03 SES 06 B, Curriculum Renewal (Languages): Policy and Practice
Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) is the simultaneous acquisition of subject knowledge and fluency in a foreign or second language (L2) which has been widely adopted in European schools. For Austrian primary schools policy implementation and its impact have been under-studied. Compulsory second language or foreign language learning was introduced into Austrian primary schools in 2003/4, however no extra curriculum time has been allocated for the first and second year pupils. Education policy stipulates that L2 learning should not replace subject lesson content it should be undertaken through integration into the curricula content of any subject except German. Suggestions from the government concerning the type of methods teachers should use in the lessons resemble a Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) approach. Teacher-led instruction is foreseen in the first phases of learning but as learner skills develop peer and group interaction should become the main pedagogical practice in the classroom. As far as possible L2 should be the classroom language and German kept to a minimum. The main linguistic aims involve the development of oral-aural skills for communicative proficiency, for example the learning and use of simple daily phrases. Factors regarding teachers own L2 skills and teacher training concerning the knowledge of L2 theories and methodologies for the teaching and learning of young children are relevant in distinct ways, two of which involve:
i. Pedagogical knowledge and competence of L2 teaching for L2 learning in conjunction with subject content curricula.
ii. Fulfilment of Government policy statement guidelines.
This paper describes how pupil drawings were used as a main source for investigating pupil perceptions of and feedback on the teacher's methodologies in use during the lessons and how they contributed to the overall findings concerning:
i. Reflections of education policy in classroom practice.
ii. Relationships to linguistic theory and knowledge during the lessons.
The research question dealt with in this presentation is a subarea of the main research question which investigates "What is happening in the CLIL classrooms of early learners in Austrian primary schools?".
The theoretical framework and perspectives embedded in this study are the social constructivist and communicative interactional language learning theories perceived by educational research as facilitators for functional classrooms involving the concept of CLIL.
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