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Languages Across the Curriculum (LAC). Helmut Johannes Vollmer University of Osnabrück, Germany Strasbourg, October 16-18, 2006. Language Education in School.

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languages across the curriculum lac

Languages Across the Curriculum (LAC)

Helmut Johannes Vollmer

University of Osnabrück, Germany

Strasbourg, October 16-18, 2006

language education in school
Language Education in School
  • Language(s) as School Subjects- National/Official Language of Country: LS- Foreign Language Education- Second/Heritage Language Education
  • Language(s) as a Medium of Teaching and Learning Across the Curriculum (LAC)- Subject-specific language use/discourse comp.- Bilingual Education/Content and Language Inte-grated Learning (CLIL): a special case of LAC
languages across the curriculum
Languages Across the Curriculum
  • Extending skills and competences from LS (basis)
  • Specifically new language requirements 1. Acquiring/Using Subject-specific terminology2. Learning new ways of looking at the world, of thinking and of communicating about it3. Observing specific thematic patterns, rhetorical structures+comm.conventions of discourse commun.
  • Widening the concept of communication into the whole range of semiotics
modes of communication
Modes of communication
  • Listening: comprehending oral input/intake
  • Speaking: constructing meaningful utterances
  • Reading: understanding written texts
  • Writing: producing written texts/discourse
  • Viewing: attending to non-verbal signs/ information
  • Shaping: using graphical/visual means of expression
  • Watching: attending to movements/bodily developm.
  • Moving: using the whole body/person/multi-medial expression
content language and thinking
Content, Language and Thinking
  • Language is a tool for content , for conceptualizing, for constructing and linking subject-specific information
  • Language is linked to the thinking process/is used in it
  • Language supports or even carries mental activities and precision in cognition; it is self-reflexive
  • Language helps to bridge between tasks, their internal processing and the explicit formulation of solutions
  • Language materializes in different discourse functions like naming, defining, describing, explaining, evaluating
a model of subject specific competence
A Model of Subject-Specific Competence

Procedural Competence

Content Knowledge

Discourse Competence

Discourse Competence

components of subject specific discourse competence
Components of Subject-Specific Discourse Competence
  • Comprehending, identifying, selecting and/or integrating new information/Restructuring inform.
  • Expressing reconstructed knowledge as well as new insights / linking them into (existing) networks
  • Constructing and communicating cohesive and coherent pieces of information (Texts/Graphs)
  • Negotiating perceptions/insights/meanings/positions with others (=subject-specific interaction)
linguistic indicators of subject specific discourse competence
Linguistic Indicators of Subject-Specific Discourse Competence
  • Expressing subject-specific concepts in the right terminology (register: single+ multi-word expr.)
  • Using a rational, formal, explicit academic or pre-scientific style of expression
  • Logic+Structuring of whole utterances/texts
  • Communicating the right discourse functions
  • Giving reasons or evidence/supporting one‘s findings or views/using argumentative structures
cognitive academic language proficiency calp
Cognitive-Academic Language Proficiency (CALP)
  • Language of school /acedemic subjects/ of science
  • requires the performance of other speech acts and discourse functions than in BICS (personal topics)
  • requires the transition from everyday language use to academic or pre-scientific language use
  • leads to the development of academic literacy = being able to use language for content purposes(TRANSFERABLE between subjects)
example from chemistry developing the notion of reaction
Example from Chemistry: Developing the notion of Reaction
  • Starting with everyday concepts/understandings
  • Setting up experimental conditions for own observations and recordings
  • Summarising+interpreting the data,
  • Formulating possible rules or regularities
  • Developing, testing + negotiating own hypotheses
  • Defining REACTION in subject-specific terms
example from mathematics
Example from Mathematics
  • Developing the concept of numbers as representing aspects of observed reality
  • Ordinal numbers (1, 2, 3,......n)
  • Cardinal numbers (1st, 2nd, 3rd,........last)
  • Relating numbers to other (observable) features like colour, shape, function, gender, money)
  • Experiencing numbers as a secondary system or tool for communication (NUMERACY)
example from geography chinese agriculture a success story
Example from Geography: Chinese Agriculture-a success story?
  • Time line / Duration
  • Definitions: be defined as ...
  • Modality: Permission versus Obligation
  • Contrast: Winners - Loosers
  • Realistic Conditions: focus on if-clauses (type 1)
  • Causal chains:conjunct.+sentence linking adverbs
  • Giving reasons and explanations
obstacles to be overcome
Obstacles to be overcome
  • (1) Lack of a precise understanding of what LAC means and requires
  • (2) Attitudes of teachers as subject teachers: Lack responsibility for language learning
  • (3) Absence of an agent for cross-curricular planning and coordination
  • Consequences for T.E.: Every learning is language learning, every teaching is language teaching, every teacher is a language specialist!!!
lac a way towards plurilingualism
LAC: a way towards Plurilingualism
  • LAC leads to a first/basic form of plurilingualism= acquiring new varieties of language use of LS (or L1) in different subjects
  • Foreign or second language learning leads to a second form of external / explicit plurilingualism= a new language/a new language repertoire is ac- quired and thus a new means of communication
  • Bilingual education or CLIL leads to both types
a whole school language policy
A Whole School Language Policy
  • relating language education in LS to subject-specific language learning and competencies across all subjects
  • integrating content and language learning (CLIL) by using foreign language(s) for subject-matter teaching
  • relating education in LS to foreign or second language learning
  • relating the learning of the first foreign language to that of other foreign languages
  • relating foreign language education to heritage language education.