This study reports on the results and challenges of implementing the CLIL (Content and Language Integrated Learning) approach in an all-English lecture course for Japanese university students who took a content course in English for the first time. Specifically, this study illustrates the language support as well as language related activities included in the course in order to facilitate students' understanding and learning. This action research was conducted over the course of the semester for 15 weeks, with 19 students as participants (English level: lower intermediate to intermediate). The theme of the course was English as an international language, which aimed to have students study how and why English is used as a means of communication across countries and cultures with the focus on geographical-historical and socio-cultural factors. The instructor was qualified to teach both language classes and content classes. Throughout the semester, five types of language support and language focused activities were integrated into the content course: vocabulary building, reading exercises with comprehension questions, note-taking check, writing check, and communicative activities related to the new concepts introduced in the class. In addition to this, pair or group discussion sessions were held every week, but the focus of discussion activities was on the contents. The biggest challenge was maintaining a balance between content teaching and language support in order to achieve the initial objectives of the course. However, students' performance was more than satisfactory and feedback from students was overall positive, indicating that the CLIL approach was highly effective.
Mariko Takahashi, Setsunan University, Japan
Stream: Foreign Languages Education & Applied Linguistics (including ESL/TESL/TEFL)
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