ENGLISH FOR NATURAL SCIENCES
The Graduate Program (S2)
of English Language Studies
Sanata Dharma University
English is an international lingua franca and a language of knowledge which is also used in Natural Sciences. The spread of it is becoming faster because more and more people learn it. People learn English for Natural Sciences to improve their quality of their lives. Junior and Senior High School students will able to get enough good sources and able to understand English Science better. In the level of approach, content based approach which would lead the learners to learn is discussed. In the level of design, there are two kinds of proficiencies needed to achieve the goal. The first proficiency is basic interpersonal communications skills (BICS) and the second one is cognitive academic language proficiency (CALP).
This paper aimed to search for the accountability of English for Natural Sciences in the level of paradigm, approach and design.
Key words: lingua franca, BICS, CALP, approach, design
English is considered as a lingua franca which means that it has the essential value of being a means of global communication (Bechler, 2004).
A lot of people who speak different languages use English to exchange and negotiate meanings in economic, politics, science and technology as well. Graddol (2006) describes thoroughly the increasing numbers of English speakers, by providing analyses of demography, economy, technology, society and language. The internet, for instance, has increased the number of the English users since more or less 51% of internet users in 2000 used English.
1. Introduction With the development of market economy, China is accelerating its steps to join the world family in commerce and cultural partnership. With the recent accession to the WTO, the long-awaited Olympic Games in Beijing, China has made learning English a national priority. English, with its unique status, has been taught in China for more than 100 years. Today, English is becoming more ...
English is also the language of knowledge (Gatehouse 2001).
A lot of books were written in English and in that year, 80% of science and technology came first in English. It is the age of enormous and unprecedented expansion in scientific activities on an international scale. Graddol (2006) states that 85% of web pages in 2000 were written in English. He also states that many universities have competed to offer programs conducted in English in order to get as many international students as possible and he found out that universities in the English speaking countries had most international students.
As an international lingua franca and a language of knowledge, English is used in Natural Sciences, one of subjects at school that people around the world learn. The knowledge on Natural Sciences is also improving very fast too. As also other subjects and sciences textbooks are written in English, a lot of textbooks on Natural Sciences are also written in English. Therefore, when people want to learn and transfer the knowledge from first sources or when they want to share ideas with people who speak different languages they need to master English.
This paper is talking about the concepts, approaches and design of English for Natural Sciences. The starting points are some basic believes of why people learn, especially learn English for Natural Sciences, what they learn and how they learn. This paper also discusses the strategy to learn English for Natural Sciences and the last part elaborates the design which includes the curriculum, syllabus and its procedures.
The Needs of Learning English for Natural Sciences
Learning is the process of acquiring knowledge or developing the ability to perform new behaviors (Brown, 2000: 7; Encarta, 2006).
The reasons might be various since human beings are growing and dynamic. Their physical appearances develop and they want to acquire new knowledge. Referring to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, we can find reasons why people learn. Starting from the 4th level which is the need of esteem where people want to achieve and be competent and gain approval, or the 5th level the cognitive needs where people need to know, to understand and to explore, up to the highest position in the pyramid which is the need of self-actualization people want to learn.
English as an international business language. The objective and the importance of the present study This present study is an approach to the language of Business English as the title suggests it. I have presented here, the main aspects of the language of business, aspects that have to be taken into consideration when learning this language for specific purposes. I have decided to write about this ...
Learning English language is the process of acquiring the knowledge of English which is intended to know the world reality of English. It includes not only the learning of skills or the acquisition of knowledge. It refers also to learning to learn and learning to think; the modification of attitudes; the acquisition of interests, social values, or social roles; and even changes in personalities (Stern, 1983: 18).
There are various reasons why people learn language. Many people learn English because of the school curriculum, advancement in their professional lives, target language community, culture or specific purposes.
To be specific, learning English for Natural Sciences is the acquisition process of disseminated specific English for Natural Sciences. The fact that most Natural Sciences textbooks were written in English and the fact that the English for Natural Sciences has its specific discourses makes this area of study becoming specific.
