ERIC Number: ED365136
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993
Reference Count: N/A
Instructional Conversations in Special Education Settings: Issues and Accommodations. Educational Practice Report 7.
Echevarria, Jana; McDonough, Renee
Instructional conversations (ICs) represent an alternative approach to the instruction of culturally and linguistically diverse populations. It has instructional intent, but appears to be a spontaneous conversation with natural language interactions. Successful ICs depend on identification of a text-specific theme that is significant and tied to students' experiences. ICs have been defined by 10 elements: instructional elements that include a thematic focus and conversational elements that encourage spontaneous student participation. This study implemented ICs in an elementary special education class where data were collected via naturalistic observation, videotape, teacher self-report, and interviews conducted over a year and a half with a single teacher. Students, who were Hispanic and African-American, ranged in age from 6 to 10 years. Findings show that ICs provide a holistic context for learning, in particular, the use of a theme to guide the discussion about a story lead to a more cohesive focus during the lesson and seem to facilitate attention. ICs promote oral participation and student-to-student interaction. For an IC lesson to be successful, the special education teacher must make adaptations for students with learning disabilities. (Contains 46 references.) (JP)
Descriptors: Black Students, Cultural Differences, Educational Environment, Elementary Education, Elementary School Students, English (Second Language), Hispanic American Students, Hispanic Americans, Learning Disabilities, Special Education, Student Participation, Student Role, Teaching Methods
Dissemination Coordinator, National Center for Research on Cultural Diversity and Second Language Learning, Center for Applied Linguistics, 1118 22nd Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20037.
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: National Center for Research on Cultural Diversity and Second Language Learning, Santa Cruz, CA.
Identifiers: African Americans; Instructional Conversation