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Action Research: Language-Assisted Enhanced Learning Activity

Updated on November 23, 2018
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Moira is a teacher for almost 10 years and seeks to improve her craft by conducting action research

Para ta Aamu: A Language-Assisted Science 9 Enhanced Learning Activity on Projectile Motion

In spite of their differences, how do you make them look in the same direction?
In spite of their differences, how do you make them look in the same direction? | Source

Abstract

Teaching and learning projectile motion is difficult when students cannot comprehend instructions and questions in English. To alleviate the situation, the DepEd learning activity on projectile motion was enhanced through the development of language-assist, composed of translations, choices and prompts that is designed to help students gain understanding of projectile motion as they perform the inquiry-based learning activity.

This study was conducted with the 33 students enrolled in the regular class of Grade 9 in Bugang Integrated School S.Y. 2016-2017. It used a quasi-experimental design with the ADDIE model for the research and development of the instructional design. Focus group discussion and pretest/posttest were the instruments used to evaluate the language-assisted activity. Pretest and posttest scores were analyzed with t-test. Focus group discussion enriched and supported statistical results.

Pretest and post test scores revealed a significant increase in students’ score. Therefore, the contextualizing of learning activities with language-assist is efficient in effecting learning. Researcher’s observation and FGD indicated that while the language-assist is effective, it should also include assistance in comprehending equations since math is a language so often used in science.

Research Locale

A
Bugang, Sagay, Camiguin:
Sagay,Camiguin, Filipijnen, Bugang, Sagay, 9103 Camiguin, Philippines

get directions

This study was conducted in Bugang Integrated School found in the municipality of Sagay, island of Camiguin, Philippines.

Introduction

Guide questions in a Science Learners’ Materials are supposed to aid students as they perform inquiry-based learning. But how can guide questions serve their purpose if students do not understand it? Such is the case in Bugang Integrated Schools where most students can be classified as educationally challenged (EFA 2015) because of their inadequate competencies especially in communicating in English, which is the medium of instruction for science.

The challenge for a teacher is always how to make students connect with the lesson at hand. When students are stuck, the teacher-researcher gives them translations, choices and prompts (collectively called as language-assist) to get them interacting with each other and with the ideas being discussed in class. Learning takes place when students receive comprehensible input they need to move into the zone of proximal development (Vygotsky 1978). As English-as-Second-Language (ESL) learners, providing the language-assist made the learning activity comprehensible (Krashen & Terrell, 1983). This makes the learning activity especially tailored for them as in the title of this study, Para ta Aamu, which in our local dialect means “for us”.

Having this on mind, this study aims to determine whether language language-assist is an effective enhancement to the projectile motion learning activity. Its effectiveness was decided by comparing the students’ pretest and posttest scores using t-test for dependent samples. Moreover, the problems encountered by the students while using the language-assisted learning activity was also investigated through the researcher’s observation and a focused group discussion.

Conceptual Framework

The instructional design is based on the ADDIE model which has five phases: Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation, and Evaluation.

Figure 1 Conceptual Framework of the Study
Figure 1 Conceptual Framework of the Study

It begins with the analysis of learner characteristics, desired outcomes, learning constraints, and timeline. This is followed by the design phase where the learning objectives, assessment instruments, content of the language-assist, and lesson planning are identified and/or performed. The next phase overlaps with the previous phase, the development, where the content (translations, choices and prompts, pretest/posttest, FGD guide questions) were created and assembled, reviewed and refined. After that was the implementation phase – the use of learning materials. The evaluation phase has two parts: the formative evaluation present in all phases, that’s why revisions are done all over; and the summative evaluation where the language-assist was judged for its effectiveness.

Methods

A quasi-experimental design was employed in this study following the ADDIE model of instructional design. This study was participated by 33 Grade 9 students of Bugang Integrated School S.Y. 2016-2017. The timeline is shown in the figure that follows.

Figure 2. Timeline of the Study
Figure 2. Timeline of the Study

Evaluating the learning activity that was to be enhanced by the language-assist, Activity 4 Curve Me on an Incline found in p. 242-247 of the Science 9 Learners’ Module, the following keywords were chosen to be translated so students can understand the instructions and guide questions.

