27 SES 02 A, Multicultural and second language education
Thailand is in the process of reforming the teaching and learning of English as the Ministry of Education has opted to integrate English into the content classroom in order to boost learners' communication skills. This, together with the adoption of The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) to measure learners' language progress and to validate teacher qualifications has led to practical challenges in schools. With this drastic change, the policy has created high tension and resistance among these teachers, leading to their misconceived views on the policy change (Kewara, 2016). Converting Thai content classroom into CLIL type classroom or English as a medium of instruction is not an easy task for in-service Thai content teachers. CLIL teachers are subject content experts but rarely have language qualifications (Nikula, Dalton-Puffer, & Llinares, 2013). Therefore, upgrading CLIL teachers’ language proficiency and CLIL teaching concepts are empirically required for the implementation of this new approach (Pérez Cañado, 2016; Wolff, 2012). This changeover requires time, understanding and cooperation.
As pre-service CLIL teacher training program is unofficially boosted, a number of in-service teacher training programs are currently launched enhancing Thai content teachers’ language skills, conceptualizing the use of English as a vehicle language for Thai learners learning in regular program. Some in-service teacher training programs are never been followed or officially valued whether teachers’ performances in CLIL type classes were progressively developed. Difficulties and important needs to facilitate and accomplish their CLIL classrooms are rarely analysed after attending professional development program.
This study seeks to investigate to what extent participating teachers implement the structure, the knowledge and content dimensions in their CLIL type classrooms after attending an in-service CLIL teacher professional development program to be able to development an effective suitable and sustainable framework for the professional development of CLIL teachers in the Thai context.
A key-concept for this approach comes from the concept of Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) that is a dual-focused educational approach in which an additional language is used for the learning and teaching of both content and languages (Mehisto, Marsh, & Jesùs Frigols, 2008). This approach uses an additional language as a medium of instruction and learning based on 4Cs framework; Content, Communication, Cognition, and Culture (Coyle, Hood, & Marsh, 2010; Dalton-Puffer, 2008; Mehisto, Marsh, & Jesùs Frigols, 2008).
Coyle (2009) suggested that The 4 Cs framework is a conceptualization of CLIL that was first mentioned in the educational field and later was used in CLIL. The sociocultural theory accounts for the CLIL approach in the sense that, in this approach, knowledge (Content) used in a real sociocultural context is practiced in a learning context (Communication) through the implementation of the 4 Cs framework. Thinking skills (Cognition) and intercultural skills (Culture) need to be developed through teaching and learning interaction.
Prior to this study, a professional development program was provided to a group of in-service content teachers who were encouraged to integrate English in their content classrooms. The professional development program provided, in the first place, intensive English classroom language courses to primarily improve participant teachers’ language skills for content classrooms. Right after the intensive English classroom language, the second phase of the professional development program was implemented. Fifteen content teachers attending the previous English intensive courses participated the second professional development program. The objective was to introduce CLIL concept, 4Cs framework, and classroom practices workshop. To design the workshop, a needs analysis was conducted to understand the teachers’ current CLIL teaching practices and their expectations. After the needs analysis, I designed the professional development program by using the targeted professional competencies proposed by Wolff (2012). The program introduced CLIL learner-centred structure to the teachers (Mehisto, Marsh, & Frigols, 2008) which is the groundwork of the six-step learner-centred lesson: Greetings, Review, Directions, Task, Assessment, and Delivery. I argued that these six-steps are useful for teachers to prepare and conduct CLIL lessons. After implementing the workshop, four volunteer teachers decided to participate in a follow-up study, classroom observation. The purpose of this observation was to examine to which teachers implemented CLIL in their classrooms from the workshops. The interviews were conducted to understand the reasons why teachers implemented certain aspects of professional development programs or why other aspects were not. Data Analysis The video recoded data from classroom observations and the interviews were transcribed by a transcription software that allowed the researcher to treat the data at different levels. The data analysis was conducted both at the individual level and later compared across the participants. I analysed and classified the teaching situations according to determine the extent to which teachers implemented CLIL, to understand whether the six steps introduced during the workshop were implemented.
After participating in the designed CLIL professional development, none of the teachers entirely implemented the six-step CLIL structure in their content classrooms. According to the structural dimension of the designed CLIL classroom structure, they still practiced their habitual teaching and learning activities which is teacher center. The main focus of the professional development was to promote a learner-centred environment in the content classroom, however, the teachers focused on the use of English in their class gained from the provided English intensive courses and paid less attention to the new teaching method. As a result, they nervously directed their classrooms and retained their teaching habits. It is evident that the teachers in this study selectively implemented one aspect, classroom language, which fits their immediate needs and understanding of CLIL type classroom. This indicates that implementing CLIL is a challenging task for teachers because teachers do not believe in the power of CLIL to increase students’ achievement, they do not believe in their English proficiency, and they do not receive ongoing professional support. CLIL teacher professional development in the Thai context should pay careful attention to the affective aspects of teacher professional learning such as beliefs or self-confidence. These aspects seem to be the major hindering factors in our study. Also, sustainable and effective CLIL teacher professional development should provide a chance for teachers to exercise their teaching practices such as doing teaching demonstrations, discussing the performance of the demonstrations, and providing constructive feedback.
Coyle, D. (2009). Promoting Cultural Diversity through Intercultural Understanding: A Case Study of CLIL Teacher Professional Development at In-service and Pre-service Levels. In M. L. Carrió-Pastor (Ed.), Content and Language Integrated Learning: Cultural Diversity (Vol. 92, pp. 105–124). Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang Coyle, D., Hood, P., & Marsh, D. (2010). CLIL: Content and Language Integrated Learning. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Dalton-Puffer, C. (2008). Outcomes and processes in Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL): current research from Europe. In D. Werner, & V. Laurenz (Éds.), Future Perspectives for English Language Teaching. (pp. 139-157). Heidelberg: Carl Winter. Kewara, P. (2016). Learning English through CLIL type approach: Concept and perspective for Thai teachers. Journal of Education, 27(1), 28–40. Mehisto, P., Marsh, D., & Jesùs Frigols, M. (2008). Uncovering CLIL. Thailand: Macmillan Education Nikula, T., Dalton-Puffer, C., & Llinares, A. (2013). CLIL classroom discourse. Journal of Immersion and Content-Based Language Education, 1(1), 70–100. Pérez Cañado, M. L. (2016). Are teachers ready for CLIL? Evidence from a European study. European Journal of Teacher Education, 39(2), 202–221. Wolff, D. (2012). The European framework for CLIL teacher education. Synergies Italia, 8, 105– 116.
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