Content-Based Language Instruction

A good article for self-reflection on your teaching methods.

educational research techniques

Content-Based language instruction (CBIL) is the use of subject matter to teach English. For example, using a history course to teach students English rather than using specifically design English curriculum. In this post, we will examine more closely this approach to language teaching.


CBIL has the following assumptions about language learning

  • People learn a language much more efficiently when they use it for understanding content
  • People learn a language better through interaction with others and content.
  • Language requires the use of integrated skills
  • Feedback is needed when using a language
  • Prior knowledge influences language acquisition
  • Subject specific vocabulary is critical
  • Students need to take control of their learning by doing

To summarize, CBIL focuses on using specific subject matter to deliver not only knowledge of the subject but also the acquisition of the target language. As a student develops vocabulary of the content they are developing a more general…

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