Language Awareness in Content and Language Integrated Learning

Sylvia Fehling

Universitat Gesamthochschule Kassel, Germany

Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL), which was established in a few German schools about 30 years ago, has become an important part in the German school system. Content and Language Integrated Learning indicates that subjects such as history, geography, politics and biology are taught for some time in German and for some time in a foreign language, generally English or French. Research has proofed that the pupils' competence of the foreign language is much higher in bilingual classes than in conventional foreign language classes (Wolff, 1997: 172). Since a profound and differentiated knowledge of foreign languages has become an important qualification and prerequisite for successful studies and a good career, many schools integrate content-based language teaching in their classes.

This paper examines the influence of Content and Language Integrated Learning on the devolpment of Language Awareness. In order to work with the concept of Language Awareness it is referred to James and Garrett who differentiate the following domains of Language Awareness: The affective domain, the social domain, the power domain, the cognitive domain and the performance domain (James & Garrett, 1992: 12-20).

The central questions of this paper are:

- How does the development of Language Awareness in content-based language teaching differ from the development of Language Awareness in conventional foreign language teaching?

- Which domains of Language Awareness are influenced through content-based language teaching?

The research results presented in this paper are based on a Language Awareness-Test (LAT). The test attempts to measure the different domains of Language Awareness and consists of quantitative and qualitative components. The study is conducted with pupils of four German grammar schools (Gymnasium) in grade 7.


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