CURRICULUM PROPOSAL:INTEGRATING “DEBATE” INTO THE ENGLISH AREA By: Claudia Marcela Suescún Giraldo High School Teacher Colegio Colombo Británico Presented to: Mr. Vladimir Zapata Villegas School principal Colegio Colombo Británico Mr. David Irwin Head of the English area Colegio Colombo Británico Date: December 6. Envigado, Antioquia 2010.
INTRODUCTIONThe world of education is changing by the minute, specially the one of foreignlanguage education. Everyday new challenges as well as opportunities are arisingfor both teachers and institutions in order to improve this fundamental process ofpreparing the future citizens of the world.In foreign language teaching in particular, we have nowadays an approach that hasbeen applied successfully in schools around the world: a methodology called CLIL(Content and Language Integrated Learning).CLIL has been defined by David Marsh as “situations where subjects, or parts ofsubjects, are taught through a foreign language with dual-focused aims, namelythe learning of content, and the simultaneous learning of a foreign language".(Marsh, D. 2002. Content and Language Integrated Learning: The EuropeanDimension – Actions, Trends and Foresight Potential).This approach gives us the opportunity of enhancing our students’ foreignlanguage learning due to the fact that it: • Promotes critical thinking and gives more opportunities to have oral production activities. • Provides a higher amount of language input. • Increasing meaningfulness of language content. • Motivates the process of meaning negotiation. • Reduces stress related to certain language units (past perfect progressive for example) • Allows students to explore more vocabulary.
PROPOSAL BACKGROUNDOur school has already given some steps in the implementation of CLIL into ourcurriculum, particularly in the English area with: • Content based learning in primary and high school textbooks. • Ethics from 4th to 6th grade in English. • Artistic education in English in preschool and primary.So the implementation of this proposal would not be something new, but anotherstep towards the school’s aim of becoming bilingual.PROPOSAL:To implement a Debate class in 8th and 9th grade, through the study of pilotgroups during the academic year of 2011 and contrasting their results with theother groups. If this trial is successful, the course could be integrated definitely intoour curriculum starting in 2012.By definition there are three types of CLIL: • Soft CLIL: the topic is a part of the language ELT course curriculum (Language led course) • Hard CLIL: the way some schools teach half of the curriculum immersed in a target language (Content led). • Mid CLIL: some schools teach some CLIL modules, where a subject is taught for a limited (for ex. 20) amount of hours (Partial immersion).So in this proposal we would have a form of Mid CLIL, as we would be using one ofthe 10 hours that 8th graders have in English (or 9 hours in the case of 9th grade).
PROPOSAL DETAILSUse 1 hour a week with the whole group to work on a program that would include: • Consults in the library or computers room. • Instruction related to the structure of a debate and its conditions. • Instruction regarding how to support an argument and how to reject it. • Practice on oral debates, both in teams and individually.PROPOSAL ASSESSMENTIn order to assess the effectiveness of this proposal and include it in the evaluationof the English area we would implement the following strategies: • A grade in the final English assessment each bimester. • In order to compare the results with other groups we have the results in oral performance as well as the Bimestrial English Test and the Oxford Online Test.