chapter  37
20 Pages

Content-Based Second Language Teaching

ByROY LYSTER, MCGILL UNIVERSITY

Content-based second language teaching is an instructional approach in which non-linguistic content, including subject matter such as social studies or mathematics, is taught to students through the medium of a language that is not their first, so that while they are learning curricular content they are also learning an additional language. Good reasons abound in support of teaching additional languages through content-based instruction rather than through traditional methods. As Snow, Met, and Genesee (1989) argued, language development and cognitive development go hand-inhand, yet more traditional methods tend to separate language development from general cognitive development, isolating the target language from any substantive content except for the mechanical workings of the language itself. Content-based instruction, in contrast, is designed to integrate language and cognitive development.