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Exploring the Information-to-Knowledge Experience of English Language Learner (ELL) Students: From the Cognitive, Behavioral and Affective Perspectives

Sung Un Kim

ASIS&T 2008 Annual Meeting (AM08 2008)
Columbus, Ohio, October 24-29, 2008


This study aims to understand the information-to-knowledge experience of ELL students as they engage in a Guided Inquiry project through the school library. Guided Inquiry, which is based on Kuhlthau's Information Search Process (ISP), is systematic intervention of an instructional team consisting of the school librarian and subject teachers to enable students to construct deep understanding on a self-chosen topic from various information sources through curriculum based inquiry units (CISSL, 2007). The ISP model was first developed when Kuhlthau examined high school studentsí information search process to complete their research project and later verified and generalized through other sequential research (Kuhlthau, 2004). However, it has not been researched with ELL students who are the internationally growing population in schools. As a pilot study, this study examines two Korean 11th grade students, who are taking a biology class, of a high school which is located in New Jersey in the United States. The participants are required to conduct a scientific literature review of existing research about a topic which is chosen by the student and approved by the biology teacher. While the participants conduct this project, data is collected in the following ways: questionnaires; survey instruments (at the beginning, mid-point, and completion of the project); structured search journals; search experiments; observation; studentsí first drafts and completed papers with the librarian and the science teacher's comments; and semi-structured interviews with the students, librarian and science teachers. The findings of this study facilitate the understanding on the information seeking and knowledge construction process of ELL students so that the educational services of school environments, including school libraries, can provide meaningful instructional interventions for them. In addition, the results of this pilot study will particularly help shape the research design of the central study.

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