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Content and language integtration in clil classes

Content and language integtration in clil classes

The education system of the Republic of Kazakhstan is undergoing significant changes and at the center of these changes are the institutional reforms which are being implemented in our country. All educators feel a strong sense of responsibility for teaching and preparing young citizens to withstand modern challenges of modern adult life.
In 2017 - 2018 academic year a gradual implementation of trilingual education has been introduced. The development of trilingual education in Kazakh schools will be based on the experience of 33 experimental schools for gifted children, Nazarbayev Intellectual School and 30 Kazakh - Turkish lyceums [1].
«In 2018 - 2019 we plan to introduce the teaching of computer science, chemistry, biology, physics in English in all schools. This transition requires a huge effort. First, it is necessary to change the content, and secondly, it is necessary to train the teaching staff for it and, of course, the general language training of our students must be at the highest level», - Balykbayev noticed [2].
Nowadays integrating language and content in the process of teaching has become the issue which is being debated all over the world. According to Kazakhstan Educational Program all Kazakhstani students should be competent in at least two languages (including their mother tongue) in order to integrate easily into the world educational system. Teaching simultaneously language and content has become vital issue in Kazakhstan. The educationalists, teachers and administrators have been looking for effective ways and means to reach this highly ambitious goal. One of the most interesting proposals made is called «teaching content through a foreign language» or «content and language integrated learning» (CLIL). Teaching science subjects in English is being realized nowadays in all Kazakhstani schools.
The teachers in Kazakhstan are looking for effective approaches to teaching subjects in English. One of the new and effective approaches is suggested to be subject - сentered фpproach when students take math and science classes in English[5]. Being broad - field approach the subject - centered approach provides containing its own set of skills and concepts for mastering students in each content area. For example, in science, students learn about the scientific method and science - related vocabulary. This knowledge students use conducting experiments and investigations. In English, students are taught grammatical rules which they will need to produce appropriate written products. Teachers in these subject areas are specialists in their content [3].
In the UK the schools ensuring a subject - centered approach divide subjects into three different types: «Common content» which represents subjects that all students must study, «Special content» provides for preparing students for specific professions and «Elective content» which provides for optional classes that students take to develop further their education. These optional classes include extra subjects as advanced auto mechanics courses, or special courses according their interests, such as photography or handicraft.
The subject - centered approach is aimed at teaching subjects in English. It gives students possibility to enhance their knowledge of content. In order to enable students to get the information in English the teacher introduces the content in English gradually, step - by - step introducing special terminology. In the first term the amount of special terminology in English is only 25%, the second term includes 25% of English terminology. In teaching subjects in English in the focus there is content, not language. Due to subject - centered approach students comprehend the subject and are able to deliver information despite their language level and knowledge.
The teacher introduces students the content step - by - step ensuring students to gain all the information and skills needed to enhance their content area. In subject - centered approach the teacher guides the children in learning the subject and delivering it in English. The teacher minimizes the material set in the amount of subject matter that the child has to master until he becomes successful in his subject comprehension. In order to help students who have difficulties in gaining his mastery, the teacher organizes remedial classes or remedial techniques [3] which support students without making them feel stressed.
The teacher provides students the tasks due to their level of knowledge and the task language is quite available for students. This is the example of the task which can be suggested to senior stage students:
A) Look at the adenosine triphosphate structure and complete the sentences
1. The ATP molecule is composed of ……components.
2. At the centre is a sugar molecule, ……. (the same sugar that forms the basis of RNA).
3. Attached to one side of this is a base (a group consisting of linked rings of carbon and nitrogen atoms); in this case the base is ……..
4. The other side of the sugar is attached to a string of …… groups which are the key to the activity of ATP.
5. ATP consists of a base, in this case …….. (red), a …… (magenta) and a ……. chain (blue)
6. The molecule adenosine triphosphate, or ATP is a special carrier of…….
B) Describe adenosine triphosphate structure with your peers. The phrases to use:
1. ….. carries energy within cells
2……. is used in signal transduction pathways for cell communication
3………is incorporated into deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) during DNA synthesis
4. ………drives many processes in living cells
5……. is used as a coenzyme.
6. The building blocks of ATP are……, …….., ……., ….., and ……….
One of the effective approaches to integrate language and content in the language classroom is research - based approach which provides students possibility to carry out investigations and researches independently and to achieve lesson goals easily without being frustrated. It is this approach which reveals students’ full potential.[4] Students working in collaboration with their peers become more confident and feel more responsible. The teacher provides all the material which is necessary for their research. The teacher becomes just a viewer of the research process monitoring students’ language and knowledge level.
All the approaches mentioned above will enhance teaching subjects in English and will make the teaching less stressful. Generally speaking, teaching subject in English increases students’ motivation and develops students’ functional literacy skills. The science specialists speaking English are in demand in every spheres of life.

1. Государственная программа развития образования и науки Республики Казахстан на 2016 - 2019 годы, Астана, 2016 год
2. Ashley Seehorn; What Is a Subject - Centered Approach to Teaching, Updated June, 2018
3. Barnett, R. & Coate, K. (2016). Engaging the curriculum in higher education. Open University Press: Maidenhead, UK.
4. Bell, S. & Lane, A. (2014). From teaching to learning: Technological potential and sustainable, supported open learning. Systemic Practice and Action Research, 11(6), 629 - 650.
5. Richards, J.; Rodgers, T. Approaches and methods in language teaching. Cambridge: CUP, 2011

Дүйсен Зарина Жұмәділқызы
«Жамбыл облысы әкімдігінің тілдерді дамыту басқармасы»,
«Тілдерді оқыту орталығының»
ағылшын тілі мұғалімі.
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