“Describing” does not have the same meaning in history, geography or science: to describe a historical actor or to describe a policy or an event does not require the same cognitive operations, organization of information, or linguistic elements. Moreover, when students produce a text in history class, they must adopt the position of a history student. In a mathematics class, they must write from the point of view of a math student; the characteristics and linguistics elements are not the same as if a student is asked to be, for example, a journalist.
This tool allows subject teachers to identify the language practices, which are relevant to their specific subject. It is not intended to be distributed to the students. Column 2 (discourse genre) explains how to apply each category.
How to use this tool?
STEP 1: Choose an oral or written text in the subject you teach (e.g.: a maths problem, a poster, an oral presentation of an experiment, a summary in a text book).
STEP 2: Look at the table below and fill in the columns for the text you have chosen (with the help of a language teacher if needed).