Translations:

Acceleration – pagbag-o sa kapaspason sa paglihok
Almost – halos
Constant – wala nagbag-o
Decreasing – gagamay
Elevation – katas; kahabog
Fired – gitira
Height - kataason
Horizontal – pahigda
Horizontally – nagsunod sa linya na pahigda
Incline – subida
Increasing – gataas, gadako
Launch - giitsa/ gipalugpot/ gipalupad/ gilabay
Location – nahimutangan; aha dapit
Maximum – pinaka-
Maximum height – pinakataas
Peak – pinakataas nga naabot
Projectiles – giitsa/ gipalugpot/ gipalupad/ gilabay nga butang
Range – kalayo nga naabtan sa usa ka projectile gikan sa gisugdan 
sunod sa linya nga pahigda
Trajectory – hitsura sa giagian sa usa ka giitsa/gipalupad/
gipalugpot/gilabay nga butang
Trajectory peaks – pinakataas nga punto nga naagian sa usa ka giitsa/
 gipalugpot/ gipalupad/ gilabay nga butang
Velocity – kapaspason sa paglihok


Furthermore, the following choices and prompts were produced to help students communicate their answers.

Choices and Prompts:

I. Copy the graph and its description that corresponds to your answer 
in the sentence. Underline the word in the parenthesis that will make 
the statement correct.  

A ball rolling horizontally has a velocity that is 
(increasing, decreasing, constant, zero) and an acceleration that is 
(increasing, decreasing, constant, zero).
II. Copy the graph that corresponds to your answer in the sentence. 
Underline the word in the parenthesis that will make the statement 
correct.  

A ball rolling down an incline has a velocity that is 
(increasing, decreasing, constant) and an acceleration that is 
(increasing, decreasing, constant).

III. Fill in the blanks and underline the word in the parenthesis 
that will make the statement correct.

Q10. Horizontally-fired projectiles along an incline has a 
(horizontal, vertical, curved, diagonal, parabolic) trajectory.

Q11: Projectiles fired at an angle along an incline has a 
(horizontal, vertical, curved, diagonal, parabolic) trajectory.
Q12: Table 1. Trajectory Peaks

Q13: Table 2. Horizontal Distances (Range)

Q14. The projectile fired at (15°, 30°, 45°, 60°, 75°) has the 
greatest horizontal range.

Q15. The projectile fired at (15°, 30°, 45°, 60°, 75°) has the 
highest peak.

Q16. The pairs of trajectories that have ranges that are almost 
equal are(15°, 30°, 45°, 60°, 75°)and(15°, 30°, 45°, 60°, 75°).
Q17. The longest average range is at the height of fall equal to 
(0.0 m, 0.5 m, 1.0 m, 1.5 m, 2.0 m). The shortest average range is 
at the height of fall equal to (0.0 m, 0.5 m, 1.0 m, 1.5 m, 2.0 m).

Q18. The calculated time of fall is longest for the height of 
fall equal to (0.0 m, 0.5 m, 1.0 m, 1.5 m, 2.0 m). 

To determine if the language-assist is effective, the following pretest/posttest was made to measure the indicated competencies.

Content Standard: The Learners demonstrate an understanding of
projectile motion, impulse and momentum, and conservation of 
linear momentum.

Performance Standard: The Learners shall be able to propose ways to 
enhance sports related to projectile motion

Competency (for True or False Quiz): describe the horizontal and 
vertical motions of a projectile (S9FE-IVa-34)

True or False

view quiz statistics
Competency (for Multiple Choice test) investigate the relationship 
between the angle of release and the height and range of
the projectile (S9FE-IVa-35)

Multiple Choice Test

1. The initial velocity of Manuel playing luksong tinik has horizontal components that are equal in magnitude. What angle does his velocity make with the horizontal?
a. 30°
b. 45°
c. 60°
d. 90°
2. A goalie made three soccer punts at 70°, 50°, and 30° with varying speeds – all reaching the same maximum heights. Which statement is correct?
a. All punts have the same hang time.
b. The punt at 70° has the longest hang time.
c. The punt at 50° has the longest hang time.
d. The punt at 30° has the longest hang time.
3. A volleyball is served at a speed of 8.0 m/s at an angle 35° above the horizontal. What is the speed of the ball when received by the opponent at the same height?
a. 4.0 m/s
b. 8.0 m/s
c. 9.8 m/s
d. 16.0 m/s
4. A ball is hit at an angle of 30° and it reaches a distance of 50 m. Given the same initial velocity, at what other angle should a ball be hit to reach the same distance?
a. 15°
b. 45°
c. 60°
d. 75°
5. At what angle should a hose be aimed in order for the water to land with the greatest horizontal range?
a. 0°
b. 30°
c. 45°
d. 60°

During the focused group discussion, these were the guide questions used. The results of the FGD enriched the results of the pretest/posttest as well as determine the problems encountered while using the language-assisted learning activity.

