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A Review on Integrated Science Performance of English Language Learners (ELL) Through Sheltered Instruction





The development of English language competence has been linked to pupils’ achievement in other academic disciplines. The usefulness of the English language as a tool for communication in Nigerian schools stems mostly from its practical applications to the country’s wider community. The official language of business and government is English. Salami (2020). A person who is studying the English language after mastering their original tongue is known as an English language learner (ELL) (mother tongue). As a result, the phrase is used to describe English language learners (ELLs) in institutions where English is the medium of teaching (Wikipedia, 2011). Although students who are learning English as a second language (ELL) originate from different backgrounds, they have a number of demands. They must undoubtedly improve their English skills. Along with maintaining a continuum of learning in the subject areas, they also need to develop their English reading and writing abilities (E.g. mathematics, science etc).

According to researchers, ELL students’ academic success and educational attainment depend on their ability to learn academic English language abilities (Slavin & Chueng, 2015) Also emphasize that the biggest single influence on students’ academic achievement at school is poverty, followed by language and, in particular, competency in the medium of instruction. For ELL students in scientific classes, comprehending the material and managing language comprehension are challenges. Prinsloo and Taylor (2015). Teachers are consequently faced with the dual task of instructing ELLs in a specific topic area while the learners are still having difficulty with the English language.

Scientific and science education both include language in some way. Students and scientists both used language to build new ideas and make sense of fresh knowledge. The four cornerstones of scientific literacy are reading, speaking, writing, and listening (Norris and Philips,2016). Learning the language of science is one of the biggest challenges that students face when studying science (Wellington and Osborne,2001). To increase the quality of scientific education, it is crucial to pay attention to the language used in the classroom, and each lecture should implicitly include a language lesson. (Shaffer 2017). For students to succeed, their conceptual understanding should go beyond simple vocabulary, and they should be able to participate in and control the proper dialogue (Shaffer,2017).

For students, especially ELLs, the specific linguistic requirements of science pose significant difficulties (Lemke, 2018). Different from the daily language of many pupils, science employs language in specific ways. De Oliveira (2016) states that these linguistic requirements for science may include:


i.          Definitions of technical words Science textbooks frequently include technical terminology, some of which are normally explained and printed in bold, but others may appear without an explanation or a definition may be hard to locate. Furthermore, definitions could use complicated language that ELLs find difficult to grasp.

ii.        Conjunctions having particular functions: In science, the conjunction (e.g. or) may have a number of specified functions, all of which may occur within a few sentences: For instance, the conjunction or can be used to introduce a definition, a paraphrase, and a more technical or abstract term.

iii.      Common queries and terms with specific connotations: In science texts, paragraphs frequently start with casual, colloquial inquiries yet go on to answer in highly technical jargon. Words with specific scientific meanings may recur, confusing ELLs who may only be familiar with the word’s common usage.

iv.      Noun groupings are given in the following Zigzag pattern: Head alone, pronouns, nouns with pre or post modifiers, and nouns with both pre and post modifiers are among the noun group structures that frequently appear in science texts. To create a Zigzag movement, lexical material is gathered through these complicated and extended noun groups, resulting in high lexical density. Zigzag structure entails the introduction of a nominal group in one phrase and the tracking of these nominal groups in other sentences. (2015) De Oliveira and Kathryn

English language learners must grasp not just English vocabulary and grammar but also how English is utilized in core subject lessons if they are to succeed. Students must be able to take notes during instructor lectures, write persuasively, and read and comprehend expository material like that found in textbooks. They must also explain their analytical thinking in English, develop predictions and hypotheses, and draw conclusions. They must also learn how to create an outline’s structure, negotiate group roles in cooperative learning situations, understand charts and maps, and other related activities. The three knowledge bases—knowledge of English, knowledge of the subject matter, and knowledge of how to complete tasks—combine to provide the core elements of academic literacy (Short, 2016).

The majority of language minority students lack access to rigorous subject matter instruction and the chance to develop academic language, which includes the specialized cognitively demanding language functions and structures required to comprehend, conceptualize, symbolize, discuss, read, and write about topics in academic subjects (Lacelle-Peterson and Rivera, 2014)

Basic social communication abilities are easily picked up by English language learners, but the complicated subject-specific language skills necessary for academic achievement are less easily picked up. Science has a linguistic register with norms and language use patterns that are crucial to the discipline’s application. The academic language aspects used in the science register include developing hypotheses, outlining potential remedies, describing, categorizing, utilizing time and geographical links, inferring, interpreting data, forecasting, generalizing, and presenting findings (National Science Teachers Association,1991). According to the National Research Council (NRC), 1996, these linguistic operations are essential to the inquiry-based scientific method.

