Teaching “Cross-cultural Communication” through Content Based Instruction: Curriculum Design and Learning Outcome from EFL Learners’ Perspectives

  •  Chia-Ti Tseng    


This study aims to investigate EFL learners’ perspectives for the effectiveness of content-based instruction in a cross-cultural communication course. The main objectives of this study are three-folds: (1) to examine students’ perspectives regarding the effectiveness of content learning; (2) to examine students’ perspectives regarding the effectiveness of language learning; and (3) to examine students’ perspectives regarding the effectiveness of cooperative learning and development of critical thinking. Sixty non-English major EFL students from a university in Northern Taiwan participated in this study. A variety of tasks such as readings of a variety of authentic texts, viewing movie and video clips, discussing in groups, and accomplishing a group project were employed to have students actively explore the subject content and concurrently work on their language skills. Students were also required to evaluate their peers’ final group project with provided evaluation criteria. Questionnaires and semi-structured interviews were conducted to explore what students were able to learn from this course and the challenges they have encountered. The results from students’ feedback revealed their positive gains in the areas of content knowledge as well as the enhanced language skills. Some perceived difficulties among students such as inability to fully comprehend the input or to produce effective output were reported and the pedagogical solutions were suggested. Other benefits such as constructive cooperative learning, enhanced critical thinking, and boosted confidence in the target language use were also reported by the learners.

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