Exploring Communicative Activities in EFL Classrooms: Can Development of CLIL Lesson Plans Work as a Communicative Task for University Students?

Abstract

This study explored how and to what extent the development of CLIL (Content and Language Integrated Learning) lesson plans can serve as a communicative task for Japanese university students. Despite the abundant research on the application of CLIL to EFL classrooms, there have not been studies investigating if making CLIL lesson plans for younger students can function as an effective communicative task for university students who are themselves taking CLIL based English courses. As part of the unit on education for children, 77 students from 4 classes developed a detailed lesson plan in groups for teaching mathematics or science to Japanese elementary school students in English. The topics, namely, multiplication/ division, fraction, water cycle, solid/ liquid/ gas, photosynthesis, magnet, and gravity, were pre-decided by the instructor to control the difficulty level. Twenty-four lesson plans were produced, and the data were analyzed qualitatively mainly from three perspectives: the types and contents of activities (content), the linguistic expressions and instructions (language), and other features including the preparation process that potentially contributed to participants’ own learning. Participants successfully developed a variety of fun and creative activities intended to facilitate classroom interaction including experiments (e.g., walking around the school with a magnet) and games (e.g., “becoming” solid, liquid, or gas as a class). They carefully selected English expressions appropriate for the target grade of their choice. Participants’ reactions to this task were positive, and this exploratory study suggested that the task can become a highly effective one for university students with further improvement.



Author Information
Mariko Takahashi, Kwansei Gakuin University, Japan

Paper Information
Conference: ACLL2019
Stream: Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL)

This paper is part of the ACLL2019 Conference Proceedings (View)
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