Language and Content Outcomes of CLIL and EMI: A Systematic Review




content and language integrated learning, English-medium instruction, language outcomes, content outcomes, systematic review


Around the world, language teachers are shifting to content-based instruction (CBI) as a way to teach English, most commonly in the form of Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) or English-Medium Instruction (EMI). With the spread of CBI around the world, it is important to understand how this shift in teaching has affected student outcomes. Using a systematic literature review approach, this study examines current literature on the effect of CBI on language and content outcomes. Twenty-five articles met the inclusion criteria for this study and were examined. The results show mixed findings on the effectiveness of CBI on student outcomes, with the majority of studies showing either positive or neutral effects for CBI when compared with non-CBI classrooms. However, the study also reveals multiple methodological issues that cause difficulties for any strong conclusions about CBI to be made. In addition, while CLIL in Spain has received a lot of research attention, other countries remain understudied. Therefore, this study concludes with a call for future research of CBI outcomes that examine a variety of countries and account for the methodological flaws identified.


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Author Biographies

Keith Mathew Graham, Texas A&M University

Keith M. Graham is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Teaching, Learning, and Culture at Texas A&M University. His research interests include the many forms of content-based language teaching including CLIL and EMI.

Yunkyeong Choi, Texas A&M University

Yunkyeong Choi is a Ph.D. student in the department of Teaching, Learning, and Culture with a specialization in English as a Second Language at Texas A&M University. Her research interests include task-based language teaching, pragmatic development of second language learners, and ESL/EFL instructional practices.

Amin Davoodi, Texas A&M University

Amin Davoodi is a PhD student of curriculum and instruction (ESL) in the department of Teaching, Learning and Culture at Texas A&M University. His research interests include second language writing, language policy, sociolinguistics and critical discourse analysis.

Shakiba Razmeh, Texas A&M University

Shakiba Razmeh is a PhD student  of curriculum and instruction (ESL) in the department of Teaching, Learning and Culture at Texas A&M University. Her research interests include language and identity and literacy learning for immigrant and refugee children.

L. Quentin Dixon, Texas A&M University

L. Quentin Dixon is an Associate Professor in English as a Second Language (ESL) Education in the College of Education and Human Development, Texas A & M University. Dr. Dixon’s research interests focus on the language and early literacy development of young bilingual children, and in using rigorous quantitative research methods to evaluate literacy programs for English language learners.


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How to Cite

Graham, K. M., Choi, Y., Davoodi, A., Razmeh, S., & Dixon, L. Q. (2018). Language and Content Outcomes of CLIL and EMI: A Systematic Review. Latin American Journal of Content & Language Integrated Learning, 11(1).




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