EXPLORING THE DUAL FOCUS IN CLIL: A CASE OF DISCREPANCY IN HIGHER EDUCATIONAL SETTINGS?

P. Kletzenbauer1, U. Fuerstenberg2

1University of Graz & FH JOANNEUM (AUSTRIA)
2University of Graz (AUSTRIA)
Content and language integrated learning (CLIL) was originally defined as a pedagogical approach with a dual focus, learning content through the medium of a foreign language and learning a foreign language by studying a content-based subject. In other words, "CLIL refers to situations where subjects, or parts of subjects, are taught through a foreign language with dual-focused aims, namely the learning of content and the simultaneous learning of a foreign language" (Marsh 2002:58). As such, CLIL guarantees a considerable increase in the students’ language proficiency as learners are involved in interesting and meaningful activities while using the language.

However, reaching this dual focus is hardly manageable in higher educational settings. In fact, content teachers at universities, who do have to teach their lessons in a foreign language, miss quite often the main goal of CLIL as they give lecturing-like classes where the focus is put on the content but not on the language. Interaction and communication is reduced to a minimum due to the lack of language awareness and proper pedagogical methods bridging the discrepancy of content and language.

Counteracting this development, our paper should give an overview of necessary pedagogical and linguistic implications in order to integrate content and language at the same time. Based on concrete examples in CLIL teacher trainings, the paper aims at displaying techniques how teaching methods and language awareness can be tied-up in order to make teachers more aware of the impact of successfully reworded language goals in content classes targeting the dual focus in CLIL.