Utilizing the CLIL Approach in a Japanese Primary School: A Comparative Study of CLIL and EFL Lessons

| December 3, 2013
Utilizing the CLIL Approach in a Japanese Primary School: A Comparative Study of CLIL and EFL Lessons

Keywords: CLIL (Content and Language Integrated Learning), Japanese primary English
education, comparative study, 4Cs perspectives

Yuki Yamano
Graduate School, Sophia University

Yuki Yamano is a graduate student in the doctoral course at the Graduate School of Language and Linguistics of Sophia University.

In recent years, Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) has become the subject of attention, especially in East Asian countries, due to the introduction of English as a Foreign Language (EFL) education in primary schools. However, limited empirical studies have been conducted regarding the feasibility and potentiality of content-integrated instruction in these contexts (Butler, 2005) with fewer studies related to Japanese primary schools. Therefore, this study explores the potential of CLIL application in a Japanese context from four important aspects, known as the 4Cs: Content (subject matter), Communication (language learned and used in the CLIL lesson), Cognition (cognitive skills), and Community/Culture (awareness toward learning community and pluricultural understanding) (Coyle, 2007; Coyle, Hood, & Marsh, 2010; Mehisto, Marsh, & Frigols, 2008). This paper first defines Japanese primary EFL education and discusses the rationale for applying CLIL approach in a Japanese primary school context. Then, based on the 4Cs perspective, it investigates the differences between a CLIL class of 35 students in a crosscurricular instruction and a non-CLIL class of 36 students in conventional EFL instruction conducted under a common theme, and analyzes results from three different data sets: classroom observations, pupil questionnaires, and teachers’ interviews. Lastly, the present study indicates the potential of CLIL approach in a Japanese primary EFL environment.

See page: 160-183

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Category: Main Editions, Volume 15 Issue 4