• Interactive read alouds.

      Steinert, Priscilla (04/01/2013)
      This Master’s Thesis project focused on interactive read-alouds as a strategy to increase preschooler's vocabulary and comprehension skills. The findings from the literature review suggested that reading aloud provided a means of engaging students as they constructed meaning and explored the reading process. Findings further indicated that reading aloud to children provided them with opportunities to discuss the text and explore language usage by verbalizing their own interpretations. This resulted in a professional development project for prekindergarten teachers on interactive read-alouds and ways in which this strategy can increase vocabulary and comprehension in preschoolers.
    • Introduction of native tree species in sites invaded by Japanese Knotweed Taxa and a study of its affect of the seedbank.

      Toews, Hans-Peter C. (2013-01-15)
      The invasion of three closely related taxa of knotweeds: (Japanese knotweed) Polygonum cuspidatum, (giant knotweed) Polygonum sachalinensis, and their hybrid Polygonum x bohemica in riparian corridors throughout the eastern U.S. has a negative impact on native plant communities. In the study the following research objectives were addressed: 1) To determine if forms of mechanical control (cutting and tilling) could be used to allow tree saplings to become established in knotweed invaded sites. 2) To compare height and leaf number of saplings of four native tree species inside and outside of Japanese knotweed stands. 3) To compare the soil seed bank density and composition in knotweed invaded versus noninvaded sites. No significant differences were found in the growth or survival among the saplings of four native tree species across treatments. Although treatments did not significantly affect sapling growth trends showed that saplings in the tilled treatment had the greatest growth across treatments over the growing season. A longer running experiment is needed to establish any emerging patterns in the data. Significantly greater densities of seedlings were observed in non-invaded than invaded sites and significantly greater densities of native seedlings were observed in non-invaded than invaded sites. Knotweed invasion does significantly affect the seedbank.
    • An introduction to home-making practices among Karen speaking populations of Buffalo, New York

      Dewey, Lauren (State University of New York College at Fredonia, 2016)
      Refugees from all walks of life who have been relocated to numerous countries are often in need of resources to help them settle in and make sense of a new culture and language. This capstone focuses on aiding refugees in integration with a new society. The capstone project takes the form of a bilingual guide book that can be used by refugees on their own as well as used as a teaching guide through multiple institutions such as schools, church outreach programs, and social service programs. The problem with refugee integration services is that there is little funding and flexibility for appropriate programming. This capstone project attempts to help bridge the gap and provide a versatile, cost effective measure to aid in refugee integration in the city of Buffalo, New York, focusing specifically on Karen refugees from Burma with the intention to allow translation into many different languages. The result of this collection of chapters ranging from household and personal health and hygiene to getting help, and finding transportation, is intended to provide answers and background knowledge to refugees on everyday subjects. [ from author's abstract ]
    • An investigation of the relationship between sleep and college achievement

      Lilga, Justin (State University of New York College at Fredonia, 2016)
      An experiment was conducted at a small university to investigate the effects of sleep patterns on academic achievement of undergraduate students. Undergraduate students were given a self-reporting questionnaire and the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index to help track their sleep habits during the academic semester. The sleep habits that were tracked include subjective sleep quality, sleep latency, sleep duration, habitual sleep efficiency, sleep disturbances, sleep medication, and daytime dysfunction. The participants were asked to return the self-reporting instruments, which were used to determine their eligibility for a second round of self-reporting. The students were asked to submit a second self-reporting questionnaire designed to target if their sleep patterns had played a role in their midterm grade point average. Participants were asked to turn in a copy of their spring 2016 midterm academic information. The sleep patterns and academic achievement of each participant were used for analysis. In conclusion, there was a slight decrease in grade point average for students who were reported to have a worse sleep quality according to the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index. [from abstract]
    • Keys to learning : developing a culturally sustainable music curriculum for Cassadaga job corps

