Investigating the Application of Communicative Language Teaching Principles in Primary-Education: A Comparison of CLIL and FL Classrooms

  •  Irene Guzmán-Alcón    


It is widely accepted that the learning of a new language, among other advantages, promotes respect and interest of the students towards other cultures and languages. The question is how learning languages can be promoted in educational settings. The aim of the present study is to explore the principles of communicative language teaching in primary-education CLIL and FL classrooms. More specifically, in this paper we address to what extent collaborative work, attention to language and content and corrective feedback are observed during teacher-student and peer interaction in these educational settings. Following an action research approach, ten Spanish and ten Maths sessions were observed and recorded. Furthermore, whole group interaction and peer interaction were analysed in relation to the participants’ attention to language and content. Results from the study show that communicative language teaching is the approach followed in CLIL and FL sessions, tasks being the organizing units. However, differences are observed in relation to attention to language and use of correction strategies. Our findings suggest the need to use strategies to draw attention to language and content in CLIL settings, and the importance of using a more even range of correction strategies both in CLIL and FL classrooms.

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