Att börja tala ’biokemiska’ - Betydelsen av metaforer och hjälpord för meningsskapande kring proteiner

Carl-Johan Rundgren


This paper deals with the process of acquiring a subject-specific language. When confronted with the visual representations and scientific terms of molecular life science, students try to make meaning using the language they have access to and their prior experience. In this process students use a kind of intermediate language, with frequent use of metaphors. Some metaphors can be traced back to the teaching they have experienced, while some are spontaneous metaphors created by the students. They also make use of words that seemingly have no meaning, here referred to as helpwords. The results from this study indicate that spontaneous metaphors and helpwords are important in learning situations, especially in an abstract discipline such as molecular life science. This paper aims to give a preliminary theoretical description of the phenomenon of helpwords, based on an interview study of 20 students taking natural science courses in their upper secondary school education.

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