Current CLIL (content and language integrated learning) models in European schools : possibilities for SA private schools
Thesis (MEd)--Stellenbosch University, 2019.
ENGLISH SUMMARY : Although much has been written globally about refugees on the poor side of the spectrum, little data seem to exist about so-called ‘privileged’ migrants moving across borders, mainly for educational purposes. Many wealthy parents from other African countries opt to send their teenage children to independent secondary schools in South Africa to give their children the best education possible. As is the case globally, foreign students with language barriers entering the South African independent school system at secondary level may face major difficulties in acquiring academic English. They have far less time than primary school students to master advanced academic content, and subjects in the further education and training band require mastery of complex levels of language. Few schools can afford to provide specialised instruction at levels appropriate for individual students’ proficiency level. The CLIL (content and language integrated learning) model, or CBI (content-based instruction) as a similar model is known in the United States of America, potentially offers exciting possibilities for these schools. CLIL is an integrated model where both content terminology as well as content become tools for developing language proficiency. Language learning is included in content classes and vice versa. My contention is that the CLIL model can enhance the teaching quality and speed of language acquisition for foreign students with language barriers at independent secondary schools in South Africa. Such schools usually are proactive with the independent infrastructure required to implement this model on a smaller scale. Effective integration of content and language can also benefit mainstream, first-language students. In the light of the above, the central research question was to determine what affordances the CLIL model could create for language support at these schools. Subsidiary questions were how these schools currently conceptualised support for these learners and guidelines which could be deduced from this model to further enhance English language support. My research focussed on three independent secondary schools in the Western Cape without rigorous entrance exams in place because foreign students with language barriers would possibly gravitate towards these schools. I interviewed the principals and two other senior members of staff at each school to ascertain how these schools provided language support for foreign language students with language barriers. The next step was to extract aspects of the CLIL model that could prove useful to these schools to further support students and staff. In the final chapter I listed six affordances which, in turn, lead to four recommendations for my research sites. The recommendations were that real integration between subject areas should happen as a matter of urgency and that a CLIL facilitator should be appointed to coordinate CLIL implementation at the sites. A third recommendation was that these schools should consciously increase intercultural awareness. Finally, and most importantly, it was recommended that schools already catering for foreign students with language barriers should proudly claim their place as the go-to schools for these students. In this way they could set an example for other educational institutions to follow.
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