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3—
Cognitive Aspects of School Learning:
Literacy Development and
Content Learning

Language-minority children in the United States are overrepresented among those performing poorly in school. An understanding of the cognitive challenges posed by learning to read and by acquiring new content knowledge, whether in a first or a second language, is a prerequisite to designing better instruction for these and indeed all children. Whereas the previous chapter focused primarily on acquisition of oral language skills, the focus in this chapter is on reading, writing, and subject matter knowledge. The emphasis is on research carried out from a cognitive perspective on the nature of the challenges inherent in learning to read or learning subjects such as math or history, and on the factors that facilitate success in learning. Most of this research has been conducted with monolingual English-speaking subjects, but nonetheless casts light on the process for second-language speakers and learners as well. It should be noted that while this chapter includes some discussion of optimal instruction in the area of reading, most of the discussion regarding instruction is included in Chapter 7, on studies of school and classroom effectiveness.

State Of Knowledge

The following review of the state of knowledge in cognitive aspects of school learning first examines literacy development and then content learning.

Literacy Development

Like work on language acquisition, research on literacy forms a continuum whose endpoints represent quite different definitions of the phenomenon. At one



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Page 53 3— Cognitive Aspects of School Learning: Literacy Development and Content Learning Language-minority children in the United States are overrepresented among those performing poorly in school. An understanding of the cognitive challenges posed by learning to read and by acquiring new content knowledge, whether in a first or a second language, is a prerequisite to designing better instruction for these and indeed all children. Whereas the previous chapter focused primarily on acquisition of oral language skills, the focus in this chapter is on reading, writing, and subject matter knowledge. The emphasis is on research carried out from a cognitive perspective on the nature of the challenges inherent in learning to read or learning subjects such as math or history, and on the factors that facilitate success in learning. Most of this research has been conducted with monolingual English-speaking subjects, but nonetheless casts light on the process for second-language speakers and learners as well. It should be noted that while this chapter includes some discussion of optimal instruction in the area of reading, most of the discussion regarding instruction is included in Chapter 7, on studies of school and classroom effectiveness. State Of Knowledge The following review of the state of knowledge in cognitive aspects of school learning first examines literacy development and then content learning. Literacy Development Like work on language acquisition, research on literacy forms a continuum whose endpoints represent quite different definitions of the phenomenon. At one

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Page 54 end of this continuum, literacy is defined as a psycholinguistic process involving component subprocesses such as letter recognition, phonological encoding, decoding of grapheme strings, word recognition, lexical access, computation of sentence meaning, and so on; at the other end, it is defined as a social practice of meaning construction with distinct characteristics among different groups. Of course, beliefs about effective literacy instruction correlate with these differing definitions. The psycholinguistic definition1 identifies crucial subprocesses in reading; thus in general it tends to support the utility of explicit instruction about these subprocesses (e.g., phoneme-grapheme mapping, word-recognition strategies, identification of derivational morphological relations among words), as well as practice to achieve automatic processing of them. The social practice view assumes that participation in a community that uses literacy communicatively is the crucial precondition for becoming literate; thus this view is associated with instructional practices such as encouraging children to write with invented spelling, exposing children to books by reading aloud, having tapes available, providing classroom libraries, and promoting authentic reading experiences through the use of trade books rather than basal readers. In addition, researchers in the psycholinguistic tradition tend to accept an epigenetic view of reading, in which it is assumed that the learner's (and thus the teacher's) task is different at different stages of development, whereas the social practice view, deemphasizing as it does the individual learner's role, defines no such developmental reorganization. There has been a vast amount of research related to literacy and literacy instruction. Here we can only provide examples of what has been learned in the various domains of literacy development, focusing on concepts that are relatively well established for first-language reading and their potential relevance for understanding literacy development among bilinguals and second-language learners. We examine in turn prerequisites for the successful acquisition of reading ability, optimal early reading instruction, reading as a developmental process, and psycholinguistic processes of skilled readers. Prerequisites for the Successful Acquisition of Reading It is clear that future successful readers typically arrive at school with a set of prior experiences and well-established skills conducive to literacy. The findings in this area are fairly consistent, though explanations of how those prerequisites function to foster literacy development are not. The key prerequisites include an 1There is some confusion in terminology in the field of literacy acquisition. Smith (1983) and Goodman (1968) have called their view of literacy, which in fact lies firmly on the social practice end of the continuum, ''psycholinguistic" to emphasize their claim that literacy acquisition operates in the same way as language acquisition. We reserve the term "psycholonguistic" for views of reading that specify individual processes of graphological, phonological, lexical, or syntactic analysis.

