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ERIC Number: EJ813122
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Oct-1
Pages: 2
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0277-4232
Finding the Language to Teach Science
Cavanagh, Sean
Education Week, v28 n6 p1, 16 Oct 2008
More than 400 educators in the Miami-Dade County, Florida, school system take part in a professional-development and curriculum program that attempts to build students' science knowledge while also helping them master English. Developed by researchers at the University of Miami, the Promoting Science among English Language Learners program (P-SELL) addresses a number of the crucial challenges facing elementary teachers in urban districts and other communities that have seen an influx of non-native English-speakers. Teachers of the early grades often admit to feeling lost in science, since many themselves have taken little college coursework in the subject. Their struggles are compounded when they are asked to explain that content, which is often doused in scientific jargon, to students with weak English skills. Teachers who take part in P-SELL receive training in content and classroom strategies for many major scientific topics, such as the water cycle, weather, force and motion, and electricity. They are encouraged to promote "inquiry" in their instruction--basically, having students acquire and obtain science knowledge through the processes used by scientists, rather than just through a textbook or lecture. The goal is to promote not only hands-on activities, but also "minds-on" tasks--those that force pupils to question and challenge one another's scientific assumptions and conclusions--a process that helps build English skills.
Editorial Projects in Education. 6935 Arlington Road Suite 100, Bethesda, MD 20814-5233. Tel: 800-346-1834; Tel: 301-280-3100; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Florida