Analyzing a Pre-Service EFL Program through the Lenses of the CLIL Approach at the University of Cuenca-Ecuador

Juanita Argudo, Monica Abad, Tammy Fajardo-Dack, Patricio Cabrera

Abstract


The recent application of Content and Language Integrated Learning programs in higher education provides an extensive area for research due to the quick implementation of English as the medium of instruction for university programs, as well as to the need of university students around the world to communicate through English and to try different learning strategies and methodologies than the ones they used to work with. This study aimed to estimate the extent to which the English as a Foreign Language (EFL) program at the University of Cuenca designed for students who wish to become EFL teachers complies with the principles of the Content and Language Integrated Learning approach. The 121 participants of this study were students from the fourth, fifth, and seventh semesters of the program. A general proficiency English test was administered to these students; some writing assignments to evaluate the development of Higher Order Thinking Skills were considered; and a survey to inquire about students’ perceptions on the development of language, content, and Higher Order Thinking Skills in their content subject classes was also applied. The findings revealed that 52% of the students are between A1 and A2 level according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages; this means that they do not have the necessary linguistic conditions to take content subjects. It seems that the parameters teachers used to plan their classes do not consider the three dimensions of this approach (content, language, and procedures); therefore, students are not developing these dimensions simultaneously.


Keywords


Content and Language Integrated Learning in higher education; language development; Higher Order Thinking Skills; content understanding; program evaluation

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References


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