Cognates & Scientific Terms
Academic language is the language needed by students to understand and communicate in the academic disciplines. Academic language includes such things as specialized vocabulary, conventional text structures within a field (e.g., essays, lab reports) and other language-related activities typical of classrooms, (e.g., expressing disagreement, discussing an issue, asking for clarification). Academic language includes both productive and receptive modalities.
Spanish is one of the most influential languages in the world, particularly in the Western Hemisphere where it is the dominant language in Central and South America. Spanish is also prevalent in the United States where it is the first language of many immigrants. Spanish is a Latin-based language and shares much in common with other Romance Languages, such as Italian, French and Portuguese. It also shares much in common with English, particularly in the realm of science where many words in both languages are based on Latin roots. As a result, an English-speaking scientist with no formal training in Spanish can recognize many scientific words in Spanish, and a Spanish-speaking scientist, with no formal training in English, can recognize many scientific words in English. Words that have similar linguistic roots are known as cognates. A list of a few English/Spanish science cognates appears in table 2.2.Try to determine the English equivalent of each Spanish science term without referring to a Spanish/English dictionary.