Russellville Elementary School

Jun 28, 2022 by Anita Reid

Bilingual Team-Taught Science ClassBanner School Award Logo

Russellville City Schools

Principal, Mrs. Kristie Ezell

Superintendent, Dr. Heath Grimes

Russellville Elementary School’s Bilingual Team-Taught Science Class was implemented to meet the educational needs of students with limited and interrupted formal education. Russellville City Schools had the highest rate of English Learners in Alabama, at 26%. Following a co-teaching model, the effective collaborative practice between the veteran STEM-certified fourth-grade science teacher paired with the language expertise of the ESL specialist provided a productive learning environment. In this setting, students at the earliest stages of English language development were able to master challenging grade level science standards. The goal of this collaborative co-teaching practice was to follow an assets-based view of culturally and diverse populations to successfully teach science standards to emergent multilingual learners in the newcomer class. The students’ English language proficiency scores were between 1.4 and 1.9 on the ACCESS for ELLs (Assessing Comprehension and Communication in English State-to-State for English Language Learners) with 4.8 considered proficient. All students were of Hispanic origin, and the students asked questions and shared ideas in Spanish, English, or their native Mayan dialect. This co-teaching practice facilitated translanguaging pedagogical strategies to teach both rigorous content and language instruction allowing emergent bilinguals to gain science knowledge in a language they were still developing, expanding their thinking and understanding.