Making language unique to Biology more accessible to StudentsMaking language unique to Biology more accessible to Students.

A qualitative study of how teachers can support students in learning the terminology-heavy language of Biology.

The foundation for successful learning in Senior Biology consists of two components: the learning resources, and the learning principles. Learning resources available to the student are limited to textbooks and other resources teachers can provide, while principles include pedagogy and frameworks that support students in their learning. While the syllabus document may not be readily available to the students, teachers are able to convey the criteria to students through prescribed teaching methods, such as learning intents. Furthermore, the pedagogies that teachers should employ must consider knowledge acquisition principles, linguistic competency and cognitive load. In order to reach competency in the language unique to Biology, it is important to understand the theoretical frameworks behind learning a language and its conventions. While means of learning terminology and genre unique to a subject that is not language-based can be difficult to find, it will be beneficial to return to the early language-learning principles. Those principles include linguistic chunking, mimicking and imitation, as well as using the medium of textbooks to reach the standards and criteria set by the Australian curriculum and the Syllabus documents. If all those criteria are met, students will be able to cement their linguistic competency and achieve to the best of their abilities.


Prof. Robyn Gillies

Dr. Mary Rafter

Confirmation Panel

Prof. Tisha Morrell (Chair)

Dr. Christina Gowlett

About HDR Confirmation Seminars

The Confirmation Seminar is the first public presentation in the UQ milestone process.

Staff and students are urged to attend to support your colleagues at this first outing of their project.