Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

When Every Teacher is a Language Teacher: A Case Study of High School Math and Science Instructors' Use of Multimodal Accommodations with ELs
by Gregory, Karen M., Ph.D., State University of New York at Albany, 2014, 204; 3620220
Abstract (Summary)

This case study investigated the multimodal accommodations that content teachers make in order to dually support linguistic and conceptual development for English language learning students. Data from digitally recorded classroom observations, teacher interviews, student work, and questionnaires were collected from the participating math and science teachers. The data were analyzed from the theoretical framework of an ecological -semiotic perspective of language teaching and learning (van Lier, 2004), and is theoretically tied to communication accommodation theory and multimodal communication theory as well. Findings suggest that (1) the inclusion of ELs into mainstream math and content classes encourages teacher to use more multimodal strategies; (2) teachers use multimodal accommodations to converge with their students' language proficiencies, in an effort to make content more comprehensible, accessible, and engaging; (3) multimodal tutoring is a form of interactional scaffolding, which works to support meaning, but that needs to be diminished over time; (4) multimodal accommodations do not work in isolation, but are instead used in combination to support student semiosis; and, (5) multimodal accommodation serves to mediate math and science content material, but "emergence," or language production, needs to be supported by content teachers as well. Implications can be made from this study in both theory and practice. Details and context are added to both multimodal communication theory and communication accommodation theory, as the two are merged in this study to create opportunities for student semiosis. In practice, this study suggests that content teachers will need training in methods and theory of second language acquisition to support the content-based language learning that occurs in mainstream classes that include ELs.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Oliveira, Alandeom, Meskill, Carla
Commitee: Applebee, Arthur, Wilcox, Kristen C.
School: State University of New York at Albany
Department: Educational Theory and Practice-Curriculum and Instruction
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: DAI-A 75/08(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: English as a Second Language, Pedagogy, Education
Keywords: English language learners, Math teaching, Multimodal accommodations, Science instructors, Science teaching
Publication Number: 3620220
ISBN: 978-1-303-89963-8
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