20 SES 11, Innovative Research Methodology: Educational leadership, problem based learning and language acquisition in an academic, intercultural, inclusive perspective
On October 29, 2010, the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan issued a decree on the State Program for the Development and Functioning of Languages in the Republic of Kazakhstan for 2011-2020. It concerns the development of languages in new conditions, the improvement of the regulatory and legal framework aimed at strengthening the institutional status of the Kazakh language as a state, to preserve the sociolinguistic activity of the Russian language and to develop English as a means of integration into the world space. The program identifies indicators to which a purposeful language policy should lead: the proportion of the adult population who speaks the state language (by 2017 - 80%, 2020 - 95%); The percentage of the adult population of the Republic who speaks Russian (by 2020 - 90%); The share of the population of the republic who speaks English (by 2014 - 10%, 2017 - 15%, 2020 - 20%). (Kazakhstan Ministry of Education and Science 2011).
“The transition to trilingual training is dictated by time. In developed countries, children at least know two languages (native and English), and in such countries as Belgium - 3 languages, the Netherlands – four” (Kazakhstan Ministry of Education and Science n.d.)
To this issue, our country is moving in stages. Currently, at NIS physics should be taught in English. “The English language is the most widespread in the world, it is spoken by 1.5 billion people. Today the number of literature in English exceeds Russian-language publications by 6 times, 56% of information on the Internet in English. In the international rating (the English Language Index "Education First") Kazakhstan ranks 54th among 63 countries”. (Kazakhstan Ministry of Education and Science n.d.)
The problem of teaching our children simultaneously in three languages is being considered at the state level. At the school level the problem – teaching physics in English when both students and teachers have limited English abilities.
The purpose of this article is to report the results of the pedagogical experiment on the using of the CLIL (Content and Language Integrated Learning) methodology in physics lessons within the framework of the Summer School on the basis of the NIS PhM (Nazarbayev Intellectual School of Physics and Mathematics) Taraz.
The program of this course is intended for 11th grade students studying in the Summer School. The basic reason of choosing those students were to adapt students for transition of content and teaching language. As the program of STEM subjects were expected to be switched to L3 which mean to English language in 2017-2018 academic year. Overall, this program involved 101 11th grade students of NIS aged between 16-17 years old and for integrated Physics lessons only 76 students who had 6 academic hours of practice per week. The core principles of these program were practical activities which aimed at developing students' academic skills and expanding their knowledge in physics. The performance of independent practical work ensures the connection of the physical experiment with the theoretical material being studied, which allows the children to make generalizations and conclusions independently.
It was planned to conduct these summer school courses in English with the goal of expanding the scientific and technical terminology: developing the ability of students to express themselves with scientific concepts and terms, to reason, think logically, analyze and intelligently construct their speech. We worked with following +skills:
- Write: - Lab report, explanation, critiques, history
- Speak: - Discuss, explain graphs, pictures, charts processes, alternatives
- Listen: - Videos, audios
- Read: Worksheet, questions, online reading
- Use: - Application to register in a scientific way (academic English)
Content: - Words, terminology, phrases, sentences
Once the content and language goals were chosen, the collaborative planning of the lessons was held under the supervision of international colleagues who are language experts. This group consisted of 4 local and 2 foreign Physics teachers and they tried to foresee the possible language difficulties of our students in mastering the subject material and providing support for "removing" these difficulties through thorough planning. While planning the subject content, the teachers did not encounter any difficulties. Content was chosen to serve both cognitive and communicative spheres and at the same time to enrich students' knowledge of the language. However, the language planning caused some difficulties, since it could not exceed the current level of language training of students in complexity. Each lesson was planned so that it began with a video or audio fragment. To develop listening skills, students listened to the fragment and completed tasks such as filling out tables, building charts, or completing a gapped text. Each lesson also included authentic texts. The texts selected needed to address the age characteristics and level of language preparedness of the Grade 11 students. Work in pairs and larger groups up to eight students were also actively applied in the lessons, as group activities provide a good environment to practice in the target language. In order to identify the difficulties and possible areas for improvement I used such research tools as survey, observation and researcher’s diary it could lead to some solutions and recommendations which are vital for further development of the research and reaching the aim of the study. The purpose of the survey was to understand colleagues’ perspectives on the current topic. Overall, three teachers of physics subject who teach 11th students were involved and the survey contained only open-ended questions. Observation was needed to monitor how the theory is applied in practice
According to the findings of the observation and survey it can be concluded that both methods have similar results. All interviewed teachers agreed that they need to improve the English language proficiency of the teachers themselves, as well as students. Teachers participating in CLIL recognized the need to change the familiar teaching methods that can be used in L1 (Kazakh Language) when learning the same content in L3 (English Language). Most CLIL teachers took part in the trainings organized by the NIS Autonomous Education Organization for the training of CLIL. Two international physics teachers participated in the CLIL training, also taught English for a while. It is very good that CLIL teachers participate in bilingual seminars that help them to develop professionally and share learning experiences with other teachers who apply the CLIL methodology in teaching. All interviewed CLIL-teachers answered that the content is not affected by the use of a foreign language, but this requires more effort and time. They noticed changed in professional performance since working in the CLIL classroom during Summer School. Lesson planning, which is taught in the third language requires cooperation between teachers of language and non-linguistic disciplines. If the teacher of language disciplines when planning a lesson helps in setting the language goal of the lesson, then the subject teacher works on the purpose of the lesson. Such cooperation of teachers helps to create good educational environment in the classroom.
1. Kazakhstan Ministry of Education and Science (2011). State Program of Functioning and Development of Languages in the Republic of Kazakhstan 2011-2020. Retrieved 15 April 2017 from http://control.edu.gov.kz/ru/gosudarstvennaya-programma-razvitiya-obrazovaniya-na-2011-2020-gody 2. Kazakhstan Ministry of Education and Science (n.d.). Trilingual Education. Retrieved 19 June 2017 from http://edu.gov.kz/ru/faq/trehyazichnoe-obrazovanie 3. Hahta K., Butler Y. & Daria Witt. (2000). How Long Does It Take English Learners to Attain Proficiency? California: The University of California Linguistic Minority Research Institute. 4. Savić V. (2012). Effective CLIL Lesson Planning: What Lies Behind It? In R. Popović & V. Savić (eds.) Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) in Teaching English to Young Learners. Jagodina: University of Kragujevac Faculty of Education in Jagodina, 35-42.
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