About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 1949-1954
Publication year: 2017
ISBN: 978-84-697-3777-4
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2017.1413

Conference name: 9th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 3-5 July, 2017
Location: Barcelona, Spain

ACADEMIC LITERACY SUPPORTED BY INTEGRATED CONTENT AND LANGUAGE TEACHING – EVIDENCE FROM STUDENTS’ PERCEPTIONS

P. Hellsten, I. Ilvonen, H. Jauni

Tampere University of Technology (FINLAND)
In higher education the focus of instruction is usually on the substance knowledge areas. However, the development of generic working life skills has received increased attention in higher education, largely as a response to the needs of the labour market (OECD - Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, 2013). Writing and academic literacy are examples of such generic skills. Effective use of resources and finding a motivating way to deliver academic literacy instruction are goals that require innovative solutions from higher education institutions. Different variants of the content and language integrated learning (CLIL) paradigm have gained popularity in higher education to answer these economic and pedagogical concerns (see, e.g., Fortanet-Gomez, 2013).

This paper examines a solution where a seminar course leading to bachelor’s thesis is integrated with writing instruction offered by the university’s language center. The students striving for bachelor’s degree are able to improve their linguistic skills in their mother tongue as a compulsory part of the seminar course. In this model, the students are offered two lectures by the language teacher, an online test, and individual feedback on their writing. The integrated model is an innovation in which the students’ academic literacy and the quality of writing in the bachelor thesis can be improved with relatively little resource allocation, i. e., the language teacher. The areas covered in the language instruction include writing as a process, the structure of the thesis, citing sources, style and readability.

The bachelor thesis in the technical university under study is most often a literary study of an independently chosen topic from the substance area the student is majoring in. On rarer occasions the thesis is empirical, e. g., should the student have an employment at the time that is suitable for the purpose. During the 7-8 weeks of the seminar course students write and peer-review an analysis of their chosen topic, a research plan, and the final thesis. Besides writing the thesis, the students also give and comment oral presentations. In addition to peer reviews, each student group has a supervisor who instructs them during the process. The supervisors are teachers and researchers in the topic area of the student’s major.

This paper presents results of a survey where students were asked how the integrated language instruction supported their learning and writing. Since the technical university has multiple bachelor programs, comparison between students from different disciplines is done to gain insight of how the language instruction impacts students with different literacy backgrounds and study curriculums. The students’ perceptions of the effect on their writing are compared with similar integration experiences discussed in other studies (e.g., Lea 2004; Lasagabaster & Doiz 2016; Van de Poel & Gasiorek 2012).
@InProceedings{HELLSTEN2017ACA,
author = {Hellsten, P. and Ilvonen, I. and Jauni, H.},
title = {ACADEMIC LITERACY SUPPORTED BY INTEGRATED CONTENT AND LANGUAGE TEACHING – EVIDENCE FROM STUDENTS’ PERCEPTIONS},
series = {9th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN17 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-697-3777-4},
issn = {2340-1117},
doi = {10.21125/edulearn.2017.1413},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/edulearn.2017.1413},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {3-5 July, 2017},
year = {2017},
pages = {1949-1954}}
TY - CONF
AU - P. Hellsten AU - I. Ilvonen AU - H. Jauni
TI - ACADEMIC LITERACY SUPPORTED BY INTEGRATED CONTENT AND LANGUAGE TEACHING – EVIDENCE FROM STUDENTS’ PERCEPTIONS
SN - 978-84-697-3777-4/2340-1117
DO - 10.21125/edulearn.2017.1413
PY - 2017
Y1 - 3-5 July, 2017
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 9th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN17 Proceedings
SP - 1949
EP - 1954
ER -
P. Hellsten, I. Ilvonen, H. Jauni (2017) ACADEMIC LITERACY SUPPORTED BY INTEGRATED CONTENT AND LANGUAGE TEACHING – EVIDENCE FROM STUDENTS’ PERCEPTIONS, EDULEARN17 Proceedings, pp. 1949-1954.
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