ERIC Number: ED248713
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Mar
Reference Count: 0
Second Language Acquisition in the Context of Science Experiences.
Kessler, Carolyn; Quinn, Mary Ellen
The common links in language learning theory relating to school content areas are the notion of input comprehensible to the learner, the distinction between language usage and use, and the concept of cognitive/academic language proficiency in contrast with basic interpersonal communication skills. This suggests that a laboratory-based science class using an inquiry approach would be an optimal source of comprehensible input and communicative use of language, drawing on and contributing to further development of cognitive/academic language proficiency. A study of the acquisition of English as a second language by a native speaker of Gujarati in the context of a high school physical science course during one academic year provides evidence of enhanced language learning. The student was tested for English language proficiency and language attitudes in September and May of the school year, and other materials such as personal letters to the teacher and lab reports were examined for language usage and grammar. The data show that in the course of the year the student moved out of pre-production English and systematically and extensively acquired linguistic forms for both personal and technical writing even though the teacher did not direct overt attention to language forms and the mechanics of written English. The results support the idea that a lab-based science facilitates development of both spoken and written language. (MSE)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (Houston, TX, March 6-11, 1984).