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Students’ perspectives of teachers’ use of language in defining selected terms in physics

Author: 
Stellah M. Mukekhe, Francis C. Indoshi and John O. Agak
Subject Area: 
Social Sciences and Humanities
Abstract: 

Teacher talk about terms used in Physics is markedly different from the science talk about the terms, especially in classrooms where English is the language of instruction yet it is a second language to both the teacher and students. Misunderstandings in such classrooms are likely especially if the teacher is not aware of the difficulties between his ways of talking, in relation to how students understand. This paper reports and discusses findings in an investigation on students’ perspectives of teachers’ use of language in defining selected concept in electricity. Questionnaire for students of Physics as well as focused group discussions were used as methods of data collection. Quantitative data was analyzed by use of percentages means and t- statistics, while qualitative data was analyzed by searching through the data for key words and generating categories and themes in relation to the study. Students’ perspectives on teachers’ use of language provide evidence of the general difficulty and confusion students experience with teacher talk in learning of key terms in electricity. The results of this study suggests that teachers should be assisted on how to use simple and clear language more carefully and appropriately when teaching electricity and clarify what students hold concerning the terms in electricity.

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