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Improving teachers’ cognition of academic language learning in STEM education (STEM-CALP)


STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) disciplines are globally seen as essential for work and citizenship, while providing the cut through in global economic competition and social creativity. For economies to flourish individuals will need to master STEM. Only few learners in South Africa choose STEM subjects in higher education because they lack the interest/skills/knowledge, although STEM is compulsory in Grade 7 to 9. On top of the lack of STEM graduates, South African learners perform poorly on international assessments of educational achievement in science. One of the reasons of these unsatisfactory outcomes is the difficulties learners have with the language of instruction at school as most of them speak a different mother tongue. The focus of this project is to improve STEM teachers’ awareness and pedagogical knowledge about cognitive academic language in STEM education. This will be done by the adaptation of an online learning path to scaffold teachers of Grades 7 to 9. To adapt this tool to the specific context we will work together with teachers as part of the design based research.

Intervention type

South Initiatives


01/01/2020 - 31/12/2021

This project is being implemented in:
Flemish promoter Jan Ardies
Local promoter Piet Ankiewicz
GEO Inga Verhaert
Local partner institution AP Hogeschool Antwerpen
visit www.ap.be
Local partner institution University of Johannesburg
Budget € 69.998