Focus on Form in Content-Based Instruction: in Primary School Arts and Crafts CLIL

Abstract

Despite their alleged dual focus on content and language learning, CLIL classes are, more often than not, focused on meaning transmission and comprehension and promote an incidental approach to language learning. Yet, empirical evidence from second language acquisition research points out that a mere focus on meaning is not enough for learners to reach proficiency in the target language and some awareness of the linguistic form is necessary for language learning to occur. In order to foster simultaneous subject matter and foreign language learning, CLIL practitioners need to create opportunities for learners to notice the language of the content while performing content-related activities and tasks. We propose a series of pedagogical strategies to achieve this awareness of the form in the context of the CLIL class, drawing on empirical evidence from language learning research and our own experience as CLIL teachers and teacher trainers.

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