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Page 55 understanding of literacy, abstract knowledge of the sound and structure of language, a certain level of vocabulary development, and oral connected discourse skills. An Understanding of Literacy Young children who come from literate households, who have been read to, and whose parents are highly educated and/or use literacy regularly are most likely to become successful readers. These findings clearly fit well with the view of literacy as a social practice; more psycholinguistically oriented researchers point out that participation in literacy-related practices provides opportunities for children to acquire specific knowledge about letters, language, and symbolic systems that are prerequisites to full literacy. Remarkably little work has been done to describe literate practices in the homes of language-minority children. The work that has been carried out describes considerable variability within ethnic or language groups, though typically the comparison groups are all low-income and of low parental education (Langer et al., 1990; Teale, 1986; Teale et al., 1981). The uses of literacy, and thus the cultural meanings of literacy to which children are socialized, are conceptualized in this work as social rather than autonomous, just as book reading with young children is basically a social interaction in which the adult and the child construct the text together through a combination of reading and discussion. These social practices may generate expectations that conflict with school literacy practices. Abstract Knowledge of the Sound Structure of Language Alphabetic writing systems represent spoken words abstractly—the level of the phoneme, which is unpronounceable and thus accessible only at a relatively deep level of representation. Preschool children who have a sophisticated sense of phonemes—as demonstrated, for example, by the ability to rhyme, to name things that begin with a particular sound, to focus on similarities in sound rather than in meaning in grouping words, or to identify relations among words that differ by one phoneme—are likely to be successful at the early stages of reading. Moreover, while these skills clearly make reading acquisition easier, reading acquisition and the practice in phoneme analysis that comes with attempts at invented spelling in turn promote abstract knowledge about phoneme structure. Evidence seems clear that some minimal ability to segment spoken language into phonemic units is a prerequisite to beginning to read in all alphabetic languages (Wagner and Torgeson, 1987) and that bilingualism promotes this ability (Bialystok, 1988, 1992, in press). No studies have been done that would clarify whether acquiring this ability in a first language is a sufficient basis for initial literacy instruction in a second language or whether the ability needs to be at least applied to the second language before literacy can be acquired—though evidence that phoneme segmentation transfers across languages under certain circumstances has been offered by Durgunoglu et al. (1993).

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Page 56 Vocabulary At every stage of reading development, vocabulary is a highly reliable correlate of reading ability (e.g., Koda, 1989a; Nagy, 1988; Stanovich, 1986). This relationship is easy to understand at later stages: reading involves confronting many relatively rare and sophisticated words, which are easier to read if already known and are also more likely to be acquired by children who read a great deal. At the early stages of reading, the relation of reading success to vocabulary may reflect the status of a child's vocabulary as an index of parental social class or educational level. A limited number of studies have sought relationships between vocabulary knowledge and reading for English-language learners (see Fitzgerald, 1995, for a review). These studies converge on the conclusion that English vocabulary is a primary determinant of reading comprehension for such readers, and that those whose first language has many cognates with English have an advantage in English vocabulary recognition, but often do not fully exploit cognate relationships to optimize English vocabulary comprehension without target instruction (Garcia and Nagy, 1993). Oral Connected Discourse Skills Considerable evidence is now accumulating that good readers arrive at school with greater ability to use oral language in ways that are adapted to the needs of nonpresent listeners, that linguistically mark relations across utterances, and that honor genre-specific rules for organizing discourse.2 As the exact mechanism explaining the relationship of these studies to literacy is not known, there is as yet little basis for determining whether learners need to display these skills in the language in which they are learning to read, or whether possessing these skills in a first language is sufficient to support literacy acquisition in a second. Learners show high correlations across these oral discourse skills between their two languages if both are used in educational settings (Velasco, 1989), but not if only the second language is used for schooling (Snow, 1990). For example, children in a bilingual program scored very similarly on a task of giving definitions in Spanish and English, even providing precisely the same information in many cases, whereas Spanish-speaking children being schooled only in English showed no correlation between their Spanish and English definitions. Presumably the second group had no chance at home to develop in Spanish the academic skills they were acquiring in English. Effective use of comprehension strategies in reading both Spanish and English was found to be related to Spanish first-language oral proficiency in one 2Genre-specific rules include those defining the likely order of presentation of information in fictional stories (provision of background information, complicating events, a problem, a problem resolution, a conclusion) versus newspaper reports (the major event, then the complicating actions, then orienting information about place and characters involved).

