Greek Applied Linguistics Association 14th International Conference Advances in Research on Language Acquisition and Teaching 14-16 December 2007 Capsis Hotel, Thessaloniki Greece Current trends in L2 vocabulary learning and instruction. Is CLIL the right approach? Maria Xanthou University of Cyprus Introduction Educational aims of European Union increasing exposure to L2 Teaching subject matter through the medium of a second or a foreign language Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL). Common European Framework: participating in courses in other curriculum subjects which employ L2 as a medium of instruction’ (Council of Europe, 2001: 2). Commission of European Communities (2003) - Action Plan 2004-2006: pupils need to be able to ‘study at least some of their curriculum through the medium of a foreign language’ (p.11). This study examines the impact of CLIL on L2 vocabulary knowledge. Implementing CLIL Canada’s immersion education from the 1970’s (Harley et al, 1990) United States transition (Schleppegrell et al, 2004). Last two decades gaining prominence (Chapple and Curtis, 2000) Wide applicability the last 15 years (Hong Kong, Australia, Indonesia, Argentina, Europe) CLIL in Europe CLIL approach a fast expanding phenomenon in Europe as in the rest of the world (Van de Craen & Mondt, 2007). The Eurydice survey reveals that ‘the initiatives in the field of CLIL have increased in recent years’ (European Commission, 2005: 55 p.55) Studies revealing foreign language gains Stoller (2004) improved language abilities and content-area knowledge gains Short (1994) retention of vocabulary and content concepts Gramkow (2001: 13) more investigations into the effects of CLIL teaching are needed. Wesche (1993: 74) need for carrying out more longitudinal studies L2 vocabulary development Vocabulary development is central to language acquisition (Zimmerman,1997) An effective approach: deep vocabulary learning, activating prior knowledge, learning vocabulary in context, active processing, recalling new words, being provided multiple exposures to new vocabulary allowing incremental vocabulary learning CLIL satisfies these learning conditions Vocabulary knowledge Concept Lemma Lexical pointers Mental Lexicon Morphophonological form A view of the structure of the mental lexicon, illustrating a lexical entry (Radford et al, 1999: 233) lemma meaning morphology syntax form lexeme The lexical entry in the mental lexicon (Jiang, 2002: 619) Word pairs and lists, and the ‘Depth of processing hypothesis’ The majority of word pairs are not wholly synonymous in terms of cultural or grammatical aspects. Depth of processing hypothesis: deep mental processing, elaborate thought and manipulation of new word (Craig and Tulvig, 1975) Activating prior knowledge New words need to be incorporated into language that is already known (Schmitt and Schmitt, 1995, Stahl, 1983, Stoller and Grabe, 1993, and Martin et al, 2002) The formation of a rich network of interwoven associations around oldestablished words seems to enable their recall. Learning vocabulary in context Context = ‘morphological, syntactic, and discourse information in a given text’ ( Nation and Coady, 1988: 102) When learning a language Consider all systems of language –discourse, semantics, phonology, pragmatics (Rutherford, 1987, Nation, 2001) Comprehension of discourse when students make meaningful connections between vocabulary and the contexts in which it is found Integrating content and language (CLIL) is rooted on learning new vocabulary in the environment of meaningful context. Learning vocabulary in context Research in this area exposure to meaningful language enhances vocabulary knowledge. Coady (1997: 275-276) synthesis of research: exposure to meaningful language enhances vocabulary knowledge CLIL methodology provides content-based language environments where contexts demonstrate the pragmatic value of target words Active processing Research review on vocabulary learning by Mezynski (1983: 273) identified active processing as an important factor associated with effective vocabulary CLIL provides opportunities for being involved actively with target L2 words. Recalling the new word Vocabulary programmes should allow opportunities to the learner to recall a new word (Schmitt and Schmitt, 1995: 135) Repeated exposures to target vocabulary Providing several exposures to new words enables knowledge of the words to grow. A single exposure : not enough for learning a new word. Nation (1990) learners need to be involved in 5-16 repetitions in order to learn a new word. Herman et al (1987) the probability of learning a word from context after a single exposure is only .05. Repeated encounters with target words can expand word meanings and illustrate new associations with that word. Rott (1999) examined the effect of exposure frequency on intermediate learners’ incidental vocabulary acquisition: six exposures produced significantly more vocabulary knowledge than two or four exposure frequencies. A content-based approach provides recurring exposure to new vocabulary Robinson (2005): explored CLIL teaching frequent repetition of the key vocabulary Repeated exposures allow incremental vocabulary learning The meanings of a word can develop and expand while dealing with meaning making (Schmitt, 2000). Repeated exposuresLinguistic frameworks Noun phrase Verb phrase Adjective phrase (new informati on) Noun phrase A buggy is a very, very simple it ’s a very, very simple moving object so it ’s going to be a very, very simple moving four wheeled object or vehicle vehicle Providing meaning using a linguistic framework (Robinson, 2005: 442) Learning L2 vocabulary in CLIL classrooms CLIL: opportunities to activate background knowledge, learn vocabulary in context, process actively the new words, recall target words, and be offered multiple exposures to the new vocabulary. The study Research methodology Experimental pretest – posttest research Quantitative data Observation of video-taped lessons Qualitative data Hypothesis The CLIL group was expected to have significant gains in L2 