The objective of the process of acquiring English for Natural Sciences is to improve the listeners’ quality of their lives, meaning to say that they will be able to get enough good sources and will be able to understand English Science better. As Gatehouse (2001) said that it is the age of enormous and unprecedented expansion in scientific activity on an international scale, so learners who have a certain proficiency in English for Natural Sciences will be more effective and productive of the life quality. Therefore, the vision of this program is to investigate the truth of the English language as an international lingua franca for the progress of humanity. The mission is when they understand the world Natural Sciences better they will be autonomous, and the autonomy will lead one to self actualization. The learners will be excellent personally and socially in their own right when they can actualize themselves
The United States still represents to the rest of world a land of opportunities. Immigration occurs when people from all part of the world make their way here to start new lives, find their new jobs or build new homes. Some leave their country to flee from oppression and injustice. Some want a life to escape poverty. Now the English Language Learners in America school constantly growing percent of ...
Before we go further to talk about how to learn English for Natural Sciences, we need to know what English for Natural Sciences is. English for Science belongs to the classical humanism, in which it has values for the humanity and needs to be inherited. This refers to Standard English which is defined as the variety of a language which has the highest status in a community or notion and which is usually based on the speech and writing of educated speakers of the language (McKay, 2002: p.51-52).
It is generally (a) used by in the news media and literature (b) described in dictionaries and grammars and (c) taught in schools and taught to non-native speakers when they learn the language as a foreign language. It is not general English with different in vocabulary (Yano 2001).
Parkinson (2000) suggests that acquisition for language for science should be regarded as acquisition of a range of literacies of science rather than acquisition of skills or grammatical features. The reason is that how we use a text is culture-dependant, and different groups have different ways of taking the meaning from the text. These different ways if taking constitute different literacies. Focusing specifically on the discourse of science there are a number of popular literacies of science which exist alongside mainstream academic literacies.
English for Natural Sciences, then, is intended to those who work in the Natural Sciences field. They can be scientists, teachers of Natural Sciences, students who learn Natural Sciences and other people who are interested in Natural Sciences or those work deals with Natural Sciences. These people need to communicate in English and need to learn Natural Sciences in English or at least understand written text on Natural Sciences in English.
Content Based Approach
An English for Natural Sciences program is actually intended as a training language learners to learn. Those who have taken the course and accomplished it would be able to learn Natural Sciences better since a lot of Natural Sciences sources were written in English. Raya (1998; 14) says that learning how to learn represents a substantial shift away from rigid study methods towards more experiential and reflective activities which try to involve learners in their own learning and development process. He further says that no educational objective is more important for students than learning how to learn, and how to function as independent, autonomous learners.
In this paper we will explain the theory behind English language learners, and give the benefits Of the program. One will show how important it is to practice and or adopt this program as a teacher. In the scenario the teacher was caught off guard he know nothing about using, programs to help him teach the new student. When the student first came into school there should have been an assessment as ...
In order to teach the language learners to learn, Parkinson (2000) and Yano (2001) say on the things learners should learn, content-based language teaching is appropriate for English for Natural Sciences. Content-based instruction builds on learners’ pervious language learning and previous knowledge. In learning language through content, learners are not only learning the language but they are using the language to learn. Learners make use of the previous knowledge to understand new things in the real context.
To get the real context, as the nature of English for Specific Purposes, the material for the content-based language teaching will be based on learners’ needs (Gatehouse, 2001; Hayland & Tse, 2007; Hutchinson & Waters, 1987; Jourdan, 1977).
Therefore, the program designer needs to conduct a research or study on the learners’ needs. According to Masuhara (1998), leaners’ needs can be investigated in three different ways, namely self-perceived, perceived by others and objectively measured ways. These three ways will make better understanding of the learners’ need. However, for a program which is designed for public, a program designer usually only use the second and the third. He can ask teachers on language that learners need to learn and observe from the documents such as books for Natural Sciences which were written in acceptable English.
