Special Issue "Languages and Literacies in Science Education"

A special issue of Education Sciences (ISSN 2227-7102). This special issue belongs to the section "STEM Education".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2022 | Viewed by 2848

Special Issue Editors

Assoc. Prof. Kok-Sing Tang
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
STEM Education Research Group, Curtin University, Perth 6102, Australia
Interests: classroom discourse; disciplinary literacy; multimodality; representation; scientific explanation; argumentation; STEM literacies
Prof. Dr. Kristina Danielsson
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Language Education, Stockholm University, 106 91 Stockholm, Sweden
Interests: classroom discourse; disciplinary literacy; multimodality; social semiotics
Prof. Dr. Angel M. Y. Lin
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Faculty of Education, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC V5A 1S6, Canada
Interests: content and language integrated learning (CLIL); translanguaging; trans-semiotizing; social semiotics; classroom discourse; socioscientific issues (SSI); socioscientific reasoning (SSR); academic literacies; critical literacies

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The language of science (including non-verbal representations) plays an important role in mediating science teaching and learning. Scientific interpretation requires an understanding of the specialized lexicon, grammar, and genre used in scientific writing (Fang 2005), as well as the implicit conventions encoded in scientific diagrams (Tang, Won and Treagust, 2019). Engagement in scientific practices (e.g., explanation, argumentation) is also “language intensive and requires students to participate in classroom science discourse” (NGSS Lead States 2013). Last but not least, the technocratic nature of scientific language privileges and marginalizes various groups of people, for example, according to their gender, language background, and ethnic identities (Lemke 1990).

Over the years, our theoretical understanding of language has expanded significantly to encompass a broad and diverse view of “languages and literacies” in the plural (Lemke 2004; New London Group 1996). This expands the area of research on language issues within science education to include: (a) the languages of students’ cultures and communities, including their local vernaculars, standardized national languages, and everyday terms and registers, (b) the languages of specific disciplines (e.g., science, mathematics) that have unique ontological, epistemological, linguistic and pedagogical characteristics and challenges, and (c) the languages of multimodal representations consisting of speech, written words, images, symbols, graphs, gestures, and physical objects that are integral to learning. Each of these cultural, disciplinary and representational languages requires a different set of literacy skills and instructions, in order for students to become successful in science. These three areas of language and literacy often overlap and intertwine with one another in complex ways. The increasing convergence of these research areas presents a timely opportunity for researchers to discuss their theories and empirical findings in this Special Issue.

Examples of topics for this Special Issue can include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Bilingual/multilingual science learners
  • Content and language integrated learning (CLIL) and other language immersion programs for science teaching
  • Discourse studies in the science classroom
  • Language of scientific practices (e.g., explanation, argumentation, investigation)
  • Multimodal texts and digital media for science learning
  • Multimodal discourse analysis of texts, gestures, diagrams, etc.
  • Mutiple representations and student-generated representation pedagogy
  • Reading-to-learn and/or writing-to-learn in science
  • Role of language in emotional engagement and identity in science
  • Science disciplinary literacy; literacy instruction in science
  • Scientific communication in public domains and classrooms
  • Scientific literacy in a post-truth era
  • Socioscientific reasoning and critical literacies
  • Teacher development in language issues; literacy pedagogical content knowledge (LPCK)
  • Translanguaging and trans-semiotizing in the science classroom

We welcome quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods studies, as well as theoretical papers. Interested authors are welcome to discuss their ideas with the Guest Editors before submitting their manuscripts.

References

Fang, Z. (2005). Scientific literacy: A systemic functional linguistics perspective. Science Education, 89(2), 335-347.

Lemke, J. L. (2004). The literacies of science. In E. W. Saul (Ed.), Crossing borders in literacy and science instruction: Perspectives on theory and practice (pp. 33–47). Newark, DE: International Reading Association ; NSTA Press.

New London Group. (1996). A pedagogy of multiliteracies: Designing social futures. Harvard Educational Review, 66, 60-92.

