From the Editor
Challenges—if I had to pick one word to sum up the feature articles in this issue of CI, that would be it.
The challenge of learning a language—the language of chemistry, to be exact—is explored by Keith Kelly (see article) in his review of Content and Language Integrated Learning. The idea is to engage students for whom English is not their primary language, in learning English and a specific subject, simultaneously. This presents a challenge for teachers, who not only need to plan for the subject but also for the language and the specific language issues the students will be facing in approaching a new subject. The reward, as I see it, is the ease with which students will be able to communicate about a technical matter without ever have to translate from their mother tongue.
Another challenge explored in this issue relates to the assessment and refocusing of the role of analytical chemistry, particularly in regions where the need for such expertise might have been underestimated in recent times. In these areas, the question is how to restore a base of expertise where it is most needed. With that in mind, Nelson Torto summarizes the outcome of a recent workshop coordinated by the Analytical Section of the South African Chemical Institute (see article).
The third challenge concerns the planning of a global experiment that will take place as part of the International Year of Chemistry celebration in 2011 (see article). The global experiment, which focuses on water, will provide kids with a chance to learn about the role of chemistry and share their experiences and findings online. “Water–A Chemical Solution” will also provide ample teaching opportunities.
As these articles attest, there is no shortage of challenges for chemistry. However, as Winston Churchill once said, “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”
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