Presentation Details

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The Eleventh International Literacy and Education Research Network Conference on Learning

From Egg to Larva to Mosquito: Student Explorations in the Literacies of School Science

Dr Moses Samuel, Dr. Saratha Sithamparam.

The paper draws on data from a multiliteracies curriculum project in a Malaysian secondary school. As students in our study examined the lifecycle of insects in a science unit, the ‘metamorphoses’ they encountered involved more than the stages in the insect lifecycle; it also involved their own changing understanding of the ways of representing this knowledge textually, with words and with various schematic diagrams and images. They learned that different subject areas have their own characteristic language forms which entail different literacy practices. The processes of science that the students engaged in such as observation, description and recording biological phenomenon such as the life cycle involved the active use of texts and literacies in science using relevant genres. In Malaysian schools, in addition to acquiring the literacies of science, students have to cope with an additional complexity: beginning in 2003 the language of mathematics and science instruction shifted from Malay to English. This policy shift provides the backdrop for our discussion.


Dr Moses Samuel  (Malaysia)
Associate Professor
Department of Language and Literacy Education Faculty of Education
University of Malaya

Dr Moses Samuel is Associate Professor in the University of Malaya. His research and teaching areas include Sociolinguistics, Literacy Education and Teacher Education.

Dr. Saratha Sithamparam  (Malaysia)
Associate Professor
Department of Language and Literacy Education, Faculty of Education
University of Malaya

Dr Saratha Sithamparam is Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education, University of Malaya. Her teaching and research areas include teacher education as well as literacy and literature education.

  • Genres in Science
  • Multimodal Texts
  • Multiliteracies
  • Literacy in the Content Areas

(Virtual Presentation, English)