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Planning Science Instruction for Emergent Bilinguals

Weaving in Rich and Relevant Language Support

208 pages
Teachers College Press

This practical resource takes educators through a planning process—from selecting standards to designing learning activities—that weaves together language, literacy, and science in ways that are responsive to emergent bilinguals. Drawing on extensive and current research, the authors show how secondary educators can use students' own language and lived experiences, coupled with authentic science practices, to provide rich and relevant language support. Using a science unit as a shared text, readers will learn how to gather rich knowledge about emergent bilinguals, unpack the ideas and language demands of Next Generation Science Standards, strategically embed language and literacy standards in the curriculum, and sequence learning activities around an anchoring phenomenon, a text, and an assessment. In the process, readers will come away with a repertoire of planning tools and examples of how to support emergent bilinguals in using language to collaborate with others and to interpret and produce texts that are central to learning and doing science. Planning Science Instruction for Emergent Bilinguals blends theory and practice so readers understand both how and why this planning process can be used to disrupt social inequity for emergent bilinguals.

Book Features:

  • Describes intentional decisions that educators can make when planning a science unit or learning experience.
  • Shows how to weave together Next Generation Science Standards, Common Core English Language Arts Standards, and language development.
  • Provides a model unit about kelp forest ecosystems to illustrate how theory is translated into practice.
  • Demonstrates how to use emergent bilinguals’ assets (linguistic skills, family experiences, personal interests) to create engaging science instruction.
  • Provides a set of planning tools, including both blank templates and completed examples, to guide educators through the planning process.
Author Bio

Edward G. Lyon is associate professor and chair of the Department of Curriculum Studies and Secondary Education at Sonoma State University. Kelly M. Mackura is a science teacher at the Cesar Chavez Language Academy, Santa Rosa, California.