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Beyond General Strategies for English Language Learners: Language Dissection in Science

9 (1) 2010

Teachers often find “general” strategies for teaching English Language learners (ELLs) in science. This article shows a different approach, language dissection in science, especially designed for ELLs at the intermediate-advanced levels of language proficiency in general education classrooms. We use an excerpt from a language dissection lesson to illustrate the approach and introduce a process for identifying some language challenges of science and some ways that teachers can engage ELLs in talk about science. The main idea is to provide teachers with a way to discuss the scientific meanings within a text to help all students understand the scientific content.