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Secondary Science Education for English Learners


"Over the past few decades, research, theory, and practices informing science education for English learners have changed and developed, largely in accordance with parallel progressive movements in science education, language and literacy education, TESOL education, and bilingual education. At the core of these intersecting movements are the ideas that that the actual doing of science is, in essence, a deep, meaningful engagement with disciplinary language and literacy practices (Lemke, 1990), that language and science learning are reciprocal and interrelated endeavors (Stoddart, Pinal, Latzke, & Canaday, 2002), and that English learners' funds of knowledge and language practices must be engaged as resources for new language and content learning (Garcia, 2009; Gonzalez, Moll & Amanti, 2005; Rosebery & Warren, 2008). A recognition of the fundamental and synergistic relationship between language, literacy, and science learning has important implications for ELs in science classrooms. The focus of this section is on the implications for ELs in secondary classrooms, who are denied opportunities to learn science when English proficiency is positioned, either through implicit or explicit norms and policies, as a prerequisite for access to secondary science courses. "