vocabulary knowledge, outperforming their counterparts a) who were not involved in CLIL b) who were not involved in CLIL but were exposed to the word list method Experiment The subjects involved in the experiment were sixty 11 year old – level 3 EFL learners attending public primary schools. NonCLIL: G1 O1 X content L1 O2 (21) CLIL: G2 P1 X content L2 P2 (24) NonCLIL+Word Lists: G3 R1 word lists R2 (15) Figure 1 Results There were no sig. differences between the three groups on vocabulary knowledge at the outset of the study ANOVA GVocPre df Between Groups Mean Square 2 35,499 Within Groups 57 88,407 Total 59 F Sig. ,402 ,671 CLIL - Non CLIL: t-test: ,685 no sign. difference CLIL – Word List: t-test: ,635 (<,05) no sign. dif. Pre test – post test performance of the experimental group’s L2 vocabulary knowledge (CLIL) Sig.difference (,000) Pa ired Sample s Statis tic s Me an Pa ir 1 GVocPre GVocPost N Std. Deviation 8,08 33 24 11 ,5 00 16 33 ,5 83 3 24 20 ,9 28 28 Paired Samples Test Paired Differences Mean GVocPre - GVocPost -25,50000 Std. Deviation 11,33674 t -11,019 Sig. (2-tailed) ,000 Pre test – post test performance of the control group’s L2 vocabulary knowledge (NonCLIL) Sig.difference (,008) Pa ired Sample s Statis tic s Me an Pa ir 1 N Std. Deviation GVocPre 6,95 24 21 5,67 87 0 GVocPost 7,85 71 21 5,71 21 4 Paired Samples Test Paired Differences Mean Pair 1 GVocPre - GVocPost -,90476 Std. Deviation 1,41084 t -2,939 df Sig. (2-tailed) 20 ,008 Pre test – post test performance of the Word List group’s L2 vocabulary knowledge Sig.difference (,000) Pa ired Sample s Statis tic s Me an Pa ir 1 GVocPre GVocPost N Std. Deviation 9,80 00 15 9,82 85 3 18 ,4 66 7 15 15 ,3 61 67 Paired Samples Test Paired Differences Mean Pair 1 GVocPre - GVocPost -8,66667 Std. Deviation 7,28665 t -4,606 Sig. (2-tailed) ,000 Post tests demonstrated sig. differences between the three groups ANOVA GVocPost df Between Groups Mean Square 2 3760,731 Within Groups 57 246,143 Total 59 F 15,279 Sig. ,000 CLIL - Non CLIL: t-test:,000 sign. difference CLIL – Word List: t-test:,014 (<,05) sign. diff. Observation data – Analysis of video taped lessons CLIL provides opportunities for 1. Activating prior knowledge 2. Learning vocabulary in context e.g. They 3.Active processing of new vocabulary e.g. e.g. Subjects talked about the Amazon forests comparing them with forests they know. learned the words: ‘flora and fauna’ together with the words ‘species, plants, jungle, birds, reptiles, amphibians, mammals’. They looked at maps and searched reading texts to find information about topics and then had to decide whether some statements were true or false, or fill in missing The Amazon basin – Amazonia True or False? Handout, p.3 The Amazon is the second in length river of the world It starts from Andes (Perou) to the Pacific Ocean The biggest part of the Amazon basin is covered by plains. The Amazon is navigable (πλωτός) Big boats can travel There are many plants because of the heavy rainfall. The jungle of Amazon is one of the most important biotopes in the world It is easy to walk and see all the jungle √ X X √ √ √ The role of the Amazon in the life of the country Handout, p.4 Flora and Fauna (Xλωρίδα και πανίδα) http://www.tourist4tourist.c om/blog/wpcontent/brazil_amazonia_r ain_forest.jpg http://www.br azadv.com/br azil_tours/flor a.asp Flora (SWA 56) Look at the map. What kind of flora is there in the Amazon? Unscramble the words: rtoipacl froetss ………………………………….. Tropical forests Amazonia: 55,000 species of plants Observation data – Analysis of video taped lessons 4. Recalling new words e.g. through memory games related to content comprehension and language focus activities Lets play football! 1. In Brazil, it is ………… with high temperatures and rainfalls. hot 2. The climate in Brazil is …….. tropical a) Guessing game - Pictionary: Look at the drawing. What is it? (A place where plants and animals grow) biotope b) I spy a word beginning with f…. Flora d) afnua = fauna e) r------l Observation data – Analysis of video taped lessons 5. Repeated exposures to the target words e.g. During 2 minutes the teacher said the target word ‘tropical’ 7 times (lesson 2) Using linguistic frameworks e.g. Plantation is a big field. It’s a very big field. It’s a very big cultivated field (cotton, tobacco) (lesson 3) Pedagogical Implications 1.Impact of CLIL in content and L2 vocabulary development. 2.CLIL provides increased opportunities for exposing learners to L2 vocabulary knowledge in meaningful situations - (Celce-Murcia and Olshtein, 2000). 3.Attaching words to their surroundings increases the likelihood of comprehension and retention (Schmitt and Schmitt, 1995: 133). Limitations a) Variables such as habits, student motivation and personal exposure to other language learning environments were not controlled b) Small sample space and time triangulations c) The post-tests examined subjects’ immediate performance. A delayed test could have examined whether learning is retained or atrophied over time. Retesting participants long-term benefits of CLIL. Directions for further research a) CLIL in subjects other than Geography safeguard the generalisability of findings. b) Examine the CLIL group’s productive vocabulary knowledge and not only receptive. c) Explore the optimal conditions of CLIL programs and the kind of instructional strategies being used (Crandall, 1993:119) d) Consider assessment of content-based language instruction -reliable instrument Conclusion Results provide evidence that CLIL has beneficial effects on L2 vocabulary learning. Kaufman (2001: 313) the symbiosis of foreign language and content seems to be promising in enhancing foreign language acquisition. References Celce-Murcia, M. & Olshtain, E. (2000). Discourse and context in language teaching. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Chapple, L. and Curtis, A. (2000) Content-based instruction in Hong Kong: Student responses to film. System, 28, 419-433. Coady, J. (1997). L2 vocabulary acquisition – A synthesis of the research. 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