Focused Group Discussion Guide Questions
1. What is your opinion about the guide questions in the 
Science Learners’ Module?

2. How will translations affect your success at answering the 
guide questions?

3. How will choices and prompts affect your success at 
answering the guide questions?

4. What are the problems you encountered in answering the 
guide questions?

The content of these instruments were validated by five (5) science 9 teachers, the education program supervisor in science, the education program specialist and our own school principal. Test-retest reliability of the True-or-False part of the pretest/posttest was conducted at Mambajao National High School. The multiple-choice part was no longer subject to a reliability test since it was lifted from the Grade 9 Science Learner’s Material.

Once learning materials were created, assembled, tested, and refined, the implementation phase commenced on the last week of February until the first week of March. It began with an initial FGD, then the pretest. This was followed by the actual use of the language-assisted learning activity where the researcher made observations especially on the problems encountered. The activity was performed as a group and students were assigned specific tasks such as facilitator, recorder, measurer, calculator, etc. The implementation ended with the posttest and the final FGD.

The pretest/posttest was evaluated using t-test for dependent samples while the results of the FGD were analyzed using systematic analysis process.

Discussion of Results

Out of the 33 grade 9 students, only 31 participated completely in the implementation. For these students, pretest and posttest scores reveal a significant increase, with a t-value at 7.21 while the t-critical is at 1.70. It was also observed that the students showed substantial interest in the activity, exhibited discussions as to the proper interpretation of the instructions and questions, displayed focus beyond their usual capacity, and demonstrated they could perform the activity with minimal guidance from the teacher-researcher.

Pretest vs. posttest scores on projectile motion
Pretest vs. posttest scores on projectile motion | Source

As for the problems encountered while using a language-assisted learning activity, the researcher observed that the most pressing problem is comprehending equations and quantities with subscripts and superscripts. This was confirmed by the students during the FGD. Other minor problems observed by the researcher were clerical errors on the language-assist as well as non-inclusion of words that were used in the pretest/posttest on the translations. Students, on the other hand, reported that it was still difficult to comprehend the instructions and questions, although they agree it could have been worse without the language-assist.

Enhancing the projectile motion learning activity with language-assist made the made the new material to be learned comprehensible (Krashen & Terrell, 1983). It made the topic less threatening so students became engaged for they felt negligible need of the teacher-researcher’s assistance most of the time. The translations served their purpose in making the instructions and questions understandable while choices and prompts helped the students articulate their answers. These components of the language-assist provide necessary scaffold the students need to move into the zone of proximal development (Vygotsky 1978).

Conclusions and Recommendations

Language-assist proves to be an effective scaffold as students perform inquiry-based learning by answering guide questions. It makes more students from various achievement level interact with the material at hand. This implies that teachers need not substitute activities from the Learners’ Materials, they only need to make it accessible to the students through language-assist.

While the combination of translation of keywords, choices and prompts is effective, it is not enough. When a learning activity involves mathematical equations, students should also be given assistance since mathematics is also a language as foreign as English. The assistance should include what each quantity represents and how to enter it in a scientific calculator.

With this in mind, when teaching ESL students teachers are encouraged to formulate the appropriate language-assist. This is not exclusive to science subjects but recommended to teachers from various disciplines. To minimize the burden, this undertaking can be done jointly through Learning Action Cells or LAC teams currently implemented by DepEd.

In addition, it is suggested that schools create a reading program or strengthen their current reading program. If reading programs are working, scaffold like language-assist will no longer be required and will lessen the workload of teachers.

