PROVIDING LITERACY STRATEGIES TO ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNERS IN URBAN SECONDARY MATH AND SCIENCE CLASSES: THE PEER ENABLED RESTRUCTURED CLASSROOM (PERC) MODEL
York College - City University of New York (CUNY) (UNITED STATES)
The Peer Enabled Restructured Classroom (PERC) is an innovative and powerful student-centered model for urban secondary students in science and math, funded by a major grant by the National Science Foundation (NSF). This program targets historically underperforming students in New York City public high schools, most of whom are underachieving and underserved culturally and linguistically diverse populations. The participating student population includes English Language Learners (ELLs) and Former-English Language Learners (F-ELLs) in secondary Integrated Algebra and Biology classes.
The core attributes of the model include teacher as facilitator, the use of peer instructors (called “Teaching Assistant Scholars or TAS), and an expectation of student engagement in all lessons. The PERC model builds on peer instruction and interaction, creates a student centered teaching and learning environment, and develops student motivation and autonomy [1, 2]. It has been shown to greatly enhance academic success, satisfaction, sense of efficacy, intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, autonomy, and positive attitudes towards math and science learning for both PERC students and TAS [3, 4].
This model has produced remarkable quantitative results in learner gains as measured by end of course state level exam pass rates. The program, while not originally focused on English learners, has evolved into a program that has identified the literacy needs of ELLs and F-ELLs. As a result, literacy strategies and second language acquisition constructs, content support, and scaffolding have been included into classroom teaching and learning practices. The infusion of literacy strategies has necessitated the inclusion of an ongoing professional development curriculum for teachers and TAS.
This presentation will focus on the Summer 2012 program and the literacy strategies that were introduced, modeled and incorporated into the PERC Integrated Algebra and Biology classes. Data was gathered over a 5-week intensive summer program using pre and post professional development surveys, classroom observations, and focus group interview. The results of the summer program will be examined and analyzed to provide feedback to improve or enhance the model’s structure and framework over the grant’s long-term implementation.
 Amaral, Garrison, & Klentschy, 2002; Amaral, O. M., Garrison, L., & Klentschy, M. (2002). Helping English learners increase achievement through inquiry-based science instruction. Bilingual Research Journal, 26(2), 213–239
 Meltzer, J., & Hamann, E. T. (2004). Meeting the literacy development needs of adolescent English language learners through content area learning: Part one: Focus on motivation and engagement. Providence, RI: The Education Alliance at Brown University. Retrieved July 13, 2009, from http://www.alliance.brown.edu/pubs/adlit/adell_litdv1.pdf
 Gerena, L. & Keiler, L. (2012). Effective intervention with urban secondary English language learners: How peer instructors support learning in an innovative summer course. In Bilingual Research Journal: Vol. 35, No. 1, pp. 76-97.
 Gerena, L. & Keiler, L. (2011) Supporting At-Risk English Language Learners in an Urban Secondary Science Classroom: Developing Content Literacy Strategies in a Peer Enhanced Restructured Classroom. In International Journal of Arts and Sciences. 2011, Volume 04, Number 16, pp. 297–314.