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The Discourses And Literacy Practices Of Doing Science In English

Author(s): Revathi Ramiah | Koo Yew Lie | Jamilah Mustafa

Journal: e-BANGI : Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities
ISSN 1823-884X

Volume: 2;
Issue: 2;
Date: 2008;
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Keywords: Discourses | literacy practices | qualitative case-study | Teaching Science in English as a medium of instruction | learning and teaching

In January 2003, Malaysia re-adopted the English language as a medium of instruction for science and mathematics. This change in the medium of instruction brings with it challenges of its own. What does it mean to ‘do’ science in the Malaysian context and to do so in English? How does the change in the medium of instruction from Bahasa Malaysia to English impinge upon the instructional and literacy practices of teachers and learners? What kinds of changes are required of the communities and stakeholders involved in the teaching of science? This article will address these questions by critiquing some dominant assumptions behind the literacy practices of ‘doing’ science in the Malaysian context based upon the findings of a qualitative case study conducted to investigate how two teachers working in diverse and different contexts in Malaysian schools cope with the new medium of instruction.

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