Focus on language in CBI: How teacher trainees work with language objectives and language-focused activities in content-based lessons.
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This paper investigates to what extent teacher trainees who had received instruction in pedagogical linguistics incorporate language learning in content-based (CBI) lessons. Data were collected from Likert-scale self-reports and written CBI lesson plans. The language objectives in the lesson plans were analysed using the language demand classification from Lindahl & Watkins (2014), which consists of the following categories: reading comprehension, vocabulary, word study, functional language, grammar, and writing and conventions, while language-focused activities were coded based on the degree to which they corresponded to the objectives. These results were then correlated with pre-service teachers’ self-reports regarding their beliefs about the frequency with which they incorporate various facets of language knowledge in CBI instruction. No significant relationships were found. In line with previous research (Fortune, Tedick & Walker, 2008; Regalla, 2012), the findings suggest that the teacher trainees in this study prioritize language objectives that focus on vocabulary and may experience some challenges selecting language-focused activities that match learning objectives. Nevertheless, other components of language knowledge, in particular functional language and grammar, were also present in the lesson plans, suggesting that training teachers to “think linguistically” (Bailey, Burkett & Freeman, 2007) can help them identify language needs of learners that expand beyond vocabulary. The chapter concludes with implications for teacher training programs.