The Work of Language in Multicultural Classrooms: Talking Science, Writing Science, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Work of Language in Multicultural Classrooms

Talking Science, Writing Science, 1st Edition

Edited by Katherine Richardson Bruna, Kimberley Gomez


384 pages

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How does language comprise the implicit or explicit curriculum of teaching and learning in multicultural science settings? Building on a growing interest in the ways in which language and literacy practices interact with science teaching and learning to facilitate or obstruct successful student outcomes, this book contributes to scholarship on the role of language in developing classroom scientific communities of practice, expands that work by highlighting the challenges faced specifically by ethnic- and linguistic-"minority" students and their teachers in joining those communities, and showcases exemplary teaching and research initiatives for helping to meet these challenges.

Offering teacher practitioners and researchers in the fields of science education and multicultural education lenses through which they can critically consider the myriad of classroom settings, instructional approaches, curricular materials, and scientific topics involved in what it means to teach science while pointedly addressing concerns about equity of educational opportunity, this volume serves as a powerful resource for linking theory and practice. End-of-chapter reflection questions and engagement activities facilitate discussion round these issues and provide rich opportunities for the reader to consider the implications of each chapter for science instruction and research and to apply insights developed in a real-world science teaching and learning contexts.

Table of Contents

Foreword (Okhee Lee)



1. Introduction

Part I: The Language of Science Schooling

2. Journal and Book Writing in Integrated Science-Literacy Units (Christine C. Pappas, Maria Varelas, Tamara Ciesla, and Eli Tucker-Raymond)

3. Developing Expository Writing Skills in Science Through the Integration of Inquiry-Based Science and Literacy Instruction (Yu-Min Ku, Monica S. Yoo, and Eugene E. Garcia)

4. The Writing on the Wall: The Daily Calendar as Science Practice(Kimmarie Cole)

5. Literacy Infusion in a High School Environmental Science Curriculum, (Jennifer Zoltners Sherer, Kimberly Gomez, Phillip Herman, Louis Gomez, Jolene White, and Adam Williams)

Part II: Science Learning Funds of Knowledge

6. Negotiating Participation in a Bilingual Middle School Science Classroom: An Examination of One Successful Teacher’s Language Practices(Jennifer S. Goldberg, Kate Muir Welsh, and Noel Enyedy)

7. Locating Time in Science Classroom Activity: Adaptation as a Theory of Learning and Change (Jorge L. Solís, Shlomy Kattan, and Patricia Baquedano-López)

8. "You’re Magmatic Now": Language Play, Linguistic Biliteracy, and the Science Crossing of Adolescent Mexican Newcomer Youth (Katherine Richardson Bruna)

Part III: The Development of a Science Learner Identity

9. Academic Identity and Scientific Literacy (John M. Reveles)

10. The Math Initiative in a 7th Grade Science Class: How a Daily Routine Results in Academic Participation by ELLs (Holly Hansen-Thomas)

11. Science, Culture and Equity in Curriculum: An Ethnographic Approach to the Study of a Highly-Rated Curriculum Unit (Joel Kuipers, Gail Brendel Viechnicki, Lindsey A. Massoud, and Laura J. Wright)

12. The Importance of Objects in Talking Science: The Special Case of English Language Learners (Doris Ash, Kip Tellez, and Rhiannon Crain)

Part IV: Assessing the State of Science Education: Towards Promising Practices for Responsive Instruction

13. Linguistics and Science Learning for Diverse Populations: An Agenda for Teacher Education (Lisa Patel Stevens, Julian Jefferies, María Estela Brisk, and Stacy Kaczmarek)

14. Experimenting in Teams and Tongues: Team Teaching a Bilingual Science Education Course (María Torres-Gúzman and Elaine V. Howes)


Afterword (Sonia Nieto)


Author Index

Subject Index

About the Editors

Katherine Richardson Bruna is Assistant Professor of Multicultural and International Curriculum Studies in the Department of Curriculum & Instruction, College of Human Sciences, Iowa State University.

Kimberley Gomez is Assistant Professor of Literacy, Language and Culture and Learning Sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

About the Series

Language, Culture, and Teaching Series

This series of texts for undergraduate- and graduate-level teacher education courses focuses on the intersections of language, culture, and teaching – specifically on how language and culture inform classroom practice. Books in the series are intended as primary or supplementary texts in the growing range of courses that address issues such as, but not limited to, foundations of multicultural education; multicultural children’s literature; teaching diverse populations; foundations of bilingual education; teaching English as a second language; and sociocultural issues in teaching.

The primary objectives of the series are to challenge traditional biases about diversity and about students of diverse languages and cultures, and to reframe the conventional idea of the textbook by envisioning classroom practice as critical, creative, and liberatory.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Multicultural Education
EDUCATION / Teaching Methods & Materials / General