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RUNNING HEAD: Literature Review- Domain A 1

Literature Review - Domain A

Dale Johnson

National University

In partial fulfillment for TED 690

Professor Weintraub

June 3, 2019
RUNNING HEAD: Literature Review- Domain A 2


The following is a literature review of the article “The Effects of Teacher Inquiry in the Bilingual

Language Arts Classroom”, written by Rocio Dresser. This article was specifically chosen to

gain insight on the California Teacher Performance Expectations Domain A, Making Subject

Matter Comprehensible to Students. The Article discusses a study designed to instruct teacher

candidates on how to use the Classroom Inquiry Cycle (CIC) as a tool to better serve the

linguistic and academic needs of English Language learners in the classroom.

RUNNING HEAD: Literature Review- Domain A 3

Classroom Inquiry Cycle in Bilingual English Language Arts

The California Teacher Performance Expectations (TPEs) serve as tools for both veteran

teachers and preservice teachers alike. They outline the crucial areas that create an effective

educator. Domain A, Making Subject Matter Comprehensible to Students, is extremely

important to become an effective teacher. For example, if one does not have specific

pedagogical skills for subject matter instruction, then how can each student receive the

information being given? Rocio Dresser, author of “The Effects of Teacher Inquiry in the

Bilingual Language Arts Classroom”, discusses how there is an academic gap between English

Only learners (Eos) and English Language learners (ELLs). She further discusses a research

study using the Classroom Inquiry Cycle to help close this gap.

According to Dresser, “One way teachers can help close the academic gap between EOs

and Ells is by making the curriculum accessible to all students” (2007, p. 53). While there are no

“one size fits all” recipes for making subject matter comprehensible to students, Dresser provides

one such way to provide accessibility to English Language learners. This is called classroom

inquiry. The Classroom Inquiry Cycle (CIC) was created by Judy Sugishita and provides teacher

candidates with “an effective step-by-step inquiry based reflective model” (Dresser, 2007, p. 54).

Using this model, teachers are able to use student work to assess their teaching skills, reflect on

their findings, and make necessary changes in their planning. The stages of the Classroom

Inquiry Cycle are as follows: the CIC planning phase; the CIC pre-conference phase; the CIC

evidence collection phase; the CIC post-conference phase and the CIC reflection phase. In the

planning phase, teachers get to know their students by assessing their students’ academic,

linguistic and social needs.

RUNNING HEAD: Literature Review- Domain A 4

During a yearlong study on the effectiveness of the CIC implementation, nine teacher

candidates were researched using this form of subject specific pedagogy. In the pre-conference

stage, teacher candidates “write a draft of a COC lesson using ideas from the theoretical and

research-based readings” (Dresser, 2007, p. 54). Teacher candidates share their drafts with a

group of other candidates and they advise each other. In the third stage, the teacher candidates

teach their lesson, video tape the lesson, and collect student samples to assess how effective their

lesson went. The fourth stage consists of a post-conference with the teacher candidate and the

university supervisor where they analyze the lesson based on all of the data collected. This is

where they find out what worked, what did not work, and what are the next steps in planning an

effective lesson in the future. The last stage is reflection, where the teacher candidate will share

their CIC lesson with their group of peers and reflect on the “impact of the lesson on student

learning (2007, p. 55).

The results from the yearlong study show that “using the CIC, teachers conduct

classroom inquiry that serves as a tool to better understand and serve the linguistic and academic

needs of ELLs” (Dresser, 2007, p. ). The most useful tool is the consistent reflection of lesson

plans and allowing the teacher candidates to look back on the effectiveness of their plans using

assessment driven data. Furthermore, the study proved that “University supervisors and teacher

candidates do not need to be bilingual in order to understand the needs of bilingual students”

(Dresser, 2007, p. ). However, they do need to know the theories and be knowledgeable about

the best practices surrounding teaching English Language Learners. For example, building on

students’ prior knowledge, using hand-on tactile realia, creating cooperative group work and

graphic organizers paired with pictures. All of these assist English Language Learners with

gaining access to the academic curriculum.

RUNNING HEAD: Literature Review- Domain A 5


Dresser, R. (2007). The effects of teacher inquiry in the bilingual language arts

classroom. Teacher Education Quarterly, 34(3), 53-66. Retrieved from