The role of language objectives: Strengthening math and science teachers' language awareness with emergent bilinguals in secondary classrooms




Hansen-Thomas, Holly
Langman, Juliet
Sokoloski, Tiffany Farias

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Univerisdad de La Sabana


This study focuses on the linguistic foundation of sound pedagogic practices related to non-language content areas referring especially to language objectives; it employ Tharp and Gallimore’s theory on learning: making teaching visible in order to develop the students’ thinking. In the contexts of training both before and after service, a study was conducted on how secondary- science and math teachers contextualize their own teaching according to Emergent Bilinguals (EBs) by using interviews and focus group discussions. Findings reveal that teachers gradually develop an increased sense of importance of language objectives over time. The strengths and challenges highlighted through the study show the need for increased teacher training in the area of teacher language awareness (TLA). So far, the predominance of TLA in the classrooms has been on language, rather than content. Based on the current analysis of how content teachers define and employ language objectives in their teaching, this study proposes a few ways to provide math and science teachers with tools for incorporating language into everyday teaching practices. The present study further supports the call for attention on the needs of all content teachers who work with EBs on training in language awareness.



Math and science teaching, Teacher language awareness, Teaching practice, Emergent bilinguals, Language objectives


This is the published version of an article that is available at Recommended citation: Hansen-Thomas, H., Langman, J., & Farias Sokoloski, T. (2019). The role of language objectives: Strengthening math and science teachers’ language awareness with emergent bilinguals in secondary classrooms. Latin American Journal of Content & Language Integrated Learning, 11(2), 193–214. This item has been deposited in accordance with publisher copyright and licensing terms and with the author’s permission.