Module 9

Relevance of Language in Science Education

This module is part of:
  • Mathematics and Science Education dimension: pedagogical issues, in particular in respect to dealing with diversity in classrooms.
General overview and aim

The main aim of this module is to tackle the gap between pupils’ deficient (second) language competencies and their capacities in science. The module focuses on preparing pre-service teachers on how to support pupils, who are at different stages of acquiring a second language, in learning science in this second language – and prepare students in ITE in this respect.

The module will address learning and teaching mechanisms in multicultural classrooms that hinder concept development in science. Pre-service teachers will learn the role of language in science, and become aware of difficulties that students face with language in science. They will work with case scenarios of classrooms with students that either do not speak the language, or have limited knowledge of it and will design lesson plans to work around these issues.

Relevant topics

In this module high emphasis is set on introducing the relevance and role of language in science and how language, and the different cultural background can hinder learning. Pre-service teachers will learn about students’ difficulties with language in science and also about frameworks and activities to support students from different language and cultural background. We will also point to the following exemplary challenges in connection to the topic:

  • Different use of language in everyday life and science
  • Western science and cultural congruency
  • Different framework supporting learners from different backgrounds in science
  • US programs aimed at supporting Latin speaking students in science and lessons learned.
Learning Outcomes

Students will acquire:

  • An awareness of the role and relevance of language in science (Activity 1.1 and all other activities)
  • An understanding of the difficulties that students face with language in science, and ways to support them (Activity 2.1)
  • Knowledge about the different types of language in science and how to support students in these (Activity 3.1)
  • Experience frameworks used to support students’ difficulties with language in science (Activity 4.1 & Activity 5.1.)
Module (Teacher)

pdf     docx

Worksheets (Students)

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Lecture Presentation



Materials also available in other languages: Dutch, ελληνικά

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