Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Teaching non-language courses in a foreign language improves language learning

05.10.2011
Students who in addition to their traditional German language courses are taught other courses in German end up with both a stronger vocabulary and a better communicative ability, according to a new doctoral thesis in German from the University of Gothenburg.
The increasing globalisation has led to a focus in school curriculums on communicative ability, a type of ability that can be improved in many ways. Most researchers agree that there is a strong link between the input students of a foreign language receive and their language production. It is also generally perceived that an authentic content helps boost students’ motivation, which indirectly may facilitate language learning.

CLIL (Content and Language Integrated Learning) is a method that is based on these principles. Karmen Terleviæ Johansson has studied how lower secondary students’ spoken German is developed when the subjects religion, civics, geography and history are taught in German too.

She assessed students’ vocabulary by having them tell a story based on the pictures in a well-known picture book and observing which communication strategies they implemented, for example when they could not think of the right word to use. She also analysed the students’ spoken English to see whether CLIL may have an indirect positive effect on their English skills as well.
‘The study points to a clear advantage for the CLIL students in all assessed aspects of vocabulary and communication strategies. They produced both longer and more varied stories than the students who were given only traditional German courses. One particularly strong finding was that the CLIL group ended up more homogenous in the sense that the differences between high- and low-performing students were smaller,’ says Terleviæ Johansson.

Her analysis of vocabulary frequency showed that CLIL students more commonly used functional words such as pronouns and conjunctions (an indication of more advanced language skills). They also replaced frequently used words with less frequently used words faster. These results were found for spoken English as well, suggesting that SPRINT in one language has positive effects also in other languages.

The most obvious differences were found in the students’ use of communicative strategies, where the CLIL students to a much greater extent implemented strategies based on their German skills. In contrast, the control group generally relied on strategies based on their native language Swedish, which means that they were less creative and less successful when communicating in German.

‘My results suggest that CLIL facilitates verbal communication skills in a second foreign language regardless of student type, including low-performers. The method seems to effectively tackle the increasing demand – in school and in society at large – for communicative ability in foreign languages other than English,’ says Terleviæ Johansson.

Karmen Terleviæ Johansson has a background as an upper secondary school teacher in English and German. Her doctoral thesis is part of a larger research project, the so-called Nödingeprojektet, where earlier studies on the effects of SPRINT on written production and listening and reading comprehension have found very positive results.

The thesis ” Erfolgreiches Deutschlernen durch CLIL? Zu Lexikon und Kommunikationsstrategien in mündlicher L3 schwedischer Schüler mit bilingualem Profil. (Successful German learning through CLIL? A study of lexicon and communication strategies in Swedish students’ oral L3 – written in German with an abstract in English)” has been successfully defended.

For further information, please contact: Karmen Terleviæ Johansson
Telephone: +46 (0)730 33 25 97
E-mail: karmen.johansson@sprak.gu.se

Helena Aaberg | idw
Further information:
http://hdl.handle.net/2077/26560
http://www.gu.se

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht A sudden drop in outdoor temperature increases the risk of respiratory infections
11.01.2017 | University of Gothenburg

nachricht Urbanization to convert 300,000 km2 of prime croplands
27.12.2016 | Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC) gGmbH

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

Im Focus: How to inflate a hardened concrete shell with a weight of 80 t

At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).

Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...

Im Focus: Bacterial Pac Man molecule snaps at sugar

Many pathogens use certain sugar compounds from their host to help conceal themselves against the immune system. Scientists at the University of Bonn have now, in cooperation with researchers at the University of York in the United Kingdom, analyzed the dynamics of a bacterial molecule that is involved in this process. They demonstrate that the protein grabs onto the sugar molecule with a Pac Man-like chewing motion and holds it until it can be used. Their results could help design therapeutics that could make the protein poorer at grabbing and holding and hence compromise the pathogen in the host. The study has now been published in “Biophysical Journal”.

The cells of the mouth, nose and intestinal mucosa produce large quantities of a chemical called sialic acid. Many bacteria possess a special transport system...

Im Focus: Newly proposed reference datasets improve weather satellite data quality

UMD, NOAA collaboration demonstrates suitability of in-orbit datasets for weather satellite calibration

"Traffic and weather, together on the hour!" blasts your local radio station, while your smartphone knows the weather halfway across the world. A network of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

Nothing will happen without batteries making it happen!

05.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Satellite-based Laser Measurement Technology against Climate Change

17.01.2017 | Machine Engineering

Studying fundamental particles in materials

17.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Multiregional brain on a chip

16.01.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>