Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Supporting Teachers of Rigorous Content in a Foreign Language
by Davis, Hrysoula L., Ed.D., University of Delaware, 2020, 211; 27836577
Abstract (Summary)

This Educational Leadership Portfolio (ELP) study and related artifacts focus on improving the quality of content instruction taught in a foreign language. The prevalence of foreign language content instruction is rising in the US in contexts including immersion, English Learners (EL) and Foreign Language in the Elementary Schools (FLES) programs. However, a fundamental aspect of foreign language content instruction has not been addressed: the Cognitive-Linguistic Demand Interaction, or the tendency for activities to become more linguistically demanding as they become more cognitively rigorous, making them less accessible to language-limited students.

By examining the pedagogical knowledge and instructional techniques of five foreign language math content teachers at Odyssey Charter School, this ELP investigates the extent to which students’ language limitations negatively impact their exposure to rigorous mathematics activities in the target language. The data suggest an interaction between language use and cognitive demand level of activities, as indicated by decreased use of the target language during high-level demand activities.

Due to the important role that rigorous activities play in student learning of mathematics (Stein et al., 1996; Stigler & Hiebert, 2004) and the importance of target language use for foreign language acquisition (Krashen, 1985; Swain, 1993; Bialystok et al., 2012), these data are used to inform a professional development plan that aims to educate teachers about the Cognitive-Linguistic Demand Interaction and mediate its effects on student access to rigorous mathematics in the target language as well as provide teachers and administrators with protocols and tools to evaluate and increase the cognitive demand level of mathematics activities implemented in the classroom and evaluate and increase target language use and production in the classroom.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Jansen, Amanda
Commitee: Mattheoudakis, Marina, Hiebert, James, Mouza, Chrystalla
School: University of Delaware
Department: School of Education
School Location: United States -- Delaware
Source: DAI-A 82/3(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Mathematics education, Foreign language education, Educational leadership
Keywords: Cognitive Demand, Foreign Language Education, Mathematics Education, Rigor, Teacher Professional Development
Publication Number: 27836577
ISBN: 9798672104829
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