Addressing Multilingual Learners’ Language Needs Through Engaging Inquiry-Based Science

  •  Viviana Alexandrowicz    
  •  Bobbi Hansen    


This article presents an overview of a 3-year series of workshops on teaching and providing multilingual learners (MLs) with access to science by utilizing effective language development strategies. The workshops were delivered to primary teachers in California and included three different modules: (a) Think and Question Like a Scientist, (b) Observe and Record Like a Scientist through Science Notebooking, and (c) Argue Like a Scientist. The activities showcase effective, research-based second language acquisition (SLA) strategies, including providing comprehensible input via paraphrasing, using visual and media resources, gestures, and the student’s native language, and modeling tasks. Additionally, scaffolding academic language through personal dictionaries, sentence frames, and native language support constitutes some of the ideas shared. Detailed descriptions highlight the “how” of addressing the needs of MLs at a variety of proficiency levels.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.