A conference on "Ontological, Epistemological, Linguistic and Pedagogical Considerations of Language and Science Literacy: Empowering Research and Informing Instruction" is proposed. The emphases of the conference are (1) the development of theoretical framework for understanding and developing language-science literacy connections and (2) establishing a group of researchers interested in classroom-based research projects focused on critical, practice-derived issues language and science literacy issues. A premise is that research needs to focus on determining what science literacy practices work in the classroom and build explanations of why these work. The conference will address (1) clarification of the roles of speaking, reading, writing, and listening in authentic science learning communities in elementary, middle, secondary, post-secondary, and post-graduate settings, (2) exploration of the influences of information technologies on language and science literacy, (3) the establishment of a contemporary theoretical framework involving language, information technology, science and science literacy, and (4) the consolidation and extension of international, interdisciplinary and intergenerational network of professional scientists, applied cognitive scientists, language and science researchers, graduate students, and teacher educators.
The conference will begin by exploring the nature of science, the linguistic components of doing science, the ontological and epistemological considerations in science literacy, the influence of information technology on language production and processing, and the critical relationships between language, science, and science learning. It will continue by summarizing the results of recent explorations of oral and written discourse on science literacy. The conference will conclude by outlining some avenues for future research, some implications for classroom practice, and some applications for teacher education.