Beginnjahr 2009 Abschlussjahr 2013


durchführende Institutionen


Ländercode Europa, Österreich Sprachcode Englisch
Schlagwörter DeutschLernen und Lehren im Fach Englisch, Fremdsprachenentwicklung, inhaltsorientierter Spracherwerb
Schlagwörter Englischlearning and teaching in English, foreign language development, content oriented classrooms

A systematic guidance where teachers allow time to reflect so that students can learn from their interaction and teachers can help learners to find new strategies for resolving comprehension and language use problems also has substantial impact on autonomous language learning. Do these aforementioned points also count in the context of tertiary education, or is the students’ independence from the teacher clearly noticeable so that the learning environment already allows them to play different roles to those in the secondary school system where the “role distribution puts narrow limits on their room for manoeuvre in the interaction and where students engage in very little active trouble shooting“, as Dalton-Puffer claims? (Dalton-Puffer 2009:204)

An observation tool (SETT Self-Evaluating Teacher Talk) helps analyse the discourse and Walsh’s model (Walsh 2006:66) uses four classroom modes – managerial, materials, skills and systems and classroom context. The fourth is most efficient in higher education. The “classroom context mode“ is the category “where students are afforded space and an opportunity to interact on a more or less even footing. It is characterized by more even turn-taking, a greater focus on the message rather than the means of conveying it, more open-ended questioning and an over-arching concern-on the part of the teacher – to explore new concepts, ideas and theories to an endeavour to promote critical thinking“.

Working towards the greatest possible independence of students remains clear and nevertheless, CLIL-teachers are invited to detect the moments and phases when to step in. This is Lyster’s main concern in “that there is considerable consensus among researchers with immersion and content-based classrooms that a more systematic and less incidental approach to language pedagogy needs to be integrated in the curriculum“. (Lyster 2007:99)



Dalton-Puffer, Christiane (2009): Communicative Competence and the CLIL Lesson. In: Ruiz de Zarobe, Yolanda; Jiménez Catalán Rosa María: Content and Language Integrated Learning, Multilingual Matters, Bristol, p. 197–214.

Lyster, Roy (2007): Learning and Teaching Languages through Content: a Counter-balanced Approach. Amsterdam: Benjamins.

Walsh, Steve (2006): Investigating Classroom Discourse, Routledge: London.


The sample of the study consisted of students attending the lectures and seminars of Human Ecology which was fully taught in English. The students were also using the English language during the course and they each held a 15-minute presentation in English. In any case missing or specific vocabulary was explained in English or German vocabulary was translated into English. Questions and reflection on the CLIL approach were welcome and a thorough investigation of the use of CLIL was held at the end of the course. The data were collected in the first semester of the academic year 2010/11 by means of three data resources. Videography was used to get a broad impression of the CLIL lectures and the interaction of students with each other and with the teacher, while the questionnaires were used to pinpoint key aspects of the research approach. Six Interviews were then used to follow up on specific issues that surfaced during videography and the results of the questionnaires. A questionnaire was used to determine whether the technical vocabulary/phrases used during the lecture were understood. The vocabulary and phrases were explained extensively and repeatedly (if necessary also in German) during the lectures. This questionnaire was handed to 15 students. It contained 17 questions that had to be explained in English and translated into German. The students were asked whether the words and phrases were already known before the lecture.


The research shows rather bad results concerning the general proficiency of English by the students (50% are “Basic Users“), which could in turn lead to overburdened students. On the other hand – there was positive feedback concerning the use of English and good mastery of the content, even if it was taught in English. The utterances were more complex in speaking than in writing, especially when controversial issues were discussed. The general language skills in speaking and writing were on the levels B2 and A2/B1 respectively, grammar mistakes did not impede the communication and the mastery of the content of the lecture. The interaction observed through videography showed independent and skilful communication, where the role distribution showed even turn-taking during discussions, it seems, though, that the students’ former school experiences concerning active trouble-shooting still have a great impact on their unconscious behaviour.

Erhebungstechniken und Auswahlverfahren

Videography and Interviews

Questionnaires – Language Performance and CLIL-Outcomes

Hauptkategorie(n)Bildungsinhalt (Themenfeld)
Lehren und Lernen (Prozesse und Methoden)
Mit den Themen des Projekts weitersuchen