ERIC Number: ED324963
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Science as a Foreign Language: Which Language Teaching Methodology for Scientists?
A discussion of the teaching of scientific discourse to non-native speakers focuses on two areas: (1) characteristics commonly attributed to scientific language and their implications; and (2) the difficulties experienced at the language-teaching level in teaching theoretical discourse. It is commonly assumed that scientific discourse is monosememic (each term covers one concept), impersonal, and objectivized. Several types of scientific discourse are distinguished, including: that used for research and among specialists; that used for information dissemination to a wider audience; and pedagogical language for popularized science. All discourse types are seen as forms of theoretical discourse. Students of scientific discourse are faced with the same problems as students of general language: constructing a logical, rigorous, and coherent argument adapted to a specific audience. However, some skills in planning discourse needed for the sciences are not taught in general language courses. Foreign language courses for scientists also tend to accord too much priority to written language. Spoken scientific dialogue is very different from the written variety and requires more than manipulating instrumental vocabulary. It requires the elaboration of concepts and skills in listening, attending, and adapting. (MSE)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the World Congress of Applied Linguistics sponsored by the International Association of Applied Linguistics (9th, Thessaloniki, Greece, April 15-21, 1990).