People in Indonesia, who according to Kachru’s three circles of English speakers (1985), or even based on Yano’s modification (2000) are expanded language learners, need to consider Yano’s theory that the learning English for Natural Sciences not only involves learning rules of pronunciation and grammar as well as new vocabulary, but includes the ability to use these linguistic sources in ways that are socially appropriate among speakers of that language (Yano, 2001).
As Parkinson (2000) also points out the importance of learning different literacies where the learners need to be exposed with spoken and written genres of Natural Sciences, a program designer has to consider the constraints that the learners are lack of English exposures.
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Today’s students inhabit a visual, networked culture. They connect and communicate with their peers and the public through digital media. Many assume that these “digital natives” are fully literate with regard to media; however, we believe that students need guidance, support and inspiration to realize their full academic potential with digital media. The term ‘digital media’ is used to broadly ...
Consequently, students need to work on multi-literacies stresses understanding of language and literacy codes, multimodal reading and writing practices, multimedia authoring skills, multimedia critical analysis, internet exploration strategies and navigational skills. Students should be able to apply multiple semiotic modes in communicative processes. They should develop the capacity to generate information-management questions and resolve them.
There are two language proficiencies need to be considered when we design English for Natural Sciences (Yogman at al., 1996).
These two proficiencies are also the goals of English for Natural Sciences for the students of Junior and Senior High School students. The first is basic interpersonal communications skills (BICS) and cognitive academic language proficiency (CALP).
BICS relates to informal interpersonal communication which can facilitate their comprehension. CALP is required in academic environment and it contains less contexts for comprehension.
There are some benefits of having BICS in the classroom. First, for EFL students, the opportunity to pick up basic interpersonal communicative language in the home country is often unavailable. Second, different forms of BICS open up opportunities to communicate. Third, the inability to interact with native speakers virtually eliminates one major educational asset of the ESL situation. The last, BICS are said to be acquirable in short order.
For the CALP, English teachers should create classrooms in which different ways of responding to and composing texts (and the implications of these ways) are invited and explored (Sawyer & McFarlane, 2000).
So, the learning processes don’t only focus on skills but learners need to be given chance to produce texts using genres which are prominent in Natural Sciences. Teachers also need to give enough guidance on individual features and on how to make their texts more closely approximate to the target genres (Parkinson, 2000).
The Benefit of Reading Novel for English Literature Students in Translation Class Maria Oktaviarini 081214005 Sanata Dharma University Jogjakarta This paper describes a research about the effect of reading novel that usually does by each student in English Literature Department. The writer wants to tell about how the activity may improve their skill in translating text. the writer will take a ...
To be more detail, a designer needs to consider modeling and demonstration, direct instruction and explicit teaching, guided practice, peer tutoring, a multimedia environment for both student use and teacher instruction, differentiated instruction for different student needs, positioning students as both independent and collaborative learners: giving students the opportunity to show independence and initiative and to work with others in self-managing teams, encouraging students to reflect critically on the language processes and strategies they use, having students engage in close and wide reading, developing student awareness of context, audience and purpose, having students use new technologies extensively, having students research and solve problems.
The target groups of this English for Natural Sciences are students of both Junior and Senior High School. They learn Natural Sciences and if they are concerned with the subjects they learn they will need English badly. The presence of SBI (Internationally Standardized School) in which all subjects are thought in English makes the English for Natural Sciences beneficial and the demand of it will automatically improve. The Junior and Senior High School students who are concerned with Natural Sciences need both BICS and CALP to know the Natural Sciences better. Therefore, this program is intended to prepare the learners to learn Natural Sciences. They will be put into three levels depending on the level of proficiency, therefore this program will not be based on course completion but whether they pass the level or not.
The vision of the program is investigating the truth of the English language as an international lingua franca for the progress of humanity. While the mission is to acquire the English-language for Natural Sciences knowledge to make it more productive and efficient and to help participants become self-fulfilling, personally and socially. And the goal is to help the learners with basic interpersonal communication skills and cognitive academic language proficiencies so that they will be able to understand Natural Sciences better. When they understand them better they will be autonomous and the autonomy will lead them to their self actualization. Finally, when they can actualize them selves, they will be excellent in their own right.
