Elucidating practices to assist EAL learners to acquire specialised science vocabulary

  • Filipi, Anna (Primary Chief Investigator (PCI))
  • Berry, Amanda (Chief Investigator (CI))
  • Nguyen, Minh Hue (Chief Investigator (CI))
  • Kerwick, Amy (Chief Investigator (CI))
  • Parlanti, Sue (Chief Investigator (CI))

Project: Research

Project Description

This project will extend an existing study with a science and EAL teacher at a Victorian secondary school to investigate how these teachers interpret and utilise the Victorian Curriculum (VC) Science 7-10 and the New Victorian EAL Curriculum 2020 to develop the specialised vocabulary needed by EAL students to support full participation and meaning-making in science classes.

In bringing together the project team’s collective research experience and expertise, the project will draw on three distinct areas of research: (1) Pedagogical Content Knowledge (e.g., Shulman, 1986; 1987), the specialised knowledge that teachers develop over time and through experience that it is
bound up with—and recognizable—in a teacher’s approach to teaching particular content; (2) classroom interaction with specific reference to student peer talk and to the Initiation Response Evaluation/Feedback (IRE/F) instructional sequence (Mehan, 1979; Mercer & Dawes, 2014); and (3) research that focuses on the need for attention by all teachers to content and language (e.g., Creese,
2010; Edwards, 2014; Hammond, 2012).

The importance of this project lies in its timeliness in providing empirical data for the revised EAL curriculum based on our proposed investigation into how these teachers support the development of critical scientific understandings required by students in order to progress through the EAL standards.
Findings from the study can inform the design of pedagogical practices based on the relevant VC frameworks to show how the VC Science Curriculum can be aligned with the New Victorian EAL Curriculum. This could serve as a model for other curriculum areas.
StatusNot started
Effective start/end date1/01/2031/12/20

Keywords

  • EAL and Science
  • Classroom interaction