Advisor

Michael Flower

Date of Award

Spring 7-11-2013

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Teaching (M.S.T.) in General Science

Department

Science Teaching

Physical Description

1 online resource (v, 81 pages)

Subjects

Science -- Study and teaching (Secondary), Conversation analysis -- Study and teaching (Secondary), English language -- Pronunciation -- Study and teaching (Secondary), Communication in education -- Study and teaching (Secondary) -- Evaluation

DOI

10.15760/etd.1088

Abstract

Student's verbal participation in science classrooms is an essential element in building the skills necessary for proficiency in scientific literacy and discourse. The myriad of new, multisyllabic vocabulary terms introduced in one year of secondary school biology instruction can overwhelm students and further impede the self-efficacy needed for concise constructions of scientific explanations and arguments. Factors inhibiting students' inclination to answer questions, share ideas and respond to peers in biology classrooms include confidence and self-perceived competence in appropriately speaking the language of science. Providing students with explicit, engaging instruction in methods to develop vocabulary for use in expressing conclusions is critical for expanding comprehension of science concepts.

This study fused the recommended strategies for engaging vocabulary instruction with linguistic practices for teaching pronunciation to examine the relationship between a student's ability to pronounce challenging bio-terminology and their propensity to speak in teacher-led, guided classroom discussions. Interviews, surveys, and measurements quantifying and qualifying students' participation in class discussions before and after explicit instruction in pronunciation were used to evaluate the potential of this strategy as an appropriate tool for increasing students' self-efficacy and willingness to engage in biology classroom conversations. The findings of this study showed a significant increase in student verbal participation in classroom discussions after explicit instruction in pronunciation combined with vocabulary literacy strategies. This research also showed an increase in the use of vocabulary words in student comments after the intervention.

Persistent Identifier

http://archives.pdx.edu/ds/psu/9992

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