Hands-on tasks in CLIL science classrooms as sites for subject-specific language use and learning
Nikula, T. (2015). Hands-on tasks in CLIL science classrooms as sites for subject-specific language use and learning. System, 54, 14-27. doi:10.1016/j.system.2015.04.003
© 2015 Elsevier Ltd. This is a final draft version of an article whose final and definitive form has been published by Elsevier. Published in this repository with the kind permission of the publisher.
This paper is concerned with content and language integrated learning (CLIL), i.e. classrooms where a foreign or second language (L2) is used as the means of instruction and where content and language learning objectives merge. More specifically, it explores the potential of hands-on tasks in CLIL chemistry and physics lessons to serve as sites for using and learning subject-specific language, conceptualised as both special concepts and terminology as well as subject-specific ways of constructing meaning. Using discourse analysis, attention was directed to hands-on tasks as well as pre-task and post-task phases. The findings indicate that despite the evident content orientation in the tasks, language matters feature in the handling of the tasks. The pre-task and post-task phases seem more conducive to students engaging in subject-specific language use than the action-oriented hands-on tasks that involved highly indexical language use. Overall, the orientation to language of the subject remained implicit rather than explicit throughout. This indicates the importance of awareness raising so that CLIL teachers can better come into terms with their specific remit in language education as ones in charge of making the language of their subjects visible and approachable to students. ...