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Page 57 study (Langer et al., 1990). High levels of skill in Spanish first-language reading facilitated English second-language reading (Moll and Diaz, 1985), and similarly, good writing in Spanish first language was found to be related to sophisticated writing in English second language (Lanauze and Snow, 1989), suggesting that second-language literacy may be able to build directly on high levels of oral language and literacy skills in the first language. A case study of an excellent Spanish-English bilingual reader (Jiménez et al., 1995) shows the use of similar strategies for identifying words and comprehending text in both languages, and the frequent use of information from the other language. A larger-scale study carried out by the same group (Jiménez et al., 1996) suggests that successful bilingual readers all used certain strategies for comprehending both Spanish and English tests: focusing on unknown words, using cognates as one source of knowledge, monitoring their comprehension, making inferences, and actively using prior knowledge. Unsuccessful readers focused much less on comprehension as their goal for reading. There is considerable controversy about the level of second-language proficiency needed to support reading in that language. Wong Fillmore and Valadez (1986) argue that second-language reading for English-language learners should not be introduced until a fairly high level of second-language proficiency has been achieve. However, Anderson and Roit (1996), Gersten (1996), and others argue that instruction focused on second-language comprehension can be helpful to learners at all levels of second-language oral proficiency (even for those with learning disabilities [Klingner and Vaughn, 1996]), and in fact that support of second-language reading comprehension can generate gains in second-language oral skills (see also Elley, 1981). In general, positive correlations have been found between English second-language oral proficiency and English second-language reading ability, particularly at higher grade levels, but not equally across all first-language groups (Devine, 1987; see Fitzgerald, 1995, for a review). The mixed findings may well reflect differences in oral language proficiency measures used across the various studies and in conditions for literacy acquisition. Oral language proficiency in face-to-face tasks may predict less well than performance in autonomous, connected discourse tasks, and older, already literate second-language learners acquiring English literacy through formal, foreign-language-type instruction may rely less on oral language as a route to literacy than those acquiring their initial literacy skills in the second language. Optimal Early Reading Instruction Perhaps the most controversial area in reading research is the question of how best to teach initial reading. The debate about the value of the whole-word method peaked with the publication of Why Johnny Can't Read (Flesch, 1955), and the controversy surrounding phonics/direct instruction methods versus whole-language

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Page 58 methods has been addressed in The Great Debate (Chall, 1967, 1983) and Beginning to Read (Adams, 1990).3 The controversy often extends beyond the interpretation of research results to the level of deeply personal conviction, a situation that persists in part because most children will learn to read under a wide variety of instructional procedures. In fact, a small percentage of children in literate societies learn to read with no instruction whatsoever—evidently seeking out for themselves information about how print represents sound and finding the task of applying that knowledge sufficiently easy and fun that they practice it extensively outside instructional contexts (Clark, 1976; Durkin, 1966).4 The spontaneous readers in the distribution are balanced by at least as many children who have persistent problems in learning to read, presumably because of some basic processing deficit in the identification of phoneme units, in the achievement of lexical access, or in some other area of symbolic processing. Of primary interest for present purposes, though, are the vast majority of children in the middle of the distribution, particularly the group of apparently normal children who nonetheless have problems learning to read and remain below grade level as readers throughout elementary school. This group of normal but at-risk children is composed overwhelmingly of children from low-income homes where the parents have relatively little education and of children who do not speak English as a first language. Hispanic children (a group that includes English monolinguals as well as Spanish-English bilinguals), for example, score well below their non-Hispanic peers in reading throughout the elementary school years and end up on average about 4 years behind in secondary school (Applebee et al., 1985, 1987, 1989). This is the group for which we are most interested in the effects of instruction. The evidence is overwhelming that direct instruction in phoneme-grapheme mappings, word recognition strategies, and comprehension strategies is of value for this group of children (Adams, 1990). Many believe that such children are at considerable risk in classrooms that provide only a whole-language environment with no direct reading instruction, a conclusion supported by a meta-analysis conducted by Stahl and Miller (1989). They found that whole-language approaches 3The whole-word method involved teaching reading by having children acquire a large repertoire of sight words, without providing direct instruction in the regularities of English orthography. The phonics method focuses on teaching and providing practice in the orthographic system, i.e., sound-letter relationships, the rules governing the interpretation of orthographic cues such as the silent 'e', and the pronunciation of minor spelling patterns such as 'igh,' and 'ough.' The whole-language method emphasizes providing children with rich, authentic literacy experiences so they can discover the rules of English orthography themselves. Unlike the whole-word method, it does not involve teaching sight words. 4These claims that most children learn to read under any instructional regime and that 5-10 percent of children learn to read without formal instruction are based on studies of monolingual English speakers. We do not know whether similar claims can be made for bilinguals or for children learning to read in a second language in which they are not fully proficient.

