The contribution of CLIL to learners' international orientation and EFL confidence
Number of pages
SourceLanguage Learning Journal, 47, 2, (2019), pp. 246-256
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ BSI OLO
Language Learning Journal
SubjectLearning and Plasticity
Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) has become increasingly popular all over Europe. As the target language is invariably English, many see CLIL as a way of helping learners develop an optimal command of English as a foreign language (EFL). The focus of many research studies has been on gains in language proficiency but the aims of CLIL reach well beyond this. The present study concentrates on whether CLIL also contributes to building pupils' confidence as EFL users, well-prepared for life in an internationalised world. Specifically, it looks at the impact on two constructs: 'EFL confidence' and 'international orientation'. The study was undertaken with 11 groups of 12-15-year-olds at 'grammar' schools (i.e. preparing for university) in the Netherlands, Germany and Italy and involved 231 pupils: 123 pupils following CLIL streams and 108 mainstream pupils. The results indicate that all pupils, both CLIL and mainstream, showed a positive development on our two variables during their first two years at grammar school. The CLIL intervention seemed to produce only a small added value. This was only a small-scale study but it highlights the need for further investigation of the impact of CLIL with a wider range of learners.
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