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Evaluating Bilingual Education in Germany

CLIL Students’ General English Proficiency, EFL Self-Concept and Interest

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Dominik Rumlich

The author uses a theoretical account rooted in TEFL, language acquisition and educational psychology to provide the basis for the development of a comprehensive model of language learning in CLIL. It incorporates prior knowledge, EFL self-concept, interest in EFL classes, verbal cognitive abilities and contact to English. This model is used to estimate the effects of CLIL in the context of high-intensity programmes at German Gymnasien. The statistical evaluation of the quasi-experimental data from 1,000 learners proves the existence of large initial differences due to selection, preparation and class composition effects. After two years, one finds no significant effects of CLIL apart from a minor increase in self-concept, suggesting that the actual effects of CLIL have often been overestimated.

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5. Research void, study design, (statistical) methods and instruments

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5.   Research void, study design, (statistical) methods and instruments

“For it is empirical investigation which provides the grounds for reasoned critique of practice and attempts to model it, leading to improved models and practice in a virtuous circle.”

(Byram, Holmes, & Savvides, 2013, p. 252)

The current chapter marks the transition between the empirical findings from previous studies on EFL CLIL streams in Germany and the study DENOCS (Development of North-Rhine Westphalian CLIL Students) conducted in order to address the general academic void identified in the research basis on CLIL. This void will be comprehensively described in the first subchapter, along with three main research questions (RQs) that can be derived from the current shortage of empirical research on CLIL – these RQs represent the main focus DENOCS and provide a general road map for the remaining parts of the thesis at hand. Afterwards, a description of the design of the study, data collection processes and the sample will be complemented by a thorough examination of the research instruments used, which represents an important step in confirming their appropriate quality and that of the data they elicited. This constitutes a vital prerequisite for further in-depth analyses and interpretations of the gathered data in the three subsequent chapters. To facilitate the comprehension of statistical procedures, the list of abbreviations and explanations of technical terms (pp. 27-40) provides some general remarks and interpretational guidelines, while Appendix H and I (pp. 595–607) are meant to explain some...

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