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Page 59 worked better with advantaged populations, though there were generally better outcomes for approaches that incorporated basal readers in the instruction, particularly for first graders (as opposed to kindergartners, who benefited more from whole-language approaches). Freppon and Dahl (1991) document the success of a kindergarten teacher who in the context of whole-language instruction helps children understand sound-symbol relations. It should of course be noted that these findings relate to English-language speakers, not to English-language learners. Though the hard evidence favors direct instruction, it is also clear that many instructional methods associated with phonics-based instruction are unnecessary, of little value, or less useful than alternatives that incorporate some principles introduced by whole-language methods. Worksheets on which children practice identifying long versus short vowels, rhyming versus nonrhyming words, and words beginning with 'b' versus words beginning with 'd' are much less productive than forms of skill practice embedded in meaningful contexts (Anderson et al., 1985). Authentic communication tasks, such as writing stories or journals, can serve as contexts for individualized phonics instruction that exploits the value of accurate representation of words for effective communication. The somewhat impoverished models of literature provided by many basal reading series can be supplemented or replaced by a judicious selection of trade books that provide engaging texts with literary value (see Elley and Mangubhai, 1983, for evidence of the value of high-interest reading in promoting second-language reading and language skills). Instruction in small groups formed around children's reading levels has been shown to have a pernicious effect on some children's views of themselves as readers and on the quality of instruction available to the lower-level reading groups (Allington, 1978, 1980; Hoffman and Clements, 1984), though use of ability groups in the Success for All model has proven successful with both English and Spanish speakers (Slavin and Madden, 1994). While one can cite research findings in support of the value of certain of these practices over others, only recently has anyone dared to express official sanction for the eclectic method of teaching reading—embedding direct instruction in component processes into meaningful, communicative, literate activities—that many experienced and successful teachers are in fact implementing in their classrooms (Adams and Bruck, 1995; Purcell-Gates, 1996). With regard to reading instruction in a second language, there is remarkably little directly relevant research. Clearly one of the major intellectual stimuli to bilingual education programs has been the belief that initial reading instruction in a language not yet mastered orally to some reasonable level is too great a cognitive challenge for most learners. Studies of outcomes of bilingual programs, however, do not typically distinguish students who arrive at school already reading in their first language from those who learn to read only at school. The evidence that better academic outcomes characterize immigrant children who

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Page 60 have had 2 to 3 years of initial schooling (and presumably literacy instruction) in their native countries (Collier and Thomas, 1989; Skutnabb-Kangas, 1979) is consistent with the claim that children should first learn to read in a language they already speak. However, it is clear that many children first learn to read in a second language without serious negative consequences. These include children in early-immersion, two-way, and English as a second language (ESL)-based programs in North America, as well as those in formerly colonial countries that have maintained the official language as the medium of instruction, immigrant children in Israel, children whose parents opt for elite international schools, and many others (see Christian, 1996; Feitelson, 1988). What we know about early literacy acquisition suggests it is more likely than not to be successful under a wide variety of circumstances, but is nonetheless impacted by a long list of risk factors, including lack of explicit instruction in the local orthography, absence of the sort of background knowledge and skills acquired in highly literate environments, and unavailability of semantic support for decoding that comes from familiarity with the words one reads. Exposure to any one of these and other risk factors may have no impact on literacy achievement, though the coincidence of several may ensure a high rate of failure. The high literacy achievement of Spanish-speaking children in English-medium Success for All schools (Slavin and Yampolsky, 1992) that feature carefully designed direct literacy instruction suggests that even children from low-literacy homes can learn to read in a second language if the risk associated with poor instruction is eliminated. Reading as a Developmental Process There are rather different tasks and skills involved in reading at various points in the acquisition of skilled reading. These differences are great enough that Chall (1983) has claimed reading develops through distinct stages. Clearly, a stage theory meshes well with a direct instructional model, in which it is assumed that skills should be taught in a specific sequence. Whether or not one accepts a strict sequential stage notion, it is clear that in general, children learning to read face different challenges at different points in the process: learning about print versus nonprint, typically accomplished in the preschool years; learning to recognize and write letters; learning to decode words, which involves synthesizing phonological from graphemic sequences; reading relatively simple texts fluently; reading texts that include new information and unknown lexical items for comprehension; reading strategically, for specific information or purposes such as relaxation; and reading critically, to examine and compare the claims and arguments of different authors. The essential idea here is that the nature of reading skill needs to be defined somewhat differently at different points in its development, and thus that acquisition of prior skills does not always predict

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Page 61 continued growth in reading ability; there are several points in development where novel skills need to be acquired. The implications of this view for second-language learners are potentially enormous, as the task of learning to read in a second language is presumably quite different at different stages of first-language reading skill. Direct studies of the nature of what can be transferred from first- to second-language reading need to take into account not only the level of first-language reading, but also the level and content of the second-language material being read (as well as the nature of the orthographic [e.g., Koda, 1989b], linguistic, and rhetorical differences between the first and second languages). Psycholinguistic Processes of Skilled Readers Skilled readers are capable of reading with understanding in part because the component processes—letter recognition, word recognition, access to word meaning, syntactic parsing of the sentence—are fast and efficient (e.g., Adams, 1990). Efficiency is promoted in reading instruction by making provision for practice in reading to generate fluency or automatic processing of component processes (e.g., by introducing sustained silent reading periods in the classroom, or by providing opportunities for sufficient practice in oral reading). Even adult skilled readers process print in a largely bottom-up way, engaging in phonological encoding as part of the process of word recognition (Rayner and Pollatsek, 1989). Indeed, even readers of nonalphabetic languages such as Chinese seem to use phonological encoding for word recognition, suggesting that lexical storage is largely phonological in form (Hung and Tzeng, 1981; Perfetti and Zhang, 1991; Perfetti et al., 1992). Thus the suggestion by Smith (1983), for example, that good reading involves top-down processing—in which understanding the smaller units is possible because the general message is accessible first—is a misrepresentation of normal skilled reading, though it comes closer to describing the process in which poor readers engage. Those whose skill with word recognition is limited can improve their comprehension by employing strategies such as reading the whole text for gist; self-monitoring for understanding; and using cues from titles, pictures, headings, and the like. Explicit instruction in comprehension strategies such as prediction, summarization, and questioning—for example, the widely used "reciprocal teaching" (Palincsar and Brown, 1984) or Bereiter and Bird's (1985) think-aloud method—has been shown to be useful with poor first-language readers, and some evidence suggests it would also be useful with second-language readers who have comprehension difficulties (e.g., Barnett, 1989; Casanave, 1988; Cohen, 1990). Studies of the metacognitive strategies used by second-language readers of English (reviewed in Fitzgerald, 1995) reveal that such strategies are widely used and that the repertoire of those strategies includes some that may be specific to the second-language situation (such as using translation

