The Impact of Content-Based Language Instruction on EFL Students’ Reading Performance

  •  Ya-Ling Tsai    
  •  Hui-Fang Shang    


Reading has always been regarded as an essential skill in foreign language learning, especially for college students. According to previous studies, relative effectiveness is found between the use of Content-Based Language Instruction (CBLI) and reading comprehension. CBLI has been found effectively in developing students’ reading comprehension through the topics chosen grounded academic discipline-based and the systematic use of content-based instructional strategies. However, CBLI has been a controversial issue because teachers lack specific linguistic knowledge and skills to help students deliver a language focus on reading. Since the utilization of CBLI is a controversial issue, the purpose of this study attempted to investigate the effect of CBLI on EFL (English as a Foreign Language) students’ reading comprehension through the design and implementation of a content-based literature curriculum. Subjects in this study were 101 sophomores majoring in English at I-Shou University in southern Taiwan. T-test, ANOVA, and semi-structured interview techniques were used to examine students’ attitudes and effect of CBLI on reading performance. Results indicate that the utilization of content-based language instruction in the literature class could enhance students’ reading comprehension as well as critical thinking ability. Interview results further support the experimental findings, providing in-depth information about the conditions of CBLI use. Based on the research results of this study, pedagogical implications and suggestions for future study are discussed.

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