Volume 3, Issue 2
  • ISSN 2212-8433
  • E-ISSN: 2212-8441
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes


Subject-matter specialists teaching content via a foreign/second language in higher education often exhibit a meaning-based pedagogy, unsystematically attending to inaccurate language. This observational study examined whether two foreign-language-teaching-trained instructors teaching content in English in a Mexican undergraduate program would emulate these instructional patterns, or would attend to language favouring language-and-content-integrated pedagogy. In the study, over 400 instructional episodes, video-recorded during 18 hours of regular-classroom teaching, were analyzed using the COLT observation scheme (Spada & Fröhlich, 1995). Results showed that the foreign-language educators favoured content, erratically attending to inaccurate language during communication breakdowns. Language attention occurred reactively through word translations, lexical-gap scaffolding, and isolated explanations for non-target phonological forms. These instructional patterns may result from the language teachers’ newly assumed content-based instructional roles. To favour language attention during subject-matter teaching, language instructors need training and curricular support that helps them draw on their foreign language teaching experience as they deliver content.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


  1. Airey, J. , & Linder, C
    (2008) Bilingual scientific literacy? The use of English in Swedish university science courses. Nordic Journal of English Studies, 7, 145–161.
    [Google Scholar]
  2. Airey, J
    (2011) Talking about teaching in English: Swedish university lecturers’ experiences of changing teaching language. Ibérica, 22, 35–54.
    [Google Scholar]
  3. (2012) “I don’t teach language” The linguistic attitudes of physics lectures in Sweden. AILA Review, 25, 64–79. doi: 10.1075/aila.25.05air
    https://doi.org/10.1075/aila.25.05air [Google Scholar]
    (2007) Catálogo de carreras de licenciatura y posgrado. Mexico: Asociación Nacional de Universidades e Instituciones de Educación Superior [Catalogue of undergraduate and graduate studies. National Association of Universities and Further Education Institutions: Mexico]. Retrieved fromwww.anuies.mx/servicios/c_licenciatura/index2.php.
    [Google Scholar]
  5. Ball, P. , & Lindsay, D
    (2013) Language demands and support for English-medium instruction in tertiary education. Leaning from specific context. In A. Doiz , D. Lasagabaster , & J.M. Sierra (Eds.), English-medium instruction at the university: Global challenges (pp. 44–61). Bristol, UK: Multilingual Matters.
    [Google Scholar]
  6. Borg, S
    (2006) Teacher cognition and language education: Research and practice. UK: Continuum.
    [Google Scholar]
  7. Brinton, D. , Snow, M. , & Wesche, M
    (2003) Content-based second language instruction (2nd ed.). Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  8. Brown, D
    (2001) Teaching by principles: An interactive approach to language pedagogy (2nd ed.). NY: Longman.
    [Google Scholar]
  9. Brown, J. , & Rodgers, T
    (2002) Doing second language research. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  10. Burger, S. , & Chrétien, S
    (2001) The development of oral production in content-based second language courses at the University of Ottawa. The Canadian Modern Language Review, 58(1), 84–102. doi: 10.3138/cmlr.58.1.84
    https://doi.org/10.3138/cmlr.58.1.84 [Google Scholar]
  11. Burger, S
    (1989) Content-based ESL in a sheltered psychology course: Input, output and outcomes. TESL Canada Journal, 6(2), 45–59. doi: 10.18806/tesl.v6i2.551
    https://doi.org/10.18806/tesl.v6i2.551 [Google Scholar]
  12. Burns, A. , & Richard, J
    (Eds.) (2009) The Cambridge guide to second language teacher education. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  13. Cammarata, L. , & Tedick, D
    (2012) Balancing content and language in instruction: The experience of immersion teachers. The Modern Language Journal, 96(2), 251–269. doi: 10.1111/j.1540‑4781.2012.01330.x0026‑7902/12/251‑269
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-4781.2012.01330.x0026-7902/12/251-269 [Google Scholar]
  14. Chadran, J. , & Esarey, G
    (1997) Content-based instruction: An Indonesian example. In S. Stryker & B. Leaver (Eds.), Content-based instruction in foreign language education. (pp. 222–236). Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  15. Corin, A
