RIEL Biology: Responsive Instruction for Emergent Bilingual Learners in Biology Classrooms seeks to support both teachers and bilingual students in secondary biology classrooms.
In partnership with the University of Florida, the University of South Florida, Alachua County Public Schools, Hillsborough County Public Schools, and the National Science Foundation, RIEL Biology will work with over thirty teachers and will impact more than 10,000 emergent bilingual students in Florida.
The project team will collaborate with in-service biology teachers to develop and implement an instructional approach that supports student participation and achievement in biology. This approach builds on foundational ideas in culturally and linguistically responsive pedagogy to recognize, recruit, and reinforce the many strengths that students bring to classrooms.
RIEL Biology’s goal is to hone this approach—which consists of promoting collaboration, using multiple modalities and languages, attending to students’ identities and experiences, and connecting classrooms to pressing issues in students’ lives. Through a rigorous examination of this approach over the next three years, we hope to improve educational outcomes and opportunities for emergent bilingual students in Florida. Our goal is to refine this approach to then serve as a model for supporting students in similar classrooms across the country.