Capstone/Dissertation Title

Exploring the Potential of an Inquiry-Based Science Intervention in a Korean Public Elementary English as a Foreign Language Classroom

Term

Summer 8-10-2015

Capstone

Thesis

Degree Name

MAT

Primary Advisor/Dissertation Chair

Margot Galt

Secondary Advisor/Reader One

Ahn Soon Ju

Peer-Reviewer/Reader Two

Jesse Cull

Abstract

The research question addressed in this project was: what benefits are there to using inquirybased science instruction in a Korean elementary EFL class? This paper follows my exploration of the challenges and benefits encountered when implementing inquiry-based science into an elementary EFL context. With curriculum that I created, a fourth and a sixth grade class studied ants, their society, communication, and reproduction. While the sixth grade was able to engage in student initiated, open inquiry, a lack of English language ability necessitated more structured activity with the fourth grade. The ability to engage in inquiry-based science is a skill, and more time spent practicing it can lead to greater levels of efficiency. Despite challenges created by language, solid learning could be accomplished by utilizing a variety of techniques such as questioning, lecturing, power points, multimedia, drawing, gesturing, role-play, and silliness. This study found inquiry-based science to be highly motivational.

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