Tectonics and Technical Language | Development of and Research on a Language-sensitive Learning Design on Plate Tectonics


State of research & aims| Results of international studies such as PISA and PIRLS show that there is a significant correlation between language competencies, socio-economic background and knowledge (Mullis et al., 2017; OECD, 2019). At secondary schools, language requirements increase due to a higher level of school academic language (Gibbons, 2010; O'Reilly/McNamara, 2007; Prediger/Zindel, 2017). As a result, access to subject-related learning becomes more difficult, especially for pupils with low socio-economic status or a migration biography (OECD 2019). With the aim of giving all pupils the same educational opportunities, a learning design for language-sensitive teaching in the Geography classroom was developed.
Methodology| Research and development work were intertwined within the framework of Design-Based-Research (DBRC, 2003): first, design-frameworks were developed based on the current state of research and then transferred into a six-hour teaching unit on plate tectonics for middle school pupils, which was accompanied by research. The results of the first cycle (N=135) led to a re-design and a second cycle (N=185). Results| To evaluate the language-sensitive unit empirically, it was contrasted with a control group in a pre-post-follow-up design. Both groups covered the same content in the same period. Geographical knowledge, academic language and motivational aspects were measured. Learning gain scores were evaluated for validity and differences between the two groups. The results show that the experimental group has significantly higher learning gains (Cohen’s d post-pre > .65) regarding geographical knowledge and academic language. Interestingly, there are small losses (d > -.18) regarding motivational aspects; possible reasons are discussed.

Author Information
Santina Alexandra Wey, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany
Dietmar Gölitz, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany
Jan Christoph Schubert, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany

Paper Information
Conference: ECLL2020
Stream: Learning Environments

This paper is part of the ECLL2020 Conference Proceedings (View)
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To cite this article:
Wey S., Gölitz D., & Schubert J. (2020) Tectonics and Technical Language | Development of and Research on a Language-sensitive Learning Design on Plate Tectonics ISSN: 2188-112X The European Conference on Language Learning 2020: Official Conference Proceedings https://doi.org/10.22492/issn.2188-112X.2020.6
To link to this article: https://doi.org/10.22492/issn.2188-112X.2020.6

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Posted by James Alexander Gordon