      Doughert, Genevieve (State University of New York College at Fredonia, 2016-12)
      Students from minority demographics are often denied the opportunity to participate in music instruction for a wide variety of reasons relating to inequitable access to arts programming for students attending underfunded schools in low socioeconomic areas. If minority students are granted access to music programming, the curricula available are frequently incongruent with students' cultural backgrounds and personal identities. In response to this problem, a culturally sustainable curriculum was developed to meet the needs, interests, cultural identities, resources, and prior knowledge of students at a Job Corps center in Cassadaga, NY. Armed with research regarding music's impact on cognitive, affective, and social development, as well as best practices in culturally sustainable pedagogy, the curriculum developer embarked on the creation of a music program that lead students through the four creative processes as defined by the National Coalition for Core Arts Standards (NCCAS): connecting, creating, performing, and responding. A student-centered curriculum, Keys to Learning was designed with flexibility; emphasizing higher order inquiry, and practices in critical thinking skills as the pedagogical fulcrum of the four creative processes. With few extraneous resources, students told their stories through the medium of original song composition; the visceral authenticity and unprecedented innovation exhibited in these works validates the profound benefit of such a curriculum for students from all backgrounds. This curriculum is aligned with the Job Corps Career Success Standards (2016) as well as the twelve Anchor Standards from the National Council for Core Arts Standards (SEADAE, 2016). [from author's abstract]
    • Lack of student motivation within the ESL classroom.

      Drzymala, Marianne (2015)
      This paper discusses the lack of ESL student motivation within the classroom, teacher perceptions of student motivation, and effective strategies that teachers implement within an ESL classroom. Included within this thesis is a study that compiled data from teachers and middle school ESL students within a small city school district. The study resulted from an interest of the researcher in ESL student motivation and teacher perceptions of student motivation. The study focused on various factors within intrinsic and extrinsic motivations. Intrinsic motivation is motivation that comes from within an individual while extrinsic motivation is motivation that comes from outside an individual. The study was carried out by the researcher over a two month period of time. The researcher gave a motivational survey to a target group of eleven students, interviewed the two ESL teachers that worked with these students, and observed several class sessions making anecdotal notes while observing of motivational strategies being used and student responses to these strategies. The research showed that the students displayed higher levels of motivation within student led classrooms with home language materials made available. In addition the research found that students were equally intrinsically and extrinsically led. The teacher interviews gave insight to the teacher personalities and subsequent observations showed how the personality of the teacher led to the success or lack of success of a class session. These findings showed the importance of student motivation leading to academic success. This topic yielded a great deal of interesting data. The research showed that middle school students are equally intrinsically and extrinsically motivated and one type of motivational strategy is not efficient or effective.
    • Language or disability? : representation, identification, and assessment of ELLS for special education in Western New York.

      Dusett, Holly A. (30/10/2012)
      There exists a lack of research regarding the representation of English language learners (ELLs) in special education in Western New York schools. This study contributes to the literature concerning the representation, assessment, and referral process of ELLs for special education services. Teachers from Western New York were surveyed using an on line twenty-seven question instrument, including a five-point Likert scale. Seventeen respondents participated in the survey from three different Western New York State school districts. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze the results. The hypothesis was that ESL teachers and special education teachers often refer ELLs for special education services due to invalid assessments, and a misunderstanding of student performance due to differences between second language acquisition and special education needs. The results indicate that there is an over representation of ELLs in some Western New York State schools. The results are indicated that teachers most often refer ELLs to special education due to issues related to poor or low academic achievement and written language issues. The teachers surveyed responded that they do not often refer ELLs for special education services due to motivational issues. The respondents also felt that standardized tests impacted the referral of ELLs to special education. There is a need for further research in this area in the United States as a whole, but in Western New York specifically as well in order to provide additional information to assist in the appropriate referral of ELLs.
    • Learning language in the workplace

      Trask, Casey Rae (29/08/2012)
      Within the United States there is a growing number of non-native English speaking adults who are currently employed or seeking employment in a variety of settings. Many of these adults are limited in their English language proficiency, which poses a problem for both employees who need the appropriate language skills to succeed in the workplace and employers who want to hire employees who will be able to navigate the demands of the workplace. This paper outlines the development of a curriculum intended for use with non-native English speaking adults, who are currently employed or seeking employment at a manufacturing company. The primary purpose of this curriculum project was to develop a curriculum to improve the safety vocabulary and basic English communication skills of Spanish speaking adults who are seeking employment or who are currently employed at a manufacturing company.
    • Linguistic and cultural experiences of female Chinese International graduate students at State University of New York at Fredonia

