Home > Events > LLRC Speaker: Alejandra Meneses & Maximiliano Montenegro (PUC, Chile)
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LLRC Speaker: Alejandra Meneses & Maximiliano Montenegro (PUC, Chile)

LLRC Speakers Meneses and Montenegro
Time: 
Tuesday, September 25, 2018 - 10:30 AM to 11:30 AM
Location: 
1220 Benjamin Building


Title: Language, Literacy, and Science Learning: Contributions from Chilean Research

Abstract: An increasing number of studies has shown literacy’s relevance for science learning in school contexts, specifically how science learning can mediate the relationship between language and literacy skills. However, few of them have taken place in Latin American schools. In this presentation, we will share the results from two studies conducted in Chilean elementary schools (Grades 4 and 5). The first study examined the effects of an intervention in science, in relation to explicit academic language and literacy instruction to improve science learning. This study contributes –to the limited evidence– on how academic language and disciplinary literacy in Spanish are key factors to promote educational equity among low-income students. In the second study, we measured the direct and indirect impact of reading fluency, academic vocabulary and reading comprehension on science learning in Spanish speaking 5th graders. These results highlight the relevance of developing reading comprehension, supported by reading fluency, and academic vocabulary in science, to reach higher levels of understanding in science, as well as the importance of focusing on disciplinary literacy.

Alejandra Meneses is Professor of Language and Literacy in the College of Education, Pontificia Universidad Católica (PUC) de Chile. She is an educational linguist and researcher in Factoría Ideas. Her research focuses on the development of academic language across the school years and its relations with reading and learning in subject matter, particularly, in science. Currently, she is leading a four-year grant aimed at increasing low income 4th grade students’ opportunities to learn science through explicit academic language instruction. She has done also conducted research on multimodal reading comprehension to improve science understanding.

Maximiliano Montenegro is Professor of Science Education in the College of Education, Pontificia Universidad Católica (PUC) de Chile. He earned hi PhD in Education at The Ohio State University, in 2008.  He also holds a doctorate in in physics. Given his expertise in the education of mathematics, physics and psychology, he was offered a postdoctoral position shared across the Astronomy and Psychology, department at Ohio State University. Since 2009, he is assistant professor at the Science and Math Secondary Teacher program at PUC where he enjoys working with future physics teachers. His current research interests involve science education, mathematics and astrophysics, and his main research endeavors seek to identify variables that mitigate the factors that deter students from understanding science through the design of evidence-based STEM interventions.