Inquiry-based bilingual physics course for the International Baccalaureate Diploma Teacher Education Programme


  • Yu Lim Chen School of Teacher Education and Department of Physics, National Taiwan Normal University, Taipei City 106, Republic of China, Taiwan


Inquiry, Bilingual, Academic Language


Internationalization is an important nature of science (Chen, 2022a). Scientists all over the world need close international cooperation, such as the elementary particle research of the LHC and long-baseline interference black hole observation of the EHT (Brüning et al. 2012; The Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration et al., 2019). Therefore, learning physics through bilingualism has become an important process for international STEM talents. Bilingual learning in schools attaches great importance to cultivating students' academic language proficiency (IBO, 2014). Research on bilingual teaching has found that context-embedded and learning with higher cognitive requirements are more helpful for students' second language learning (Cummins, 1976; Cummins, 2008). Among the natural science teaching strategies, inquiry and practice teaching emphasizes contextualized problem solving and learners' high-level inquiry thinking, which is a feasible strategy for bilingual physics teaching (Kuhn, 1996; Çankaya, 2017).

The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) requires high academic language proficiency and emphasizes the process of inquiry-based teaching and learning. In the International Physics Teacher Education Program of National Taiwan Normal University, the inquiry-based physics bilingual curriculum is designed to enhance the goals of physics and language learning at the same time (Chen, 2022b).


Brüning, O., Burkhardt, H. & Myers, S. (2012). The large hadron collider, Progress in Particle and Nuclear Physics, 67(3), 705-734.

Çankaya, P. (2017). Challenges in English Medium of Instruction from the Teachers and Students' Eyes, International Journal of Languages Education, 5(4):830-839

Chen, Y. L. (2022a). The Nature of Science in Bilingual Teaching, Gifted Education Quarterly (accepted).

Chen, Y. L. (2022b). Is problem-based bilingual teaching and learning of science a double benefit?, Gifted Education Quarterly (accepted).

Cummins, J. (1976). The influence of bilingualism on cognitive growth: a synthesis of research findings and explanatory hypotheses. Working Papers on Bilingualism, Bilingual Education Project, The Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, 9, 1–43

Cummins, J. (2008). BICS and CALP: Empirical and theoretical status of the distinction. In B. Street & N. H. Hornberger (Eds.), Encyclopedia of language and education: Vol. 2. Literacy (2nd ed., pp. 71-83). New York: Springer

IBO, (2014a). Physics guide for first assessment 2016, International Baccalaureate Organisation.

Kuhn, T. S. (1996). The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (3rd Ed), University of Chicago Press

The Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration et al., (2019). First M87 Event Horizon Telescope Results. II. Array and Instrumentation, The Astrophysical Journal Letters, 875: L2