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Science, Language & Literacy
Case Studies of Learning Swedish University Physics

Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science & Technology
No. 81

By John Airey
February 2009
Uppsala University Press
Distributed by Coronet Books
ISBN: 9789155474010
256 pages, Illustrated
$69.50 Paper Original

What happens when students are taught university physics in English?
Do students taught in English learn physics as well as if they were taught in their first language?
If students are taught in one language, can they automatically access this knowledge in another language?
What are the goals of a physics degree with respect to language?
What can physics teachers do to help their students adapt to being taught in English?
Are there ideas in physics that can't really be described in language?
How does the language of mathematics relate to learning physics in English and Swedish?
What about diagrams, graphs, equipment and laboratory work - what role do they play in the learning of physics?

In this thesis, John Airey deals with these and questions by talking to the people who just might know the answers - the students themselves.