

Chapter 6. Assessing English Learners

This chapter explains how to use assessment accommodations to more accurately and fairly assess English learners' understanding of sciencecontent.

Chapter 7. Applying Strategies in the Classroom

Excerpts from two series of lessons demonstrate how to integrate tools and strategies from each of the previous chapters. The first model, from a grade 9 integrated earth science course, focuses on the visual and experiential supports that teachers can provide to English learners. Excerpts from grade 6 lessons about soil highlight teacher-student dialogues that demonstrate differentiated language use with English learners.

About the Authors

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