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Science in the language class

Author: Sandie Robb, The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland

“Finding out about the wildlife of a country, the geography, investigating habitats, classifying animals, learning about life-cycles and linking all this to language learning – that’s what our ‘Science in the language class’ series provides” says Sandie Robb, Senior Education Officer for The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS).

‘Science in the language class’ is an educational programme which provides resources that link language learning to RZSS conservation projects across the world, or to the conservation breeding programmes within RZSS sites. It builds upon the success of RZSS’s ‘Beyond the panda’, an award-winning programme that links to Chinese language learning.

‘Beyond the panda’ is an extensive giant panda and Chinese programme with a China mobile library, Chinese outreach sessions and the first science specialist Confucius Classroom in the world! In February 2018, we were delighted to launch the RZSS Confucius Classroom with support from CISS.

For Spanish and French, we have language packs designed for cross-curricular learning, where pupils investigate and discover more about Spanish and French speaking countries – their culture, geography, wildlife and language. The Spanish pack includes materials on South America and Spain, focusing on our South American giant armadillo and giant anteater projects. The French pack includes materials on France, French Polynesia islands, Madagascar and Canada, looking at the Eurasian lynx, Partula snails, lemurs and the polar bear. Both packs include five games, all with language activities. This is also supported by Spanish and French sessions, available to book at RZSS Edinburgh Zoo.

For Japanese we have our ‘Snow monkey pack’ based on one of Japan’s most iconic animals, the Japanese macaque. The species can be seen at RZSS Highland Wildlife Park. Similarly, this pack contains five games with language activities.

All our resources cover Curriculum for Excellence Experiences and Outcomes in science, topical science, social studies, language and literacy. We work closely with SCILT, Institut français, Asesoría de Educación at the Spanish Embassy, the Japan Foundation and StampIT’s Language of Stamps. ‘Beyond the panda’ partners with CISS, the Confucius Institute for Scotland and the Scotland China Education Network.

Find out more about Science in the language class and Beyond the panda.

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