• English Language policy changes in China, Japan, and Korea and the effect on students studying in the United States.

      Tedesco, Daniel J. (2015)
      The growing need for proficient English speakers in China, Japan and Korea has spurred a shift in English language policy from the traditional model focusing on reading and writing to a model emphasizing communicative language teaching (CLT) (Hu & Lei, 2014; Hu & McKay, 2012). However, despite policy changes, CLT methods are not regularly used in the classroom because of constraints such as the university entrance exam system. Therefore, students remain unprepared for the English method instruction (EMI) demands at university. As such, the purpose of this study is to explore student perspectives regarding their experiences attending high school in their home countries and then EMI programs at U.S. universities. The following is a mixed-method study that focuses on students who attended high school in China, Japan or Korea and are currently studying at a U.S. university. This study further focuses on the perspectives of these students with regard to whether they believe they were prepared for the English demands of their current university. Data was obtained through an online 33-item survey from fourteen university students as well as from semi-structured interviews from six of those participants. Results are mixed, because although the interviews revealed unanimously that the participants did not feel prepared for university in the U.S., the survey revealed no conclusive evidence as the participants felt neutral about the majority of the items regardless of country of origin. Implications for addressing the English language needs of current Chinese, Japanese and Korean university students and future research are also discussed.
    • English teacher perception of the current English curriculum and instruction at a university in Saudia Arabia

      Almahmoud, Abdullah (2016-12)
      Task design allows teachers to organize and implement tasks according to the specific needs of the learners. The purpose of this research was to evaluate the teacher perception of curriculum and instruction in regards to English language development at a King Saud University, KSA. The study mainly used the quantitative questionnaire technique as a main data collection instrument. The participants are a total of 35 male and 25 female professors who are originally from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Syria, India, United Kingdom and the United States aged from 25-55 years old. The results showed lack of development of English as a Foreign Language according to teachers’ perception in KSA. Teachers from Saudi Arabia and foreign countries advocate for evolution to the curriculum and its integral parts. Yet, the changes have not occurred in the system. This clearly shows that there is less involvement of the teachers in the development of the curriculum. The teachers have not also been able to provide inputs, help write and contribute their own material. This study showed valuable insights into the English Language Curriculum problems and various rectifications, which might help improve the quality of the curriculum and therefore, enhancement in increasing interest of students and developing their skills.
    • Enriching students' oral language through active play.

      Beringer, Kristine M. (08/01/2013)
      The purpose of this Master’s Thesis Project was to identify the relationship between active play and oral language development and create the Professional Development Project: ENRICHING STUDENTS' ORAL LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT THROUGH ACTIVE PLAY. The Professional Development Workshop provided teachers with the tools to implement a play-based curriculum and with activities to use in their classroom. A literature review was conducted and the aspects that were explored included the relationship between play and oral language development, what a play-rich environment includes and how it can be implemented into the school curriculum to promote language development. The findings indicated that play and language and cognitive development are intimately linked.
    • Environmental enrichment as a means of increasing male-female social interactions in a critically endangered species, Macaca nigra.

      Smith, Danielle Renee (2013-07-10)
      Environmental enrichment refers to any modification of the physical and social environment of an exhibit in an attempt to improve the animal’s quality of life in captivity. While prolonged levels of both high and low stress tend to result in a suppression of reproductive physiology, acute, yet moderate stress can potentially promote reproductive activity. Sulawesi Crested Macaques are critically endangered. The species exhibits a polygynandrous (multi-male/multi-female) mating system. The captive Macaca nigra population at the Buffalo Zoo was observed for 14 weeks, alternating between an enrichment item and lack of enrichment, and interactions between males and females were recorded. Analysis indicates a significant increase in the frequency of friendly behaviors in the presence of enrichment, accounting for 90.43% of behaviors compared to 71.24% of behaviors without enrichment. A decrease in frequency of unfriendly behaviors was also observed with enrichment, in which 9.57% of behaviors were unfriendly compared to 28.76% of behaviors without enrichment. An increase in duration of grooming behavior from a mean of 154.2 seconds to 279.8 seconds with enrichment was observed. If enrichment can be used to increase social interactions between males and females, then this research has the potential to improve captive breeding programs, particularly for threatened, endangered and/or slowly reproducing species.
    • Environmental factors and literacy learning and instruction.

