Co-Designing Innovative Strategies in Developing Multilingual Students’ STEM Literacies in Public Schools

Dear Parents,

I am Dr. Angel Lin at the Faculty of Education, Simon Fraser University and I am conducting a research study to investigate a cutting-edge pedagogy to facilitate successful integration of language support in content teaching.

Our team is as follows and we invite you to participate in our research:

Principal Investigator: Dr. (Angel) Mei Yi Lin, Tier 1 Canada Research Chair, Professor, Simon Fraser University

Co-Investigator: Dr. Bong-gi Sohn, Postdoctoral Fellow, Simon Fraser University

Collaborators: Dr. Sean Chorney, Assistant Professor, SFU; Joan Sharp, Teaching Professor, SFU; and Megan Barker, Lecturer, SFU

Research Consultants: Dr. Maurice Cheng, Associate Professor, University of Waikato, New Zealand; and Dr. Kok-Sing Tang, Associate Professor, Curtin University of Technology

Research Assistants: Dr. Arlene Spracklin, Postdoctoral Fellow, Simon Fraser University; Dr. Ivy Tsang, Postdoctoral Fellow, Simon Fraser University; Pedro dos Santos, PhD Candidate, SFU; and Qinghua Chen, PhD Candidate, SFU

Why are we doing this study?

The purpose of this research study is to investigate a Content-Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) Approach to make successful integration of language support in content teaching in both critical / academic Science-Technology-Engineering-Mathematics (STEM) literacies and English-as-an-additional language (EAL) classrooms. This research will help students improve their learning of both science and math subjects and academic English literacies. We would like to invite you to take part in this research.

Your participation is voluntary.

You have the right to refuse to participate in this study. If you indicated in the consent form that you do not want participate, we will not collect any data from you. If you decide to participate, you may still choose to withdraw from the study at any time without any negative consequences. You can contact either PI or Co-PI for the withdraw (contact information available on page 3).

What happens if you say, “Yes, I want to be in the study?”

The major data collection procedures will take place between _______ and _______. If you agree to join this research, you will be asked to:

  1. allow the research team to collect your self-recorded audio or video of the child and your family discussing STEM-related subjects: to understand STEM-related literacy practices of the focal students with their families. You will either audio- or video-record your child which shows how he/she interacts with your family related to STEM subjects. You will send your recordings to SFU Vault link that were provided by a RA that you have closely worked with. SFU Vault is the university owned online space which will be used for storing all the participants’ electronic files. This SFU Vault link is owned by the principal investigator and shared with the research team. The principal investigator will create folders delegated to each participant, using pseudonyms (e.g., Family X). Each participant will have a folder link to upload his/her audio- or video-recorded data. The participants will not have an access to other participants’ folders. Once the participants upload their files, all identifying information will be changed; and the names of people, places, and institutions will be replaced with pseudonyms. For audio and video recordings, we will remove any information that identifies a participant, including the file names (e.g., Family B_Interview 1). For video recordings, we will block the participants faces when we publicize the data.

Those who have not consented to participate will still be engaged interacting with your child, but the data about them will not be collected and used in the research. Any family members who have not given consent to the study will not be included from your self-audiotaped or videotaped data. In the case that some family members who have not given consent get into the view of the camera when interacting with your child, this part will be deleted entirely from the videotape. In all presentations and reports (oral or written) of the findings of the study, only data from those participants who have given consent will be used. And if any excerpts of video data are used in subsequent presentations (oral or written) of the findings of the study, all your faces will be blocked and all potentially identifying details of the participants will be removed.

  • attend individual interviews (if volunteered as one of the parent informants): interviews (around 40 minutes each) will be regularly carried out virtually (e.g. at the end of each topical teaching unit) to get the parent’s views on the CLIL approach used by the teacher. Before recording, one RA will ask the parent participant consent for the recording and he/she will be able to choose which recording devices (i.e., audio-recorder or video-recorder) to be used.

Is there any way this study could be bad for you?

