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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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Challenges and opportunities of training teachers for plurilingual education (Elena Romero Alfaro / Francisco Zayas Martínez)


Elena Romero Alfaro, Francisco Zayas Martínez University of Cádiz, Spain

Challenges and opportunities of training teachers for plurilingual education

Abstract: Initial Teacher Training studies provide the most appropriate backdrop to connect CLIL university teaching with Primary School CLIL practices. This paper shows how this can be planned and developed at a conventional Faculty of Education. Two fundamental principles were assumed: teacher training would not be planned as a bilingual degree, but as a plurilingual one; besides, and as an honest act of responsibility and social justice, there would not be any previous foreign language level requirements to access it. As a consequence of these nuclear principles, a Language Project was designed for the coexistence of the local L1 (Spanish) with three other languages (English, French and German) for instruction. This plurilingual curriculum schedule is based on a CLIL approach. A complementary Language Update Plan for students and teachers contributes to their gradual qualification for the regular use of these languages. Other academic events at the Faculty of Education are also designed to promote discussion with neighbouring primary school CLIL teachers, assistants, children and parents about central questions and main challenges of bilingual/plurilingual education today.

Keywords: Education; Teacher Training; Plurilingualism; CLIL Approach; Language Update Plan

1. Introduction

After years of work to install bilingual education in primary and secondary schools (Lorenzo, Casal, & Moore, 2009), it is time for universities to give continuity to this educational modality. Taking on...

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