1. Alison Billman
  2. Early Elementary Curriculum Director
  4. Lawrence Hall of Science, University of California Berkeley
  1. P David Pearson
  3. Lawrence Hall of Science, University of California Berkeley
  1. Kathryn Quigley
  2. https://www.linkedin.com/in/kathryn-chong-quigley-786b6943/
  3. Producer
  5. Lawrence Hall of Science

First Grade Second Language: Uniting Science Knowledge and Literacy Learning ...


2018 (see original presentation & discussion)

Grades K-6

The early emphasis on reading skills is rooted in the assumption that children need to learn to read before they read to learn. In this development project, we designed and tested an integrated literacy/science curriculum based on the assumption that learning to read and reading to learn go hand-in-hand. We used this approach to support the development of English learners as proficient readers and language users.

In a series of iterative design experiments we (1) defined the elements of an integrated literacy/science curriculum; (2) developed and piloted two units based on the model; and (3) conducted two Classroom Implementation Trials (CITs) (one per unit). CIT classrooms (5 per unit) were randomly assigned to condition: two full treatment, two books-only, and one control classroom.  Students completed a set of five assessments to measure growth in both science and literacy. Growth on each measure was evaluated with t-tests and regression analysis.

Students made significant growth on a content related comprehension measure, growth on some but not other key concepts (as measured by vocabulary knowledge), and substantial growth in their capacity to orally describe the science content. The findings from this project add to the growing portfolio of studies demonstrating that knowledge, comprehension, and learning are synergistic phenomena. The added value of this effort is to show this effect with our youngest learners.

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