'The pre-service teacher tango': pairing literacy and science in multilingual Australian classrooms

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3 Citations (Scopus)


In recent years, Australian schools have become increasingly multilingual, with students needing targeted support to develop academic English, yet also bringing rich linguistic and cultural resources to the classroom. Policymakers have recognised the critical role of identifying and describing the language and literacy demands in all disciplines, highlighting an essential role for pre-service teacher training. This article presents various components of teacher learning made available to 11 Australian science pre-service teachers (PSTs) enrolled in a Masters language and literacy course, which included a practicum component and explicit training in elements of translanguaging pedagogy. It analyses the ways in which the training contributed to PSTs’ developing scientific pedagogical language knowledge. In doing so, it charts their emerging professional identities as teachers as they are trained to analyse core scientific content for opportunities to provide targeted language and literacy support, as well as their growing understanding of the diversity of language and literacy strengths and challenges faced by their multilingual learners. Furthermore, this paper outlines PSTs’ evolving self-reflection as they come to assume responsibility for their students’ language and literacy development as a key way of facilitating their access to scientific curriculum content knowledge.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2493-2512
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Science Education
Issue number14
Early online date25 Jul 2019
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • science
  • literacy
  • language
  • multilingualism
  • pre-service teacher education
  • translanguaging
  • Science


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