Date of Award

12-2006

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)

Department

Education and Human Development

Abstract

Through weekly tutoring sessions with a 1: 1 teacher to ESL student ratio different instructional techniques and strategies were tested for their practicality, applicability, and success for developing the vocabulary comprehension and scientific writing skills. The sessions served a two-fold purpose: (1) to test various strategies and techniques relevant to the topic, and (2) to provide additional support to an at-risk student that cannot be provided by the school. The student participant was a 10th grade ESL student, who has been in the U.S. for 8 years, yet continues to struggle with science, particularly with vocabulary and writing skills. This study identified specific student weaknesses in science and used techniques adapted from previous studies with ESL students to strengthen such weaknesses. Techniques and strategies tested include, vocabulary introduction accompanied by teacher-constructed graphic/visual aids, vocabulary discussions, and summary framing used in writing exercises. The results of this study show a marked improvement in both vocabulary usage and scientific writing skills, as seen through review of the student's labs completed prior to and during the study.

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