From Theory to Practice- Selected papers from the 2013 ICLHE Conference
Introducing content and language-integrated learning at a Saudi Arabian university
Abstract King Abdulaziz University (KAU) has found that the current English programme in the foundation year (FY) has not achieved the desired outcomes in terms of student learning. The FY is not adequately preparing students to be successful learners in content areas in which learning materials are in English. This qualitative study explored the feasibility and practicality of introducing a Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) programme as a new approach to the FY at KAU. English teachers, content subject teachers and students were interviewed. Recommendations made at a FY evaluation workshop were also highlighted. CLIL would allow both content classes and language objectives to be included in the FY programme thereby enhancing the students’ cognitive abilities. Findings indicate that content teachers and English teachers felt that this would be a good approach to instruction. However, students were concerned about having to learn English as well as the content class material. The results indicated the importance of having clear FY aims and of training teachers in how to adopt the new teaching approach, and the need to facilitate communications.
Keywords: Higher Education; CLIL; Saudi Arabia; Foundation programme; Policy
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