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Theoretical background of clil implementation in poly-lingual groups


The article is dedicated to the research of existing educational system in Kazakhstan, chiefly to its field concerning the multilingual higher education. Kazakhstani educational system is making great efforts to perfonn the better results of citizens’ language competence as the majority of Imdergraduates have limited ability to communicate in a foreign language. In this respect implementation of the CLIL approach seems to be the most productive.

The idea presented in the article is no way new but the approaches introduced here can be helpful both for teachers and for learners of foreign languages. The main notion used in the work is CLIL which stands for Content and language-integrated learning (hereafter referred to as CLIL). Though the term is known since 1994 when it was first highlighted by David Marsh the approach it denotes is still considered innovative in Kazakhstan [1, p-8], [2, p. 13].

The trend nowadays is to give the students profound knowledge of several languages what in its turn would raise their employability and support competitiveness. Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Kazakhstan is making great efforts to implement in education system of the country the policy of multilingualism. Taking into consideration the changing world and its demands it seems almost impossible to rely on customary monolingual curricula. The process of globalization forces Kazakhstani education system to pay significant attention to the learning of foreign languages. “The impact of globalization (...) highlighted the need for better language and communication educational outcomes” [3, p. 4]. Foreign language learning in Kazakhstan has become much more essential than ever before. It has become a social concern to find appropriate methodological approaches for language teaching. For this reason, universities provide courses in foreign languages for poly-lingual groups where the students are taught the subject through the medium of a target language. However, these are isolated cases only. There is a dire necessity of more innovative methods based on multilingual approach in education. Over the past decade or so, we frequently meet the graduates with a very limited foreign language competence. This raises the issue of whether the foreign language teaching approaches are efficient enough. Consequently, substantial investment in this area is required.

In addition, here undoubtedly can be used CLIL. The benefit of the approach is that there is no need to increase the number of hours in packed out curriculum to teach foreign language, it may happen simultaneously with the content of any specific subject. It must be stated here that one can plan both a CLIL lesson and a whole course. Although many teachers would generally agree that CLIL is a time-consuming approach (concerning the rework of the curricula), few would deny that the outcomes, which would be achieved, are worth the efforts made.

As the result of State program of Development and functioning of Languages of Kazakhstan implementation, the share of people speaking English in the country should increase to 10% by 2014, to 15% by 2017, to 20% by 2020. The share of people speaking three languages (Kazakh, Russian and English) to 10% by 2014, to 12% by 2017, to 15% by 2020 (Decree of the President of Kazakhstan No. 110 dated June 29, 2011). Hopefully the measures undertaken by the government to increase the knowledge of foreign language among the population will someday bring the results. Moreover, the President of the Republic states that we need to bring up multilingual and multicultural citizens.

The European researches in the field of Content and language integrated learning (CLIL) approach in higher education institution are connected, first, with wide use of English as “dominating” language of [3, p. 23] teaching in the European higher education institutions. Experience of subject teaching in English allows singling out three models. These models were presented by D. Coyle [3, p. 24 - 25]:

Model 1: Multilingual training

At the integrated training more than one language is used in various years of training and when teaching different subjects. On completion of training on such model the student acquires professional competence in several languages. Such model is prestigious form of education and it attracts the most purposeful and gifted students from various countries.

Model 2: The auxiliary/additional integrated training in a subject and language

Teaching of language takes place parallel to teaching of subjects, thus an emphasis becomes on development of knowledge and abilities for language use for providing the cogitative processes of the highest order. Teaching of language is connected with special areas, language teachers are included into structural divisions on teaching of specialties, their role is to support externally when training experts. Students when mastering specialties gain ability to use the CLIL language for work on their specialty.

Model 3: Subject courses with implementation of language support.

Curriculum of specialty is developed from the point of view of language skills improvement. Training is provided both by subject-teachers, and experts in languages training area. The student even with bad knowledge of language of training gets support during all process of training that does possible mastering as a subject, and its language teaching. The model is suitable for training of students with various language and cultural background.

In general North Kazakhstan State University named after M. Kozybayev uses different models listed above for various specialties as far as their educational course traces different purposes. For example, there 4 poly-lingual groups in North Kazakhstan State University at Germanic Languages Department (specialty 5B011900 “Foreign Language: Two Foreign Languages’). Their educational trajectory allows them studying in several languages. Ultimate result of such education is a competitive specialist with profound knowledge of several languages. Nevertheless, in reality there is much to be done and improved yet. For instance, the curriculum is to be worked according to the demands of the CLIL approach, the teachers who train the students must have at least some awareness of what they are doing. Keeping all these aspects in mind, the authors of the research would try to find the most suitable solutions to the problems, suggest the best ways of implementation of CLIL into the teaching process.

Models 2 and 3 are used in NKSU named after M. Kozybayev as well. These two models are more recognized and developed but the productivity is still to be discussed.

CLIL in higher education institution represents the developing area of theoretical and practical researches, and there is still no one common view of how the higher education institution has to realize such training. Each university in Kazakhstan has its own specifics depending on which it chooses which training methods and approaches to use in teaching target language.

In present time, NKSU has significant experience in teaching subject through target language. The implementation of suchlike programmes need not only good intentions of the university authorities and faculty involved [4, p. 15]. It is better to say that a lot has been done to implement the approach into the practice but every teacher who ties the approach has his or her own view of the problem, thus there are many opinions and no one set goal. Some disciplines both theoretical and applied are taught in the target language (English) but there is no one uniform model for integrated teaching and there is no theoretical basis as well. Thus the described situation dictates the necessity of solving the problems.


List of references:

  1. Eurodice, the information network providing information on and analyses of European education systems http://www.eurodice.org (last accessed 17/05/14).
  2. Banegas, D.L. (2011). Content and language integrated learning in Argentina 2008-2011. LatinAmerican Journal of Content and Language Integrated Learning, 4(2), 32 - 48.
  3. Coyle, D.Hood, P., & Marsh, D. (2010). CLIL: Content and language integrated learning. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.
  4. Marsh, D. (2008). Language awareness and CLIL. In J. Cenoz & N. H. Hornberger (Eds.), Encyclopedia of language and education (2nd ed., pp. 233-246). Springer Science + Business Media LLC: Vol. 6. Knowledge about Language. New York: Springer.

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