Developing Science Literacy for English Language Learners

Discussion of Results

In this study, the researcher examined two classes of English-Language Learners (ELL) to conduct the experiment. As a result of the qualitative data analysis, both experimental and control classes revealed improvement among some of the students. However, the overall average mean of the experimental class increased significantly, while the control class may be characterized by the reduction of grades in some students. It seems important to clearly answer the research questions stated by the researcher. First, the effects of using science word walls for first grade ELL are rather positive and encouraging as they contributed to the academic performance of students. Post-test and t-test proved the above answer. The second research question refers to the use of multi-sensory science word walls for first grade ELL. The analysis shows that these effects are also positive, since students discovered the increased interest in the multi-sensory method and improved their grades. As for the third research question, the introduction of wall words with sample images helped to improve the academic performance of the experimental group, yet the control group students also increased their grades. In general, the implementation of science wall words made a positive impact on ESL and non-ESL students.

In this regard, it is safe to assume that the hypotheses specified by the researcher can be considered correct. Indeed, both ELL and English as a Second Language (ESL) students discovered enhanced abilities to learning. Consistent with the study by Powers and Stanfield (2009), this research proves that science vocabulary provided through word walls is likely to reinforce English language learning, thereby serving as a rather beneficial tool. In addition, as noted by Jackson, Tripp, and Cox (2011), interactivity is the paramount aspect of in teaching English through Science. The above assumption also seems to be true in light of the conducted study. Since students received information in a more clear and open manner, they understood and remembered the material better. The results also coincide with the assumptions of Henrichs and Jackson (2012), emphasizing the role of science wall words and interactivity combination and language learning. Thus, findings go in line with the previous research.

Strengths

The key strong point of this research is that it explores a relevant theme of English learning through Science based on wall words method. As it can be observed from the literature review section, the mentioned topic is rather significant. Nowadays students expect motivating and interactive learning that would ensure their interest and improve their learning abilities. In terms of this significance, the study of the effectiveness of wall words cannot be overestimated. More to the point, the very structure and method of analysis seem to be quite elaborate and consistent with the specified objectives and hypotheses. In particular, this study is properly organized and flows well: beginning with the introduction, it clearly presents all the required sections and details to help readers understand its scope and results. The qualitative design method allows the researcher to focus on statistical means and offer the most credible results. The analysis of the received data also properly structured and described, so that readers may observe both numerical data and descriptive explanations. However, the limited number of tests may be a source of bias.

Limitations

Speaking of the limitations of this study, one should pinpoint several issues that are critical to comprehend its results and the value. First, the sample size is too limited to make any generalizations to a wider scale. In particular, the total number of respondents involved in the given research study is 30. Such small statistical sample size may increase the occurrence if margin error and reduce the statistical power and internal validity. Imprecision of measures and the effect size are another sources of limitations. However, it should be emphasized that the received data was properly calculated and verified. Another limitation is associated with the scope of the reviewed literature. Even though several essential resources were included in the study, it is still insufficient to declare one or another fact. It seems that the larger sample size and the literature review section may improve the study of the questions explored in this study. The third limitation concerns the timeframe of the study. Although short-term researches are also significant, long-term ones may provide more information about either efficiency or non-efficiency of learning methods, especially in modern rapidly developing environment.

Implications

The implications of this research may be regarded as practical. The progress made by the experimental group proves the effectiveness of wall words in both ESL and ELL students. The suggested method allowed students to remember scientific words and enjoy their learning. Based on the above results and the studies of other scholars mentioned earlier, it becomes evident that the method of wall words should be implemented in the curriculum and be considered as its integral part. The fact that both of the classes showed increased grades proves that the identified method is applicable to any students, and it may serve as a universal tool. It should be stated that students enhance not only their English language learning, but also understanding of science that was used to design wall words.

Further Research

Considering the limitations presented above as well as the results presented earlier, it is possible to come up with some relevant speculations regarding further research needs. In particular, it is important to examine larger sample size composed of both ESL and ELL students to determine the efficiency of wall words in teaching English through Science. Sufficient sample size would also provide the opportunity to prevent margin errors and strengthen the statistical power. Another opportunity refers to the investigation of the mentioned groups of learners separately. For instance, one may conduct a study regarding ELL learners, let us say, in terms of one or several schools. Such an approach may provide the detailed and more comprehensive information. At the same time, one may suggest that the increased length of the study may benefit the research scope and reveal learners’ attitudes towards the given method as well as offer some speculations on the improvement of the existing English learning strategies.

Summary

To sum it up, this research study confirmed the hypotheses specified by the researcher and answered three research questions. The results have the practical implication as the effectiveness of wall words method allows implementing them in the learning curriculum. The key limitations of the study are limited sample size and literature review as well as duration. Among the strong points, one may note the theme explored and the selected quantitative design of analysis. It is suggested that further research should focus on the extended sample size along with separate investigation of wall words in ELL and ESL learners. Another potential opportunity is to study the given theme in a long-term perspective. In general, the effectiveness of wall words is encouraging for further research.

References

Henrichs, E. L., & Jackson, J. K. (2012). A Winning combination. Science and Children, 50(3), 52-57.

Jackson, J., Tripp, S., & Cox, K. (2011). Interactive word walls: Transforming content vocabulary instruction. Science Scope, 35(3), 45-49.

Powers, A., & Stanfield, C. (2009). Developing science literacy for English language learners. AccELLerate, 2(1), 11-12.