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Cognitive Aspects of CLIL Teaching: Arithmetic in the Classroom Piet Van de Craen, Katrien Mondt & Marielyne Millec PowerPoint Presentation
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Cognitive Aspects of CLIL Teaching: Arithmetic in the Classroom Piet Van de Craen, Katrien Mondt & Marielyne Millecam. CLIL Schools in Brussels. Dutch-speaking schools teach three subjects in two languages (80% Dutch - 20% French): crafts environmental studies arithmetic

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Cognitive Aspects of CLIL Teaching: Arithmetic in the Classroom Piet Van de Craen, Katrien Mondt & Marielyne Millecam

clil schools in brussels
CLIL Schools in Brussels
  • Dutch-speaking schools teach three subjects in two languages (80% Dutch - 20% French):
    • crafts
    • environmental studies
    • arithmetic
  • Research interests:
    • learning processes
      • implicit and explicit learning of languages
    • brain organization
      • brain organizational differences in bi- and monolingual children
    • cognitive development
      • the level attained compared to control groups
learning processes 1
Learning Processes 1
  • Implicit and explicit learning or incidental and intentional learning
      • focus on meaning rather than on form;
      • age dependent?
      • relatively few classroom studies in a natural environment are available.
  • State-of-the-art: implicit learning supported by explicit teaching seems to yield the best results...
learning processes 2
Learning Processes 2
  • CLIL in primary schools is associated with implicit learning
      • children start at an early age in kindergarten;
      • there is no formal study of the language before form 5.
  • Three groups of children process CLIL differently in this context:
      • Dutch-speakers: early bilingualism;
      • French-speakers: support in the mother tongue;
      • other language speakers: learner support in two non-native languages.
brain organization 1
Brain organization 1
  • 32 children (age 8-9 years old) were scanned under three conditions
    • a verb generation test with visual stimuli :
      • e.g. food --> to eat
    • an arithmetic test :
      • e.g. 4+3 = 6+2
    • the Stroop test :
      • measuring selective attention
  • Results : there are differences in brain organization between early bilinguals, early late bilinguals and monolinguals...
brain organization 2
Brain organization 2
  • The interpretation of these results is as yet unclear. They may lead to
    • ‘better brains’ (cf. Scientific American, Sept. 2003);
    • positive learners’ effects (cf. OECD, section on learning and the brain);
    • added cognitive effects (cf. Fabbro 1999 and others).
  • In any case: there is no evidence that CLIL teaching has negative effects for the learner nor that any knowledge is hampered.
brain organization 27
Brain organization 2
  • Brain activity involving L1 in a bilingual population (N=12)
brain organization 3
Brain organization 3
  • Brain activity involving L2 in a bilingual population (N=13)
cognitive development 1
Cognitive development 1
  • Cognitive development is here defined as follows: the results of a standardized arithmetic test.
    • Pupils from three CLIL schools...
    • with for 4 years of CLL...
    • matched to a comparable control school for SES and language background.
cognitive development 2
Cognitive development 2
  • The arithmetic test consists of nine sub-tests varying from simple calculations to decimal fractions and to more complicated problems that are verbally phrased.
  • Examples
    • 632 + 205 =
    • 2/5 out of 100
    • A music festival has 500 entry tickets. 386 have already been sold. How many tickets are left?
  • It is hypothesized that CLIL pupils score at least equally well on these tests.
cognitive development 3
Cognitive development 3
  • Results for three CLIL schools and one comparable control group after 4 years...
cognitive development 4 results
Cognitive development 4 : results
  • For nearly all sub-tests +CLIl pupils outperform -CLIL pupils.
  • Remarkably, this is also true for schools that have not used arithmetic in the CLIL curriculum.
  • Performing arithmetic is a language related activity.
  • Differences between experimental ad control groups tend to be smaller if tasks are less language related.
  • The more verbally the task is phrased the bigger the difference between experimental and control group.
  • The more difficult the tasks are -as in the case of fractions- the bigger the difference between experimental and control group.
the research project final conclusions
The Research Project: Final conclusions
  • CLIL education - even unbalanced in terms of hours devoted to the second language- entails positive learning effects.
  • It seems that in primary schools and in a multilingual context such as Brussels CLIL enhances pupils’ capacity to reason in the abstract.
  • CLIL education enhances pupils’ results on cognitive tests …
  • CLIL education prepares pupils for secondary education where the level of abstraction is much higher...