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Content Based English Language Instruction University of Alberta


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Maryam Bahkali
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Content Based Language Instruction
English Language Development
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Research Material
Because of the spread of the English language, people all over the world use it to communicate with others from different cultures. Phillipson (2009) and Crystal (2012; 2000) see it as the main tool of globalization in various business and diplomatic areas and even sports and the arts. Over the last few years, one thing appears the same: more people than ever want to learn English. I will shed light on the lack of language proficiency and skills in many secondary schools in Saudi Arabia, which has an adverse impact on both the teaching and learning processes and future participation of Saudi people in global dialogue. Content-based instruction (CBI) is an alternative model of instruction that uses authentic materials including texts, films, and videos to make learning tasks more comprehensible and meaningful which in turn motivates learners by involving them in the activities, builds their use of academic skills, and incorporates thinking skills that include gathering, organizing, analyzing, synthesizing, evaluating, and generating (Stoller, 2002). The integration of CBI into the educational system can contribute to solving problems most educators encounter in their teaching (Brinton, Snow, & Wesche, 2004), facilitate teaching and learning topics that seem invisible to the learners (Chapple & Curtis, 2000; Song, 2006), and activate the learning environment in the classroom. The project has two parts. First, it explores what is involved in creating a CBI environment. Using Krashen’s hypothesis, I evaluate the efficacy of a CBI approach. In addition, it gives an overview of the characteristics of CBI and considers the application of this method as well as its curriculum development and assessment. Second, it presents a sample unit plan based on applying Krashen’s (1982) authentic meaningful and comprehensible materials consisting of content-obligatory (CO) and content-compatible (CC) language objectives The plan is standards-based and includes the “5Cs” of Communication, Cultures, Connections, Comparisons and Communities (Sandrock (2002); lesson plans that use the categories “preview, focused learning, and extension” (Cloud, Genesee, and Hamayan, (2000); classroom activities; and content-based lessons on the topic of “culture shock.” The literature on authentic comprehensible texts and thematic content-based teaching approaches (Stoller & Grabe, 1997, Stryker & Leaver, 1993, Tedick, 2003, Snow, Met, & Genesee 1989; and Chamot & O’Malley, 1994); and Cloud, Genesee, & Hamayan (2000) is used to guide the unit plan and the creation of the unit resources. In addition, I share my experience of developing these resources to help other teachers who are interested in the same topic. I recognize that the development of these resources is time consuming, yet the outcomes of this contribution are worthwhile for both teachers and students. The study outcomes are anticipated to make a significant contribution to the context field of education by providing an evaluation of the impact of multisensory strategies on key learning outcomes in secondary education settings.
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