      Michalak, Rebecca (2014)
      The basis for this thesis is research into the topic of environmental factors for literacy learning and instruction. To answer the research question, what are the environmental factors that influence literacy learning and instruction, an extensive review of the literature was conducted. A synthesis of the review was then conducted to produce several findings related to the research question. Results of the synthesis reveal that visible factors contributing to positive literacy learning are access to print through classroom and public libraries, technology in the classroom, the physical design of a classroom, and student behavior and school atmosphere. The findings also show that invisible factors contributing to positive literacy learning are school safety, classroom diversity, a supportive learning environment, and student motivation. All of these factors appear to contribute to the design of a learning environment that promotes literacy learning and instruction.
    • Ethnic identity of Seneca Nation students in Seneca language revitalization program.

      Lesher, Janelle L. (2015)
      There were once 300 indigenous languages spoken in the United States. Today, only 35 of those languages are still in use and are in severe risk of extinction (Reyhner, 2000). Causes of this language loss include social, economic, and political factors (Whaley, 2003). Due to the prominence of White culture and its necessity for success in the U.S., many Native American populations are losing their heritage language, and with that, their sense of ethnic identity. To combat the rapid rate of language loss, various Native American nations are implementing language revitalization programs, including the Seneca Nation. The goal of this study was to measure the ethnic identity of Seneca Nation students participating in a language revitalization program, as well as to determine the effects that the program has had on their ethnic identity. The participants of this study included seven Seneca Nation students enrolled in the Seneca language revitalization program of a school district in Western New York. Data was collected through a paper Likert-scale survey and an audio-recorded focus group. Results were varied and showed that some Seneca Nation students participating in a language revitalization program possessed a strong sense of ethnic identity while others demonstrated a weaker ethnic identity. Furthermore, the Seneca language revitalization program has positively affected and strengthened the ethnic identity of its participating Seneca students. This study may aid as a source for further research i this area.
    • An ethnographic case study of technology use in the elementary classroom.

      Babaeer, Shahad (2014)
      Technology has become an essential tool that supports the education process and offers educators effective strategies in order to address all learners’ needs, and assess students’ understanding. The purpose of any instructional technology is to enhance the experience of the learners and the learners’ ability to master the material by using a range of technology such as computers, iPads, and SMART boards. This paper is an ethnographic case study to answer the research question, “How does a teacher effectively integrate appropriate educational technology to support students’ learning in an elementary classroom”? This research examined effective ways of integrating educational technology into the elementary classroom. Data collected included non-participant observations and open- ended surveys of the teachers. The sample included four elementary classrooms and four elementary school teachers from an American school and four elementary teachers from a Saudi Arabian School. The most significant finding that I have seen through my research in the United States school is that there were a large and diverse number of technologies in each classroom. The SMART boards were the most prevalent technology tool being used with the teachers using SMART boards for their daily lessons. As a result of my study I believe that the SMART board should be a required teaching tool in each elementary classroom.
    • Evaluating a college connection program designed to enhance features of global citizenship.

      Pulice, Bethany M. (11/11/2013)
      Despite an increased number of international college students studying at U.S. colleges (U.S. Census Bureau, 2010), research suggests international college students do not interact with non-international college students (Arber, 2008; Hsieh, 2007; Rose-Redwood, 2010, Yin, Huang, & Hare, 2010). Such interaction is essential in developing features of global citizenship, which can then benefit both society and the students themselves (Morais & Ogden, 2010). This mixed method study evaluated Adopt a College Student, a program which sought to develop global citizenship by pairing international college students with non-international college students or local community members. Initial and final interviews and surveys were conducted with twelve international college students, non-international college students, and community members before and after program participation. While quantitative analysis showed a marginal decrease in global citizenship, qualitative analysis suggested non-international college students and community members, not international college students, showed increases in global citizenship in relation to Adopt a College Student. Increases may have been due to utilization of catalysts and suppression of inhibitors for global citizenship. These findings suggested programs like Adopt a College Student may effectively promote features of global citizenship if experiences with the program are significant. Implications for collegiate global citizenship initiatives and future research are also discussed.
    • Evidence for IRES Mediated Translation of Gurken.