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Page 62 dictionaries or relying on information about cognates), but also many typical of first-language readers as well (asking questions, predicting, summarizing). Jiménez et al. (1996) found that good second-language readers focus much more on word meaning, presumably because this is a greater source of difficulty for them, than do good monolingual readers. Some researchers studying instructional practices for reading have suggested that rather little attention is given to teaching or promoting comprehension strategies in classrooms with many language-minority students, even in the middle and later elementary grades when such instruction is important, because teachers tend to focus on word recognition and pronunciation (e.g., Gersten, 1996). On the other hand, literacy instruction for adult ESL learners focuses rather little on word recognition (Hilferty, 1996), despite the important role of word recognition skill in explaining variance in comprehension among this population (Carlo and Sylvester, 1996; Hilferty, 1996). A major obstacle to helpful research on reading instruction for language-minority children is the failure to recognize the existence of developmental changes in the reading process and in the speed and efficiency of second-language learning. Skilled readers use syntactic information unconsciously to make the reading process more efficient, for example, by fixating on high-information items in the text (Rayner and Pollatsek, 1989). Since high-information items differ from language to language, this can lead to inefficient fixation patterns when reading in a second language (Bernhardt, 1987), thus perhaps disrupting the fluency that facilitates comprehension. Skilled readers can tolerate a small proportion of unknown words in texts without disruption of comprehension and can even infer the meanings of those words from sufficiently rich contexts, but if the proportion of unknown words is too high, comprehension is disrupted. Word knowledge no doubt relates to reading comprehension both because encountering many unknown words slows processing and because lack of work knowledge indicates absence of the relevant background knowledge that is crucial in reading texts of any complexity. Educators who doubt the importance of relevant background knowledge to comprehension need only dip into the Journal of Solid State Physics for leisure reading to be convinced. Familiarity with content promotes reading comprehension when reading in either a second or a first language (Carrell, 1987; Johnson, 1981; see Fitzgerald, 1995, for a review), though knowledge of relevant background information may be less reliably indexed by second- than first-language vocabulary. Comprehension is also supported by familiarity with macro structures present in texts. Knowing that paragraphs have topic sentences on which other sentences are meant to elaborate, being familiar with the basic principles of compare-and-contrast essays, and understanding the macro grammar of a typical story all aid the reader in integrating information across sentences. Of course, these macro structures are culturally determined, and knowing them is typically the product of a great deal of implicit learning, though direct instruction in these matters is

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Page 63 provided in some classrooms. The importance of these macro-structural principles in promoting or impeding reading comprehension is clear to anyone who has compared a novel by James Michener with one by Isabel Allende or Kenzaburo Oe. The notions of plot and temporal sequence, of how much orientation is needed, and of how much interpretation should be supplied vary widely across these three writers, who are all, however, relatively mainstream within their own cultural-linguistic tradition. In general, passages organized in a familiar structure are easier to comprehend and recall for second-language readers (see Fitzgerald, 1995, for a review) than those exemplifying a novel rhetorical structure. There are clear first-language effects on the types of structures second-language readers find easy, presumably related to preferred macro-structural organization in the first language (Carrell, 1984; Hinds, 1983). Studies that have manipulated familiarity of both content and structure find that unfamiliar content is more disruptive to comprehension than unfamiliar structure (Carrell, 1987). Content Learning This section examines what we know about content learning in general and in relationship to English-language learners. We consider lines of research that have addressed learning and thinking in subject matter domains and what this research suggests for the tasks faced by teachers of second-language learners and their students. Considerable progress has been made over the last two decades in understanding the nature and processes of learning and acquiring knowledge of specified content information. This research has, for the most part, not concerned itself with issues of language per se, nor has it been incorporated into discussion about English-language learners. There are some notable exceptions, however. For example, research reviewed in Cocking and Mestre (1988) and discussed later in this chapter examines linguistic and cultural influences on learning mathematics. Fuson and Secada's (1986) study of particular mathematical topics and student learning extends our sense of the complexity of mathematical thinking and helps us interpret the teaching task with greater awareness. Work by Rosebery et al. (1992) and Chamot et al. (1992) is discussed in Chapter 7, on studies of school and classroom effectiveness. We refer to the body of research that we review as "primary-language content learning." While it is clear that learning and understanding new content material in a second language pose specific linguistic difficulties not present in primary-language content learning, awareness of this body of research might well inform research on content learning in a second language. Expanding the systematic study of some of these issues to include English-language learners will inform and expand the theory as well. The general perspective here is that of cognitive psychology. Cognitive theory, borrowing from the pioneering work of Piaget, provides educators a way of combining constructivism with systematic deep analyses of subject matter

