Anna Uhl Chamot is Professor of Curriculum and Pedagogy and Faculty Advisor for English as a Second Language (ESL) and Foreign Language Education at the George Washington University’s Graduate School of Education and Human Development. She also directs the National Capital Language Resource Center (NCLRC), which conducts research, teacher education, and materials development for foreign language educators. Dr. Chamot has been principal investigator for a number of studies that investigated language learning processes of both second and foreign language students. Her research interests are in language learning strategies, content-based language instruction, and literacy development in adolescent English learners. In addition to preparing future language teachers, Dr. Chamot has also taught second and foreign languages in Grades 1 to 12 in the United States, Great Britain, Colombia, and Venezuela. She co-designed the Cognitive Academic Language Learning Approach (CALLA), an instructional model for English language learners and has adapted this model to meet the needs of students learning English and other languages as foreign languages. Her publications include articles and books on research, methodology, and instructional materials, including: The Learning Strategies Handbook , The CALLA Handbook: Implementing the Cognitive Academic Language Learning Approach (2nd edition), and Learning Strategies in Second Language Acquisition . Dr. Chamot holds a Ph.D. in applied linguistics from the University of Texas at Austin, an M.A. in foreign language education from Teachers College, Columbia University, and a B.A. in Spanish literature from the George Washington University. She is bilingual in Spanish and English and fluent in French.
Integrating Learning Strategies into the CLIL Classroom
Anna Uhl Chamot, The George Washington University, Washington, DC
Learning both content and language in the CLIL classroom is challenging. Understanding and remembering new content taught in a second language is difficult because students must process new conceptual knowledge simultaneously with the academic language needed to comprehend and express it. To successfully meet this challenge, students need tools that enable them to learn strategically and independently. The purpose of this presentation is to suggest ways in which explicit instruction in learning strategies that assist both language and content learning can help students become more successful in the CLIL classroom. While some learners use strategies implicitly, others can benefit from explicit instruction. Research on learning strategies indicates that they should be modeled and explicitly taught by the teacher. This is often done by “thinking aloud” as the teacher performs a language task, then naming the strategy modeled and asking students if they also use it and, if so, to provide examples. This can lead to discussions of the different learning strategies students can use while learning both content and language; such discussions develop metacognitive awareness and students’ growing understanding that they control their learning through their own strategic efforts.