Monthly Archives: December 2009

IATEFL 2009 CLIL Debate

posted by Jürgen Kurtz, Karlsruhe University of Education, Germany

Watch these interesting and thought-provoking videos on CLIL and its future prospects:

Working at one of only two universities in Germany offering a full degree (M.A.) course program in Content and Language Integrated Learning (i.e. at Freiburg and Karlsruhe Universities of Education, the so called Europalehramt), I am of course very interested in CLIL research. I think that the overall approach is innovative and promising, but it should not be set in opposition to what Hugo Beaten-Beardsmore refers to as traditional language teaching (see the third video above).

From the perspective of promoting target-language development in CLIL classrooms, we should not underestimate the difficult problems of enhancing complexity of expression, fluency, accuracy and appropriateness in an integrated way. How much target language work is necessary in a CLIL classroom? What role does target language error-correction play? How should teachers react to combined target language and subject-matter problems?

Generally speaking, I am not convinced of naturalistic or Rousseauistic approaches to foreign language learning and teaching. CLIL students certainly get much more target language input than ‘traditional language learners’, but in my view, they, too, need to be provided with what is referred to as form-focused instruction in international SLA/ Fremdsprachendidaktik research (in terms of pronunciation, lexico-grammar, etc.). And this, of course, raises a number of substantial questions …


Task-based Instruction in the EFL Classroom

posted by Jürgen Kurtz, Karlsruhe University of Education, Germany

About a year ago, Andreas Müller-Hartmann (Heidelberg University of Education, Germany) gave a keynote speech at a regional DGFF-conference at the University of Wuppertal, Germany (November 28, 2008) in which he focused on the role of tasks in target language skills development and in promoting intercultural communicative competence. The audio podcast (in German) is available here.

International ALA Conference 2010

posted by Jürgen Kurtz, Karlsruhe University of Education, Germany

The 10th International Conference of the Association for Language Awareness (ALA) will be held July 25-28 at the University of Kassel, Germany. Central theme: “Awareness Matters: Language, Culture, Literacy”.

The conference will focus on research related to language, culture and literacy with an emphasis on awareness. The discussions will center on first, second, third, fourth, etc. and foreign language acquisition, teacher training, research in language and culture as well as on the role of language awareness and cultural awareness in the workplace.

Plenary speakers: Michael Byram (University of Durham, UK), Patricia Edwards (Michigan State University, USA), Reinhard Hünerberg & Andrea Geile (University of Kassel, GER), Günter Nold (TU Dortmund, GER), Patricia Ruggiano Schmidt (Le Moyne College, USA).

Main areas:

– Language Awareness in Language Learning and Language Teaching in Multilingual and Multicultural Contexts
– Language Awareness in Diverse Workplaces, such as Business, Marketing, Health, etc.
– Language Awareness and the Use of Media
– Cultural Awareness in Language Learning and Language Teaching in Diverse Settings
– Cultural Awareness in the Workplace, such as Business, Marketing, Health, etc.
– Cultural Awareness and the Use of Media
– Language Awareness and Literacy Development in Language Learning and Teaching
– Language Awareness and Professional Literacy Development

The call for papers is out now. For further details, click