CLIL Teaching Materials and Text Modification : views and approaches of Finnish teachers in lower secondary school

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Title: CLIL Teaching Materials and Text Modification : views and approaches of Finnish teachers in lower secondary school
Author: Zi, Yu
Other contributor: Helsingin yliopisto, Humanistinen tiedekunta
University of Helsinki, Faculty of Arts
Helsingfors universitet, Humanistiska fakulteten
Publisher: Helsingin yliopisto
Date: 2019
Language: eng
Thesis level: master's thesis
Degree program: Englannin kielen ja kirjallisuuden maisteriohjelma
Master's Programme in English Studies
Magisterprogrammet i engelska språket och litteraturen
Specialisation: Englanti
Abstract: The concept of Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) has been rapidly adopted in Finland and received with positivity. Having high quality CLIL materials is seen as one of the most essential components of a successful CLIL programme. However, the challenges of producing materials for teaching through a foreign language have widely been acknowledged and have remained for at least three decades. Finland is, in fact, behind many other European countries in terms of CLIL materials production. This study sets three main objectives to address the research gap in CLIL materials design. The first objective is to find out the types of materials teachers use in lower secondary CLIL classrooms in Finland. The second and third objectives are to identify and to evaluate teachers’ approaches to text modification. The study focuses on five secondary teachers who teach non-language subjects to grades 7-9 in English. The qualitative data consist of thematic interviews and teaching materials designed by the participants. A thorough review of over 60 studies is conducted in order to provide a theoretical framework for the evaluation of input modification strategies. The results show that the participants commonly employ these four types of materials: 1) textbooks in Finnish, 2) textbooks in the target language, 3) self-written materials, and 4) adaptations of authentic materials. In the case of adapting authentic materials, the study identified all three main approaches to text modification: simplification, elaboration and rediscursification. All participants used some types of rediscursification strategy. Regardless of their previous teaching experience, most participants use elaboration, though the choice of its substrategy is limited to adding redundancy by paraphrasing. More experienced teachers seem to avoid using simplification strategies whilst less experienced teachers adopt a wide range of strategies of simplification. This study can provide the professionals in the field of CLIL education (e.g. material writers, publishers) with an insight into the reality of how the materials are used by CLIL practitioners. The results may also contribute to CLIL teacher education and in-service training by informing teachers of the commonly used input modification strategies and raising awareness of the effectiveness of these techniques.
Subject: Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL)
teaching materials
material design
input adaptation
text adaptation

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