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Integrating Content and Language in Higher Education

Perspectives on Professional Practice

Edited By Jennifer Valcke and Robert Wilkinson

This book offers a collection of original papers showing how Higher education institutions have coped with changing the language of instruction. It points out that Higher education institutions have undergone radical change in the past decades; of which the shift to English-medium instruction, as well as bi- or plurilingual programmes, is one notable example. The papers comprise new research on teaching and learning through an additional language, and its impact on professional development for university teachers, programme and course development, as well as quality assurance. The articles span different international contexts, and provide education developers, university teachers, educational administrators, language experts, and others, with global perspectives on the professional practices of university teachers.

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I feel traumatized: Teachers’ beliefs on the roles of languages and learning in CLIL (Erwin Gierlinger)


Erwin Gierlinger University of Education of Upper Austria, Austria

I feel traumatized: Teachers’ beliefs on the roles of languages and learning in CLIL

Abstract: CLIL – Content and Language Integrated Learning – is a pedagogical approach for the teaching of curriculum subjects through the medium of a foreign language. For CLIL teachers, this approach is marked by a complex interactional web of beliefs between pedagogical subject content beliefs and pedagogical second language content beliefs. The former is focused on the teaching of subject knowledge and the latter on the teaching of second language knowledge. The aim of this study is to investigate this web of beliefs and its influence on CLIL practices. For these purposes, this paper reports on a longitudinal study in which two novice CLIL teachers carried out a one-year CLIL course within a mixed ability setting. The research design of this course was both authentic, as being placed within the school’s normal curriculum, and at the same time unique, as both teachers taught the same subject (chemistry and history) in a CLIL and a non-CLIL context. Through an intensive comparative data coding process, several belief dimensions were identified. These dimensions include teachers’ beliefs in the CLIL classroom as a social learning space, teachers’ pedagogical subject content beliefs, teachers’ pedagogical second language content beliefs, teachers’ beliefs on code switching, and finally, teachers’ beliefs on being dynamic language users. These dimensions were not realized as fixed and static characteristics but as dynamic, changeable, and even contradictory webs...

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