The language of scientific English varies within different stages in education. As one moves from pre- unit through primary, secondary and finally tertiary level, the degree of scientific language use shifts from a simpler manner to a complex level. The change is from the form of genre used, level of technical language employed, the lexical density, abstraction, nominalisation, information organization, interpersonal representation and lastly the use of visual aids. The paper analyzes this dynamic through all the levels of education.
There is a shift in the types of genre involving language of scientific English used at different learning levels. It changes from kindergarten level all through tertiary level. At lower education level, most authors and teachers cover little content of given scientific information. As they advance from the lower stage to primary level, the genre advances and this goes through to the higher level of educational institutions. The volume and information contained at lower educational levels is little and unpretentious while, at tertiary level, information is more voluminous and complex. This is advantageous to learners at various levels. For instance, at early learners, it gives their brain an opportunity to develop and be able to cope with voluminous information to be covered in the later stages of school life.
It gives kids room for physical, psychological and mental development thus making their brains able to digest the new data (Biber, 2006). At both secondary and tertiary levels, the system remains beneficial as it considers the size of brain as well as the level of maturity thus avoiding stress that can result from heavy workload. The system seems disadvantageous to learners as it is discriminatory with respect to brain development. This is because human growth and development is not universal, it denies other people who grow faster the opportunity to move ahead thus proves ineffective to some extent.
Technical language changes as one move from kindergarten level to higher learning level. Kids at lower learning status still not exposed to technical terms. Teachers and authors of scientific books meant for kindergarten use simple and easily understandable language. Most of the terms used are familiar and easily understandable. In case new terms used, it requires several life examples and explanations to make the information sink into the minds of the kids. From primary up to tertiary level, technical terms introduced to the learners with more found and used at the tertiary level. At tertiary level, complex technical scientific terms are used.
Application of technical language at early education level is of great benefit to the kids since they have covered little scientific facts. Technical language avoided at lower educational levels with the purpose of curbing confusion and misunderstanding among learners (Christie, 1998). At late secondary and tertiary learning levels, it is advantageous to use technical terms since the learners are expected to be more professional thus need a thorough understanding of the scientific information. It is good to use technical terms at late secondary and tertiary levels since it ensures learners get more information thus broadening their understanding and application of the studied information. Technical scientific terms should be avoided, and their use limited at lower learning levels unlike in tertiary level (Jewitt et al., 2001).
Lexical density is an important means of determining variations between written texts and speech. The application of scientific language varies in terms of lexical density. According to the context, a lot of data found in late secondary and tertiary levels compared to lower learning levels. Scientific data at the kindergarten level are simple and not more comprehensive as compared to the late secondary and tertiary level. This is good for the kids as they are expected to familiarize themselves with the scientific facts and memorize them (Hyland, 2007). Additionally, they do not think deeper and use the studied information in solving complex basic scientific problems.
Unlike the lower learning level, scientific data at this stage are more comprehensive. This is beneficial as the learners are expected to study, analyze, interpret and apply the new facts in solving daily scientific problems. Therefore, language of scientific English seems more complex at the higher learning levels. This is because the studied information is more informative, practical and requires application to prove the practicality in daily life. Learners at this level understand and know a lot of scientific information because of the high lexical density (Leach & Scott, 2000).
The use of abstraction in scientific English language is more common in late secondary and tertiary learning institutions compared to kindergarten level (Schleppegrell, 2004). At lower learning level, the use of abstract is good since it is short, simple and less detailed summary and is used to introduce learners to the various scientific concepts. It considers brain capacity and retention capabilities of the kids which is lower compared to that of the lower primary and higher learning institutions.
Contrary, in late secondary and higher learning institutions, abstract should be more detailed and comprehensive. It should contain a lot of information to be covered. It is good to use abstraction to guide the readers and examiners when studying their research work. This is because it eases learning and acts as a road map to people interested in reading academic work done by an individual or a group of people. Therefore, abstract commonly used in higher learning institutions thus a change in scientific English language unlike in lower learning institutions (Veel, 1997). This situation results due to the difference in the purpose of abstraction between different learning levels.
At lower learning levels, normalization rarely used. This is because it is appears strange and confusing to the kids. Noun or noun phrase formation is less used at the kindergarten level as the kids have little knowledge in English language. The kids are still in the process of learning English language thus understands less concerning normalization (Veel, 1997).
As one progress from kindergarten to higher learning levels, he gets accustomed to normalization. It should be employed in teaching and explanation of scientific information for various reasons. For instance, it should be used in many academic papers to avoid instances of plagiarism. Therefore, it minimizes incidences of academic theft and unprincipled morals (Martin, 1993). Nominalization use at late secondary and tertiary learning institutions is necessary since it helps learners try to understand the scientific concepts. It assists in the application and demonstration of the learned knowledge. Therefore, medium and higher learning institutions need nominalisation to ease understanding and teaching of scientific terms.
At early learning school levels, the organization of scientific information is straightforward. This manner of organization is good since it reduces chances of confusion and misunderstanding during learning and practical sessions. Most teachers and educationist need to organize scientific data in a manner that ease student learning and understanding of the scientific concepts (Biber, 2006). Although both low and high learning educational levels organize the scientific information from basic to complex, the level of complexity differs.
Complexity in late and tertiary learning levels is higher compared to that in lower or kindergarten level. The difference in understanding, brain capacity and brain retention capacities among the different groups of learners plays a crucial role in this situation. Consequently, little information organized for the purposes of understanding compared to voluminous information meant for the college and university students. Information organization should be done from micro to macro themes. Scientific information in lower learning levels comprises micro data thus organization varies compared to that in late and tertiary levels. This is good as it eliminates chances of confusion to the young learners. Many scientific macro themes contained in the tertiary learning levels since it comprises continuation and extensive coverage of information earlier covered in the lower learning levels (Christie, 1998).