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Page 74 need guidelines on how to provide second-language learners the opportunity for age-appropriate acquisition of content area material. These guidelines should take into account epistemological differences among subject matter areas. Effects of English-Language Learners on Content Area Teachers 3-6. Several important research questions relate to the effects of English-language learners on teachers of specific subjects and their classrooms. How does the presence of a second language in the classroom affect the cognitive load for the content area teacher? Does a high proportion of language-minority children in a classroom have a negative effect on the classroom as a learning environment for native speakers of English, and if so, under what circumstances? How does the presence of second-language speakers or the use of a second language in the classroom affect the necessary balance between clear didactic presentation and less orderly generative classroom activity, such as discussion? Teachers bear much of the burden of delivering effective education to language-minority students, and often with little access to information or training in how to do it optimally. Clearly, teaching complex subject matter to students of limited proficiency in the instructional language can place extra strain on teachers and may lead them into undesirable pedagogical practices. A good theory of what it means to make "linguistic modifications" in assessments or use "simplified English" in instruction would be useful to teachers. Researchers who have been looking at greater inclusion of English-language learners in large-scale assessments have tinkered with meeting this need, but with difficulty and quite narrowly. (Abedi, for example, simplified items using syntactic structures only and was unsuccessful in increasing performance.) A broader framework taking into account semantic, communicative, and sociolinguistic factors could be more useful. Such a theory could also provide a foundation for ''sheltered instruction" programs. Transfer of Content Knowledge from First to Second Language 3-7. Research is needed to identify the additive features of second-language knowledge/acquisition for cognition, for example, specific content area understanding, and to determine the extent to which learning complex material in a particular language requires having content-specific structures in that language. In other words, is content knowledge acquired in the first language automatically available to be built upon when learning in the second language? It seems reasonable that content learners trying to construct powerful representations of their knowledge would find it advantageous to have access to two

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Page 75 symbolic systems with which to construct those representations; thus one might expect that bilingual learners would have an advantage over monolinguals in this regard. Furthermore, if content knowledge acquired in the first language is available for use in the second, there is every reason to expect that language-minority children who arrive in the United States after years of rigorous schooling in their country of origin will display high academic achievement as soon as they learn English. Although most of the work on the academic performance of language-minority children emphasizes the risks to high achievement, the excellent accomplishments of immigrant children in national assessments of math and science suggest they may have an advantage in certain domains of learning, perhaps because of easy transfer or because of the cognitive consequences of bilingualism.

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Page 76 References Adams, M.J. 1990 Beginning to Read: Thinking and Learning about Print. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. Adams, M., and M. Bruck 1995 Resolving the "great debate." American Educator 19(2):10-20. Allington, R.L. 1978 Are Good and Poor Readers Taught Differently? Is That Why Poor Readers Are Poor Readers? Paper presented at AERA meeting, Toronto, April. State University of New York, Albany 1980 Teacher interruption behaviors during primary grade oral reading. Journal of Educational Psychology 72:371-377. Anderson, R.C., and P.D. Pearson 1984 A schema-theoretic view of basic processes in reading. Pp. 255-291 in P. D. Pearson, ed., Handbook of Reading Research. New York: Longman. Anderson, R.C., E.H. Hiebert, J.A. Scott, and I.A.G. Wilkinson 1985 Becoming a Nation of Readers: The Report of the Commission on Reading. Washington, DC: National Institute of Education, U.S. Department of Education. Anderson, V., and M. Roit 1996 Linking reading comprehension instruction to language development for language minority students. Elementary School Journal 96(3): 295-310. Applebee, A., J. Langer, and I. Mullis 1985 The Reading Report Card. Princeton, NJ: Educational Testing Service. 1987 Learning to be Literate in America. Princeton, NJ: Educational Testing Service. 1989 Crossroads in American Education. Princeton, NJ: Educational Testing Service. Barnett, M.A. 1989 More Than Meets the Eye: Foreign Language Reading. Language and Education: Theory and Practice. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: ERIC. Bereiter, C. 1984 The limitations of interpretation (review of writing and the writer). Curriculum Inquiry 4:211-216. Bereiter, C., and M. Bird 1985 Use of thinking aloud in identification and teaching of reading comprehension strategies. Cognition and Instruction 2:131-156. Bernhardt, E.B. 1987 Cognitive processes in L2: An examination of reading behaviors. Pp. 35-50 in J. Lantolf and A. Labarca, eds., Research in Second Language Learning: Focus on the Classroom. Norwood, NJ: Ablex. Bialystok, E. 1988 Levels of bilingualism and levels of linguistic awareness. Developmental Psychology 24:560-567. 1992 Attentional control in children's metalinguistic performance and measures of field independence. Developmental Psychology 28:654-664. in press The effects of bilingualism and biliteracy on children's emerging concepts of pring. Developmental Psychology. Bialystok, E., and K. Hakuta 1994 In Other Words. New York: Basic Books. Briars, D., and R.S. Siegler 1984 A featural analysis of preschoolers' counting knowledge. Developmental Psychology 20(4):607-618.

