ERG SES G 05, Curriculum Innovation
Over the last decade tremendous reforms were introduced to rationalize the Education system of Kazakhstan. Almost all of these reforms were aiming at changing the methods, concepts and philosophy of teaching and learning processes completely and eliminate the heritage of Soviet school system. One of the paramount novelties in education was the organization of Nazarbayev Intellectual Schools (NIS). NIS was the education platform that tested and adapted advanced teaching and learning practices of the world to transfer to other schools of Kazakhstan. Content-Language Integrated learning (CLIL) was one of the well-known approaches applying in NIS to develop language literacy, foreign culture awareness and capacities of the students in secondary schools. CLIL was introduced to NIS system in 2013 and hundreds of teachers with thousands of learners are testing the approach effectiveness. However, the approach has generated two-edged debates among some stakeholders: teachers, students and parents. Parents and their children mostly have negative attitude toward CLIL, whereas teachers have diverse visions of the approach. They could identify explicit benefits of content-language integrated lessons, but they also have not denied classroom challenges of CLIL. The purpose of this research is to study main stakeholders’ experience: teachers’ perception of CLIL in NIS. Therefore this study attempts to address two main research questions: RQ1: What are the teachers’ perceptions of CLIL in NIS? RQ2: What challenges do NIS teachers face in CLIL classrooms?
This qualitative case study employed individual interviews with CLIL teachers and observation of their lessons to understand teachers’ challenges in-depth. Purposeful sampling was used to collect the data. Selected participants of the study represented teachers of various subjects with different teaching experiences and education backgrounds. Research results provided information about NIS teachers’ perception of CLIL, mainly the challenges they faced in content-language integrated lessons. Generally, NIS teachers were not in favor of changed curriculum putting forward their old teaching approaches. The case study revealed the language difficulties as a major challenge in CLIL classrooms. However, there appeared contradicting findings as many of the participants reported that they could improve English language knowledge.
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