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Teaching Science in English

 
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Chet



Joined: 30 May 2005
Posts: 3
Location: Malaysia

PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2005 9:48 am    Post subject: Teaching Science in English Reply with quote

Hello everyone...
I found this forum recently and I believe it will be very very useful help to me. I'm an undergrad from Malaysia, doing TESL. I'm currently working on a project about the teaching of Science using English. The education system took a turn 2-3 years ago whereby before this, science was taught in Bahasa Malaysia(national language) and now, it is being taught in English (second language). I was wondering if anyone in this forum have had any experience in teaching Science in the second language/foreign language? Confused
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fluffyhamster



Joined: 26 Oct 2004
Posts: 3012
Location: UK > China > Japan > UK again

PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2005 9:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There was some fluffy lightweight "discussion" about this kind of thing a while ago (maybe you've read it already):
http://www.eslcafe.com/forums/teacher/viewtopic.php?t=2254

Probably won't be (wasn't?) that interesting or useful to you, but posting the link may help generate further discussion... Wink
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Chet



Joined: 30 May 2005
Posts: 3
Location: Malaysia

PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2005 10:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks fluffy...yup, I just read it awhile ago which was probably why I found this forum really interesting. Anyway, maybe you could tell me where I can find articles or journals about this area? Appreciate your help much fluffy... Very Happy
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fluffyhamster



Joined: 26 Oct 2004
Posts: 3012
Location: UK > China > Japan > UK again

PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2005 10:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah, I see you've found and posted on the thread at the above link, Chet! Hopefully Glenski will see what you've written there and get back to you soon! Razz
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fluffyhamster



Joined: 26 Oct 2004
Posts: 3012
Location: UK > China > Japan > UK again

PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2005 10:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ooh hiya Chet! We're online at the same time! Surprised

I'm still thinking about "general" English, primarily spoken, but also the kind of stuff you might read in a newspaper or magazine. I haven't really got considered ESP seriously yet, but when I do get around to it I will firstly probably be making reference to wordlists such as those compiled by Nation, and Coxhead (I believe the former is called the University Wordlist, and the latter the Academic Wordlist), in addition to examining whatever textbooks are standard for a particular subject (you're no doubt aware of the work of vocabulary specialists such as the above two authors).
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emile



Joined: 31 May 2004
Posts: 144
Location: SE Asia

PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2005 12:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Chet,

I'm currently working in the education sector in Malaysia, and I've even done some teacher training for Science teachers teaching in English.

My personal view is this: The plan is to teach Maths and Science in English, which is half good. Science class is often project/task-based learning, just like ESL classes, and so it gives the students a chance to use the language naturally. Maths, however, is based on symbols and you can actually read a mathematics text without understanding the words at all, so English in the Mathematics class is a bit of a waste of time.

Remember that the Malaysian solution was chosen because it is politically correct, and not necessarily because it is the best solution.

The other interesting thing about students in Malaysia, especially in Kuala Lumpur is that they have the opposite problem that many Asian students have. I mean that the Japanese and Koreans know their grammar and structure but lack the chance to practise the language. Malaysian students, on the other hand, can speak in English, read four different English newspapers, watch English on TV etc., but hwat they lack is accuracy. It could be that a bit of good old-fashioned grammar is what they need.

Emile
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