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Content and language integrated learning in early childhood

Tina Žniderič (2014) Content and language integrated learning in early childhood. Diploma thesis.

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    Nowadays teaching and learning foreign languages is rapidly being introduced in early childhood. During this time, intensive cognitive, emotional and social development of the child takes place. Early childhood is therefore a particularly sensitive period with special characteristics and specificities. On one hand this may serve as an advantage in language learning, while on the other it requires their good comprehension and consideration. In the theoretical part of the thesis we therefore discuss characteristics of the child with the focus on acquisition of a foreign language and how it affects the whole development of the child. We try to demonstrate the reasons and goals behind the teaching of a foreign language at an early age and show its many advantages. We also present a foreign language educational approach, which is thought to be one of the most successful, especially when used during early childhood. Content and language integrated learning or CLIL is a dual-focused concept, which combines two objectives – learning new content and the acquisition of a foreign language. Non-language subjects are taught in an additional language and trough this natural interaction children can acquire a foreign language. In the research work we present a case study that was conducted in a mixed age kindergarten group. We performed twenty hours of English language learning using the Content and Language Integrated Learning method and linked them to different curricular areas and routine activities. During this time we monitored the progress of children in the listening comprehension and oral communication. After the implementation of the CLIL, children, on average, understood 4.4 more English words and phrases (an increase in word recognition) and produced 2.33 more individual English words (an increase in language production) than before the language learning. In both, word recognition and language production, the progress was small. However, it was smaller in the formation of English words. Exposure time was not sufficient for a significant progress, during this time children were mainly only in contact with the English language. We also observed how children responded to the learning of the English language and how their responses changed over time. We found out that over time children felt less fear and became more interested in learning the foreign language.

    Item Type: Thesis (Diploma thesis)
    Keywords: early foreign language learning and teaching, Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL), English language, very early childhood
    Number of Pages: 65
    Language of Content: Slovenian
    Mentor / Comentors:
    Mentor / ComentorsIDFunction
    izr. prof. dr. Karmen PižornMentor
    Link to COBISS: http://www.cobiss.si/scripts/cobiss?command=search&base=50126&select=(ID=10191433)
    Institution: University of Ljubljana
    Department: Faculty of Education
    Item ID: 2396
    Date Deposited: 23 Sep 2014 13:43
    Last Modified: 13 Nov 2015 15:21
    URI: http://pefprints.pef.uni-lj.si/id/eprint/2396

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