Draw Across the Curriculum
Similarly, Humphrey outlines differences between genres and ways in which language is used in everyday and academic domains. For example, she notes instructions, observation, description and personal recount as genres within the everyday domain, while procedure, report and historical recount feature in the academic domain. What is clear here is that literacy teaching needs to be part of all subjects taught in primary schools and secondary schools. In these ways, students are required to learn to use language in new ways as they master the registers and text types of the subjects they are learning.
Technical language is expert knowledge that goes beyond observable experience. Technical terms are the direct result of the kinds of knowledge scientists, geographers and other specialists are involved in developing as they study, classify and reclassify the world into taxonomies. Common-sense knowledge and understandings are therefore based on observable, everyday criteria while technical knowledge goes beyond the observable. Technical knowledge and understandings help explain why scientists, geographers, environmentalists, mathematicians and other specialists in their disciplines may be hard to understand.
The words they use in their speech and their writing are difficult for someone outside of their field to understand. Literacy development in the middle years draws heavily on increasingly technical language.
The vocabulary that is needed can either be technical or specialised. Understanding these terms is crucial to students developing competence in comprehension. A common-sense grouping of the three items might be apple, pear fruit because they are sweet versus pumpkin a vegetable. Such common-sense criteria tend to come from directly observable experience: sweet versus not sweet, grow in trees versus grow in the ground, eaten raw versus eaten cooked.
Common-sense knowledge tends to be based on careful observation using the senses and the naked eye. In contrast, technical criteria go beyond such directly observable experience. If we asked a biologist to group these items, their criteria for grouping would be whether or not they come from a pollinated flower. Scientists draw on knowledge gained from technology, as well as experiments, to produce a different picture of the world. Neither view is correct: they are merely different perspectives on reality — different ways of observing and classifying the world. Each approach sees the same three organic things but they see them differently.
For example, some common technical terms used by geographers interested in the climate are: solar radiation; wind and pressure systems, atmospheric moisture, precipitation and air fronts. This may be illustrated by drawing up a simple taxonomy of rocks. Scientists have grouped rocks into three main types according to the way they have been formed.
Metamorphic rocks, for example, have been changed by heat and pressure, and formed deep inside the earth. Sedimentary rocks are formed when small particles of sand, mud or weathered rock are deposited in layers and compressed over millions of years. Igneous rocks are produced when a molten mass of white, hot material known as magma rises to the surface from deep inside the earth. It may also be a noun group with a classifier, e. An important part of activities such as observing and grouping or classifying involves giving things a name metamorphic rock.
These names are considered technical because they have a field specific meaning. An important part of learning in the upper primary years involves learning the technical terms that are used in each discipline.
Integrating Art Across the Curriculum
These terms tend to be defined by teachers during classroom discussions and are commonly defined in written texts. In the written mode, technical terms are visually signalled to the reader through the use of italics, bold, capital letters or parentheses. Once a term has been defined, it will no longer be highlighted — it is then considered to be part of the assumed knowledge of the student.
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