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  • Elizabeth Barrett-Zahn

The Language of Science (Call for Papers)

Publication date: November/December 2021

Manuscript deadline: February 1, 2021

An integral part of science is communication, and communication is reading, writing, listening, and speaking. How are students supported in learning science, and how can science support language development? Teachers are finding that including science as the context for learning allows students to strengthen language arts skills. When language arts skills, explicitly taught, are included as part of science instruction, there are opportunities for meaningful, enduring learning.


For this issue of Science and Children, we are looking for articles that help teachers explore the connections between language development and science/engineering. What instructional strategies intensify sensemaking and focus on the development of scientific discourse for all students? Whether it’s a content-first approach or allowing students to develop meaning through phenomena, how do we support both language development and scientific thinking?

Article suggestions for this issue include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Share instructional strategies that build science concepts and vocabulary, including approaches for actively engaging EL students.

  • Provide examples for classroom-tested designs that develop language and sensemaking through accountable talk, Socratic circles, student-centered discussions, and content-focused conversations.

  • Illustrate how purposeful genre-study, specific to science, develops essential language skills.

  • Describe techniques for enhancing students’ ability to speak, read, and write about science and engineering experiences.

  • Share plans


for immersive, language-rich classrooms where students are actively engaged in scientific discourse.

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