      Irish, John (2015)
      The purpose of this study was to examine the perceptions of Chinese female graduate students about how their needs were met at State University of New York (SUNY) at Fredonia. A qualitative interview research design was used to investigate the cultural, linguistic, and academic needs and factors affecting of these students, as well as their views of the university, including its academic services. The participants interview responses were recorded, then summarized, minute by minute, by the author and presented for analysis. A number of themes developed through the interviews process. These themes were then identified and analyzed. Recommendations based on answers to questions in the interview process were provided, and came in general three categories: factors affecting cultural adjustment, Chinese international graduate students and American peer interactions, and help available in ESL and Writing. This study concludes wit a summary of these findings and recommendations for action that the university could consider, based on the suggestions given by participants.
    • Linguistic landscape

      Alfaifi, Ali (2015)
      Recently, the spread of English has been internationally noticed, putting a remarkable influence on other languages. The linguistic landscape (LL) is a new field where linguists can examine many linguistic aspects such as bilingualism, translation and language policy through photographing shop signs and street billboards of either small or big cities worldwide; and then analyzing the samples gathered to detect what type of influence or dominance a language has on another. This study investigated the linguistic landscape in the vital areas of Khamis Mushait, Saudi Arabia, tourist destination (TD), commercial zone (CZ) and their smaller districts to examine how English is used on the shop, street, road and billboard signs together with investigating which language, either Arabic or English outweighed the other in the two locations, the tourist destination (TD) and the commercial zone (CZ) and their districts. A total of more than two hundred photos were collected from the two locations, yet, only 150 of them were analyzed and used. The collected data about Khamis Mushait was quantitatively analyzed. These methods were similar to Ben-Raefel (2006) and Backhaus (2007). The findings revealed that the Arabic language was entirely dominant in the Tourist Destination and its smaller districts, while the commercial zone appeared to be affected by globalization which means that English was used more often in the CZ. Despite this, analysis showed that Arabic still dominated the commercial zone (CZ) .
    • Linguistic Landscape on Campus: Asian College Students' Perceptions of Multilingual Learning Environments.

      Mahemuti, Misidoula (State University of New York at Fredonia, 2018-07)
      The purpose of this study is twofold: (1) to investigate Asian international students' perceptions of linguistic landscape on campus, and (2) to enhance the classroom environment by creating a multilingual linguistic landscape for international students at the campus which is the research setting. The researcher designed a hands-on workshop to create a warm and welcoming environment for the students. (The final product of the workshop is displayed in the hallway in one of the campus buildings.) The researcher investigated how students' motivation, attitude and cultural awareness is affected by the linguistic landscape. The research for this study was conducted with Asian international students at a public, comprehensive state university campus in the northeast United States. The data collected through the survey is analyzed quantitatively, while the interview data used vivo and pattern coding (Saldaña, 2016). The main findings from the data indicated the importance of linguistic landscape for international students. It was found that international students are aware of the multilingual linguistic landscape around them, see it as important, and believe it can be used as a tool to increase their language awareness, improve social interaction, and represent their identities.
    • A linguistic modification of science assessments for English language learners.

      Lisowski, Kelly J. (20/11/2012)
      Assessments can be difficult for those students who are Non-Native English Speakers (NNES). These students may not be able to fully demonstrate their knowledge and capabilities because of the linguistic complexity of the assessments. Although test accommodations may aid students to a certain degree, the linguistic complexity of test items usually appears as poor academic achievement among this subgroup of students. Therefore, assessments that are linguistically modified without diluting the content would deem beneficial for NNES. This curriculum project addresses the issue of linguistic complexity on academic content area assessments to meet the linguistic needs of NNES students. In this project, teacher-created assessments from a middle school science curriculum underwent a linguistic modification process to help make the tests more accessible to NNES. This project was designed as a tool to guide content area teachers in evaluating their own assessments for linguistic complexity to help highlight NNES’ knowledge in their classrooms.
    • Linguistic profiling in the United States.

