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Adams, J., & Lim, F. V. (2022). Raising science teachers' language awareness: A functional literacy approach to teaching science. In L. H. Seah, R. E. Silver, & M. C. Baildon (Eds.), The role of language in content pedagogy: A framework of teachers' knowledge (pp. 45-60). Springer.
Learning science involves learning how to use specific, conceptual language in talking, reading and writing for reasoning and problem solving (Lemke, 1990). However, research has argued that language is a major barrier to students learning science (Wellington Osborne 2001). In response, this chapter reports on a project in a Singapore secondary school, where researchers worked with five science teachers at different stages over two years to trial a functional literacy approach to the teaching of lower secondary science. The functional literacy approach was informed by systemic functional theory and drew on the work of (Rose Martin, 2012) and (Rose, 2015) for language learning in the science context. This chapter focuses on the shifts in language awareness for teaching science from the teacher reflections collected during the process of implementing ideas from the functional literacy approach to address students’ needs. The reflections indicated a shift from initial reservations to an eventual recognition of the value of how awareness and attention to language can support students’ learning of scientific concepts, develop communicative classrooms and make the knowledge process visible.
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