Stimulating students’ academic language

Opportunities in instructional methods in elementary school mathematics

Nanke Dokter, Rian Aarts, J.J.H. Kurvers, Anje Ros, Sjaak Kroon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Abstract

Mastering academic language (AL) by elementary school students is important for achieving school success. The extent to which teachers play a role in stimulating students’ AL development may differ. Two types of AL stimulating behavior are distinguished: aimed at students’ understanding and at triggering students’ production of AL. As mathematics requires abstract language use, AL occurs frequently. The instructional methods teachers use during mathematics instruction may offer different opportunities for AL stimulating behavior. In our first study, based on expert opinions, instructional methods were categorized according to opportunities they offer for stimulating students’ AL development. In the second study, video-observations of mathematics instruction of elementary school teachers were analyzed with respect to AL stimulating behavior and instructional methods used. Results showed that actual AL stimulating behavior of teachers corresponds to the expert opinions, except for behavior shown during task evaluation. Teachers differ in time and frequency of their use of instructional methods and therefore in opportunities for stimulating AL development. Four teaching profiles, reflecting different AL stimulating potential, were constructed: ‘teacher talking’, ‘balanced use of methods’, ‘getting students at work’ and ‘interactive teaching’. Teachers showed more types of behavior aimed at students’ AL understanding than at production.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-21
Number of pages21
JournalL1 - Educational Studies in Language and Literature
Volume17
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 14 Apr 2017

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elementary school
mathematics
language behavior
language
student
teacher
mathematics instruction
expert
Elementary School
Mathematics
Academic Language
school success
elementary school teacher
Teaching
video
evaluation
Language Behavior

Keywords

  • academic language
  • instructional methods
  • teacher behavior
  • teaching profiles
  • elementary school

Cite this

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title = "Stimulating students’ academic language: Opportunities in instructional methods in elementary school mathematics",
abstract = "Mastering academic language (AL) by elementary school students is important for achieving school success. The extent to which teachers play a role in stimulating students’ AL development may differ. Two types of AL stimulating behavior are distinguished: aimed at students’ understanding and at triggering students’ production of AL. As mathematics requires abstract language use, AL occurs frequently. The instructional methods teachers use during mathematics instruction may offer different opportunities for AL stimulating behavior. In our first study, based on expert opinions, instructional methods were categorized according to opportunities they offer for stimulating students’ AL development. In the second study, video-observations of mathematics instruction of elementary school teachers were analyzed with respect to AL stimulating behavior and instructional methods used. Results showed that actual AL stimulating behavior of teachers corresponds to the expert opinions, except for behavior shown during task evaluation. Teachers differ in time and frequency of their use of instructional methods and therefore in opportunities for stimulating AL development. Four teaching profiles, reflecting different AL stimulating potential, were constructed: ‘teacher talking’, ‘balanced use of methods’, ‘getting students at work’ and ‘interactive teaching’. Teachers showed more types of behavior aimed at students’ AL understanding than at production.",
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Stimulating students’ academic language : Opportunities in instructional methods in elementary school mathematics. / Dokter, Nanke; Aarts, Rian; Kurvers, J.J.H.; Ros, Anje; Kroon, Sjaak.

In: L1 - Educational Studies in Language and Literature, Vol. 17, 14.04.2017, p. 1-21.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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AU - Kroon, Sjaak

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N2 - Mastering academic language (AL) by elementary school students is important for achieving school success. The extent to which teachers play a role in stimulating students’ AL development may differ. Two types of AL stimulating behavior are distinguished: aimed at students’ understanding and at triggering students’ production of AL. As mathematics requires abstract language use, AL occurs frequently. The instructional methods teachers use during mathematics instruction may offer different opportunities for AL stimulating behavior. In our first study, based on expert opinions, instructional methods were categorized according to opportunities they offer for stimulating students’ AL development. In the second study, video-observations of mathematics instruction of elementary school teachers were analyzed with respect to AL stimulating behavior and instructional methods used. Results showed that actual AL stimulating behavior of teachers corresponds to the expert opinions, except for behavior shown during task evaluation. Teachers differ in time and frequency of their use of instructional methods and therefore in opportunities for stimulating AL development. Four teaching profiles, reflecting different AL stimulating potential, were constructed: ‘teacher talking’, ‘balanced use of methods’, ‘getting students at work’ and ‘interactive teaching’. Teachers showed more types of behavior aimed at students’ AL understanding than at production.

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