Vocabulary Development in Science: Studying a Middle School Sheltered Classroom

Ying Zhang


This article reports how science literacy development, particularly vocabulary development occurred in a sixth-grade sheltered science classroom as a part of an eight-month ethnographic study. Specifically, the research asks how language development occurs in the science classroom from the perspective of social semiotics. The study takes a multimodal social semiotic perspective to examine how English Learners (ELs) make meaning of science vocabulary. Qualitative methods are used and the data include video and audio recordings of science lessons, field notes, formal and informal interviews with teacher and students, and classroom artifacts. Findings demonstrate that although science vocabulary was embedded in the multimodal science curriculum, actual language development was limited. The study expands the current knowledge base for developing literacy skills in science and challenges researchers and educators to reexamine the current practice on how to incorporate effective literacy education in the content area of science.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/gjes.v3i2.11825


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Global Journal of Educational Studies  ISSN 2377-3936

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