Special Issue on Content and Language Integrated Learning

Foreword to the Special Issue

In late January 2014, we attended the 34th Annual Thailand TESOL International Conference in Chiang Mai. In one of the keynote addresses, Russell Gordon Cross provided an update on the state of Content and Language Integrated Learning, especially as it was being implemented in various foreign language programs in Australia. One of the vignettes he presented was of a multi-modal approach to Italian history and culture using the Italian language. Watching a video rendition of the Italian culture class, the conference audience could note the excitement in the students’ faces as they were dramatically interacting in Italian, their non-native language. It was clear that this was more than a language class, and more than a history or culture class. This was CLIL. Read more

CLIL in ELT: A Personal Note from the Special Editor

by David Marsh
University of Jyväskylä, Finland

ELT is being buffeted by a set of at least ten forces, sometimes simultaneously and with differing degrees of energy, across all sectors from pre-school to higher education. There is a high degree of convergence among these forces which impacts on countries and regions in different ways. What happens in one sector (such as primary level ELT) has a ripple effect on another (such as higher education ELT). Some of this impact is not necessarily conducive to timely change, and results in undue drag and turbulence, but there are examples of innovation and progress. These forces impact on both the teaching of English as a subject, and the use of English as the medium of instruction in higher education. Countries differ widely with respect to the position of English, but there are some challenges which are widespread. Read more

A Systematic Review of English Medium Instruction (EMI) and Implications for the South Korean Higher Education Context

by Dylan Glyn Williams
Seoul National University, South Korea

This review focuses on the recent global trend of implementing English Medium Instruction (EMI) in non-English language higher education contexts. The aim is to arrive at a comprehensive view of published research focused on this global trend and to draw out the implications for international findings on EMI in the South Korean higher education context. A two-stage systematic literature review is used to explore the published EMI research. Read more

A Completely Different Ball Game: Content and Language Integrated Learning through the Sociology of Sport

by Mark Brooke
National University of Singapore

The objective of this paper is to report on a Content and Language Integrated Learning module entitled Sport and Competition within the broader field of the Sociology of Sport. In particular, it presents classroom instructional activities developed over a period of 8 months to guide students to notice and manipulate language in context. The rationale based on Second Language Acquisition Theory behind these is then discussed. It is believed that while on-task, focusing on these activities in the classroom, intentional and incidental learning of the target content-specific language (bricks) and general cross-curricular academic language (mortar) occurs (Dutro & Moran, 2003). Read more

Language-sensitive CLIL Teaching in Higher Education: Approaches to Successful Lesson Planning

by Ulla Fürstenberg, University of Graz, Austria
and Petra Kletzenbauer, FH Joanneum – University of Applied Sciences, Austria

In response to increased international cooperation, mobility and profiling within the European context, many tertiary educational institutions now offer degree programmes taught in English, the language of academia. However, adapting the concept of Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) for an educational setting where non-native English speaking content teachers have to teach their subjects in English, often with very little preparation and support from their institutions, poses considerable challenges. The lack of proper methodological training and support from stakeholders, and complex linguistic learning situations – to name just a few – complicate the realisation of the concept of CLIL in this context. Read more

Factors Influencing the Choice of CLIL Classes at University in Japan

by Howard Brown
University of Niigata Prefecture, Japan

CLIL is relatively new in Japan but growing in popularity, particularly in English language-learning contexts. Recent government figures show that as many as one third of all universities offer classes that may be considered CLIL. CLIL is being adopted both by individual teachers and in department or campus-wide programs. Teachers and administrators may adopt CLIL based on an understanding of its benefits, including the efficiency and effectiveness of its dual focus and the complementary relationship between language and content classes which develops in CLIL contexts. Read more

Materials Development for a Japanese University CLIL Class

by Peter Cheyne, Kyoto Notre Dame University, Japan
and Edward Rummel, Miyazaki International College, Japan

This paper discusses sequenced materials development for content/language integrated learning (CLIL) in a team-taught Content/English introductory philosophy class at Miyazaki International College (MIC), Japan. A short introduction situates the authors’ particular CLIL approach, one developed for an English as a Second Language (ESL) environment in a Japanese liberal arts college. They then offer a template for a sequence of language exercises that are adaptable to a variety of discipline-specific content texts and lectures of varying degrees of language difficulty. The approach can be used in team-taught or solo-taught courses. The authors also reflect on implementing their materials in an active-learning classroom to enhance the CLIL advantages. Read more

Critical and Creative Engagements Facilitated through a CLIL Approach in the Ideas and Exposition (IEM) Classroom

by Coleen Angove, Lynette Tan and Anuradha Ramanujan
National University of Singapore

This article argues for the transferability of CLIL’s philosophy and practice to a more broadly defined language-and-content classroom. The writers attempt to illustrate how they have applied concepts from CLIL to their content-heavy writing classes, thereby aligning themselves with CLIL’s dual approach. Students are supported in mastering challenging content, together with a “discourse” unique to the content. Applying rhetorical strategies, students construct meaning through the use of content-related terms and language they have mastered. The writers further explain how strategically raising students’ awareness of the relationship between content and different discourses, critical and creative thinking can be generated. Read more

CLIL in the Business English Classroom: From Language Learning to the Development of Professional Communication and Metacognitive Skills

by Dana Di Pardo Léon-Henri
University of Paris IV – La Sorbonne, France

This paper presents a pedagogical intervention whereby 170 Business English (BE) students in their first year of a two-year Business Administration and Management course at a French vocational institution were given a professional oral presentation task-based on peer collaborative work. This task was designed to heighten their level of enthusiasm for language learning, while stimulating risk-taking and ultimately boosting confidence-building. In the context of English for Specific Purposes (ESP) and more precisely, a course with a BE focus, this study aims to analyze if and how a CLIL-based approach can be implemented to teach a variety of professional skills, while assisting students in the development of their metacognitive ability. Read more

Countering Essentialist Conceptualizations of Content Knowledge in a Japanese CLIL Situation

by Glenn Toh
Tamagawa University, Japan

This article discusses CLIL in a Japanese university. It seeks to explore ways of combining CLIL with creative pedagogies which encourage students to view content knowledge as being fluid, situated and dynamic given the current fast-changing realities surrounding the ways in which knowledge is shaped, created, represented and appropriated. It also seeks to examine the practical implications of the view that language use (in this case EFL) is inherently discursive and contextually-situated in nature. It argues for the importance of appreciating different ways in which language can be mobilized to shape and generate new meanings through CLIL, represented in this article as a ‘cutting-edge’ approach of ELT. Read more

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