chapter  4
22 Pages

Integrating CBI into High School Foreign Language Classrooms

ByJoy Cumming, Roy Lyster

The purpose of the present chapter is to explore the feasibility and effectiveness of implementing content-based instruction (CBI) as an instructional approach in a very specific and under-researched context: namely, high school classes of French as a foreign language (FL) in New York State. Defined as “an approach to instruction in which students are taught academic content in a language they are still learning” (Lightbown, 2014, p. 3), CBI comes in many shapes and sizes. Met (1998) described a wide range of different CBI settings along a continuum, varying from content-driven second language programs at one end to more language-driven programs at the other end. Although CBI is considered to “offer as close to a comprehensive environment for second language development as is possible in the classroom” (Wesche & Skehan, 2002, p. 227), research in support of this has for the most part been conducted at the content-driven end of the continuum in programs such as immersion, leaving open many questions about its feasibility and effectiveness at the language-driven end of the continuum in the non-immersion FL K-12 context.