Spanish/English or Spanglish? Effective Language Acquisition in a Spanish Bilingual Classroom
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Learning a second language is essential for creating both an international awareness and an intercultural understanding to encourage communication on a global scale. Bilingual education can offer greater cultural and international awareness for children, giving them a solid foundation for their future as European citizens. As the European centre for Modern Languages states, bilingual education offers subject courses in a foreign language: “Bilingual instruction, also known as teaching content in a foreign language (TCFL), extended language instruction, language-enhanced content instruction, immersion, or as content and language integrated learning (CLIL), is the teaching of non language subjects through a foreign language, with both subject-matter and language learning as goals” (Hellekjaer, 2009). English is currently the world’s language of business and this is probably why learning English as a second language is becoming increas ingly popular. The aim of this research project is to provide an assessment of how CLIL methodologies are implemented in four schools in Granada, Spain. The focus is on methods of language acquisition, rather than methods of content learning. Consistent with the viewpoints of Swain (1985), the research questions focus on the circumstances surrounding language output in the classroom. Learner production of language is relevant both theoretically and practically (Ellis, 2004). It shows how much implicit knowledge a learner already has and what gaps are still present. Producing output is linked to language use and acquisition. This research aims at clarifying and explaining which tasks or methods teachers could use to encourage proficiency in the target language. Also, according to the affective filter theory by Krashen (1981) the emotions of an individual can directly influence the effectiveness of learning a new language. Therefore, the kinds of student motivation the methods indicate could say something about their effectiveness. This research attempts to investigate which aspects of language acquisition occur in the methods the CLIL teachers in Spain used to encourage language use and which kind of motivations they address.