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3rd grade English language learners making sense of sound Documents

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3rd grade English language learners making sense of sound 

written by Enrique Suarez and Valerie K. Otero

Despite the extensive body of research that supports scientific inquiry and argumentation as cornerstones of physics learning, these strategies continue to be virtually absent in most classrooms, especially those that involve students who are learning English as a second language. This study presents results from an investigation of 3rd grade students' discourse about how length and tension affect the sound produced by a string. These students came from a variety of language backgrounds, and all were learning English as a second language. Our results demonstrate varying levels, and uses, of experiential, imaginative, and mechanistic reasoning strategies. Using specific examples from students' discourse, we will demonstrate some of the productive aspects of working within multiple language frameworks for making sense of physics. Conjectures will be made about how to utilize physics as a context for English Language Learners to further conceptual understanding, while developing their competence in the English language.

Published January 24, 2013
Last Modified July 1, 2013