According to research on second language immersion programs, English language learners can improve their language skills without having an adverse effect on their academic learning when they get contextualized, content-based instruction in their second language (Mckeon, 2014). Language processes serve as the vehicle for the analysis and conveyance of subject matter knowledge, while the subject matter content offers a relevant framework for the study of language structure and functions. Contextualized language use in science training helps students grasp scientific ideas (Rosebery 2019).

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Language has a method of structuring how ideas are created, arranged, and expressed in science. Learning science and learning a language go hand in hand and complement one another. Students improve their conceptual knowledge through practicing sophisticated language forms and functions including description, explanation, and discussion through the contextualized use of language in science research.


Poor level of success, particularly in public examinations, is one of the contemporary educational issues of public attention (Kolawole and Dele, 2017). Poor English language proficiency at the primary school level may be the cause of this low level of accomplishment in several academic areas. Language inefficiency always results in subpar academic achievement, according to a number of study studies (Onukaogu, 2015). Reports from the Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (SSCE) confirm that language-related variables, such as a student’s failure to follow directions, make observations, and draw the appropriate conclusions, contribute to their inadequacy in reading and writing. According to Dale and Cuevas’ observations from 2002, students studying English as a second language struggle to understand the significance of logical connections in scientific discourse. Maleki and Zangani (2017) note that one of the most significant issues ELL students have in their specific course of study is having trouble properly understanding the contents and concepts of various topics of the curriculum taught in the target language (English language). This might be as a result of their poor proficiency with the English language, which affects their overall academic performance. As a result, the total performance of Nigerian ESL students is greatly influenced by their command of the English language.

The following issues are related to scientific disciplines, according to the chief examiner’s report (2020). Lack of in-depth knowledge in the subject matter, inability of students to record observations made during experiments, inability of students to record observations made during experiments, inability of students to record observations made during experiments, lack of equipment and facilities to teach some topics in the curriculum, students’ belief that science subjects must be memorized, which prevents them from being able to transfer the knowledge of fundamental concepts learned in their lower classes, and students’ weakness in written English.


The main objective of this study is to investigate a review on integrated science performance of English Language Learners (ELL) through sheltered instruction. Specifically, the study attempts to:

i.          To investigate the perception of sheltered instruction as an instructional strategy.

ii.        To ascertain whether there is any significant impact of sheltered instruction on English language learners performance in some concepts in integrated science.

iii.      To determine whether there is any significant impact of sheltered instruction on students’ attitude to science.

iv.      To establish whether there is any significant impact of sheltered instruction on the performance of male and female English language learners.


The research is guided by the following research question:

v.        What is  the perception of sheltered instruction as an instructional strategy?

vi.      Is there any significant impact of sheltered instruction on English language learners performance in some concepts in integrated science?

vii.     Is there any significant impact of sheltered instruction on students’ attitude to science?

viii.   Is there any significant impact of sheltered instruction on the performance of male and female English language learners?

  Significance of the Study

This study will be useful in verifying the impact of sheltered instruction on English language learners’ performance in some concepts in integrated science. However, this study will verify the performance of male and female English language learners exposed to sheltered instruction and the impact of sheltered instruction on students’ attitude to science. It will also verify students’ perception of sheltered.Empirically, the study will contribute to the general body of knowledge and serve as a reference material to scholars who wish to conduct further studies in related field.

1.6 Scope of the study

The study was focused on an   evaluation of  motivation and its impact on the performance  learners in continuing education programme. This study will be delimited to Ikeja metropolis in Lagos state. Similarly, junior secondary school three  students will be involved in this study.

Limitation of the Study

Like in every human endeavour, the researchers encountered slight constraints while carrying out the study. The significant constraint was the scanty literature on the subject owing that it is a new discourse thus the researcher incurred more financial expenses and much time was required in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature, or information and in the process of data collection, which is why the researcher resorted to a limited choice of sample size covering only junior secondary school selected Ikeja Lagos State. Thus findings of this study cannot be used for generalization for secondary schools  in other  States within Nigeria. Additionally, the researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work will impede maximum devotion to the research. Howbeit, despite the constraint  encountered during the  research,  all factors were downplayed in other to give the best and make the research successful.



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