      Merle, Jacob Andrew (2014)
      The gene gurken (grk) in Drosophila melanogaster is required to establish the anterior/posterior and dorsal/ventral axes of the egg. When insulin levels are high such as when food is readily available, grk is translated using a common mechanism that requires recognition of the 7-methylguanosine cap at the 5’ end of the RNA. Translation of grk requires Vasa activity which is inhibited through phosphorylation is spindle-B (spn-B) mutants. It was discovered in our lab that Insulin/Insulin-like Signaling (IIS) mutations or inhibition of TOR by rapamycin result in increased grk translation in spn-B mutants thereby overcoming this cap-dependent block. Based on these data, we hypothesize that the grk 5’ UTR contains an Internal Ribosomal Entry Site (IRES). An IRES provides an alternative mechanism of translation that occurs through use of a secondary structure in the 5’ UTR in the mRNA. The utility of the IRES is that it allows for translation of important mRNA’s even in the absence of canonical cap-dependent translation factors. These conditions can arise in nature when insulin levels or nutrient availability is low. The presence of an IRES will be explored in vivo through a comparison of transgenic reporter lines containing different luciferase reporter constructs. These constructs will be used to test the hypothesis that the grk 5’ UTR contains an IRES and examine the effect of nutrient limitation, inhibition of TOR, or IIS mutations on grk translation. To localize the IRES within the GRK 5' UTR selective deletion mutations will be made in secondary structures identified through selective 2’-Hydroxyl Acylation and Primer Extension (SHAPE) analysis. The activity of these reporter lines will be analyzed through assaying these transgenic lines. This will allow for the identification of the presence and location of the IRES within the grk 5’ UTR. Here we present data demonstrating the activity of reporter constructs that have been generated by fusion with the 5' UTR of grk. Additionally we propose a new technique using GRNA chromatography to identify the presence of an IRES as well as important secondary structures needed for IRES function using the same reporter constructs.
    • An examination of English instructional strategies at university level in Saudi Arabia.

      Alkhalaf, Shatha (2014)
      This research study investigated teaching and learning strategies that English professors at college level use and the professors’ perceptions of the effectiveness of the strategies. The primary research question was: what English instructional strategies are considered the current effective practice for undergraduate students at Qassim University in Saudi Arabia? The participants were sixteen female professors in the English Department at Qassim University in Saudi Arabia. This study used a 33 item survey distributed to these English professors, asking them about teaching and learning strategies and their effectiveness. Results, in general, showed that learning strategies, which are learner-centered strategies taught to students to increase learning, are more aligned to the best practices than teaching strategies, which are teacher-centered strategies a teacher uses to teach effectively, in Qassim University. In the conclusion, the study showed many similarities between current and best practices and few differences. Based on the differences, some recommendations, such as enhancing the communication between professors and students, were made. At the end, the researcher added some suggestions for further studies.
    • An examination of high school students' misconceptions about methods of exponential equations.

      Hewson, Ashley E. (2013-10-21)
      This study examined the errors and misconceptions exhibited by high school students when solving exponential equations. It was hypothesized that high school students in Algebra 2/Trigonometry and Pre-Calculus classrooms would use guess-and-check strategies and linear arithmetic approaches to solve exponential equations. Few or no students would use logarithmic properties to assist them in solving an exponential equation. During this study, a ten-problem assessment was given to New York students in an Algebra 2/Trigonometry class, an Algebra 2/Trigonometry Honors class, a Pre-Calculus class, and a Pre-Calculus Honors class. The instrument was generated by using past state tests appropriate for students in Algebra 2/Trigonometry according to the state and national mathematics standards. Immediately following the assessment, students were asked to complete a nine-question survey in which they described their reaction to the assessment and their knowledge of exponential equations. The results of the assessment and surveys were collected and analyzed to determine if any correlations existed. The data collected showed that high school students primarily used logarithms to solve exponential equations. Additional results revealed that the Pre-Calculus Honors students scored the highest, the Algebra 2/Trigonometry students scored the lowest, and that students made fundamental errors while solving exponential equations.
    • Examining gender and cultural influences on classroom participation and interaction of students in and ESL and General education classroom.

