Summer 2017



Degree Name


Primary Advisor/Dissertation Chair

James Brickwedde, Ph.D

Secondary Advisor/Reader One

Heidi Wheelock

Peer-Reviewer/Reader Two

Annette Walen


The research question addressed in this capstone project was: How can a mathematics geometry curriculum unit be organized to support and develop academic language for fourth grade students through meaningful engagement strategies? The author reviewed literature in the areas of English as a Second Language and mathematics and synthesized best practice methods for teaching common to the two disciplines. The author found that explicit teaching, practice, and support of academic language is vital and beneficial for linguistically diverse learners, with attention to word, sentence, and discourse dimensions. Mathematics is rich in language, particularly when lessons are structured to allow students to develop their own understanding. The developed curriculum unit anticipates common possible misconceptions and necessary academic language support structures. The lesson modules include desired results aligned with Minnesota State Standards in Mathematics, an assessment evidence statement that measures academic language development and mathematics concepts, and a learning plan with engaging student-centered learning activities that teachers can implement with fourth grade students.

Research Methodology

Curriculum Development


Curriculum, ESL/ ELLs, Mathematics

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