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Mapping the Way to Language Learning: The Impact of Metalinguistic Awareness and Self-Assessment
California State University, East Bay teacher education faculty, an East Oakland middle school, and Mills College faculty collaborated to study how a group of Spanish-speaking 6th, 7th and 8th graders responded to the process of reflection and self-assessment in language learning.
The community and university partners shared ideas about framing the research questions and developing the survey and self-assessment tools. While the teachers helped to get the students excited about the research and gave their feedback at each step, the researchers analyzed the data and helped to clarify the findings. Work on disseminating the study is in progress.
This project will benefit educators working with English learners, as well as university students pursuing their own action research projects. The study process was collaborative and inclusive to foster self-empowerment, independence, and a sense of being valued members of the school community.
A lesson learned is that middle school English learners can and will give their opinions about their instruction and learning, and appreciate the opportunity to become leaders in their own destinies.
Marian Talbot, Teacher Education
California State University, East Bay
Key words: middle school, youth development, teacher education, Northern California