We will conduct the Dynamic Language Learning Progression (DLLP) Study in three phases.
Phase 1: We will elicit spoken and written explanations from 90-120 students (across Early Childhood Level II through Upper II) using verbal prompts and pictures. The researcher will ask students to explain how they clean their teeth and why they clean their teeth. The researcher will provide simple verbal prompts to assist the student, if necessary. We will audio-record students’ verbal explanations for analysis. Additionally, we will conduct whole classroom observations to examine whether teachers typically provide students with opportunities to produce spoken and written explanations during academic-content instruction and assessment. Audio recording and an existing observation protocol will be utilized to record data. The researcher will use the Academic Language Exposure Checklist (ALEC; Bailey, Butler, LaFramenta, & Ong, 2004) for the observation of explanations in the classroom. The observations will be one hour in length, 4 to 6 times per classroom in one classroom per grade level.
Phase 2: We will conduct individual and/or focus group interviews with teachers to determine their perception of (a) the accuracy/practicality of a hypothesized language learning progression of explanations and (b) the effectiveness/usefulness of a progression as an aid to instruction and formative assessment. Additionally, we will determine a smaller subsample of teachers who are willing to integrate the language learning progression into practice and assessment. Audio recording will be utilized to record data. Additionally, we will conduct a few student interviews if needed to confirm and/or clarify findings from data analysis in Phase 1.
Phase 3: With the subsample of teachers, we will conduct individual and/or focus group interviews to determine how the language learning progression of explanations is being used in practice for instructional planning and formative assessment. We will conduct whole class observations to document and confirm the use of the language learning progression of explanation in practice. Audio recording and field notes will be utilized to record data. Additionally, we will conduct a few student interviews if needed to confirm and/or clarify findings from data analysis in Phase 1.