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Abstract Details

Activity Number: 544
Type: Invited
Date/Time: Wednesday, August 1, 2012 : 2:00 PM to 3:50 PM
Sponsor: Section on Statistical Education
Abstract - #303698
Title: English Language Learners in the Statistics Classroom: Research, Resources, and Recommendations
Author(s): Amy Wagler*+ and Lawrence M Lesser and Angelica Monarrez and Berenice Salazar
Companies: The University of Texas at El Paso and The University of Texas at El Paso and The University of Texas at El Paso and The University of Texas at El Paso
Address: Dept. of Mathematical Sciences , El Paso, TX, 79968-0514,
Keywords: English Language Learners ; equity ; instruction ; student learning ; assessment ; linguistics

Even English language learners (ELLs) with strong English conversational skills cannot be assumed to have fully developed the complex linguistic skillset needed to learn and articulate statistical concepts in an academic setting. Our research team developed the Communication, Language And Statistics Survey (CLASS) instrument to assess language-related issues faced when learning statistics. Informed by research on Spanish-speaking ELLs (Lesser & Winsor, 2009; Lesser, Wagler & Valenzuela, under review), the CLASS reveals differences between how ELLs and non-ELLs respond to particular teaching practices, move between academic and everyday registers, and interpret context in statistics problems. This research may identify factors and strategies that contribute to student learning (for ELLs and others), and so create more effective and equitable educational opportunities. In addition to the CLASS research findings, differential item analysis results are presented that reveal reliability and validity issues when using established statistics conceptual inventories on ELL populations. We will also share preliminary results regarding the use of resource accommodations for ELLs.

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