Box "Language(s) in other subjects"

Education and Languages, Language Policy

Contents of this section:
Language(s) in other subjects
Overview

Language and other modes of communication are crucial to learning in subjects in schooling other than Language as Subject. There are many implicit expectations of learners in other subjects with respect to their communicative competences and these competences are an integral part of learning. Learners are thus entitled to be taught the required competences and equally, the expectations that they can use such competences put on learners in other subjects are justified if they are to be successful in learning. The language needed is more than the ordinary communicative skills developed in everyday life and academic language has to be taught and learnt deliberately. Other semiotic competences are also required as subjects are taught with the help of for example graphs or statistical tables. Some groups of learners need particular help because they do not have in their environment the support needed to acquire ordinary language competence and even less, academic language of schooling. There are implications for curriculum policy and design and for teaching methods which include cooperation and a holistic view of language learning in schools.

Word Version
Contents
  • 1. Introduction
  • 2. Language and communication in a narrow and a wider sense
  • 3. Rights to and requirements of language competences in other subjects
  • 4. Subject communication and academic language use
  • 5. The use of other semiotic systems
  • 6. Teaching discourse competences and the specific needs of vulnerable groups
  • 7. Organisational and didactic implications
  • 8. Problems in creating common reference instruments for language(s) in other subjects
  • 9. Summary
Language and school subjects - Linguistic dimensions of knowledge building in school curricula Related studies available in "Language(s) in other subjects’ on this Platform"
Overview

Whatever the subject, all knowledge building in the school context involves working with language. The purpose of this text is to suggest a general approach enabling different levels of specification of these language dimensions to be classed in transversal descriptive categories. The aim is to describe the process leading from units for analysis of actual uses to the identification of linguistic forms and mechanisms appropriate to those uses. It is aimed not only at the authors of curricula and textbooks and the designers of tests, but also at teachers, and especially teachers of subjects sometimes quite wrongly described as “non-linguistic”, to draw their attention to the language components of work in their subject. It is also relevant to teacher trainers, particularly those responsible for the teaching of disciplines other than languages taught as a subject.

Word Version Pdf Version
Italian Version

Lingua e discipline scolastiche – Dimensioni linguistiche nella costruzione delle conoscenze nei curricoli

Version pdf
History: An approach with reference points - Items for a description of linguistic competence in the language of schooling necessary for teaching/learning history (end of compulsory education)
Overview

This text presents a procedure for creating a curriculum for the teaching of history which explicitly takes into account the discursive and linguistic dimensions of this subject. It proceeds through successive stages, for which there are corresponding inventories of references, from the level of educational goals in the teaching of history to the identification of linguistic elements which it is particularly important to systematise in the classroom in order to manage the corresponding forms of discourse. This procedure – presented for discussion – has been devised to be independent of the specific language in question. It may ultimately be adaptable to other disciplines.

Pdf version
Contents
  • 1. Values
  • 2. Social situations of communication where history is present
  • 3. Subject-related competences
  • 4. In-school communication situations relating to history teaching
  • 5. Specific linguistic and semiotic competences needed for history teaching
  • 6. Thresholds
Sciences: An approach with reference points - Items for a description of linguistic competence in the language of schooling necessary for teaching/learning science (at the end of compulsory education)
Overview

This text presents a procedure to help in creating a curriculum for the teaching of science (biology, chemistry and physics) which explicitly takes into account the discursive and linguistic dimensions of this subject area. It proceeds through successive stages, for which there are corresponding inventories of references, from the level of educational goals in the teaching of science to the identification of linguistic elements which it is particularly important to systematise in the classroom in order to manage the corresponding forms of discourse.

Pdf version
Contents
  • 1. Educational Values and Science Education
  • 2. Science education and citizenship
  • 3. Subject-related competences
  • 4. In-school communication situations relating to science teaching and learning
  • 5. Specific linguistic and semiotic competences needed for science education
  • 6. Summary and Perspectives: Thresholds and stages of development
Italian Version (© Italiano LinguaDue)

Elementi per una descrizione delle competenze linguistiche nella lingua di scolarizzazione necessarie all’insegnamento/apprendimento delle scienze alla fine della scuola dell’obbligo

In questo articolo si presenta una procedura che ha lo scopo di facilitare l’elaborazione dei programmi di insegnamento delle discipline scientifiche (biologia, fisica e chimica) affrontando in modo esplicito le dimensioni discorsive e linguistiche di queste materie. Attraverso tappe successive, alle quali corrispondono degli inventari di riferimento, si procede dalle finalità educative dell’insegnamento scientifico alla identificazione degli elementi linguistici che è particolarmente importante sistematizzare in classe per esercitare le forme di discorso corrispondenti.

Pdf version
Literature: An approach with reference points - Items for a description of linguistic competence in the language of schooling necessary for teaching/learning literature (at the end of compulsory education)
Overview

This text presents a procedure for creating a curriculum for the teaching of literature which explicitly takes into account the discursive and linguistic dimensions of this subject area. It proceeds through successive stages, for which there are corresponding inventories of references, from the level of educational goals in the teaching of literature to the identification of linguistic elements which it is particularly important to systematise in the classroom in order to manage the corresponding forms of discourse. This procedure – presented for discussion – has been devised to be independent of the specific language in question.

Word versionPdf version
Contents
  • 1. Educational values
  • 2. Social and private situations of communication where literature plays a role
  • 3. Subject-related knowledge in literature
  • 4. In-school communication situations relating to literature education (for subject teaching/learning in general)
Mathematics: An approach with reference points - Items for a description of linguistic competence in the language of schooling necessary for teaching/learning mathematics (in secondary education)
Overview

This text presents a procedure to help in creating a curriculum for the teaching and learning of mathematics which explicitly takes into account the discursive and linguistic dimensions of this subject area. It mainly transfers and adapts the ideas and procedures developed for history in Beacco (2010), science in Vollmer (2010) and literature in Pieper (2011). It proceeds through successive stages, for which there are corresponding inventories of references, from the level of educational goals in the teaching and learning of mathematics to the identification of linguistic elements which it is particularly important to systematise in the classroom in order to manage the corresponding forms of discourse.

Pdf version
Contents
  • 1. Educational values and mathematics education
  • 2. Social and private situations of communication where mathematics plays a role
  • 3. Mathematical competencies
  • 4. In-school communication situations relating to mathematics teaching and learning
  • 5. Specific linguistic and semiotic competences needed for mathematics education
  • 6. Summary and Perspectives: Thresholds and stages of development
  • 7. Selected bibliography
Further Resources
  • Documents prepared for an intergovernmental conference in 2007

    A Framework of Language Competences across the Curriculum: Language(s) in and for inclusive Education in Northrhine-Westfalia (Germany)

    Language Across the Curriculum in Primary Education (2007)

    Language Across the Curriculum in Secondary Education:

  • Some related national initiatives

    Questionnaire for Subject Teachers: the role of language in my subject

    Language as a learning tool in subject learning

  • Descriptors (contributions from member states)

    The descriptors below were provided by Norway, the Czech Republic, Val d'Aosta (Italy), Portugal, Spain, Slovenia and Luxembourg.

    ISCED - International Standard Classification of Education, developed by UNESCO
    0 = pre-primary education, 1 = primary education or first stage of basic education, 2 = lower secondary education or second stage of basic education (the subsidiary criteria for this level include entry after some 6 years of primary education; end of the cycle after 9 years from the beginning of primary education; end of compulsory education)

    Other bodies & Useful links
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