      Lord, Lindsey G. (2015)
      Language diversity is increasing significantly across the nation and this linguistic diversification will remain a constant in the future (Reeves, 2006; US Census, 2000). With this diversity often comes discrimination towards English language learners (ELLs) and other students who do not speak Standard American English (SAE) due to the influence of their native language or dialect (e.g., African American Vernacular English, Spanish). This discrimination is called linguistic profiling and it is commonly seen in school settings (Fisher, Wallace, & Fenton, 2000; Murillo & Smith, 2011; Pachter, Bernstein, Szalacha, & Coll, 2010). Past studies have found that teachers who linguistically profile are influenced by the following areas: general education experiences, specific English as a Second Language (ESL) training, contact with diverse cultures, prior contact with ELLs, and demographic characteristics (Youngs & Youngs, 2011). The goal of this study was to determine whether linguistic profiling is occurring towards ELLs and AAVE-speakers in Western New York. Teachers with multiple certification backgrounds from two schools in Western New York were surveyed using a five-point Likert-scale. Results indicate that an increase in teachers’ educational experience and multicultural experiences make them less likely to linguistically profile. In addition, Spanish-speaking ELLs may be profiled less than those students speaking AAVE. Implications will be discussed.
    • Linguistic simplification of the NYS Global Regents Exam for English language learners.

      Aselin, Stephanie Leigh (30/08/2012)
      Within the United States there is a growing number of school-aged English Language learners enrolled in the education system. Currently, the content of state assessments is not accessible for English Language Learners as a result of developing English language proficiency. However, it is necessary to assess their content area knowledge while their English language skills develop, and therefore essential that more appropriate assessment measures are developed for English Language Learners. This curriculum project was developed for intended use with English Language Learners at the high school level who are preparing to take the New York State Global History and Geography Regents Examination. The primary purpose of this curriculum project is to modify, using linguistic simplification techniques, the New York State Global History and Geography Regents Examination in order to make the social studies content more accessible to English Language Learners. A secondary purpose of this curriculum project is to use linguistic simplification techniques to create a linguistically simplified social studies content area assessment, as these techniques have not previously been applied to content area assessments in this subject area.
    • Literacy experiences of teen mothers.

      Babyak, Amanda Ann (2014)
      While teen pregnancy has declined significantly in the past two decades, only 38% of teen mothers who have a child before age 18 obtain a high school diploma. This study explores the following: (a) teen mothers' literacy education experiences, (b) how teen mothers perceive themselves within their institutional settings, and (c) educational approaches that would benefit teen mothers' literacy learning. The sociocultural theories of identity and positioning are explored in the context of teen mothers. This master's project includes a professional development workshop and researcher-created website to introduce educators to effective approaches to improve literacy experiences of teen mothers in institutional settings.
    • Literacy instruction in math classes.

      Near, Shannon M. (2014)
      This thesis capstone project is a research synthesis to address the question of which literacy instructional practices, when applied to mathematics teaching, produce positive math performance results for elementary students? For this exhaustive literature review, 36 published studies were found that addressed the question. These studies were grouped into four categories: the relationship of reading performance to math performance, the relationship of comprehension of reading and the comprehension of math problems, vocabulary instruction in reading and mathematics, and specialized instruction in reading and mathematics. Synthesis of the findings produced a number of results: first is that this problem of the relationship between literacy and math has been around and been researched for decades and in many countries besides the United States, with the main focus being on students in grades three to six. A major result from this study is that there appears to be a direct correlation between reading performance and math performance but not math to reading: proficient reading performance translates to proficient math performance, but proficient math performance does not appear to directly correlate to proficient reading performance. The two subcategories of reading performance that appear to most significantly impact math performance are comprehension and vocabulary development, while the instructional strategies of conducting think-alouds, providing direct instruction, modeling, and using graphic organizers appear to have a positive impact on both literacy and mathematics learning. These results are packaged for the professional development of elementary teachers in the form of a DVD.
    • Little Brown Bats (Myotis lucifugus): ecology of a White-nosed syndrome affected population.

