The Effects of a CLIL Programme on Linguistic Progress at Two Different Points in Time
In an attempt to explore the effects of different kinds of English as a Foreign Language (EFL) learning contexts, content and language integrated learning (CLIL) have been at the centre of FL acquisition research over the past decade. Studies have focused on the features and gains this setting brings, whether content is learnt at the same level of success as when taught in the learners’ L1, and whether that L1 is negatively affected by CLIL. However, to our knowledge, very little attention has been brought to how the seniority of the programme affects learner progress in the target language. This study aims to fill such a gap in the understanding that the programme will have developed and improved in terms of quality of exposure and interaction, and that learners’ EFL performance will be higher. To do that, we measured the efficacy of a long-standing CLIL programme in Barcelona twelve years after it was launched and examined the reading, writing, and lexico-grammatical abilities of CLIL EFL learners aged 8, 11, and 14 compared with results obtained by learners measured at the onset of the programme in 2005. The results showed that the quality of the programme has increased over the last decade, guaranteeing a higher level of EFL student proficiency when raw scores are considered, but not in terms of linguistic gains, in which only improvement in older students’ grammar and reading skills can be observed.
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