Alex Shungu, Youngjin Song (University of Northern Colorado, USA)
The purpose of this study was to investigate the impact of language on students’ learning by examining how English Language Learner (ELL) college students learn chemistry comparing to their peer native English speaking students. In this mixed method study, surveys, in-depth semi-structured interview data with eight ELL volunteer students, and artifacts were collected. Sixty participants including ELL and native students were chosen from two college sites in the Rocky Mountain region of Colorado. Five chemistry instructors’ interview data was collected to allow for triangulation. Grounded theory was used in analyzing interview data and artifacts; survey data and test scores were analyzed through ANOVA. Findings in the areas of language effect on student learning and instructor’s best teaching approaches were identified, and may help instructors and their students to overcome some challenges they face in the general chemistry classes.