Does CLIL develop academic language?

Michaela Sepešiová, University of Prešov, Slovakia;      Abstract: It is essential to accentuate that teachers should incorporate cognitively challenging tasks and appropriate language when applying Content and Language Integrated Learning. They should remember that it involves learning the academic language in which the content and language issues overlap.  The academic language usually represents unknown language concepts for learners, even in their mother tongue. Thus, introducing new content via academic language should not be connected only with explanations in the target foreign language. Our research is based on quantitative data showing whether applying CLIL positively impacts written academic language development.  We analysed the syntactic complexity of two corpora of CLIL and non-CLIL upper-level secondary level students´ groups. The corpora were made of an almost equal number of writings in the English language (nEG=8, nCG=9). The CLIL impact on syntactic complexity is examined utilising complexity measures calculated for each writing task collected over three years.  The results correspond to the ones of Bulten and Housen (2019). The data obtained did not show significant academic language development within the CLIL group.

Key words: English Language Teaching. Content and Language Integrated Learning. Upper-secondary level. Academic Language. Syntactic Complexity.

 

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