LANGUAGE PROBLEMS IN CHEMISTRY LEARNING

M. Rodriguez

Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (MEXICO)
In the Inorganic Chemistry Course with students of the 3th semester of the Chemistry Faculty of the National Autonomous University of Mexico is perceived that one of the problem in the students learning is the lack of comprehension of the chemical languague, the encountered difficulties are: Lack of understanding of technical terms introduced in the study of chemistry, they have absence of learning conventions applied to specialized chemical languague to the level of automatization required to read chemistry fluently, they do not understand common words used to teach chemistry. Then the efforts to oversome languague problems must attack these sources of difficulties and encourage the students to deciphering symbols, translating languagues, chemistry formulas, equations, mathematical equations from ordinary language (Spanish).
Students must be taught that technical languague unlike ordinary (Spanish language), is deliberately concise, precise, and devoid of redundance.
The teachers must encourage students to reading-thinking activities in order to practice rational thought like listening to a lecture, watching a domonstration, or performing a laboratory investigation, and help the students to connect the symbolic languague of chemistry with the macroscopic world of experience and the microscopic world in which much chemical thought takes place.