August 13, 2008

Science for English Language Learners

Subtitled K-12 Classroom Strategies this excellent professional
resource is put out by the NSTA Press. Edited by Ann Fathman ans David Crowther, it's actually written by many top educators. It's short and easy to read with just the right combination of theory and nitty-gritty classroom techniques.

They get right to the point in Chapter One and this goes for more than just ELLs: "The science process skills--including observing, predicting, communicating, classifying, and analyzing--are almost the same as language learning skills--seeking information,
comparing, ordering, synthesizing, and evaluating."

ELLs are often denied content area instruction and there should be no real reason for this. If
you use an inquiry-based style of science teaching with a lot of hands on experiences and problem solving, then students at every level should be engaged and have something to contribute.

The book is packed with great references and links. If you teach science at all to any grade this book will be helpful, even if you don't have ELLs. I mean, be honest, aren't they all English Language Learners? Just for the methods on differentiating instruction in a content area with a lot of content are language, this book would be valuable for any teacher's professional library.
Highly recommended.