Teacher professional development to improve the science and literacy achievement of english language learners

Juliet Barnett, Okhee Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

84 Scopus citations


This paper describes the results of a teacher professional development intervention aimed at enabling teachers to promote science and literacy achievement for culturally and linguistically diverse elementary students. This paper has two objectives: (a) to examine teachers' initial beliefs and practices about teaching English language and literacy in science and (b) to examine the impact of the intervention on teachers' beliefs and practices. The research involved 53 third- and fourth-grade teachers at six elementary schools in a large school district with a highly diverse student population. The results of these first-year professional development efforts, which form part of a 3-year longitudinal design, indicate that at the end of the year, teachers expressed more elaborate and coherent conceptions of literacy in science instruction. In addition, they provided more effective linguistic scaffolding in an effort to enhance students' understanding of science concepts. The results also suggest that teachers require continuing support in the form of professional development activities in order to implement and maintain reform-oriented practices that promote the science and literacy achievement of culturally and linguistically diverse students.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)475-501
Number of pages27
JournalBilingual Research Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2003
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Education
  • Linguistics and Language


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