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Study reveals poor technical verb vocabulary of physics postgraduates
A study done on the physics postgraduates aspiring to be college teachers reveals that they have poor technical verb vocabulary. Invariably, physics postgraduates use common verbs rather than the technical verbs. For example, instead of using 'traverse' they use 'travel'; for 'occur' they use 'happen', etc.

The study was done through content analysis of the demonstration part of the teacher selection process for teaching physics at the undergraduate level. The paper titled "A Status Study of Technical Verb Vocabulary Command of Physics Postgraduates Aspiring To Be Teachers" has been accepted for presentation at the forthcoming National Conference ASHE-2016 to be organized by Department of Applied Science and Humanities to be held from 9-10 September, 2016 at JECRC, Jaipur.

An observational action research study of physics postgraduates in Jaipur during their presentation part of selection for college job revealed that they had an extremely low command (80x20) on technical verb vocabulary. The criterion of effective command is 80x80, thereby meaning that 80 per cent students using 80 per cent correct technical verbs. For example, all the candidates invariably spoke 'move or travel' instead of 'traverse' ; 'go up' instead of 'rise'; 'tell' instead of 'describe', etc.

The study had the following objectives: (i) To find the current status of technical verb vocabulary command of physics topics and (ii) To suggest induction training for acquisition of a minimum technical verb vocabulary for professional verbalization of physics content. The action research methodology of direct observation and jotting down the verbs spoken during presentations (N=20; age: 25-30 years; presentation duration: 10 minutes) and their technical appropriateness.

It was found that 80 of the candidates could use 20 per cent physics related verbs appropriately. All the candidates fell short of 30 per cent cut off level. The post-selection discussion (N1=3, duration=15 minutes) revealed that the present teaching of physics at higher education level was reflective of poor verbal skills of teachers and confining to telling-listening-selective cramming-writing for examination.

It was suggested that a verb bank of 50-60 words from a standard textbook should be prepared as part of two-hour in-house induction training of selected five physics teachers. Consequently, a one-page document is available for newly recruited teachers to be well-versed with technical verbs of physics.

Keywords: Physics instruction, physics vocabulary, teacher training, technical language, verbal intelligences, verb vocabulary.

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