Content- and Language-Integrated Learning: A New Approach to Teaching Engineering

Content- and Language-Integrated Learning: A New Approach to Teaching Engineering

Galina V. Kirsanova, Vladimir A. Lazarev
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 11
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-3395-5.ch025
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Content- and language-integrated learning (CLIL) has been considered from the perspective of communicative competence development in the context of teaching professionally oriented English language in a technical university. The chapter outlines the main aspects underlying CLIL and describes the experience of teaching English to students majoring in Photonics in the format of “binary” classes involving two teachers: of English and of physics of lasers. Classes have been designed for 3rd- to 4th-year students who had mastered basic linguistic-cultural communicative competences and went on to continue using English in professionally oriented situations. This way of team teaching contributes to the development of communication skills in the students' professional area and facilitates the assimilation of curricular material by students.
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CLIL is a method, which on the one hand allows teaching a foreign language using the concepts and terminology typical of a student’s professional area, on the other hand using a foreign language as a tool for teaching a subject a student is majoring in. According to David Marsh, CLIL refers to situations where subjects, or parts of subjects, are taught through a foreign language with dual-focused aims, namely the learning of content and the simultaneous learning of a foreign language (Marsh, 1994).

There are CLIL schools in Europe, where school subjects are taught in German, Russian, French, English and Swedish. The variety of languages of instruction justifies the use of the letter L for ‘language’ in the abbreviation while according to (Dalton-Puffer, 2011) it would be more preferable to substitute it for the letter E to mean English as the dominant language. As Christiane Dalton-Puffer puts it, ‘CLIL languages tend to be recruited from a small group of prestigious languages, and outside the English-speaking countries, the prevalence of English as CLIL medium is overwhelming’ (Dalton-Puffer, 2011). A good command of English makes it possible for a graduate of a technical university to communicate efficiently with his or her peers abroad taking part in international scientific conferences, to read scientific articles, most of which are published in English.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Cross-Cultural Communication: A field of study that looks at how people from differing cultural backgrounds communicate, in similar and different ways among themselves, and how they endeavor to communicate across cultures. Intercultural communication is a related field of study.

Bilingual Education: A way of teaching academic content in two languages, in a native and secondary language with varying amounts of each language used in accordance with the program model.

Content- and Language-Integrated Learning: A term created in 1994 by David Marsh as a methodology similar to but distinct from language immersion and content-based instruction.

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