Is this content-based language teaching?



Creese A (2005) Is this content-based language teaching?. Linguistics and Education, 16 (2), pp. 188-204.

Much of the content-based language teaching (CBLT) literature describes the benefits to be gained by integrating content with language teaching aims and rejects the formal separation between 'content' and 'language' as a pedagogic necessity for language learning. This paper looks at interactions in classrooms in English schools where educational policy indirectly adopts a CBLT approach. Through a focus on the discourses of collaborating teachers in secondary school classrooms, the paper analyses teachers’ and students' interactions within their wider socio-political context. It finds that language work in the content classroom is given little status when set alongside other knowledge hierarchies supported by wider societal and education agendas. Data from a year-long ethnography in three London secondary schools is used to explore how teachers and students manage the content and language interface in a subject-focused classroom. The ensuing discussion considers issues such as the conflation and separation of language and curriculum learning aims within teacher–student interactions and classroom texts. It explores the pedagogic consequences of shifting between the dual aims of subject and language learning and investigates how texts become transformed as teachers and students attempt to meet both sets of aims. It also considers wider societal pressures on classroom interactions and teaching texts in the shifting between language and content aims in English multilingual classrooms.

Teaching; content; multilingual education; English as an additional language;

Linguistics and Education: Volume 16, Issue 2

FundersUniversity of Birmingham
Publication date31/07/2005
Publication date online02/05/2006

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Professor Angela Creese

Professor Angela Creese

Professor in Education, Education