This study described how 7th grade English Language Learners (ELLs) in a public middle school used the multimodal Technology Enhanced Knowledge Support System (TEKS2), to learn social studies content and vocabulary, as well as improve reading comprehension, by examining learner assessment scores, and by addressing their views of the experience. Using literature related to ELLs, social studies learning and reading comprehension, multimodal and technology enhanced learning, collaboration, and engagement the TEKS2 was developed through a Design Based Research approach.
Reading comprehension assessments were developed using passages and questions from state and national assessments, and administered on a pre and post study basis. Content and vocabulary assessments were constructed using questions from state standardized tests and cooperating teacher input, and given after each of the two units covered during the study. A learner interview protocol was established based on literature consulted, modified based on findings emerging from quantitative data processing, with interviews being conducted after both units were completed.
Five questions focused this study: 1. Is there a difference in social studies content knowledge achievement between ELLs who use the TEKS2 and those who learn through teacher directed instruction? 2. Is there a difference in social studies vocabulary knowledge achievement between ELLs who use the TEKS2 and those who learn through teacher directed instruction? 3. Is there a difference in the ability to read social studies text between ELLs who use the TEKS2 and those who learn through teacher directed instruction? 4. Is there a relationship between ELLs’ characteristics (primary language, ELL level, gender, age, teacher, school) and scores on social studies related content, reading, and vocabulary tests? 5. What do ELLs report about their experiences using TEKS2?
Data were analyzed quantitatively and qualitatively. Scores on post unit content/vocabulary tests were analyzed using independent samples t-tests to determine whether there was a statistically significant difference between teacher-directed (control) and TEKS2 learners. Effect sizes were also analyzed to determine the size of difference. Multivariable regression analyses were used to determine which ELL characteristics (primary language, ELL level, gender, age, teacher, school) had the greatest influence on social studies related content, reading, and vocabulary test performance. Learner opinions expressed in interviews were analyzed using deductive and inductive coding.
Data analyses showed the TEKS2 had a large statistically significant influence on social studies content and vocabulary learning. Analysis of learner reading comprehension post-test scores indicated the TEKS2 had a non-significant outcome with a small effect size. Qualitative analysis of learner interviews showed they saw the TEKS2 as a good way to learn due to its multimodal technology enhanced nature, the chance to collaborate, and teacher support.
Findings from this study support several recommendations related to supporting ELLs in multimodal technology enhanced learning environments. Designers of such systems should reach out to teachers who will be involved in using it as the design process proceeds. In addition, teachers using this approach should seek support reaching out to undocumented parents. It would also be beneficial for school administration to support professional development related to design and implementation of TEKS2 type learning that continues throughout a school year with both in-person and online sessions. Further research examining the design and implementation of TEKS2 learning in English, Math, or Science would be worthwhile.
|Commitee:||Borup, Jered, Hathaway, Dawn M.|
|School:||George Mason University|
|School Location:||United States -- Virginia|
|Source:||DAI-A 77/09(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||English as a Second Language, Middle School education, Reading instruction, Educational technology|
|Keywords:||Achievement gaps, Content learning, English language learners, Multimodal learning, Reading and vocabulary comprehension, Technology enhanced learning|
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