An exploration of content and language integrated pedagogy

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Journal Article
Babel, 2018, 52, (2-3), pp. 32-45
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Bilingual education has a history of implementation over many decades, and Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) as a model of bilingual education pedagogy has been adopted by a small group of teachers in various countries for many years. CLIL teachers with whom we have worked since 2010 have indicated to us that the existing bilingual pedagogy frameworks available to them do not provide them with a practical set of components that help them to understand how a CLIL pedagogy differs either from accomplished teaching of primary school students or accomplished teaching of languages through other methodologies. In this article we endeavour therefore to highlight a framework which adds to the existing theoretical frames (Coyle, 2008; Coyle, Hood, Marsh, 2010) and which is also approachable and recognisable to teachers in contexts operating with a CLIL base. We draw on data from classroom video footage and analyse the discourse and interactions in four CLIL classrooms to propose a pedagogical model that outlines how such a pedagogy combines learning and use of two languages alongside content learning. We also indicate where the pedagogy reflects more general notions of accomplished teaching in primary schools and where it offers something unique to the CLIL context through the use of translanguaging. The data are drawn from four schools in NSW, Australia, where new programs of language and content integration were implemented over the past six years. At the start, the teachers involved in the project had no prior knowledge of bilingual education other than anecdotal experience, and therefore their evolving pedagogies provide insight into how primary teachers have developed approaches from the ground up to incorporate the learning of two languages alongside subject content. The key distinguishing aspect, we believe, between accomplished primary pedagogy and CLIL pedagogy is in relation to the learning cycle used by the teachers and the in-flight changes employed by teachers as they integrate and embed multiple semiotics and content into their interaction with the students through translanguaging. This learning cycle, and the emerging semiotic pedagogies derived from teaching interactions may be useful to other teachers teaching in bilingual classrooms, or considering it as an option for emerging languages teaching and learning contexts.
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