      Martin, Lindsey W. (28/02/2014)
      English Language Learner (ELL) is a term used to describe a student whose second language is English and is not fully proficient in English (Coleman & Goldenberg, 2009). In order for ELLs to become proficient in English they need opportunities to speak and practice using the language (Vogt & Echevarria, 2008, Wright, 2010). According to Higgins (2010) gender discrimination occurs in classrooms in the form of teachers calling on males more often than females. Research has shown that males speak out of turn more frequently than females and when they do, they use longer utterances (Hruska, 2004; Parker & Riley, 2010). This may put female ELLs at a disadvantage in terms of becoming proficient in English and their academic success.
    • Examining the potential similarities and influences of Stanley Greenspan's developmental, individual differences, relationship based (DIR)floortime model and music therapy in the treatment of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

      Kellogg, Jenna L. (2013-03-27)
      The purpose of this qualitative comparative case study was to explore the relationship between Stanley Greenspan's DIR/Floortime Model and music therapy in the treatment of children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). This topic was explored through the perspectives of four special education teachers who implement the DIR/Floortime model within their present classrooms at the agency where the researcher is employed as a music therapist. All of the selected teachers witnessed and experienced music therapy treatment for present and past students in both group and individual sessions. Each teacher participated in one individual interview with the researcher lasting 30 to 60 minutes. Each interview was transcribed by the researcher and analyzed for commonalities including key words and themes that were central to the research questions. The findings of this study indicated that the influences of music therapy treatment for children diagnosed with ASD are largely positive and have the potential to spur growth and development. According to the interviewed special education teachers, the qualities of music therapy that most aid their students to learn and grow include: "motivating", "calming", and " focusing." In addition, the teachers largely recognized a strong connection between the methodology and philosophies of music therapy treatment and Greenspan's DIR/ Floortime model. The keywords and themes that were addressed in discussing this were "following the child's lead", "motivation", and "exploration." Lastly, the process of conducting the study largely resulted in the researcher finding new awareness regarding the importance of interdisciplinary communication and collaboration.
    • Examining the use of inter-cultural experiences to increase motivation in the L2 classroom through journals.

      Knoll, Monica L. (13/11/2013)
      Motivation is one of the key factors for learning and can have serious implications for students when studying any subject matter (Gardner & Lambert, 1972; Dörnyei, 1994). The issue being addressed is that many students in the U.S. see little need to learn a foreign language given the current status of English as a global language (Kachru, & Nelson, 1996). This research study seeks to determine whether an increase of target language practice in authentic and culturally relevant situations will have an effect on high school students’ motivation to learn a foreign language. The mixed method study required students to actively seek situations outside of the classroom to use Spanish and then to write a journal about the activity for which guiding questions were provided. Seventeen students from a rural high school in grades nine and ten completed an initial and midpoint questionnaire, cultural experiences over a ten week period and a final interview at the end of the study (Gardner, 1985). Results indicate many increases in positive answers throughout the questionnaires and journals. Students also reported higher levels of confidence, ability to decipher through contextual clues and improvements in pronunciation of Spanish. Implications for the research include the ways in which experience journals could be used in other subject areas and how this could impact various content areas. Future research may include the results from conducting the culture journals over longer periods of time or in different areas of study. Building more culturally and personally relevant projects into foreign language classes may encourage language learning among students as well as fostering active and independent learners which may contribute to more language learners overall.
    • Experiences of older adults participating in an intergenerational Suzuki Violin Program.

      Kelso, Sarah Michele (2014)
      This study involved a combination of older adults and young children learning together and interacting with each other in a musical environment created by the intergenerational Suzuki violin program. As the study progressed, the social aspect of this experience became the most prominent feature of the program. It was an unprecedented program facilitated by a retired professional Suzuki violin instructor and a music therapist. The music therapist was hired to do research within the program while also helping to facilitate each violin lesson. The pioneering aspects of the program and the diverse experience of the program facilitators contributed to making this a unique experience for all involved. Throughout the first year of the program data was collected by the music therapist/researcher. Data included attendance records, input from the occupational therapist at the facility, and one-on-one interviews with the participants and staff members involved in the program. After the first year of the program all data was reviewed by the music therapist. Anecdotal reviews written by the facilitators of the program as well as participant testimonials were presented to the grant committee and the nursing home administrators. The staff and participant interviews were transcribed and coded by the music therapist/ researcher. There were many similar observations brought up by the participants and staff enabling the music therapist/researcher to identify common themes. The themes were categorized and specific quotes were extracted from the interviews. The quotes chosen best represented each theme. Although the participants and staff were interviewed separately the themes they had in comment depicted the overall experience of the group. The quotes chosen from participant interviews best illustrated their perceptions of the program and how they were affected by it. Based on the attendance rates and the fact that only five participants withdrew over the course of the year, it can be concluded that the program was beneficial to the participant’s social and life goals. The weekly attendance percentages indicate that the participants wanted to attend and made an effort to be present at the time of the lessons. The participants experienced many benefits which are measured by the positive statements made by the participants in the interviews done at the end of the study. The coded interviews give the participants’ reactions to the experiences that they had within the lessons, and with the children involved in the study. Their perceptions on how they were affected socially, physically, and emotionally are shown in the interviews.
    • Explicit Instruction in the Special Education Classroom

