This research paper aims to analyze the learning experiences of language learners from a multicultural background when co-constructing scientific models in a middle school Earth Science class. This interpretive qualitative research study examines the interactions between students and their teachers and students and their peers to consider the ways that language and social interactions impact on science learning. Our analysis focuses on the activities of five students, including two multicultural students who are not fully proficient in Korean language. Data includes whole-class observations of multiple lessons, video and audio recordings of the whole class and small group interactions, and stimulated recall interviews with the teacher and students. The video and audio recordings were all analyzed and transcribed into text. We viewed the videos and audios and identified examples of interactions in which language or social interactions appeared to impact on the students’ science learning. Using these video clips to stimulate participant recall, we interviewed the teachers and students by asking them to reflect on their observed behaviors and interactions with others. Our analysis revealed that while the language learner students experienced cognitive and affective difficulties during the modeling activities, their peers were able to support their learning by serving as an important resource for language and conceptual learning. At the same time, the language learner students benefited the learning of their native Korean peers by promoting reflective dialogue among their peers, contributing to the production of content knowledge, and offering creative and innovative suggestions for developing their group’s model. However, for such strategies to be successful, teachers need to provide students with clear roles for their participation and to foster positive social interactions among peers. Our findings have implications for teachers’ use of collaborative teaching strategies, such as modeling activities, with language learner students.
|Translated title of the contribution||Analysis of culturally and linguistically diverse students’ learning experiences when co-constructing scientific models in an Earth Science middle school classroom|
|Number of pages||30|
|Journal||The Journal of Learner-Centered Curriculum and Instruction|
|Publication status||Published - 2016|
- classroom interaction
- model co-construction