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ERIC Number: EJ1283973
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2021
Pages: 22
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1931-3152
Making Meaning, Doing Math: High School English Learners, Student-Led Discussion, and Math Tracking
Callahan, Rebecca M.; Humphries, Melissa; Buontempo, Jenny
International Multilingual Research Journal, v15 n1 p82-103 2021
Mathematics is not just memorized facts, but rather it is understanding how to approach and solve problems, and problem-solving requires linguistic proficiency. Too often, English learners' (ELs) relatively low math performance is dismissed due to their supposed "limited" English proficiency. Taking this perspective, a constructivist approach suggests that content-area discussions should improve EL students' math performance. To test this hypothesis, we use nationally representative data from the "Educational Longitudinal Study: 2002" to examine the relationship between students' reported participation in math discussions and their 10th-grade math performance (GPA), considering both course placement and linguistic status. While we find reported participation in student-led discussion to be positively associated with math performance for all students, we also find that EL students report higher participation in student-led discussions "only" in low-level math placement. This pattern suggests that for EL students, participation in student-led discussion may actually be necessary to counteract the limiting nature of low-track placement. We argue that although EL students appear to benefit from student-led discussions in these contexts, until school systems begin to address the overrepresentation of EL students in low-level coursework, instructional experiences alone will do little to improve their overall achievement.
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: High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Science Foundation (NSF); Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) (NIH)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Education Longitudinal Study of 2002 (NCES); Program for International Student Assessment
Grant or Contract Numbers: DRK121503428; P2CHD042849