      Hayes, Leah (State University of New York at Fredonia, 2018-12)
      Explicit instruction has been proven to improve the abilities and outcomes in academics for students with special needs. According to Lyon, et. al. (2001), students with disabilities are at particular risk for experiencing reading difficulties; for a majority of students with learning disabilities, reading is their primary area of difficulty. This project was created in order to streamline and to incorporate explicit instruction into the district-mandated curriculum for students with special needs in the area of reading in Kindergarten and First Grade. With the addition of explicit instruction into specific curricula, can students with special needs improve academic abilities in the resource room setting? The benefits of the addition of explicit instruction to the Read Well curriculum were successful and productive. Students were able to grow not only academically, but also in confidence and appropriate behavior. Although there are some limitations of time and materials, this project was successful for my Kindergarten and First Grade students. They were engaged in the lesson through the activities and modeling. The students were able to produce taught sounds, blend words with known sounds and read sentences based on the data collected. This curriculum was built as a basis for teachers who utilize the curriculum with the hope that it will be built upon and future grade levels and various subject areas will use the core concepts when building lessons in the future.
    • Exploring everyday Math without using technology.

      Mead, Karla C. (2014)
      No author abstract.
    • Exploring how Mexican Immigrant parents support the education of their high-achieving children.

      Gasca, Alicia. (28/02/2014)
      In general Latino students are under performing in US schools, yet some Mexican immigrant parents are able to support their children in ways that are conducive to their academic success. This study explores how monolingual Spanish-speaking Mexican parents with limited education of their own are involved in the education of their high-achieving children. As part of this qualitative study, interviews with three parents were conducted, recorded and transcribed. The findings are consistent with much of the literature reviewed and reveal that these Mexican immigrant parents prioritize education for their children through the use of guiding messages, by setting expectations for the future, and by being present at teacher conferences, even though language barriers limit communication with teachers and staff. Additionally, they used monitoring strategies to maintain awareness of their children’s school and social activities. Schools can help Mexican immigrants by adding bilingual staff, by extending assistance for children with their homework, and by promoting practices that immigrant parents can undertake such as consistently setting academic expectations for their children and providing them with messages of encouragement in their academic pursuits.
    • Exploring how Saudi families studying in the U.S. support their children's Arabic.

      Alqurashi, Ohud (2015)
      This qualitative study examined how Saudi families studying in the US with children aged five to seven support their children’s Arabic language development. The participants were Saudi parents aged 27-37 studying in American universities in New York State with their children aged five to seven. As part of this study, face-to-face interviews with five Saudi parents were conducted, recorded and transcribed. The findings are consistent with much of the literature reviewed. Three themes were revealed from the data indicating the parents' belief about teaching their children the Arabic language, the actions parents take in support of their children’s Arabic language, and parents' expectations about their children's future education after returning to Saudi Arabia.
    • Exploring the effectiveness of the Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol (SIOP) model.

      Walters, April L. (18/10/2012)
      Few empirical studies specifically address the effectiveness of the Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol (SIOP) as a professional development tool, an instructional model, or a tool for measuring sheltered instruction implementation. This study attempted to add to the literature regarding the effectiveness of SIOP. Approximately 458 teachers from five school districts in Western New York were surveyed electronically to inquire about the grades and subjects they taught, years of teaching experience they had, type of training or professional development they had, and presence of English language learners (ELLs) in their classrooms. A subset of six teachers from four schools in three school districts were observed using the SIOP evaluation rubric and then interviewed. Survey, observation, and interview data were analyzed in an attempt to answer the following question: Do teachers without SIOP training work as effectively with ELLs as do SIOP-trained teachers when defined and measured by the SIOP evaluation rubric? Data was analyzed and results indicated that some non-SIOP trained teachers had equal or higher total and mean observation scores than SIOP trained teachers. Results also question the validity and reliability of the SIOP evaluation rubric as an accurate measure of sheltered instruction (SI). Major implications suggest that further research is needed to discern whether or not SIOP is a valid instrument for measuring successful SI or if the model serves as an effective means of professional development.