    (1997) A course to convert Czech proficiency to proficiency in Croatian and Serbian. In S. Stryker & B. Leaver (Eds.), Content-based instruction in foreign language education (pp. 78–104). Washington DC: Georgetown University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  16. Corrales, K. , & Maloof, C
    (2009) Evaluating the effects of CBI on an English for medical students program. Latin American Journal of Content & Language Integrated Learning, 2(1), 15–23. doi: 10.5294/laclil.2009.2.1.3
    https://doi.org/10.5294/laclil.2009.2.1.3 [Google Scholar]
  17. Costa, F
    (2012) Focus on form in ICLHE lecturers in Italy: Evidence from English-medium sciences lecturers by native speakers of Italian. AILA Review, 25, 30–47. doi: 10.1075/aila.25.03cos
    https://doi.org/10.1075/aila.25.03cos [Google Scholar]
  18. Coyle, D
    (2007) Content and language integrated learning: Towards a connected research agenda for CLIL pedagogies. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 10, 543–562. doi: 10.2167/beb459.0
    https://doi.org/10.2167/beb459.0 [Google Scholar]
  19. Creese, A
    (2006) Supporting talk? Partnership teachers in classroom interaction. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 9, 434–453. doi: 10.2167/beb340.0
    https://doi.org/10.2167/beb340.0 [Google Scholar]
  20. Dalton-Puffer, C
    (2008) Outcomes and processes in Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL): Current research from Europe. In W. Delanoy & I. Volkman (Eds.), Future perspectives for English language teaching. Anglistische Forschungen, Vol. 388 (pp.139–157). Heidelberg, Germany: Winter.
    [Google Scholar]
  21. Doiz, A. , Lasagabaster, D. , & Sierra, J
    (2013) Future challenges for English-medium instruction tertiary level. In A. Doiz , D. Lasagabaster , & J.M. Sierra (Eds.), English-medium instruction at the university: Global challenges (pp. 213–221). Bristol, UK: Multilingual Matters.
    [Google Scholar]
  22. Fortanet-Gomez, I
    (2012) Academics’ beliefs about language use and proficiency in Spanish multilingual higher education. AILA Review, 25, 48–63. doi: 10.1075/aila.25.04for
    https://doi.org/10.1075/aila.25.04for [Google Scholar]
  23. Friedenberg, J. , & Schneider, M
    (2008) An experiment in sheltered sociology at the university level. In R. Wilkinson & V. Zegers (Eds.), Realizing Content and Language Integration in Higher Education (pp. 155–168). Maastricht Netherlands: Maastricht University.
    [Google Scholar]
  24. Greere, A. , & Räsänen, A
    (2008) Redefining ‘CLIL’ – Towards multilingual competence. Retrieved fromwww.lanqua.eu/sites/default/files/Year1Report_CLIL_ForUpload_WithoutAppendices_0.pdf.
    [Google Scholar]
  25. Grin, F
    (2005, March). The value added of CLIL: A language policy evaluation approach. Paper presented atthe conference: The Changing European Classroom — The Potential of Plurilingual Education. Luxembourg.
    [Google Scholar]
  26. Harmer, J
    (2001) The practice of English language teaching (3rd ed.). NY: Longman.
    [Google Scholar]
  27. Hernández, J. , & Izquierdo, J
    . (In press). Metacognición y comprensión oral en L2: Estudio en nivel universitario [Metacognition & L2 oral comprehension: An observational study in the university context]. Revista Electrónica de Investigación Educativa, 18(1).
    [Google Scholar]
  28. Hincks, R
    (2010) Speaking rate and information content in English lingua franca oral presentations. English for Specific Purposes, 29, 4–18. doi: 10.1016/j.esp.2009.05.004
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.esp.2009.05.004 [Google Scholar]
  29. Hynninen, N
    (2012) ICL at the micro level: L2 speakers taking on the role of language experts. AILA Review, 25, 13–29. doi: 10.1075/aila.25.02hyn
    https://doi.org/10.1075/aila.25.02hyn [Google Scholar]
  30. Izquierdo, J
    (2014) Multimedia instruction in foreign language classrooms: Effects on the acquisition of the French perfective and imperfective distinction. The Canadian Modern Language Review, 70(2), 188–219. doi: 10.3138/cmlr.1697
    https://doi.org/10.3138/cmlr.1697 [Google Scholar]
  31. Izquierdo, J. , Simard, D. , & Garza, G
    (2015) Multimedia instruction and language learning attitudes: A study with university students. Revista Electrónica de Investigación Educativa, 17(2), 101–115. Retrieved fromredie.uabc.mx/vol17no2/contents-izqsimard.html.
