Enhancing Journal Writing in Science
Post date: Oct 16, 2014 6:05:10 AM
By: MARILOU J. TANADA
Bataan National High School
Limke as cited by Murcia(2006) in his work on discourse in science classrooms (Grades 9-12), argues that science is a social process. When we talk about science we are helping to create or re-create a community of people who share certain beliefs and values. He also argues that language is a major factor in establishing and maintaining the community by scientists – language is not just vocabulary and grammar. Language is a system of resources for making meanings. He further stated that “ Talking Science” does not simply mean talking about science. It means doing science through the medium of language. Talking science means observing, describing, comparing, classifying, analyzing, discussing, hypothesizing, theorizing, questioning, challenging, arguing, designing experiments, following procedures, judging, evaluating, deciding, concluding generalizing, reporting, writing, lecturing and teaching in and through the language of science.
One skill which is very relevant in teaching science is writing skill, one of the language macro skills which are the Reading, Speaking, Listening and Writing. Journal writing is one of the requirements in every end of a science lesson. Writing is a productive skill, because something is generated or created at the end of a writing task. Writing as a product is used when a teacher is interested only in what the students can produce or show as the end result of the writing activity. While, writing as a process when the teacher sees to it that students go through several stages in producing a piece of writing.
A teacher may try the following to enhance the students writing skills:
1. Students are given a science passage for example, the verbs removed or deleted in groups. They discuss which kind of verb and tense form should be supplied in each blank. After the completion exercise, students discuss a procedure in an experiment which is discussed earlier.
2. Students are given a picture or set of pictures about their science lesson. Then they ask as many questions as they can about it, using the words who, what, when, where, why and how. Finally they write a story about the picture.
3. The teacher distributes copies of a science article/ passage with blanks in them. The students read the text through once to themselves, then listen to the teacher read the complete passage once or twice only. Then they fill in the missing information.
4. The teacher reads a science passage all the way though, not broken into segments. Students listen to the passage two or three times. Then they write down a version as close as possible to the original version. At the end of the passage, the students compare their works by exchanging papers. After they have assembled everything they can remember, they listen to the passage again, make revisions and then check their grammar, spelling and punctuation.
Murcia, M.C. Teaching English As a Second or Foreign Language Thomson, Heinke & heinke, (2006)
Constel. Vol IV. Writing Segment. Published by Peoples Television Network. Inc (PTNI)