“I Wouldn’t Say There Is Anything Language Specific”: The Disconnect between Tertiary CLIL Teachers’ Understanding of the General Communicative and Pedagogical Functions of Language

Authors

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.5294/laclil.2021.14.2.5

Keywords:

Higher education, teacher education, language of instruction, discussions, questions

Abstract

CLIL teachers, particularly in tertiary “hard” CLIL settings, tend to underestimate the role of language for developing conceptual understanding of new content. Nevertheless, they consistently engage with English outside the classroom and even report a variety of activities that they carry out in English with the explicit hope that this will improve their language skills. However,
they do not seem to develop transfer strategies that would allow them to benefit from this language engagement in their teaching. The results of a nation-wide study on CLIL teacher wellbeing in Austria confirmed this disconnect, prompting our present follow-up study, which aims to combine teacher training and research and to raise tertiary CLIL teachers’ levels of Teacher Language Awareness (TLA). By means of an online questionnaire, class observations and stimulated recall interviews, we explored teachers’ conceptualization of language, specifically their awareness of the language needed for effective content teaching. Results suggest that research-based TLA coaching must be part of CLIL teacher training to resolve the disconnect between the general communicative functions of language, on the one hand, and the pedagogical functions of language, on the other hand. This can help teachers unlock the potential of their existing language engagement for improving their classroom discourse and practices. 

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.

Author Biographies

Ulla Fürstenberg, University of Graz

Senior Lecturer

English Department

University of Graz

Tom Morton, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid

Tom Morton is Beatriz Galindo Distinguished Researcher in the Department of English Philology, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain. His research interests include CLIL, EMI and language teacher knowledge and identity.

Petra Kletzenbauer, FH Joanneum University of Applied Sciences

Petra Kletzenbauer is a university lecturer at the FH Joanneum, Austria. Her research interests include CLIL and English for Specific Purposes (ESP).

Margit Reitbauer, University of Graz

Margit Reitbauer is a university professor at the Department of English Studies, University of Graz, Austria. Her research interests include reading research, computer-mediated communication, discourse analysis, and cognitive linguistics.

References

Airey, J. (2012). I don’t teach language. The linguistic attitudes of physics lecturers in Sweden. AILA Review, 25(25), 64–79. https://doi.org/10.1075/aila.25.05air

Airey, J., Lauridsen, K. M., Räsänen, A., Salö, L., & Schwach, V. (2017). The expansion of English-medium instruction in the Nordic countries: Can top-down university language policies encourage bottom-up disciplinary literacy goals? Higher Education, 73(4), 561–576. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10734-015-9950-2

Andrews, S. (2007). Teacher language awareness. Cambridge University Press. https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511497643

Andrews, S., & Lin, A. M. (2017). Language awareness and teacher development. In P. Garrett & J. Cots (Eds.), The Routledge handbook of language awareness (pp. 57–74). Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315676494-4

Ball, D. L., Thames, M. H., & Phelps, G. (2008). Content knowledge for teaching: What makes it special. Journal of Teacher Education, 59(5), 389–407. https://doi.org/10.1177/0022487108324554

Banse, H. W., Palacios, N.A., Merritt, E. G., & Rimm-Kaufman, S. E. (2017). Scaffolding English language learners’ mathematical talk in the context of calendar math. Journal of Educational Research, 110(2),

–208. https://doi.org/10.1080/00220671.2015.1075187

Clarke, V., & Braun, V. (2014). Thematic analysis. Encyclopedia of critical psychology. Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-5583-7_311

Cummins, J. (2013). BICS and CALP: Empirical support, theoretical status, and policy implications of a controversial distinction. In M. Hawkins (Ed.), Framing languages and literacies: Socially situated views and perspectives (pp. 10–23). Routledge.

Dalton-Puffer, C. (2007). Discourse in content and language integrated learning (CLIL) classrooms. John Benjamins. https://doi.org/10.1075/lllt.20

Dalton-Puffer, C., Nikula, T., & Smit, U. (Eds.). (2010). Language use and language learning in CLIL classrooms (Vol. 7). John Benjamins Publishing. https://doi.org/10.1075/aals.7

Escobar-Urmeneta, C., & Walsh, S. (2017). Classroom interactional competence in content and language integrated learning. In A. Llinares & T. Morton (Ed.), Applied Linguistics Perspectives on CLIL (pp. 183–200). John Benjamins. https://doi.org/10.1075/lllt.47.11esc

Gabillon, Z., & Ailincai, R. (2015). Content and language integrated learning: In search of a coherent conceptual framework [Conference paper]. The European Conference on Language Learning (ECLL), Brighton, UK. https://doi.org/10.13140/RG.2.1.4027.6963

Gass, S. M., & Mackey, A. (2000). Stimulated recall methodology in second language research. Routledge.

