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Examining lecture and inquiry-based laboratory performance for language minority students in science gateway courses.


This study examined the effectiveness of lectures and inquiry-based instruction in supporting learning for language minority (LM) students in science gateway courses at a large public research university. Utilizing institutional data from 6,911 students across nine years, we fitted cross-lagged panel designs to model associations between lecture courses and inquiry-based laboratory courses for both LM and non-LM students in two-course sequences of introductory college Physics and Chemistry. We found that initial performance in lectures and laboratory sessions can be a predictor of subsequent course performance across disciplines and independent of LM status. Notably, while LM students performed worse in the initial lecture course, LM status resulted in neither worse performance in inquiry-based laboratory courses nor in worse performance in subsequent courses in the science gateway course sequence. Thus, this study suggests that interventions intended to support LM students in college science should target the initial courses in the corresponding science gateway course sequences.

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