Do Academic Content Gains from a CLIL Course Compare to Conte ...

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Abstract

Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) has been touted as an educational method wherein both a second language and some (academic or professional) content are learned simultaneously. Several difficulties for CLIL advocates are that research on CLIL is focused on second language, and the research methodology is often limited; thus, claims from studies are susceptible to reliability and validity bias. We conducted a study into a Pharmaceutical Biotechnology fourth-year university course at a university in Thailand. We compared learning between two groups: students enrolled in the biotech course taught in the first language, and students enrolled in the same course taught in English (International Program). The language used differentiated the programs; content, assessment, pedagogyb and teachers remained as close to the same as possible. No changes were made to either course to conduct the study. We implemented a pre-test, mid-semester test, and end-of-semester test. The data from our preliminary foray into the unknown has shown a statistical significance in learning differences are maintained; however, learning gains as a percentage are equivalent.