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The Sociolinguistics of Language Education in International Contexts

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Edith Esch and Martin Solly

In many parts of the world the language education scenario is increasingly dynamic, as demographic, economic and social changes powerfully influence socio-political agendas in the sphere of language education. These in turn impact on complex issues such as linguistic pluralism, multiculturalism, and marginalization. This is especially so in the sphere of second language education where local, national and regional concerns often dominate the objectives underpinning policy choice and prioritisation.
This volume brings together scholars and researchers from a wide range of different educational contexts and turns a sociolinguistic lens on some of the key areas of concern for researchers in language education: critical awareness of power and identity issues; competence in dealing with new sociolinguistic repertoires, modalities and literacies; ethical concerns for all who are involved. The ‘case study’ approach enables the reader to reflect on and critically engage with these issues in a rich variety of contextual situations, and the volume as a whole provides a useful overview of (second) language education in the world today.

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ROXANA HERESCU An Investigation into the Views and Practices of Teachers of Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) in Romania 197

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ROXANA HERESCU An Investigation into the Views and Practices of Teachers of Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) in Romania 1. Introduction: on the way to multilingualism Education in an additional language, under multifarious forms, has been present in Europe for centuries.1 Nonetheless, Europe has recently pro- duced a re-conceptualisation of this teaching approach, which adds nov- elty and value to the initial concept (Coyle/Hood/Marsh 2010). In the mid-nineties, the approach in its newly articulated shape began to be implemented across European schools which led to continued research and scrutiny. Content and Language Integrated Learning (henceforth CLIL) is a generic term referring to dual-focused education and encom- passes any teaching instance when “a foreign language is used as a tool in the learning of a non-language subject in which both language and the subject have a joint role” (Marsh 2002: 58). Thus the dual focus of CLIL, which draws on the integration of language and content, is con- strued as inherent and gives this approach an original, modern perspec- tive on teaching foreign languages (see Coyle’s 4Cs Framework, 1999). The approach also represents a noteworthy shift of attention from teach- ing to learning processes. The term CLIL was adopted in 1994 by the European Network of Administrators, Researchers and Practitioners (EuroCLIC) and was launched officially in 1996 by UNICOM, University of Jyväskylä in Finland and the European Platform for Dutch Education (Darn 2006). The adoption of a label for this newly developing approach positioned CLIL methodology alongside bilingual education...

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