    [Google Scholar]
  32. Izquierdo, J. , & Collins, L
    (2008) The facilitative effects of L1 influence on L2 tense-aspect marking: Hispanophones and Anglophones learning French. The Modern Language Journal, 93(iii), 350–368. doi: 10.1111/j.1540‑4781.2008.00751.x
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-4781.2008.00751.x [Google Scholar]
  33. Jochems, W
    (1991) Effects of learning and teaching in a foreign language. European Journal of Engineering Education, 16(4), 309–316. doi: 10.1080/03043799108939537
    https://doi.org/10.1080/03043799108939537 [Google Scholar]
  34. Kasper, L
    (1997) The impact of content-based instructional programs on the academic progress of ESL students. English for Specific Purposes, 16, 309–320. doi: 10.1016/S0889‑4906(97)00035‑5
    https://doi.org/10.1016/S0889-4906(97)00035-5 [Google Scholar]
  35. Klee, C. , & Tedick, D
    (1997) The undergraduate foreign language immersion program in Spanish at the University of Minnesota. In S. Stryker & B. Leaver (Eds.), Content-based instruction in foreign language education (pp. 141–173). Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  36. Kömür, S
    (2010) Teaching knowledge and teacher competencies: A case study of Turkish preservice English teachers. Teaching Education, 21, 279–296. doi: 10.1080/10476210.2010.498579
    https://doi.org/10.1080/10476210.2010.498579 [Google Scholar]
  37. Kong, E
    (2009) Content-based instruction: What can we learn from content-trained teachers’ and language-trained teachers’ pedagogies?The Canadian Modern Language Review, 66, 233–267. doi: 10.1353/cml.0.0102
    https://doi.org/10.1353/cml.0.0102 [Google Scholar]
  38. Llinares, A. , & Lyster, R
    (2014) The influence of context on patterns of corrective feedback and learner uptake: A comparison of CLIL and immersion classrooms. The Language Learning Journal, 42, 181–194. doi: org/10.1080/09571736.2014.889509
    https://doi.org/org/10.1080/09571736.2014.889509 [Google Scholar]
  39. Lyster, R
    (2007) Learning and teaching languages through content: A Counterbalanced approach. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. doi: 10.1075/lllt.18
    https://doi.org/10.1075/lllt.18 [Google Scholar]
  40. Mackey, A. , & Gass, S
    (2005) Second language research methodology and design. NY: Routledge Taylor & Francis Group.
    [Google Scholar]
  41. Madrid, D. , & García, E
    (2001) Content-based second language teaching. In E. García Sánchez (Ed.), Present and future trends in TEFL (pp. 101–134). Almería, Spain: Universidad de Almería.
    [Google Scholar]
  42. Met, M
    (1999) Content-based instruction: Defining terms, making decisions. Washington, DC: The National Foreign Language Center.
    [Google Scholar]
  43. Morales, D. , & Izquierdo, J
    (2011) L2 phonology learning among young adult learners of English: Effects of regular classroom-based instruction and L2 proficiency. Revista Electrónica de Investigación Educativa, 13(1), 1–22.
    [Google Scholar]
  44. Myers, M
    (2008) Code-switching in content learning. In R. Wilkinson & V. Zegers (Eds.), Realizing content and language integration in higher education (pp.43–52). Maastricht Netherlands: Maastricht University.
