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Investigating the English language needs of CLIL teachers in Italian secondary school science classrooms

Date: 15 February 2012 Time: 3.30-5.00 pm

Venue: Bowland North SR22

The Second Language Learning and Teaching Research Group (SLLAT) are pleased to announce the following presentation:

Investigating the English language needs of CLIL teachers in Italian secondary school science classrooms

Geraldine Ann Ludbrook

This research project examines the English language needs of science teachers teaching in Italian secondary school classrooms within the Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) approach. The study collects naturally-occurring data from 20 secondary school lessons to investigate the salient features of the language used by six content teachers, most of whom co-teach with language teachers. The data from the classroom observations are enriched by additional material from interviews with the content and language teachers participating in the study.

The study analyses the data collected with the main objective of drawing up a rich detailed picture of the content teachers' language to inform the construct of a performance test designed for the specific purpose of assessing the English language abilities of the content teachers. The investigation examines theoretical models of communicative language ability underlying the development of performance language tests, in particular the model of specific-purpose language testing. A review of tests currently used to assess the foreign language of non-native English speaking content teachers wishing to work in English language medium education systems provides insights into the issues involved in the development of a performance test of teacher language, and highlights the specific features of the CLIL teachers' language.

The analysis of the classroom data focuses on four main aspects of the CLIL lessons. Two aspects deal with the classes in general and investigate how the content teachers' foreign language needs are influenced by the activity types observed in the lessons and by the nature of the partnership between the content and language teachers in the co-taught lessons. The third aspect focuses on the content teachers' foreign language and investigates their general language proficiency, the use of subject-specific language and the use of language for classroom interaction. The fourth aspect examines the communication strategies required by the content teachers to control their own foreign language and that of their learners. This feature is of particular importance as strategic competence is required to implement the pedagogies promoted within the CLIL approach.

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Who can attend: Anyone

 

Further information

Organising departments and research centres: Linguistics and English Language

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Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Lancaster University
Lancaster LA1 4YD
United Kingdom

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