Language, Literacy, and Learning in the STEM Disciplines : How Language Counts for English Learners book cover
1st Edition

Language, Literacy, and Learning in the STEM Disciplines
How Language Counts for English Learners

ISBN 9781138284296
Published February 12, 2018 by Routledge
302 Pages

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Book Description

With a focus on what mathematics and science educators need to know about academic language used in the STEM disciplines, this book critically synthesizes the current knowledge base on language challenges inherent to learning mathematics and science, with particular attention to the unique issues for English learners. These key questions are addressed: When and how do students develop mastery of the language registers unique to mathematics and to the sciences? How do teachers use assessment as evidence of student learning for both accountability and instructional purposes? Orienting each chapter with a research review and drawing out important Focus Points, chapter authors examine the obstacles to and latest ideas for improving STEM literacy, and discuss implications for future research and practice.

Table of Contents

Foreword by Kathy Heid

Foreword by Catherine Snow



Chapter 1. Introduction: Language, Literacy, and Learning in the STEM Disciplines

Alison L. Bailey, Carolyn Maher, and Louise Wilkinson

Part I: Language in the STEM Disciplines

Chapter 2. Talking to Learn Mathematics with Understanding: Supporting Academic Literacy in Mathematics for English Learners

Judit Moschkovich

Chapter 3. How the NGSS Science Instructional Shifts and Language Instructional Shifts Support Each Other for English Learners: Talk in the Science Classroom

Okhee Lee, Scott Grapin, and Alison Haas

Part II: Literacy in the STEM Disciplines

Chapter 4. Reading Mathematics Problems: Exploring how Language Counts for Middle-School Students with varying Mathematics Proficiency

Mary Avalos, Edwing Medina, and Walter Secada

Chapter 5. Reading and Understanding Science Texts

Gina Cervetti and P. David Pearson

Chapter 6. Writing in Mathematics Classrooms

Richard Barwell

Chapter 7. Writing the Science Register and Multiple Levels of Language: Implications for English Learners

Elaine Silliman, Louise Wilkinson, and Maria Brea-Spahn

Part III: Summative and Formative Assessment in the STEM Disciplines

Chapter 8. Formative Assessment of Mathematics and Language: Applying Companion Learning Progressions to Reveal Greater Insights to Teachers

Caroline Wylie, Malcolm Bauer, Alison L. Bailey, and Margaret Heritage

Chapter 9. Formative Assessment: Science and Language with English Language Learners

Amelia Gotwals and Dawn Ezzo

Chapter 10. The Language of Mathematics and Summative Assessment: Interactions that Matter for English Learners

Phil Daro, Tina Cheuk, and Vinci Daro

Chapter 11. Assessing Scientific Genres of Explanation, Argument, and Prediction

Beth Covitt and Charles Anderson

Chapter 12. Formative and Summative Assessments in Science and Literacy Integrated Curricula: A Suggested Alternative Approach

Mark Wilson and Yukie Toyama


Alison L. Bailey, Carolyn Maher, and Louise Wilkinson

List of Contributors


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Alison L. Bailey is Professor of Human Development and Psychology at the University of California, Los Angeles, USA.

Carolyn A. Maher is Distinguished Professor of Mathematics Education at the Robert B. Davis Institute at Rutgers University, USA.

Louise C. Wilkinson is Distinguished Professor of Education, Psychology, and Communication Sciences at Syracuse University, USA.


"This book examines the language and literacy challenges associated with learning science and mathematics, and also highlights the additional complexity this represents for students learning English at the same time.  Importantly, the chapters provide resources for teachers to learn how to blend scientific literacy and the needs of EL and bilingual students—thus addressing an equity issue and a critical need for the country."

--Rodolfo Dirzo, Bing Professor in Environmental Science, Stanford University, USA