References

Hmelo-Silver, Duncan; Chinn (2007). Scaffolding and Achievement in Problem-Based and Inquiry Learning: a Response to Kirscher, Sweller, and Clark (2006). Educational Psychologist. 42 (2): 99-107 doi: 10.1080/00461520701263368

Krashen, Stephen D and Terrel, Tracy D. (1983). The Natural Approach: Language Acquisition in the Classroom (p. 191). The Alemany Press. San Francisco, CA 94101

L.S. Vygotsky and Michael Cole (1978). Mind in Society: The Development of Higher Psychological Processes (p.186). Harvard University Press

Messick, S. (1995). “Standards of validity and the validity of standards in performance assessment.” Educational Measurement: Issues and Practice. 14 (4): 5-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1745-3992.1995.tb00881.x

Forest, Ed (January 29, 2014). ADDIE Model: Instructional Design – Educational Technology. Retrieved on May 2016 from http://educationaltechnology.net/the-addie-model-instructionaldesign/

Krueger, Richard A. (October 2002). Designing and Conducting Focus Group Interviews. Retrieved January 2017 from http://www.eiu.edu/ihec/Krueger-FocusGroupInterviews.pdf

Pre- and Post- Testing. Retrieved January 2017 from http://www.bumc.bu.edu/fd/files/PDF/Pre-andPost-Tests.pdf

DepEd Documents

K to 12 Curriculum Guide SCIENCE 2013

Philippine Education for All 2015: Implementation and Challenges 2004

Documentation and Photos

Initial FGD
Initial FGD | Source
Pretest. The language assist was posted at the back.
Pretest. The language assist was posted at the back. | Source
Day 1 of Activity 4 Curve Me on an Incline found in p. 242-247 of the Science 9 Learners’ Module - Two-Dimensional Motion Along an Incline
Day 1 of Activity 4 Curve Me on an Incline found in p. 242-247 of the Science 9 Learners’ Module - Two-Dimensional Motion Along an Incline | Source
Day 1 of Activity 4 Curve Me on an Incline found in p. 242-247 of the Science 9 Learners’ Module - Two-Dimensional Motion Along an Incline
Day 1 of Activity 4 Curve Me on an Incline found in p. 242-247 of the Science 9 Learners’ Module - Two-Dimensional Motion Along an Incline | Source
Day 1 of Activity 4 Curve Me on an Incline found in p. 242-247 of the Science 9 Learners’ Module - Two-Dimensional Motion Along an Incline
Day 1 of Activity 4 Curve Me on an Incline found in p. 242-247 of the Science 9 Learners’ Module - Two-Dimensional Motion Along an Incline | Source
Day 1 of Activity 4 Curve Me on an Incline found in p. 242-247 of the Science 9 Learners’ Module - Two-Dimensional Motion Along an Incline
Day 1 of Activity 4 Curve Me on an Incline found in p. 242-247 of the Science 9 Learners’ Module - Two-Dimensional Motion Along an Incline | Source
Day 2 - Two-Dimensional Motion on Air
Day 2 - Two-Dimensional Motion on Air | Source
Day 2 - Two-Dimensional Motion on Air
Day 2 - Two-Dimensional Motion on Air | Source
They are seriously recording the results of their experiments.
They are seriously recording the results of their experiments. | Source
They are seriously recording the results of their experiments.
They are seriously recording the results of their experiments. | Source
We had to do the experiment outside the room.
We had to do the experiment outside the room. | Source
The teacher-researcher demonstrating the experiment during processing time.
The teacher-researcher demonstrating the experiment during processing time. | Source
Final FGD. Having the language-assist helped them perform the inquiry-based learning designed by the Science 9 Learner's Module
Final FGD. Having the language-assist helped them perform the inquiry-based learning designed by the Science 9 Learner's Module | Source
Posttest
Posttest | Source
Content Validity - The instruments used in this research was validated by several science 9 teachers from Mambajao National High School as well as the EPS in Science, etc
Content Validity - The instruments used in this research was validated by several science 9 teachers from Mambajao National High School as well as the EPS in Science, etc | Source
Language-Assist posted at the back of the classroom
Language-Assist posted at the back of the classroom | Source
Pretest and post test results
Pretest and post test results | Source
Test-retest reliability results from Mambajao National High school
Test-retest reliability results from Mambajao National High school | Source

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© 2017 Moira Durano-Abesmo

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