      First, Melissa Conrad (2013-01-24)
      White-nose syndrome (WNS) is currently classified as an emerging disease, caused by the fungus, Geomyces destructans, currently affecting hibernating bats across the Appalachian range, into Canada and locations in the Midwest (USGS, 2011). The effects of the disease have been devastating, with bats at infected sites showing 87-95% mortality and complete loss of populations in some caves (Blehert, 2009, Frick, 2010). One of the most significant findings to date is that WNS affected bats exhibit depleted white and brown fat reserves by mid-winter and, although this is not the causal factor for development of WNS, it has been found to be the ultimate cause of bat death in affected hibernacula (Blehert, et al. 2009). In addition, studies have found that bats in White-Nose syndrome areas may be entering hibernation with lower stores of body fat, predisposing them to starvation when affected by G. destructans (Kunz, 2009). The Chautauqua Institution (CI), Chautauqua, NY is home to approximately 5,000 little brown bats (Myotis lucifugus) in maternity colonies occupying the attics and crawlspaces of the 750, lakeside seasonal homes and buildings there (Neilson, 1991, Syme, 2001, this study). The population is assumed to be affected by White-Nose syndrome since approximately 30% of the bats captured from two of the colonies during the summer of 2010 exhibited White-nose syndrome type wing damage and the fungus was identified in hibernacula approximately 75 km from the (CI) the preceding winter, 2009-2010 (USGS, 2011). However, this population appears to be stable, although affected by WNS. We studied the feeding-ecology of this population to determine if there were factors contributing to increased survival in WNS affected bats that reside at the CI. We found that preferred prey (Diptera) numbers were more than adequate for reproduction and pre-hibernation fat deposition and were not affected by either precipitation levels or ambient temperature. We also found that bats exhibiting WNS type wing damage did not have significantly different body mass indices (BMI's) than their unaffected conspecifics. Bats at the CI have maintained BMI in comparison to historical data. This combined with an abundance of roosts may contribute to the stability of a WNS affected population.-- (leaf 2) The capture of large numbers of bats from given populations has been a challenge since bat trapping schemes were first devised. The two most commonly employed devices are the harp trap, utilizing a series of parallel wires to disrupt bats in flight and mist nets, borrowed from avian research, that function to entangle bats that contact it while in flight. Modifications to both have been made to increase their efficiency but both still suffer from relatively low capture rates, and can be cumbersome to use. We have constructed and utilized a trap for bats that has capture rates of between 80 and 100% when deployed at the entrances to maternity roosts of little brown bats (Myotis lucifugus). Our trap incorporates a mechanism for detaching the bag holding captured bats and attaching a new bag so that trapping can continue uninterrupted while processing of captured bats can begin. Using this trap we were able to capture 456 bats in one evening using 4 holding bags in succession. The principles used in the angle trap could be applied to larger, megachiropteran species as well as more open environments, such as flyways and feeding sites. -- (leaf 36)
    • Local teachers' and parents' perceptions of the Common Core learning standards.

      Musty, Katlynn N. (2015)
      The purpose of this phenomenological research study was to explore and understand how the Common Core Learning Standards (CCLS) affect teachers’ perceptions toward their career and parents’ perceptions toward their child’s education. This study sought to answer the following research questions: What are parents’ perceptions of the impact of the CCLS on their child’s learning? What are the teachers’ perceptions of the CCLS on their teaching? Data sources included six interviews of parents with a child in Kindergarten through seventh grade and five interviews of general education teachers of Kindergarten through fifth grade classrooms. This study concluded the Common Core Learning Standards are perceived in a generally negative manner by parents and teachers.
    • A Look into the Feelings and Perceptions of Parent-Teacher Conferences and the Effectiveness they Have

      Swank, Karen (State University of New York at Fredonia, 2018-07)
      Parent-teacher communication and relationships are an important component to student success. Parent-teacher conferences are a time for relationships to be built and to establish direct one-on-one communication. This study looks into teachers' and parents' feelings and perceptions of parent-teacher conferences in a rural school setting. The results show that there are similar feelings between both parties and suggests areas where improvements can be made. Future research could continue to examine the feelings and perceptions of parents and teachers in other areas, as well as examine the effects any improvements could have on parent-teacher conferences.