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 ECG procedure indicates whether an implantable defibrillator will extend a patient's life
02.09.2019 | Technische Universität München

nachricht Fracking prompts global spike in atmospheric methane
14.08.2019 | European Geosciences Union

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: 'Nanochains' could increase battery capacity, cut charging time

How long the battery of your phone or computer lasts depends on how many lithium ions can be stored in the battery's negative electrode material. If the battery runs out of these ions, it can't generate an electrical current to run a device and ultimately fails.

Materials with a higher lithium ion storage capacity are either too heavy or the wrong shape to replace graphite, the electrode material currently used in...

Im Focus: Stevens team closes in on 'holy grail' of room temperature quantum computing chips

Photons interact on chip-based system with unprecedented efficiency

To process information, photons must interact. However, these tiny packets of light want nothing to do with each other, each passing by without altering the...

Im Focus: Happy hour for time-resolved crystallography

Researchers from the Department of Atomically Resolved Dynamics of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg, the University of Hamburg and the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) outstation in the city have developed a new method to watch biomolecules at work. This method dramatically simplifies starting enzymatic reactions by mixing a cocktail of small amounts of liquids with protein crystals. Determination of the protein structures at different times after mixing can be assembled into a time-lapse sequence that shows the molecular foundations of biology.

The functions of biomolecules are determined by their motions and structural changes. Yet it is a formidable challenge to understand these dynamic motions.

Im Focus: Modular OLED light strips

At the International Symposium on Automotive Lighting 2019 (ISAL) in Darmstadt from September 23 to 25, 2019, the Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, a provider of research and development services in the field of organic electronics, will present OLED light strips of any length with additional functionalities for the first time at booth no. 37.

Almost everyone is familiar with light strips for interior design. LED strips are available by the metre in DIY stores around the corner and are just as often...

Im Focus: Tomorrow´s coolants of choice

Scientists assess the potential of magnetic-cooling materials

Later during this century, around 2060, a paradigm shift in global energy consumption is expected: we will spend more energy for cooling than for heating....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Optical Technologies: International Symposium „Future Optics“ in Hannover

19.09.2019 | Event News

Society 5.0: putting humans at the heart of digitalisation

10.09.2019 | Event News

Interspeech 2019 conference: Alexa and Siri in Graz

04.09.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quality control in immune communication: Chaperones detect immature signaling molecules in the immune system

20.09.2019 | Life Sciences

Moderately Common Plants Show Highest Relative Losses

20.09.2019 | Life Sciences

The Fluid Fingerprint of Hurricanes

20.09.2019 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>