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Page 81 McKeown, M., and I.L. Beck 1994 Making sense of accounts of history: Why young children don't and how they might. Pp. 1-26 in G. Leinhardt, I.L. Beck, and C. Stainton, eds., Teaching and Learning in History. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum. McKlosky, M. 1983 Intuitive physics. Scientific American (March):122-129. Miller, P.A. 1993 Theories of Developmental Psychology. 3rd ed. New York: W.H. Freeman. Moll, L., and R. Diaz 1985 Ethnographic pedagogy: Promoting effective bilingual instruction. Pp. 127-149 in E. Garcia and R. Padilla, eds., Advances in Bilingual Education Research. Tucson: University of Arizona Press. Myers, D.E., and A.M. Milne 1988 Effects of home language and primary language on mathematics achievement: A model and results for secondary analysis. Pp. 259-293 in R.R. Cocking and J.P. Mestre, eds., Linguistic and Cultural Influences on Learning Mathematics: The Psychology of Education and Instruction. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum. Nagy, W. 1988 Teaching Vocabulary to Improve Reading Comprehension. Urbana, IL: National Council of Teachers of English. Newell, A., and H.A. Simon 1972 Human Problem Solving. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall. Ohlsson, S. 1992 The cognitive skill of theory articulation: A neglected aspect of science education? Science & Education 1:181-192. Palincsar, A.S., and A.L. Brown 1984 Reciprocal teaching of comprehension-fostering and comprehension-monitoring activities. Cognition and Instruction 1(2):117-175. Peal, E., and W.E. Lambert 1962 The relation of bilingualism to intelligence. Psychological Monographs: General and Applied 76(546):1-23. Pearson, D.P., J. Hansen, and C. Gordon 1979 The effect of background knowledge on young children's comprehension of explicit and implicit information. Journal of Reading Behavior 11(3):201-209. Perfetti, C.A., and S. Zhang 1991 Phonological processes in reading Chinese characters. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition 17:633-643. Perfetti, C.A., S. Zhang, and I. Berent 1992 Reading in English and Chinese: Evidence for a "universal" phonological principle. Pp. 227-248 in R. Frost and L. Katz, eds., Orthography, Phonology, Morphology, and Meaning. Amsterdam: Elsevier. Purcell-Gates, V. 1996 Process teaching with explicit explanation and feedback in a university-based clinic. In E. McIntyre and M. Pressley, eds., Balanced Instruction: Strategies and Skills in Whole Language. Norwood, MA: Christopher-Gordon. Qin, Y., and H.A. Simon 1990 Laboratory replication of scientific discovery processes. Cognitive Science 14:281-312. Rayner, K., and A. Pollatsek 1989 The Psychology of Reading. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall. Reif, F. 1987 Interpretation of scientific or mathematical concepts: Cognitive issues and instructional implications. Cognitive Science 11:395-416.

