Thursday, July 03, 2008

How Can a Content and Language Integrated Content Approach Improve the Learning of a Foreign Language?

Braj Kachru’s Circles
It was language researcher and professor Braj Behari Kachru, University of Illinois, Urbana, Illinois, USA, (shown in photo) who defined what are called “Kachru’s Circles”. These concentric circles identify the zones of English language intensity and influence. Without going too deeply into the Linguistics of his theory, let me briefly say that he classifies countries in three basic circles of English language intensity. The Inner Circle is comprised of countries where English is the first language such as the USA, the UK, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand among others.

The Middle Circle
The next or Middle Circle is comprised of those countries where English is an active or official second language and where it has official status in business, industry, education and / or as a Lingua Franca. Countries in this circle would include: India, South Africa, Ghana, Liberia, Kenya, Nigeria, Indonesia, among others.

The Outer Circle
The third or Outer Circle is comprised of those countries where English is not a first or second language and has no official status, although it may be taught in schools, used in tourism and studied to a wide extent. Countries included in this circle would be Russia, China, Japan, Thailand, Egypt, South Korea, and Mexico, as well as numerous others.

Content and Language Integrated Content Approach
The circle in which a country might be classified would largely determine the effectiveness of using a CLIL approach. This approach, I think would be most effective in the Inner and Middle Circles which would have available resources to implement the approach on a large-scale basis. Countries in the Outer Circle might largely be impacted by a lack of high-level, native or near-native speakers, facilities and resources in English which in turn would seriously affect their ability to successfully mount a CLIL (Content and Language Integrated Content) approach.

Prof. Larry M. Lynch is an EFL Teacher Trainer, Intellectual Development Specialist, prolific writer, expert author and public speaker. He has written ESP, foreign language learning, English language teaching texts and hundreds of articles used in more than 100 countries. Get your FREE E-book, "If you Want to Teach English Abroad, Here's What You Need to Know" by requesting the title at: Need a blogger or copywriter to promote your school, institution, service or business or an experienced writer and vibrant SEO content for your website, blog or newsletter? Then E-mail me for further information.

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