The Learning Years Vol 1

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In , the Spanish Ministry of Education and the British Council signed an agreement Llinares and Whittaker, promoting CLIL programmes in 20 schools in Madrid wherein apart from English as a FL, the students are taught social sciences in English plus a second subject depending on the availability of qualified teachers. The Andalusian regional government has also launched the so-called Plurilingualism Promotion Plan , which intends to incorporate CLIL programmes in half the schools and high schools of this autonomous community by The Basque Country is a bilingual community in which both Basque and Spanish are official languages and, therefore, used as a medium of instruction from the outset of schooling.

Depending on the linguistic model selected by parents time alloted to teaching through one or the other language varies.

Since , all Basque students learn Basque either as a subject or through immersion programmes. Thus, the teaching of English implies that all students have to face these three languages Basque, Spanish and English in the curriculum. The different CLIL models can be placed on a monolingual, bilingual or multilingual continuum — the latter describes the context under scrutiny in this article.

The ever-increasing presence of this type of language provision also calls for increased and multi-facetted research. The sample was made up of secondary students from four different Basque schools, which were divided into two age groups: third-year secondary education students SE3 henceforth who were years old and fourth-year secondary education students SE4 who were years old. These are the last two academic years of compulsory education in Spain.

As for gender, More details of the sample are provided in Table 1. The participants filled out a questionnaire with a view to measuring attitudes towards each of the three languages with which they came into contact in the Basque educational system, namely Basque, Spanish and English. The questionnaire consisted of a seven-point semantic differential questionnaire based on Gardner During the measurement of attitudes by means of this technique learners are presented with a set of antonyms for example necessary-unnecessary; appealing-unappealing; important-unimportant; easy-difficult; useful-useless; pleasant-unpleasant and asked to evaluate a given language, in our case English as a FL, Basque and Spanish.

In these first analyses, the scores obtained regarding each item were summed up so that a general attitudinal picture could be easily captured. For a more detailed picture, table 2 apportions the significant differences observed in each of the eight adjectives included in the semantic differential questionnaire among SE3 students.

In general terms, the CLIL group scored higher in all pairs of adjectives. In particular, the two groups under comparison showed very positive attitudes in the case of three of the adjectives provided: necessary, important and useful.

Vol 1 Issue 4 Contents

But this was especially so in the case of the CLIL group, whose scores were well above 6 on a seven-point scale 6. These results confirm that both groups place great importance on English as a FL and on its instrumental value. In this age group, however, significant differences were found in just four of the pairs: necessary, easy, pleasant and interesting.

The trend is therefore maintained, but it seems to diminish as the students go up in the educational ladder. As happened among SE3 students, English was also seen as a complicated and not very appealing language. Therefore, it can be concluded that in both age groups there is an instrumental orientation and that those following a traditional foreign-language-teaching approach have more problems and find the learning of English more complicated than their CLIL counterparts.

As far as the second hypothesis is concerned, language attitudes were submitted to a series of one-way ANOVAs with gender and social class as independent variables see Table 4. Table 4. Similarly, when the interaction between gender and social class was analyzed, no significant effect emerged. The resulting findings can be seen in Figures 3 and 4. Therefore, the CLIL groups not only show a more positive attitude towards the FL, but also towards the two other languages present in the curriculum.

The first of the three hypotheses put forward in this study was borne out, since the students enrolled in the CLIL classes held significantly more positive attitudes towards English as a FL than those in EFL classes. The explanation could lie in the fact that a CLIL approach provides more intense exposure and more meaningful opportunities to use the target language.

Language is best learned in authentic situations and, if traditional FL learning is compared with good CLIL practice, the latter is clearly far ahead in this respect. The FL class is too often an artificial environment where the focus is on language itself. As a self-evident example, teachers regularly observe how unattractive many textbook role-plays are for certain types of learners, who find them unrealistic, boring, anxiety-provoking and non-significant. In the CLIL approach, however, the focus of the classroom shifts from language to achieving something concrete with the language, and language learning becomes almost an incidental activity.

The individualized analysis of the eight adjectives presented in the questionnaire suggests likewise, as the students in the CLIL groups find learning English significantly easier than their EFL counterparts. Our results seem to indicate that CLIL may be a very useful approach to keep students interested in the learning of FLs. The attitudinal decline observed in the aforementioned studies Cenoz, ; Davies and Brember, ; Heining-Boynton and Haitema, seems to wane once CLIL is implemented, but longitudinal studies are needed to bear out or discard this hypothesis.

