This chapter aims to analyze some of the transformations the highly specialized languages of mathematics and physics undergo when adapted in the production of cultural goods, namely popular television productions, in order to explore new teaching methodologies which might render the languages of these disciplines more interesting and stimulating for young adult language learners. The chapter analyzes audio-visual materials which intersemiotically translate the language found in various specialized texts (articles, books, textbooks, etc.) and describes the use of these texts and television productions as teaching materials during two third-year courses taught at the University of Parma in Italy for students of modern languages. These courses - which were taught in 2015-2016 and 2016-1017 - provided a useful testing ground for an innovative approach to teaching and learning ESP with the aid of popular culture. In particular, the classroom experiment focused on the language of mathematics and physics found in Mario Livio's Is God a Mathematician? (2009) and Stephen Hawking's A Brief History of Time (1988). The aim was to investigate how the language of these two authors (already rather popular in their own right), is intersemiotically translated by documentaries such as The Story of Maths (2008), presented by mathematician Marcus Du Sautoy, and Origins: Back to the Beginning (2004), presented by astrophysicist Neil de Grass Tyson. Furthermore, the chapter investigates the transformations to which the specialized language of science and mathematics is subjected within the context of the popular television series Numb3rs, The Big Bang Theory and Supernova. These cultural goods demonstrate the extent to which specialized discourses are being utilized by globalized cultural industries, which in turn has an implication for needs analyses and ESP course design. The chapter argues that ESP syllabi should acknowledge the existence of this phenomenon and offers examples of how language teachers can exploit it in the development of customized teaching materials.
|Titolo:||“Re-shaping the language of mathematics and physics: Some intersemiotic and interlinguistic issues"|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2020|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||2.1 Contributo in volume(Capitolo di libro)|