# Taking care with technical terms - frequency

Teaching Guidance for 14-16

## Being precise when talking about frequency

**Wrong Track: **The frequency of a sound is how quickly it vibrates.

**Right Lines: ** The frequency of a sound is measured in terms of the number of complete oscillations per second or hertz.

## Encouraging precision when talking about waves

**Thinking about the learning**

When students are first introduced to these terms, there is a tendency for them to use the terms in a less than precise way.

Sound and light belong to different families of radiation and the members of those families are specified in terms of their velocity, frequency and amplitude.

**Thinking about the teaching**

It's worth making a fuss about getting definitions such as these correct.

We'd suggest encouraging students to take pride in being precise:

Teacher: Frequency! What do we mean by frequency? Remind us, Lucas!

Lucas: Errr, the number of complete oscillations made by any point on the wave each second.

Teacher: Perfect! Music to my ears! Well done, Lucas!