In tertiary level, information organization needs to start from the minor themes then macro themes so as to follow sequential learning and coverage of scientific data. The information in this level of learning requires proper structuring so as to ease student learning and understanding of the concepts. Unlike in late and tertiary learning level, earlier learning level lacks main themes thus contains simple information organization.
Interpersonal representation in early learning level not conspicuous as is in late and tertiary level. Having not developed proper fluency in English, the use of interrelationship representation is limited to simple and easily understandable forms. Their poor English command does not allow their teachers and authors to use complex interpersonal representation. The purpose of the avoidance is to limit confusion to the young learners (Hyland, 2007). However, as the learners grow and advance to higher learning level, the trend should change with time.
When at upper primary and late secondary, use of interpersonal representation is advanced. It is advantageous since the use of English and understanding is much better compared to the lower learning level. Learners at this stage have acquired the basics of scientific English language usage and gone further to understand and use them in daily life. Their brain capacity and retention capability has risen compared to that of a learner in early level of school life. Therefore, at this stage, scientific English language should be moderate compared to that in the early and tertiary level of education. At the highest learning level, the language of scientific English is highly advanced and complicated (Hyland, 2007).
This is because the stage is characterized by the highest brain retention capability, high power to understand the scientific information and the capacity to reason logically. The learners have gathered a lot of information and build a strong base and command of scientific data thus have a good command of English (Jewitt et al., 2001). With enough experience and better command of scientific data compared to early and late secondary school level, interpersonal representation at this stage is complex and highly advanced.
Use of visuals
Visuals used variably at different learning levels for aid in learning. It is used in early school level, teachers and educators use visuals as an aid in teaching of the kids. This is essential since kids believe in what they see and understand compared to what they are told or read. The kids at this level seem curious in knowing new things in the environment in through visualization. Consequently, their brain can retain what they see as compared to the theories which are not visible (Jewitt et al., 2001).
Additionally, they associate more with visual components of learning than non visual components. Therefore, to achieve learning goals at early school level, use of visuals should be encouraged during the study as kids will learn and comprehend more of the scientific information. At upper primary and secondary learning levels, the use of visual aids in learning decrease. Learning at this stage becomes complex and more content based as compared to early learning level (Veel, 1997).
More learning materials is presented to them in text form rather than visualization form to expound on the scientific notions which seem difficult to understand. Learners at this level become focused in understanding scientific facts so as to apply them in daily life to solve scientific, related problems. At tertiary learning level, use of visuals assists in learning is restricted and used only when required for instance in diagrams. This is because at this level of learning the use of visuals is not appropriate as learners have come across them prior to their tertiary education.
Changes in the texts 1- 4
Scientific data contained in text 1-4 changes drastically because of the school level of intended learners. For instance, in texts 1 and 2, scientific data contained within the books is simple and easily understandable to the early level learners (Veel, 1997). The language and method of presentation of scientific information not complicated in order to achieve thorough in understanding of the information. In text 3, there is a change in this approach since the scientific information destined for secondary school learners.
Presentation of the scientific data and the language use become moderately complex compared to early learning level. In text four, the situation becomes more complex since the scientific information meant for tertiary level learners. The book is written in a more complex form and more detailed compared to other level of learners. Learners at this level become professional in understanding scientific data thus the information in the book highly synthesized to meet the objective (Leach & Scott, 2000).
Relation to recommended readings
According to this analysis, it seemingly expounds on the topic issue discussed in the recommended readings. The books explain the connection between scientific language and the level of education. According to the books, different scientific languages should be used at various learning levels differ due to content coverage, brain retention capacity and understanding, the level of exposure and application of the information. Most of the readings emphasizes on the need to consider such factors when crafting education syllabus at various education levels (Leach & Scott, 2000).
The action is good since it prevents misunderstanding, assign appropriate work load and minimize stress associated with learning of science within various levels of education. For instance, Jewitt et al., (2001) stresses on the need to use visual aids in teaching of science subjects at early school levels for the purposes of ensuring complete understanding of scientific facts. This is for the benefit of the teachers and students as it minimizes stress on either side. According to Schleppegrell\, (2004) it is vital for each level of education to have a distinct language use. The purpose is to ease learning and attain proper understanding of the scientific facts. Therefore, all of the readings support the need for appropriate scientific use at different learning levels to ease learning and school life for students.
Biber, D. (2006). Stance in spoken and written university registers. Journal of English for
Academic Purposes. 5(97), pp 116.
Christie, F. (1998). "Learning the literacies of primary and secondary schooling? Christie, F. &
Misson, R. (Eds). Literacy and Schooling. London: Routledge.
Hyland, K. (2007). Genre pedagogy: Language, literacy and L2 writing instruction. Journal of
Second Language Writing. 16 (148) pp 164.
Jewitt, C., Kress, G., Ogborn, J. & Tsatsarelis, C. (2001). Exploring Learning Through Visual,
Actional and Linguistic Communication: the multimodal environment of a science
Classroom. Educational Review. 53.1
Leach, J. & Scott, P. (2000). Children thinking, learning, teaching and constructivism. In M.
Monk & J.
Osborne (Eds). Good practice in science teaching. Buckingham; Philadelphia: Open University Press, pp 41-56.
Martin. J. (1993). Literacy in Science: Learning to handle text as technology. M. Halliday & J.
Martin. (Eds). Writing Science: Literacy and discursive power. London: Falmer Press.
Schleppegrell, M. (2004). The Language of Schooling. New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum. Chapter
Veel, R. (1997). Learning how to mean: scientifically speaking: apprenticeship into scientific
discourse in the secondary school. F. Christie, F. and J. Martin (Eds). Genre and Institutions. London: Cassell.