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Adolescent ELLs Improve Their Academic English while Learning about the UN Online

1
Department of Teaching and Learning, New York University Steinhardt, New York, NY 10003, USA
2
Department of Curriculum and Teaching, Columbia University Teachers College, New York, NY 10027, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Languages 2019, 4(1), 9; https://doi.org/10.3390/languages4010009
Received: 16 December 2018 / Revised: 5 February 2019 / Accepted: 8 February 2019 / Published: 13 February 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue MOBILLE 2019)
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PDF [340 KB, uploaded 13 February 2019]

Abstract

This action research project aimed at evaluating and revising Actionthroughwords (ATW), an online course on language learning through content for high school English language learners. Our multifaceted purpose is to help English language learners in an English language arts class to enhance their academic English language and literacy, while learning online about the work of the UN for health and peace worldwide. A teacher and nineteen students in a public high school bilingual program acted as learner-consultants, with a shift of learners’ roles to one of authority and engagement. Using a mixed design, data came from questionnaires, classroom observation, and interviews with the teacher and eight of her students. All participants responded affirmatively to the ATW site and expressed appreciation not only for the content but also for focused activities to enhance vocabulary development and grammatical awareness. Results showed students’ view of the UN was somewhat positive to begin with and became more positive over time. Participants recommended revision of ATW to make content more accessible through scaffolding and first language support and to offer additional games and videos appropriate for teenagers’ interests and modes of learning. Differentiated instructional materials and strategies integrated with the school curriculum were also suggested for future implementation of the course. View Full-Text
Keywords: CALL (Computer-assisted language learning); language through content; adolescent language learners; ELLs (English language learners), academic literacy; online learning; United Nations; action research; ESL (English as a second language); peace education CALL (Computer-assisted language learning); language through content; adolescent language learners; ELLs (English language learners), academic literacy; online learning; United Nations; action research; ESL (English as a second language); peace education
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Eisenstein Ebsworth, M.; Cai, C.; McCoy, L. Adolescent ELLs Improve Their Academic English while Learning about the UN Online. Languages 2019, 4, 9.

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