Campus

Cumming

Publication date

2020

Publisher

Georgia Educational Researcher

Abstract

This research examined the effectiveness that the Instructional Conversations (ICs) teaching method had on elementary-aged English Language Learning (ELLs) students. Specifically, how ICs impact student academic achievement, academic language usage, and student engagement. The study compared two first grade classrooms, 39 participants, consisting of majority ELL students. The experimental group received math instruction through Instructional Conversation activities while the comparison group was taught using traditional math instruction and centers. After controlling for initial ability in math, results indicated that ICs did not lead to an increase of academic achievement or academic language usage when compared to students taught through traditional instruction. Results did show that engagement increased when taught using ICs. With an increase in engagement combined with a decrease in academic acquisition, results suggest that ICs should be used with caution when teaching content related material.

Keywords instructional conversation, collaboration, English language learners, math, early childhood education

Author Biography

Elizabeth Hendy is a public school teacher and graduate alumni of the University of North Georgia. Josh Cuevas is a professor and educational psychologist at the University of North Georgia.

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The Effects on Instructional Conversations on English Language Learners

This research examined the effectiveness that the Instructional Conversations (ICs) teaching method had on elementary-aged English Language Learning (ELLs) students. Specifically, how ICs impact student academic achievement, academic language usage, and student engagement. The study compared two first grade classrooms, 39 participants, consisting of majority ELL students. The experimental group received math instruction through Instructional Conversation activities while the comparison group was taught using traditional math instruction and centers. After controlling for initial ability in math, results indicated that ICs did not lead to an increase of academic achievement or academic language usage when compared to students taught through traditional instruction. Results did show that engagement increased when taught using ICs. With an increase in engagement combined with a decrease in academic acquisition, results suggest that ICs should be used with caution when teaching content related material.

Keywords instructional conversation, collaboration, English language learners, math, early childhood education