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Evaluating Bilingual Education in Germany

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


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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7. The effects of CLIL and non-CLIL environments on general EFL proficiency, EFL SC, and interest in EFL classes (RQ II/III; year 8)


7.   The effects of CLIL and non-CLIL environments on general EFL proficiency, EFL SC, and interest in EFL classes (RQ II/III; year 8)

“Von vielen Forschern werden motivationale Effekte für so plausibel gehalten, daß sie keiner empirischen Absicherung bedürfen (Peeck, 1994).”

(For many researchers motivational effects are so plausible/obvious that they do not need empirical validation.)

(Lewalter, 1997, p. 81)

On the basis of the year-six data and the above findings, CLIL, non-CLIL and regular students’ data from Gymnasien at the end of year 8 will be analysed in the context of RQ II: How large is the effect of CLIL and non-CLIL environments on general EFL proficiency after two years (end of grade 8), i.e., when taking a priori differences into account? The availability of a priori measurements allows the calculation of the changes in general EFL proficiency that have occurred over the course of years 7 and 8. These will be used to estimate the contribution of CLIL and non-CLIL learning environments to students’ general EFL proficiency. The comprehensive model of general EFL proficiency that was developed in conjunction with RQ I will supply the evaluative framework, which statistically controls for the influence of potential confounds of general EFL proficiency, such as EFL SC, interest in EFL classes, verbal cognitive abilities, sex, etc.

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