There are no risks related to participation in this study. Your joining this research or your refusal to join has absolutely no relation to the grading of your child’s assignments in the courses that your child is currently enrolled and in your child’s program of study. You will have the right to review the family interaction recording and request to erase the parts of recording involving you. You can stop joining the research at any time without any negative outcomes. If this happens, all the data related to you will be destroyed. Any publication resulting from the research will not identify individuals or school. You will take part in the research voluntarily.

What are the benefits of participating?

Your participation allows teachers to have a better understanding on your child’s knowledge development through critical/academic STEM literacies and the ways your child express his/her scientific knowledge. This will significantly support teachers to advance their teaching practices in their multilingual STEM classrooms. If you participate in the study, you will receive small gifts (stationary or gift card, $50 equivalent) for your participation.

How will your privacy be maintained?

This research project guarantees confidentiality of the data concerning you and your school. Only the Principal Investigator and her team members (Bong-gi Sohn, Sean Chorney, Joan Sharp, Megan Barker, Maurice Cheng, Kok-Sing Tang, Arlene Spracklin, Ivy Tsang, Pedro dos Santos, and Qinghua Chen) will have access to the data collected in this research. Your identity is protected in case of publication or presentation of research results and the false names will be used if the research leads to publication.

After the completion of the study, the final written data set (i.e. lesson and interview transcripts) will be uploaded to an online repository—SFU RADAR ( These files will be stripped of any information that could identify students (e.g., names, email addresses) to ensure privacy. All audio-visual data (i.e. video/audio-recorded lessons and interviews) will be securely stored at the researchers’ password-protected computers and the principal investigator’s password-protected SFU Vault folder. The SFU Vault folder link that we will provide to you will be only accessible by you and the research team.

During the interim period, computer equipment containing password-protected data will be stored in each researcher’s locked cabinet at home, and all audio-visual data (i.e. video/audio-recorded lessons and interviews) will be securely stored at the principal investigator’s password-protected SFU Vault folder. Once the interim period ends, it will be locked in the principal investigator’s cabinet in the University for a maximum of five years upon completion of the research. After this, all of these will be destroyed.

The written data transcripts that have been completely anonymized (i.e. removing all identifying details such as names of students/teachers/schools/districts) will be made available for open access to other education researchers after completion of the research.

What if I decide to withdraw my consent to participate?

You may withdraw from this study at any time without giving reasons. If you choose to enter the study and then decide to withdraw at a later time, all data collected about you during your enrolment in the study will be destroyed.

Study results.

We will share our main findings with our collaborating teachers in verbal and written form in order to assist them to advance their teaching practices. The main findings of this study will also be presented at academic conferences and/or published in academic journals and books. These will be available in the PI’s website ( and the research participants can contact the research team directly if they have any inquiries.

Who can you contact if you have questions about the study?

You can contact Dr. Angel Lin (Email: Phone: 778 782 5789) or Dr. Bong-gi Sohn (Email: Phone: 778 782 3111).

Who can you contact if you have complaints or concerns about the study?

If you have any concerns about your rights as a research participant and/or your experiences while participating in this study, you may contact Dr. Jeffrey Toward, Director, Office of Research Ethics (Email: Phone: 778 782 6593).


Taking part in this study is entirely up to you. You have the right to refuse to participate in this study. If you decide to take part, you may choose to pull out of the study at any time without giving a reason and without any negative impact on you.

  • Your signature below indicates that you have received a copy of this consent form for your own records.
  • Your signature indicates that you consent to participate in this study
  • You do not waive any of your legal rights by participating in this study.

Please check every item that you consent to.

☐ I agree to take part in this research by allowing my audio/video-recorded interactions with my family to be collected.

☐ I agree to take part in the parent online interviews in this research. I agree that these interviewees be either audio- or video-taped and I have a right to choose which one. The interview will take about 30 minutes.

______________________________               _____________________________

Participant Signature                                                   Date (yyyy/mm/dd)


Printed Name of the Participant signing above

*The University and those conducting this project subscribe to the ethical conduct of research and to the protection at all times of the interests, comfort, and safety of subjects. This form and the information it contains are given to you for your own protection and full understanding of the procedures. Your signature on this form will signify that you voluntarily agree to participate in the research project.