What is Let’s Talk Science?
Let’s Talk Science is an evidence-based, literacy-infused science curriculum tested in a large experimental federally-funded study with English learners in a variety of language classroom settings.
Let’s Talk Science is an innovative curriculum that promotes both oral and academic vocabulary in science. Lessons are formatted to guide teachers and students through the 5E model to include daily opportunities for students to:
- Participate in engaging activities,
- Explore science concepts, and
- Explain ideas through scaffolded language.
Our lessons also provide opportunities for teachers to evaluate student understanding and elaborate on activities to enhance learning. Daily lessons include phonemic awareness and letter knowledge activities related to science concepts and vocabulary.
The lesson format is designed to present information in a way that makes it easy for teachers to teach, as well as for students to learn. Let’s Talk Science is designed to support science concepts by:
- Tapping into students’ prior knowledge,
- Providing background knowledge,
- Introducing science academic vocabulary using realistic color images, and
- Exploring with hands-on science manipulatives.
Scripted language embedded within lessons supports teachers’ science content knowledge and student-friendly explanations. Language skills are simultaneously supported through embedded listening, speaking, reading, and writing opportunities as teachers model and scaffold science academic language.
Lesson components include:
- Embedded sentence stems.
- Integration of chants and songs.
- Opportunities for students to practice using newly acquired academic language with partners in small groups.
- Phonemic awareness and letter knowledge.
- Opportunities for modeled and independent writing.
Let’s Talk Science yields increased academic language and literacy achievement, as well as allows teachers to add their own ideas and activities to the structure.
Let’s Talk Science further supports English learners by providing strategic Spanish clarifications. These help native Spanish speakers tap into their existing schema to access related prior knowledge and experiences to make connections with content presented in English.
This cross-language transfer is based on the Four-Dimensional Bilingual Pedagogical Theory/Model developed by Dr. Rafael Lara-Alecio and Dr. Richard Parker.
Let’s Talk Science was conceived and authored by Dr. Beverly J. Irby, Dr. Rafael Lara-Alecio, and Dr. Fuhui Tong.
LTS development acknowledgements:
- Dr. Matthew J. Etchells
- Tamra Walderon
- Anna Fedewa
- Kaylee Gilbreath
- Lauren Holtkamp
- Audrey Scott
- Dr. Erin A. Singer
LTS Teacher Guide acknowledgments:
- Dr. Cindy Guerrero
- Dr. Janice Koch
- Dr. Shifang Tang
- Diane Patterson
- Dr. Ana Quiroz