Hartas, D. (Ed.). (2010). Educational research and inquiry: Qualitative and quantitative approaches. Bloomsbury Publishing. https://doi.org/10.5040/9781474243834

He, P., & Lin, A. M. (2018). Becoming a “language-aware” content teacher. Journal of Immersion and Content-Based Language Education, 6(2), 162–188. https://doi.org/10.1075/jicb.17009.he

Hessel, G., Talbot, K. R., Gruber, M. T., & Mercer, S. (2020). The well-being and job satisfaction of secondary CLIL and tertiary EMI teachers in Austria. Journal for the Psychology of Language Learning, 2(2), 73–91. https://doi.org/10.52598/jpll/2/2/6

Komorowska, H. (2014). Language awareness: From embarras de richesses to terminological confusion. In A. Łyda & K. Szczesniak (Eds.), Awareness in action (pp. 3–20). Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-00461-7_1

Lin, A. M. (2016). Language across the curriculum & CLIL in English as an additional language (EAL) contexts: Theory and practice. Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-10-1802-2

Lindahl, K. M. (2016). Teacher language awareness among pre-service K-12 educators of English language learners. In J. A. Crandall & M. A. Christison (Eds.), Teacher education and professional development in TESOL: Global perspectives (pp. 127–140). Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315641263-8

Macaro, E., Curle, S., Pun, J., An, J., & Dearden, J. (2018). A systematic review of English medium instruction in higher education. Language Teaching, 51(1), 36–76. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0261444817000350

Mahan, K.R. (2020). The comprehending teacher: Scaffolding in content and language integrated learning (CLIL). The Language Learning Journal, 1–5. https://doi.org/10.1080/09571736.2019.1705879

Mann, S., & Walsh, S. (2017). Reflective practice in English language teaching: Research-based principles and practices. Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315733395

Marsh, D., Frigols, M., Mehisto, P., & Wolff, D. (2011). The European framework for CLIL teacher education. Council of Europe, ECML.

McNeil, L. (2011). Using talk to scaffold referential questions for English language learners. Teaching and Teacher Education, 28(3), 396–404. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tate.2011.11.005

Mehisto, P. (2011). Navigating management and pedagogical complexities in bilingual education: An Estonian case study [Doctoral Dissertation, Institute of Education, University of London].

Meyer, O., Coyle, D., Halbach, A., Schuck, K., & Ting, T. (2015). A pluriliteracies approach to content and language integrated learning – mapping learner progressions in knowledge construction and meaning-making. Language, Culture and Curriculum, 28(1), 41–57. https://doi.org/10.1080/07908318.2014.1000924

Miles, M. B., & Huberman, A. M. (2014). Qualitative data analysis: An expanded sourcebook. Sage.

Moate, J. M. (2011). The impact of foreign language mediated teaching on teachers’ sense of professional integrity in the CLIL classroom. European Journal of Teacher Education, 34(3), 333–346. https://doi.org/10.1080/02619768.2011.585023

Morton, T. (2012). Classroom tal, conceptual change and teacher reflection in bilingual science teaching. Teaching and Teacher Education, 28(1) 101–110. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tate.2011.07.006

Morton, T. (2018). Reconceptualizing and describing teachers’ knowledge of language for content and language integrated learning (CLIL). ­International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 21(3), 275–286. https://doi.org/10.1080/13670050.2017.1383352

Morton, T. (2020). Cognitive discourse functions: A bridge between content, literacy and language for teaching and assessment in CLIL. CLIL Journal of Innovation and Research in Plurilingual and Pluricultural Education, 3(1), 7–17. https://doi.org/10.5565/rev/clil.33

Nikula, T., & Dafouz, E. (Eds.). (2016). Conceptualising integration in CLIL and multilingual education (Vol. 101). Multilingual Matters. https://doi.org/10.21832/9781783096145

O’Dowd, R. (2018). The training and accreditation of teachers for English medium instruction: An overview of practice in European universities. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 21(5), 553–563. https://doi.org/10.1080/13670050.2018.1491945

Papaja, K. (2013). The role of a teacher in a CLIL classroom. Glottodidactica: An International Journal of Applied Linguistics, 40(1), 147–153. https://doi.org/10.14746/gl.2013.40.1.11

Reitbauer, M., Fürstenberg, U., Kletzenbauer, P., & Marko, K. (2018). Towards a cognitive-linguistic turn in CLIL: Unfolding integration. Latin American Journal of Content and Language Integrated Learning, 11(1), 87–107. https://doi.org/10.5294/laclil.2018.11.1.5

Roussel, S., Joulia, D., Tricot, A., & Sweller, J. (2017). Learning subject content through a foreign language should not ignore human cognitive architecture: A cognitive load theory approach. Learning and Instruction, 52, 69–79. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.learninstruc.2017.04.007

Simons, H. (2009). Case study research in practice. Sage. https://doi.org/10.4135/9781446268322

Smit, U., & Dafouz-Milne, E. (2012). Integrating content and language in higher education: An introduction to English-medium policies, conceptual issues and research practices across Europe. AILA Review. 25. https://doi.org/10.1075/aila.25.01smi

Unterberger, B. (2014). English-medium degree programmes in Austrian tertiary business studies: Policies and programme design [Doctoral dissertation]. University of Vienna, Austria.

van Someren, M. W., Barnard, Y. F., & Sandberg, J. A. C. (1994). The think aloud method: A practical approach to modelling cognitive processes. Academic Press.

Walsh, S. (2011). Exploring classroom discourse: Language in action. Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203827826

Downloads

Published

2022-06-14

How to Cite

Fürstenberg, U., Morton, T., Kletzenbauer, P., & Reitbauer, M. (2022). “I Wouldn’t Say There Is Anything Language Specific”: The Disconnect between Tertiary CLIL Teachers’ Understanding of the General Communicative and Pedagogical Functions of Language. Latin American Journal of Content &Amp; Language Integrated Learning, 14(2), 293–322. https://doi.org/10.5294/laclil.2021.14.2.5

Issue

Section

Articles