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N. Tanaka-Ellis1, S. Sekiguchi2

1Tokai University (JAPAN)
2Meiji Gakuin University (JAPAN)
Since the emergence of Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) in the 1990s in Europe, CLIL has been getting global attention in the field of foreign language education. Due to its dual-purpose approach of teaching content through a foreign language, it is regarded to be able to provide learners with more information-rich environments that are more relevant to their needs. In more recent years, diverse range of pedagogies for implementing CLIL courses have been researched by language educators as well as educators from different disciplines because of its multi-disciplinary nature. For instance, integration of technology into this type of educational courses may be an example from the various pedagogical applications in CLIL. The current paper reports on preliminary findings regarding some evidence of learning found in a CLIL course offered at a Japanese university, delivered in a flipped-, blended learning environment. The students registered in this course were from three different faculties, studying about leadership skills using English as their target language (TL). Their TL proficiency varied, ranging from intermediate to advanced. Each enrolled student was eligible to borrow an iPad from the university during the semester, which facilitated ubiquitous learning (Ogata, et al., 2005), in or outside of their classes. The course was set up for the students to learn the content materials uploaded online before attending the class, so that the classes at the university were mainly used for group discussions and presentations about the flipped content. In line with the general CLIL practice, the language-learning component was embedded in the course; in other words, it was not explicitly taught by the teachers. The course coordinator expected the students to improve their TL skills through in-class discussions and activities in or outside of the class. The main sources of data were audio and video recordings of in-class group discussions, and they were transcribed to search for evidence of learning.

The oral data was categorised into the following four categories of learning evidence:
1) transfer of words,
2) transfer of phrases,
3) transfer of concepts, and
4) application of concepts.

The first type of evidence can typically be seen during in-class discussions, where students just pick some keywords from the flipped materials and insert them into their utterances, however, their usage may not be accurate. Transfer of phrases is similar to the first category, but the students manage to remember some key phrases and utter them in their discussions. The third category, transfer of concept, involves higher cognitive skills than the first two; the students understood the concept in the materials in their own way and use them in their discussion. In this category, the students may only demonstrate their learned knowledge in a very narrow sense that they show their understanding of some of the key concepts, however, only in certain contexts. The final category of evidence of learning applies to the students who demonstrate deeper, fuller understanding of learned concepts and are able to utilise and apply them in discussions to build and support their arguments. On the contrary to the researchers’ expectation, the preliminary results showed that the TL proficiency did not have a strong association with the evidence of learning.