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It’s all Greek to me! Language Influence on Science Teaching

26th May 2015

Professor Hendrik Härtig from the IPN Physics department will introduce new insights into the significance of technical language in classroom environments on Tuesday 26th May 2015. This talk will be held at the Gelehrtenschule in Kiel in the context of “Research is catching on!” (Forschung macht Schule!).

Language plays a central role in science teaching: students use it to discuss scientific matters with each other, teachers use it for explanations and it is also used for written tasks. From this perspective, focusing on language for special purposes makes a valuable contribution to successful science learning. Additionally, there are content specific features that also have to be considered such the difference in meanings that occur when using certain terms out of their everyday context. In chemistry teaching, for example, abbreviations and chemical equations are used to put statements in writing. Some graphics, such as a picture or photosynthesis are quite technical. Students have to learn how to deal with these special issues. Especially those students who do not ordinarily use German as their first language face immense challenges when learning science as a result of these language deficits.

The talk will be held in German.