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Ivannia Soto was an exemplary scholar-practitioner. Her scholarly contributions are impressive and include 14 published books, but perhaps even more impressive was her dedication...

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ESL and STEM through CALL

Published by Rowman & Littlefield, Teaching ESL and STEM Content through CALL: A Research-Based Interdisciplinary Critical Pedagogical Approach by Abdelilah Salim Sehlaoui addresses the growing need for effective critical pedagogical competence (CPC), critical technological competence (CTC), and critical cross-cultural communicative competence (C5) in teachers who serve ELs. C5, which encompasses CTC and CPC, is defined in the book as the teacher’s ability to communicate effectively across cultures with diverse individuals. An educator who possesses C5 is able to critically understand the power relations and importance of the socioeconomic and political contexts in any human encounter and has the ability to make connections with real life to teach STEM content successfully.

The book provides teachers of ELs with a research-based framework using classroom-tested computer-assisted language learning (CALL) programs to empower themselves, through a practical, reflective self-professional development component, as they help their students succeed academically in STEM. A critical pedagogical and genre-based communicative approach is used to achieve this goal by teaching vocabulary, grammar, reading, writing, listening, and speaking. These key English language skills are given special attention in the book, while ELs’ native literacies and STEM education are also supported. The book’s critical pedagogical approach focuses on the socioeconomic context of education and makes connections between life in the classroom and real life.

Research on successful STEM schools indicates that cultivating partnerships with industry, higher education, nonprofits, museums, and research centers is crucial for engaging students in STEM learning through internships, mentorships, and interdisciplinary project-based learning. To cultivate these partnerships and engage ELs in STEM requires that educators possess C5.

Included are practical, detailed lesson plans, hands-on reflective inquiry activities, classroom vignettes, rubrics, and research-based criteria to evaluate practice, strategies, and CALL programs and resources, all either very inexpensive or free of charge. The main goal of the book is to develop students’ English proficiency and help ELs maintain their native literacy to succeed academically in STEM content areas.

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