Using indigenous language resources for promoting science learning [PowerPoint presentation]

This paper reports on an attempt to document and use indigenous language resources as a tool for promoting science learning in a rural secondary school in Trinidad. The exploratory study involved the compilation of a database of cultural words and expressions, along with their meanings, as gleaned from classroom discussions with a Form 4 Integrated Science class. This resource was then used to develop science lessons that utilized border crossing strategies aimed at bridging the gap between students' everyday language and the language of conventional school science. The overall aim was to help students to better appropriate conventional scientific discourse. In spite of challenges encountered, it was found that the use of indigenous language resources served to increase cognitive and emotional engagement on the part of students and helped them begin to make some progress towards appropriating scientific discourse. The paper makes the case for further research into the creation of suitable spaces that invite indigenous language and ways of communicating into the science classroom in the quest for greater participation in science classes, and also smoother transitions into conventional school science
Paper presented at the Biennial Conference of The University of the West Indies Schools of Education, 23-25 April, 2013, St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago
Table of Contents
Science education, Secondary schools, Rural areas, Language of instruction, Scientific terminology, Indigenous knowledge, Secondary school students, Language usage, Conference papers, Trinidad and Tobago