NGSS Lead States. (2013). Next generation science standards: For states, by states. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press

Tang, K. S., Won, M., & Treagust, D. F. (2019). Analytical Framework for Student-Generated Drawings International Journal of Science Education. doi:10.1080/09500693.2019.1672906

Assoc. Prof. Kok-Sing Tang
Prof. Dr. Kristina Danielsson
Prof. Dr. Angel M. Y. Lin
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Education Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • classroom discourse
  • content and language integrated learning (CLIL)
  • disciplinary literacy
  • discourse analysis
  • language of science
  • multilingual science learners
  • multimodality
  • representation and semiotic
  • scientific literacy
  • socioscientific reasoning

Published Papers (3 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Article
Primary Pupils’ Multimodal Representations in Worksheets—Text Work in Science Education
Educ. Sci. 2022, 12(3), 221; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci12030221 - 18 Mar 2022
Viewed by 809
Abstract
Worksheets are common in science classrooms with an aim to support pupils’ meaning-making, e.g., for guiding them in performing hands-on activities and documenting their experiences of such activities. Yet, there have been few systematic studies of pupils’ disciplinary representations in worksheets. Drawing on [...] Read more.
Worksheets are common in science classrooms with an aim to support pupils’ meaning-making, e.g., for guiding them in performing hands-on activities and documenting their experiences of such activities. Yet, there have been few systematic studies of pupils’ disciplinary representations in worksheets. Drawing on systemic functional linguistics, we have analyzed fifth grade pupils’ (age 10–11) multimodal texts in worksheets (n = 25) when they were working with shadow formation as part of their regular classroom activities. In the worksheets they were asked to first explain in writing why or why not a shadow was formed and then explain shadow formation through a drawing. At an overall level, we found that a majority of the pupils managed to express in writing why a shadow is formed, though it appeared to be more challenging for them to explain why a shadow is not formed. In their drawings, quite a few pupils managed to include several key aspects of shadow formation, at least when combining image with writing. For all tasks, the explanatory parts of the pupils’ responses were often implicit. Based on our results, we suggest that pupils may benefit from teaching practices that integrate a parallel focus on form and content as a way to raise their awareness of, for instance, the affordances of different resources and how explanations can be structured. Such practices may support pupils to be able to consider and choose appropriate resources in their disciplinary texts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Languages and Literacies in Science Education)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
A Multi-Layered Framework for Analyzing Primary Students’ Multimodal Reasoning in Science
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(12), 758; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11120758 - 24 Nov 2021
Viewed by 523
Abstract
Classroom communication is increasingly accepted as multimodal, through the orchestrated use of different semiotic modes, resources, and systems. There is growing interest in examining the meaning-making potential of other modes (e.g., gestural, visual, kinesthetic) beyond the semiotic mode of language, in classroom communication [...] Read more.
Classroom communication is increasingly accepted as multimodal, through the orchestrated use of different semiotic modes, resources, and systems. There is growing interest in examining the meaning-making potential of other modes (e.g., gestural, visual, kinesthetic) beyond the semiotic mode of language, in classroom communication and in student reasoning in science. In this paper, we explore the use of a multi-layered analytical framework in an investigation of student reasoning during an open inquiry into the physical phenomenon of dissolving in a primary classroom. The 24 students, who worked in pairs, were video recorded in a facility purposefully designed to capture their verbal and non-verbal interactions during the science session. By employing a multi-layered analytical framework, we were able to identify the interplays between the different semiotic modes and the level of reasoning undertaken by the students as they worked through the tasks. This analytical process uncovered a variety of ways in which the students negotiated ideas and coordinated semiotic resources in their exploration of dissolving. This paper highlights the affordances and challenges of this multi-layered analytical framework for identifying the dynamic inter-relationships between different modes that the students drew on to grapple with the complexity of the physical phenomenon of dissolving. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Languages and Literacies in Science Education)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Embodied Argumentation in Young Children in Kindergarten
Educ. Sci. 2021, 11(9), 514; https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci11090514 - 07 Sep 2021
Viewed by 579
Abstract
In kindergarten, children are usually engaged with both verbal activities and non-verbal activities, often requiring the manipulation of physical objects. During technical tasks (e.g., problem solving), children can use argumentation as one of the languages of science that mediates how they interact with [...] Read more.
In kindergarten, children are usually engaged with both verbal activities and non-verbal activities, often requiring the manipulation of physical objects. During technical tasks (e.g., problem solving), children can use argumentation as one of the languages of science that mediates how they interact with the surrounding world. In this paper, we focused on technical tasks in kindergarten in order to understand to what extent activities requiring the manipulation of physical objects also leave space for argumentation. The study involved 25 children engaged in three problem-solving activities requiring the manipulation of Lego® and some recycled materials. To analyze the non-verbal (embodied) side of the argumentative activities, we firstly identified the argumentative structure of each exchange involving the participants. Then, we focused on segments of “incomplete” argumentative dialogues (i.e., presenting only some elements typical of children’s argumentation) by appealing to multimodal representations (speech, gestures, and physical objects). The findings of the study showed that even apparently incomplete exchanges can have an argumentative function generated by non-verbal elements of the interactions. Investigating the role of embodied argumentation during technical tasks in kindergarten can allow teachers to recognize and further develop children’s argumentative resources. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Languages and Literacies in Science Education)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Back to TopTop