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Page 82 Resnick, L.B. 1992 From protoquantities to operators: Building mathematical competence on a foundation of everyday knowledge. Pp. 373-429 in G. Leinhardt, R. Putnam, and R.A. Hattrup, eds., Analysis of Arithmetic for Mathematics Teaching. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum. Resnick, L.B., and L.E. Klopfer 1989 Toward the Thinking Curriculum: Current Cognitive Research. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. Riley, M.S., J.G. Greeno, and J.I. Heller 1983 Development of children's problem-solving ability in arithmetic. Pp. 153-196 in H.P. Ginsberg, ed., The Development of Mathematical Thinking. New York: Academic Press. Rosebery, A. S., B. Warren, and F. R. Conant 1992 Appropriating scientific discourse: Findings from language minority classrooms. The Journal of the Learning Sciences 2(1):61-94. Schoenfeld, A.H., J.P. Smith, and A. Arcavi 1993 Learning: The microgenetic analysis of one student's evolving understanding of a complex subject matter domain. Pp. 55-176 in R. Glaser, ed., Advances in Instructional Psychology. Vol. 4. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum. Schwab, J.J. 1978 Education and the structure of the disciplines. In I. Westbury and N.J. Wilkof, eds., Science, Curriculum, and Liberal Education: Selected Essays. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Scribner, S. 1984 Studying work intelligence. Pp. 9-40 in B. Rogoff and J. Lave, eds., Everyday Cognition: Its Development in Social Context. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Short, D.J. 1994 Expanding middle school horizons: Integrating language, culture, and social studies. TESOL Quarterly 28(3):581-608. Simon, H.A., and C. Kaplan 1989 Foundations of cognitive science. Pp. 1-47 in M.I. Posner, ed., Foundations of Cognitive Science. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. Simon, H.A., J. H. Larkin, J. McDermott, and D.P. Simon 1980 Models of competence in solving physics problems. Cognitive Science 4:317-345. Skutnabb-Kangas, Tove 1979 Language in the Process of Cultural Assimilation and Structural Incorporation of Linguistic Minorities. Arlington, VA: National Clearinghouse for Bilingual Education. Slavin, R., and R. Yampolsky 1992 Success for All. Effects on Students with Limited English Proficiency: A Three-year Evaluation. Report No. 29. Baltimore, MD: Center for Research on Effective Schooling for Disadvantaged Students, The Johns Hopkins University. Slavin, R., and N. Madden 1994 Lee Conmigo: Effects of Success for All in Bilingual First Grades. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, New Orleans. Center for Social Organization of School, Johns Hopkins University. Smith, F. 1983 Understanding Reading. 3rd ed. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston. Snow, C.E. 1990 The development of definitional skill. Journal of Child Language 17:697-710. Stahl, S.A., and P.D. Miller 1989 Whole language and language experience approaches for beginning reading: A quantitative research synthesis. Review of Educational Research 59(1):87-116.

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Page 83 Stanovich, K. 1986 Matthew effects in reading: Some consequences of individual differences in the acquisition of literacy. Reading Research Quarterly 21:360-407. Stodolsky, S. 1988 The Subject Matters: Classroom Activity in Mathematics and Social Studies. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Teale, W.H. 1986 Home background and young children's literacy development. In W. Teale and E. Sulzby, eds., Emergent Literacy: Writing and Reading. Norwood, NJ: Ablex. Teale, W.H., E. Estrada, and A. Anderson 1981 How preschoolers interact with written communication. In M. Kamil, ed., Directions in Reading: Research and Instruction. Washington, DC: The National Reading Conference. Velasco, P. 1989 The Relationship of Oral Decontextualized Language and Reading Comprehension in Bilingual Children. Doctoral thesis, Graduate School of Education, Harvard University. Wagner, R.K., and J.K. Torgeson 1987 The nature of phonological processing and its causal role in the acquisition of reading skills. Psychological Bulletin 101:192-212. Wertsch, J.V. 1979 From social interaction to higher psychological processes: A clarification and application of Vygotsky's theory. Human Development 22:1-22. Wineberg, S. 1994 The cognitive representation of historical texts. Pp. 85-136 in G. Leinhardt, I.L. Beck, and C. Stainton, eds., Teaching and Learning in History. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum. Wong Fillmore, L., and C. Valadez 1986 Teaching bilingual learners. Pp. 648-685 in M.C. Wittrock, ed., Handbook of Research on Teaching. 3rd ed. New York: Macmillan. Young, K.M., and G. Leinhardt 1996 Writing from Primary Documents: A Way of Knowing in History. Tech. Report No. CLIP-96-01. Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh, Learning Research and Development Center. THE SOCIAL CONTEXT OF SCHOOL LEARNING: SUMMARY OF THE STATE OF KNOWLEDGE Research based on the premise that schooling must be analyzed from social as well as cognitive perspectives has yielded a number of important insights: • In classroom learning situations, negotiation occurs within at least two domains: the rules for how to talk in the classroom and the construction of actual content knowledge through talk. The implications for English-language learners are that negotiating these matters is much more difficult in a second language, and negotiated rules are likely to be heavily influenced by culture. • Language-minority students may be treated differently from mainstream students as a result of forces both within and outside of school that implicitly and explicitly promote and sustain the perspectives and institutions of the majority. • While achievement motivation is an important factor in helping explain school success, it does not explain differences in success among language-minority groups or between immigrant and mainstream groups. • The dialects spoken by children influence teacher perceptions of their academic ability, the students' learning opportunities, evaluations of their contributions to class, and the way they are grouped for instruction. The languages students speak also influence perceptions of their academic ability and their learning opportunities. • Research on cooperative learning indicates that students of color and white students have a greater tendency to make cross-racial friendship choices after they have participated in interracial cooperative learning teams, and the academic achievement of students of color is increased when cooperative learning activities are used. Cooperative learning activities also increase student motivation and self-esteem and help students develop empathy. • Research indicates that curriculum interventions—multi-ethnic and -racial lessons and materials—have positive effects on the ethnic and racial attitudes of students. • Evidence suggests that like all students, immigrant and language-minority children benefit from actions taken in the home to promote child academic achievement. Such activities can be classified as monitoring, communication, motivational, and protective. However, these actions may not be visible to school personnel, who thus assume parents are uninvolved in their children's learning.

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