Research Question. What happens when ELD teachers learn about nominalization as it is used in academic texts?
Subquestions. (1) What understandings do ELD teachers currently have of nominalization, and how did they acquire the knowledge they have? (2) What kinds of information about nominalization help ELD teachers understand the form and meaning of nominalization in academic texts? (3) What are ELD teachers' views about understanding and teaching nominalizaiton before and after learning about it? (4) What kinds of instructional strategies do ELD teachers develop to incorporate the teaching of nominalization to English learners in their classes?
Research Activities. To address the need of advanced ELD students in the focus district, I worked with a group of six secondary ELD teachers and academic coaches focusing on the instruction of linguistic features found in academic, content area text. Specifically, I referenced the work of Schleppegrell (2004) and identified the skill of nominalization, the process by which events or procedures are construed in one noun (the nominalization) to compress information, as abundant in grade level history texts and therefore useful for secondary ELD teachers and secondary ELD students to comprehend. The six teacher-participants met with me for three half-day meetings in which the skill of nominalization was broken into three distinct sub skills: recognition and identification, application, and deconstruction/comprehension (de-nominalization). Each meeting had three objectives: instruct the sub skill to the teachers, demonstrate a lesson on the same sub skill with a class of advanced ELD middle school students, and provide time for the teachers to debrief the lesson observation and plan instruction on the same sub skill for their ELD students. Baseline data, in the form of surveys and assessments that I developed, was gathered at the first meeting to show teachers' initial understandings of nominalization, their productive and receptive abilities around the concept, and their attitudes toward instructing the concept to their ELD students. Collaborative work done by students and teachers was gathered or documented during subsequent meetings. After the final meeting, I met with each teacher-participant to administer final assessments, surveys, interviews, and to observe classroom instruction on nominalization when possible. Initial and final data were compared to show that all teacher-participants improved in their understanding of nominalization, as evidenced by a 30% average increase in the number of nominalizations recognized in text and a 100% success rate in de-nominalizing a sentence from text. Survey results showed that each teacher believed that the understanding of nominalization was either "very important" or "extremely important" for their ELD students. Varying levels of comprehension of nominalization yielded different instructional practices in the two observed classrooms.
|Advisor:||Merino, Barbara J.|
|Commitee:||Dubcovsky, Laura E., Faltis, Christian J.|
|School:||University of California, Davis|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||MAI 50/02M, Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||English as a Second Language, Teacher education, Secondary education|
|Keywords:||English language development, Middle school, Nominalization, Teacher training|
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