Embedding in-discipline language support for first year students in the sciences

Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
AUSTRALIAN ASSOCIATION FOR RESEARCH IN EDUCATION Conference 2009 (AARE 2009), 2009, pp. 1 - 20 (20)
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This paper reports on a project which aims at addressing the need to cater for the language needs of a diverse student body (both domestic and international student body) by embedding strategic approaches to learning and teaching in first year sciences in tertiary education. These strategies consist of active learning skills which are widely used in language learning. The disciplines covered by the project are Biology, Chemistry and Physics and involves the University of Canberra (UC), University of Sydney (USyd), University of Tasmania (UTAS), University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) and University of Newcastle (Newcastle) in Australia. This project is funded by the Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC). The paper discusses the background to the study and reports on results on the language difficulties faced by first year science student cohorts from data collected in 2008 as well as qualitative data was also collected on 2008 students’ attitudes towards online science learning. It will also report on the results on the implementation of the learning strategies at UTS and UTAS in Physics and Chemistry disciplines in 2009. Keywords: First year science teaching, role of language in science teaching, active learning skills
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