    [Google Scholar]
  45. Nikula, T. , Dalton-Puffer, C. , & Llinares, A
    (2013) CLIL classroom discourse. Research from Europe. Journal of Immersion and Content-Based Language Education, 1(1), 70–100. doi: 10.1075/jicb.1.1.04nik
    https://doi.org/10.1075/jicb.1.1.04nik [Google Scholar]
  46. Pica, T
    (2002) Subject-matter content: How does it assist the international and linguistic needs of classroom language learners?The Modern Language Journal, 85(1), 1–19. doi: 10.1111/1540‑4781.00133
    https://doi.org/10.1111/1540-4781.00133 [Google Scholar]
  47. Richards, J
    (2006) Communicative language teaching today. NY: Cambridge University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  48. Richards, R. , & Bohlke, D
    (2011) Creating effective language lessons. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  49. Rodgers, D
    (2006) Developing content and form: Encouraging evidence from Italian content-based instruction. The Modern Language Journal, 90(3), 373–386. doi: 10.1111/j.1540‑4781.2006.00430.x
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-4781.2006.00430.x [Google Scholar]
  50. Ruiz, Y
    (2008) CLIL and foreign language learning: A longitudinal study in the Basque Country. International CLIL Research Journal, 1, 60–73.
    [Google Scholar]
  51. Smit, U
    (2010) English as a lingua franca in higher education: A longitudinal study of classroom discourse. Berlin: De Gruyter. doi: 10.1515/9783110215519
  52. Song, B
    (2006) Content-based ESL instruction: Long-term effects and outcomes. English for Specific Purposes, 25, 420–437. doi: 10.1016/j.esp.2005.09.002
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.esp.2005.09.002 [Google Scholar]
  53. Spada, N. , & Fröhlich, M
    (1995) The communicative orientation of language teaching observation scheme (COLT). Sydney, Australia: MacMillan.
    [Google Scholar]
  54. Spada, N. , & Lyster, R
    (1997) Approaches to observation in classroom research: Macroscopic and microscopic views of L2 classrooms. TESOL Quarterly, 31, 787–795. doi: 10.2307/3587763
    https://doi.org/10.2307/3587763 [Google Scholar]
  55. Stryker, S. , & Leaver, B
    (1997) Content-based instruction: From theory to practice. In S. Stryker & B. Leaver (Eds.), Content-based instruction in foreign language education (pp. 2–29). Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  56. Stryker, S
    (1997) The Mexico experiment at the foreign service institute. In S. Stryker & B. Leaver (Eds.), Content-based instruction in foreign language education (pp. 177–202). Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  57. Tatzl, D
    (2011) English-medium masters’ programmes at an Austrian university of applied sciences: Attitudes, experiences and challenges. Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 10, 250–270. doi: 10.1016/j.jeap.2011.08.003
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jeap.2011.08.003 [Google Scholar]
  58. Unterberger, B
    (2012) English-medium programmes at Austrian business faculty: A status quo survey on national trends and a case study on programme design and delivery. AILA Review, 25, 80–100. doi: 10.1075/aila.25.06unt
    https://doi.org/10.1075/aila.25.06unt [Google Scholar]
  59. Van der Walt, C. , & Kidd, M
    (2013) Acknowledging academic biliteracy in higher education assessment strategies: A tale of two trials. In A. Doiz , D. Lasagabaster , & J.M. Sierra (Ed.), English-medium instruction at the university: Global challenges (pp. 27–43). Bristol, UK: Multilingual Matters.
    [Google Scholar]
  60. Vines, L
    (1997) Content-based instruction in French for journalism students at Ohio University. In S. Stryker & B. Leaver (Eds.), Content-based instruction in foreign language education (pp. 119–140). Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  61. Vinke, A. , Snippe, J. , & Jochems, W
    (2008) English-medium content courses in non-English higher education: A study of lecturer experiences and teaching behaviours. Teaching in Higher Education, 3(3), 383–394. doi: 10.1080/1356215980030307
    https://doi.org/10.1080/1356215980030307 [Google Scholar]
  62. Wilkinson, R
    (2013) English-medium instruction at a Dutch university: Challenges and pitfalls. In A. Doiz , D. Lasagabaster , & J.M. Sierra (Ed.), English-medium instruction at the university: Global challenges (pp. 3–24). Bristol, UK: Multilingual Matters.
    [Google Scholar]
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error