Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Crossing the cultural bridge: Instructional interventions contributing to effective transfer learning with newcomers
by Olson, Stuart R., Ph.D., Capella University, 2010, 236; 3411980
Abstract (Summary)

This project employed mixed methodology to explore classroom instructional interventions that contribute to efficient learning for English Language Learners (ELLs) who are newcomers to an instructional setting where English is the exclusive language of instruction. The setting for this research project is a multicultural international K-12 school located in a non-English speaking country. The school employs a U.S. style of instruction and curriculum, with all classroom instruction in English. The research first sought answers to questions regarding which classroom interventions contribute to newcomer learning and then if some interventions are culturally based and therefore more beneficial when used with newcomers from various cultural backgrounds. A final research question asked what motivates newcomers to learn in a classroom setting and if these factors are also culturally dependent. Participants were students enrolled in the secondary level of the school, from Asian and Latin American countries, newcomers to a school where classroom content is presented in English, and who use a language other than English in the home. Data collection first entailed a Likert-style survey designed to assess attitudes toward classroom learning. Observations, video recordings of classroom interaction, and loosely-structured interviews were also employed. The research findings indicated that culturally based variances do exist in the way students approach classroom learning. The differences were especially noticeable in settings involving cooperative learning and the dynamics of group interaction. Nine themes emerged from the research and led to five recommendations for classroom instructional interventions.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Green, Katherine
Commitee: Emmons, Katherine, Guerrazzi, Elaine
School: Capella University
Department: School of Education
School Location: United States -- Minnesota
Source: DAI-A 71/08, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational evaluation, Multicultural Education, Secondary education
Keywords: Cooperative learning, English language learner, Instructional interventions, International, Multicultural, Newcomer
Publication Number: 3411980
ISBN: 978-1-124-08533-3
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