Research Years 1-4: Individual Projects
In the first four years of CREATE, researchers developed research-based interventions for separate content areas and tested them in tightly controlled experiments and randomized field trials with classroom teachers. The research focused on the specific instructional practices that are proven effective in improving oral English proficiency, English literacy, and student achievement in the content areas, including social studies, English language arts, and science. The research also explored text modifications and grouping arrangements that enhance outcomes for middle-grade English learners. More specifically, CREATE
- developed and tested teacher-guided methods and peer collaborative group work to enhance oral language and literacy development as well as content knowledge;
- compared the efficacy of enhanced versions of teacher-guided instruction and collaborative group work versus traditional methods of instruction;
- tested the efficacy of modified narrative and expository text in improving children’s knowledge, understanding, and ability to learn social studies content; and
- tested and refined a model of professional development for teachers that is geared to improving the content knowledge of English learners in middle school classrooms that included English proficient students.
Several primary studies were conducted as part of CREATE’s focused program of research.
Project QuEST (Quality English and Science Teaching) investigated a systematic intervention model to concurrently develop science content and language and literacy skills in middle school English learners.
Impact of the SIOP Model on Middle School Science and Language Learning investigated the impact of the SIOP Model--a research-based approach that integrates grade-level content with academic English language development--on student academic achievement in middle school science, a subject area with high language demands.
Adaptations of Peer-Assisted Learning for English Language Learners: Application to Middle School Social Studies Classes examined the efficacy of social studies instruction enhanced with specific instructional and learning strategies, supplemental materials, and purposeful pairing of students. The goal was to enhance knowledge acquisition and vocabulary/concept learning through systematic practices associated with improved outcomes for English learners in middle school content classes.
Word Generation for English Language Learners built on the development and evaluation of Word Generation, an interdisciplinary middle school academic language support program. Word Generation uses engaging paragraphs to present crucial, non-disciplinary, all-purpose academic words and defines activities to help students learn them. The adapting-texts component developed alternative forms of the paragraphs to be used in a modified, English learners-focused version of Word Generation.