Language matters - Education Bureau

Teaching I. S. through reading and writing
Chau Wai Shing
PAOC Ka Chi Secondary School
Queries about the language policy
as a science teacher
What is the purpose of using English to teach science?
Would the use of English as the MOI hinder students’
understanding of science?
Does the use of English as the MOI involve the
teaching of English language?
Does the teaching of English language imply a
decrease in the teaching time of science?
How to motivate students to learn science through
“If we teach a subject which students
find difficult, boring and unappealing,
and if on top of that, students are being
taught in a language they find difficult,
then for them to learn anything is
going to be a miracle.”
(Deller and Price, 2007)
Inspirations from
“Doing, Talking and Writing Science”
1. Science is a cultural construct
 Scientists communicate in specific genres: purposeful,
predictable, objective, logical, systematic
 Genres convey thinking patterns, and are hence ways of
constructing knowledge.
 Teaching science is guiding students to think in specific
generic ways: experimental reports, descriptive
reports, sequential explanations, analytical arguments,
Inspirations from
“Doing, Talking and Writing Science”
2. Learning is from receptive knowledge to
productive knowledge
 It is in the transition from receptive knowledge to
productive knowledge that conceptualization begins.
 Productive knowledge is an authentic assessment of
students’ learning.
 Teaching is guiding students from the engagement in
texts (doing, speaking, listening, reading, viewing) to
the organization of knowledge and then to the
production in writing.
Changes in teaching practices
1. From texts to notes
 Using various types of graphic organizers, tables, charts
or diagrams to represent different genres.
 Different genres require different types of organizers.
 Guiding students to organize their own notes.
 Examples:
F. 1 I.S. Notes
Changes in teaching practices
2. From speaking to writing
 Guiding students to formulate their understanding into
sentences and paragraphs, giving necessary language
 Helping students to link up their paragraphs into
 Examples:
F.1: Supply and demand of petroleum fractions
F.3: Balanced diet & Short writings
Thank You!