These results concerning attitudes towards English are supported by a study undertaken by Lasagabaster in the same context —the Basque Country—, and in which the language competence of CLIL and EFL groups was assessed, the conclusion being that the former significantly outperformed the latter. The second hypothesis was aimed at checking the effect of the gender and social class variables and it was only partially confirmed, as just the former variable revealed significant differences.

When the influence of gender as an independent variable was examined, the results showed significant effects in favour of female students in both the CLIL and the EFL groups. Baker and MacIntyre verified that immersion programmes helped to level out the language-attitude differences between male and female students, differences that were however maintained in the non-immersion programmes. Therefore a more limited form of CLIL, unlike immersion, does not help to even out these differences, as gender continues to play a significant role as far as language attitudes are concerned.

Lasagabaster also observed that female students outstripped their male counterparts in English competence. The gender issue therefore deserves further investigation, so that the necessary measures to help both genders to achieve equally high levels of competence can be implemented. There has been relatively little research focused on the effects of social factors on language attitudes, although there is widespread agreement that the socio-cultural milieu in which students grow up determines their attitudes.

Language planning is likely to succeed when it is embraced by the whole of society and this is what our results seem to confirm with regard to English. Another explanation could be based on the fact that, in school contexts where special heed is paid to the formal features of the language as is the case in secondary education , middle-class students achieve a better command of the L2 and hold more positive attitudes than working class students.

Vol 1 Issue 4 Contents

The third and final hypothesis was aimed at analysing the effect of CLIL on language attitudes towards Basque and Spanish. One of the dimensions considered when CLIL was introduced was closely related to the development of plurilingual attitudes and interests, as this approach was believed to generate positive attitudes.

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Our results tally with the purported benefits for students of the CLIL approach. Marsh states that in those contexts in which students speak a minority language, their participation in CLIL programmes can help them appreciate this language. Our results seem to support this statement, for the elder students enrolled in CLIL programmes held significantly more positive attitudes towards Basque —the minority language— than those who attended regular EFL classes.

In this way, not only does CLIL have a positive effect on English as a FL, but it also positively affects the minority language and Spanish —the majority language— with regards to both age groups. In any case, it appears to be proven that the ever increasing presence of English as a FL does not negatively affect attitudes towards the two other languages present in the curriculum, despite the fears and concern shown by some authors regarding the minority language above all Osa, Despite the fact that in the present study there was no intention to determine how student attitudes affect linguistic achievement, we are well aware that analysis of this relationship would enable us to discover whether it influences attainment by the two groups under study CLIL versus EFL classes.

Therefore, there is an unmistakable need to analyze the effect of CLIL programmes on the development of the three languages in question. And this is especially so in bilingual contexts such as the Basque Country, as the inclusion of a FL entails the presence of three languages in the curriculum and this curricular pressure inevitably reduces the amount of time available for each of the languages. Our results reveal that language environment and methodology as represented by CLIL programmes are important factors in determining attitudes towards the FL.

Yet, it is necessary to track changes in language attitudes among CLIL students over time in a more systematic way. Examining different facets of CLIL will allow researchers and educational authorities in different contexts to base future language policies on a coherent and consolidated theoretical framework.

Baker, C. Baker, S. Cenoz, J. Lasagabaster and J.

Montessori Method (Montessori)

Sierra eds. Coleman, J. Coyle, D. Davies, J. Dewaele, J. Donitsa-Schmidt, S. Inbar, O. Ellis, R. Etxeberria, F.

International Journal for Lesson and Learning Studies

Early trilingual education in the Basque Country, in C. Hoffmann and J. Ytsma eds. European Commission: , Europeans and Their Languages. Special Eurobarometer , Brussels, European Commission. Gardner, R.

Bilingualism and Second Language Acquisition in Preschool Children | SpringerLink

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The Learning Years Vol 1 The Learning Years Vol 1
The Learning Years Vol 1 The Learning Years Vol 1
The Learning Years Vol 1 The Learning Years Vol 1
The Learning Years Vol 1 The Learning Years Vol 1
The Learning Years Vol 1 The Learning Years Vol 1
The Learning Years Vol 1 The Learning Years Vol 1
The Learning Years Vol 1 The Learning Years Vol 1
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