Over the past few years, content-based instruction has become an increasingly popular topic in language education, especially at the secondary and post-secondary level. However, what exactly is content-based learning and more importantly, how can it translate into tangible results for students?
On October 26, 2014, Iwate JALT welcomed Brent Jones, director of Language Programs for both the Management Course and Study Abroad Course at Konan University, Hirao School of Management. Brent was gracious enough to give us a couple of hours of his time and explain how he has implemented content-based learning in his school. Brent is in a unique position, having started a brand new curriculum at Konan University, and monitored its progress.
Brent shared with us some of the challenges of getting a content-focused curriculum off the ground, as well as its benefits. He stressed that the content itself takes priority over language, as students will be motivated to learn the English skills they need while they complete their projects. Brent also spoke of reading that students can explore to further change and develop their L2 language skills.
We’d like to thank Brent for talking to us about his experiences at his University. Brent and Iwate JALT would especially like to thank The JALT College and University Educators Special Interest Group (CUE-SIG) who helped sponsor Brent‘s talk at this Iwate JALT event.
Reported by Jason Hill
All photography ©2014 Jason Hill