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    Step 2: Teaching
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    2. Putting it into practice

Developing language awareness in subject classes

3. Putting it into practice

History: Learning concepts in a second language

The tasks listed below are simple examples of how a teacher might scaffold students’ learning of new concepts in history. The focus here is integrating language and content goals by analysing a new text from word to discourse level. The three phases coincide with a students’ gradually increasing degree of autonomy in completing tasks.

Phase 1

- Student makes a list of the concepts s/he does not understand in the text (word level). Teacher scaffolds students’ understanding of these words/concepts.

Phase 2

- Elaborating: students make (alone, with peers, with teacher) sentences, write definitions, make questions based on the words listed (sentence level)

Phase 3

- Student starts writing a short text where s/he uses the concepts while focusing on the text structure (discourse level)

Exercise 1:

  • Make a plan for a teaching unit where you define the three ‘language aware’ phases in relation to the subject you teach.  
  • Think first what should be learned and in what order? And how do you integrate, in a concrete way, language aware activities in your plan? 

Exercise 2:

During a written assignment you notice that a student is not focusing on the task.  You ask “what is the matter?” The student answers: “I don’t understand what to do”.

Task: What strategies could you use to help the student? You may find some ideas here.