NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1140195
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0950-0693
"Does It Answer the Question or Is It French Fries?": An Exploration of Language Supports for Scientific Argumentation
González-Howard, María; McNeill, Katherine L.; Marco-Bujosa, Lisa M.; Proctor, C. Patrick
International Journal of Science Education, v39 n5 p528-547 2017
Reform initiatives around the world are reconceptualising science education by stressing student engagement in science practices. Yet, science practices are language-intensive, requiring students to have strong receptive and productive language proficiencies. It is critical to address these rigorous language demands to ensure equitable learning opportunities for all students, including English language learners (ELLs). Little research has examined how to specifically support ELL students' engagement in science practices, such as argumentation. Using case-study methodology, we examined one middle school science teacher's instructional strategies as she taught an argumentation-focused curriculum in a self-contained ELL classroom. Findings revealed that three trends characterized the teacher's language supports for the structural and dialogic components of argumentation: (1) more language supports focused on argument structure, (2) dialogic interactions were most often facilitated by productive language supports, and (3) some language supports offered a rationale for argumentation. Findings suggest a need to identify and develop supports for the dialogic aspects of argumentation. Furthermore, engaging students in argumentation through productive language functions could be leveraged to support dialogic interactions. Lastly, our work points to the need for language supports that make the rationale for argumentation explicit since such transparency could further increase access for all students.
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 530 Walnut Street Suite 850, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Tel: 215-625-8900; Fax: 215-207-0050; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Middle Schools; Secondary Education; Junior High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Science Foundation (NSF), Division of Research on Learning in Formal and Informal Settings (DRL)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: DRL1119584