Why this approach is important

Language development and conceptual development are deeply linked: thought requires language and language requires thought. So it is important to think about your students’ language development when planning your science lessons.

Many of your students will be multilingual so the language of the classroom may be different to the language that they use outside their lessons. This makes it even more important that you make time during your lessons for students to learn and practise using new words.

You can do this by giving them the opportunity to use the words by talking in pairs or in groups. Even the pronunciation will sometimes be difficult, let alone understanding the meaning of a new word. Using the words in writing tasks will also help your students develop understandings of the proper scientific meanings. If students do not understand crucial science words, their understanding of scientific concepts will be limited.

What you can learn in this unit

1 Making sense of difficult words