Edited by Ana Llinares and Tom Morton
[Language Learning & Language Teaching 47] 2017
► pp. 145–164
Multi-semiotic resources providing maximal input in teaching science through English
This chapter addresses the role of multimodal semiotic systems in teaching science through English as a second language. We argue that pedagogical concerns should focus on language and other semiotic choices that teachers use to scaffold their students’ learning. Through an investigation of the inter-relationship of different semiotic systems (modalities), we are able to develop models of best practice that can help inform teachers. We consider two broad educational contexts: one that is becoming more prevalent, where it may happen that English is neither the primary language for the students nor for the teachers, as in Hong Kong, and one that is commonplace in places, such as Australia, where there is a large proportion of students with English as an additional language studying in a country where English is the predominant language. We use video data from two secondary science classrooms in these two contexts to analyse how the teachers provide multiple access points to meaning and how they scaffold the learners into the disciplinary literacy of science.
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