Mastering math and the academic language of math is essential for all students, but especially for English Language Learners (ELLs) who are acquiring content knowledge and English proficiency concurrently. The goal of this three-year study is to enable sixth-grade Spanish-speaking ELLs to acquire the skills and knowledge they need to meet the new Common Core State Standards for Mathematics (CCSS-M) and Literacy in the Technical Subjects (CCSS-L).
The intervention—Project MELD—is funded through a research grant from the Institute for Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education, and uses as a base open sources units from the Pearson System of Courses Mathematics curriculum for sixth grade. The investigators are modifying the base curriculum by (1) adding English-as-a-second-language enhancements to meet the needs of students learning content in a second language; (2) increasing the focus on developing students’ academic language associated with math; and (3) making primary language (Spanish) support available for ELLs who need it.
The intervention includes partnering ELLs with English proficient peers, and additional professional development for teachers to familiarize them with MELD methods and materials. The first two years of the study follow an iterative development process to refine the intervention, leading to a pilot study in the third and final study year.
Contact ELLCenter@air.org for more information.