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Title: Investigating the English language needs of CLIL teachers in Italian secondary school science classrooms
Author: Ludbrook, Geraldine Ann
Awarding Body: Lancaster University
Current Institution: Lancaster University
Date of Award: 2011
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This research project examines the English language needs of science teachers teaching in Italian secondary school classrooms within the Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) approach. The study collects naturally-occurring data from 20 secondary school lessons to investigate the salient features of the language used by six content teachers, most of whom co-teach with language teachers. The data from the classroom observations are enriched by additional material from interviews with the content and language teachers participating in the study. The study analyses the data collected with the main objective of drawing up a rich, detailed picture of the content teachers' language to inform the construct of a performance test designed for the specific purpose of assessing the English language abilities of the content teachers. The investigation examines theoretical models of communicative language ability underlying the development of performance language tests, in particular the model of specific-purpose language testing. A review of tests currently used to assess the foreign language of non-native English speaking content teachers wishing to work in English language medium education systems provides insights into the issues involved in the development of a performance test of teacher language, and highlights the specific features of the CLIL teachers' language. The analysis of the classroom data focuses on four main aspects of the CLIL lessons. Two aspects deal with the classes in general and investigate how the content teachers' foreign language needs are influenced by the activity types observed in the lessons and by the nature of the partnership between the content and language teachers in the co-taught lessons. The third aspect focuses on the content teachers' foreign language ability and investigates their general language proficiency, their use of subject-specific language, and their use of language for classroom interaction. The fourth aspect examines the communication strategies demonstrated by the content teachers to control their own foreign language and that of their learners. This feature is of particular importance as strategic competence is required to implement the pedagogies promoted within the CLIL approach. The findings of the research project have three main applications. The first is to further the understanding ofthe current language needs ofItalian science teachers working in CLIL classrooms. The second is to provide some insights into the future language training ofItalian content teachers wishing to work within the CLIL approach and how this will develop CLIL practice in Italy. The third is to provide a principled basis to the definition of the construct of a test of CLIL teachers' language,. and the development of a CLIL teacher classroom observation instrument for use in the future training and qualification of Italian CLIL teachers.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available