Department of Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education


Date of this Version



Published in Science Teacher Preparation in Content-Based Second Language Acquisition, ed. A. W. Oliveira & M. H. Weinburgh, ASTE Series in Science Education (Springer, 2017), as chapter 7, pp 117–135.

DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-43516-9_7


Copyright © 2017 Springer International Publishing Switzerland. Used by permission.


In its 2009 position statement Science for English Language Learners, the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) recommended “that teacher preparation and professional development programs for teachers, regardless of area of certification, focus on science content and pedagogy for English language learners” (p. 2). Since that time, widespread adoption of both English language developments standards such as WIDA ( and comprehensive, rigorous science standards such as NGSS ( have provided extensive support in describing what bilingual students can and should be doing in science. While most science teachers have access to professional development to support the teaching practices described in either NGSS or WIDA resources, there are few opportunities to support the integration of both language and science standards.

Without specific support for integration of language and science, teachers may perceive rigorous science standards as beyond the capabilities of bilingual students with emerging English proficiency (Cho and McDonnough 2009; Lee et al. 2013; Verplaetse 1998). In crafting the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS Lead States 2013), the National Academy of Sciences made it clear that the standards apply to all learners, including “students who have traditionally struggled to demonstrate mastery” (v 25, 25). Language and literacy instruction is embedded into the NGSS, and the shift toward greater emphasis on science and engineering practices allows for even greater opportunity for language acquisition. (Lee et al. 2013). Since 2011, the e-Learning Communities for Academic Language Learning in Mathematics and Science (eCALLMS) 1 project has been working to craft professional learning opportunities that support the integration of language instruction in science as is called for by the NGSS standards and the NSTA recommendations. By creating innovative online resources that support professional learning communities of teachers to explore various aspects of language development in relationship to content teaching, eCALLMS (see is offering rigorous opportunities for science teachers to meaningfully integrate both language and science content development.