The process started by analyzing the learners’ needs using the second and third method proposed by Masuhara (1998; p. 243) namely by interviewing teachers of Natural Sciences and through the genre study on Natural Sciences textbooks written in English. This first process gave clear overview on kinds of English needed for Natural Sciences as well as the materials. And, the result of the first process was used to design an instruction, deciding the curriculum, process and the output.
The curriculum of this program is to improve learners’ BICS and CALP so that they will be ready to learn Science better. As it was said before, learning how to learn represents a substantial shift away from rigid study methods towards more experiential and reflective activities which try to involve learners in their own learning and development process. Therefore, the curriculum will provide enough rooms for the learners to do experiential and reflective learning. Learners learn language, learn about the language and learn through language.
The syllabus is derived from the curriculum. The objective of the curriculum will be achieved in three levels of courses. BICS will be the first priority in level 1 say 70% for BICS and 30% for CALP. In the second level, there will be fifty-fifty proportion and in the third level, CALP (70%) is more dominant than the BICS (30%).
In the third level, students will be able to produce English texts on Natural Sciences.
Each level of this course has 20 meetings. It provides lot of various activities both spoken and written which will help the learners master English for sciences better, in term of the basic interpersonal communication skills and cognitive academic language proficiency. The oral activities which will focus more on the basic interpersonal communication skills consist of listening to dialogues while completing, listening to teachers’ talk and writing what they hear, listening to oral description while guessing, reading aloud, role play, question and answers, monologue speaking, games and songs. Written activities will include reading for comprehension, answering questions, summarizing, completing a text, matching, building sentence exercises, producing texts, arranging sentences into paragraphs or texts. In this case, teachers can choose the activities which are appropriate with the goals and materials of their instructions. It is also possible for teachers to create new activities in their instructions.
Learners will have two kinds of books namely a course book and a workbook. The course book provides enough exposures and theories and the workbook provides enough exercises. The course book is mainly used in the classroom and the workbook is for homework basis activities. Teachers will also give some additional handouts to support the classroom activities. All of these are intended to compensate for the lack of environmental supports as Stern (1983:p. 16) mentions so that the language teaching for foreign learners will be more fruitful.
Participants come twice a week and they have two different teachers. Two different teachers will give learners more language exposures and chance to practice their English with different people. Using technology in the classroom such as using computers and internets is highly demanded to give better chance for learners to get authentic texts and contexts. To maximize the learners’ progress, the management provides free consultation services for those who have problems in understanding the material given. There are also some other facilities such as a small library, canteen and free drinking water which support the atmosphere of study.
Assessments will be conducted to provide meaningful feedback to students and to show the links between the assessment task and the outcomes of the course. The methods will be varying examinations; these methods assess students’ ability to organize, retrieve and handle information and varying coursework; example: essays, problems solving, project. Tests will be conducted at the 21st and 22nd meetings. The 21st meeting test is a written test and the 22nd meeting test is an oral test. After the tests, the teachers will give the progress report and enough feed back to the learners.
In this program, learners function as people who experience and do some reflection on their own progress. They will negotiate meanings with their friends and from the texts. After doing some processes, hopefully they can induce the roles on how to communicate in English in the spoken and written forms. Teachers will be the facilitators of the classroom activities. They will facilitate the learners with materials, exposures and activities which provides chances for them to experience the languages.
As an international lingua franca and as a language for knowledge, English for Natural Sciences is needed by Indonesian learners, especially of Junior and Senior High School students. The objective is improving the learners’ quality of their lives especially because they learn language to learn. Therefore, learners need to achieve basic interpersonal communications skills (BICS) and cognitive academic language proficiency (CALP).
Since the learners are foreign language learners, the program requires more formal instruction and other measures compensating for the lack of environmental support. An accountable design for this program is a design which gives enough exposures, provides various activities and assessment methods which are in line with the approach and its basic beliefs.
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