TESOL:What is Language Barrier

发表时间:2021-09-29 10:07作者:TESOL in China来源:TESOL网址:

Language barrier, which is the problem of communicating with someone who speak different languages(Wikipedia), exists in the communication of some second language learners , it’s not just about the vocabulary amount, but also about cultural differences. There’sno lack of dummy English learners in China. Most of these learners haveremembered a great amount of words and they might do well in reading andwriting except speaking because they are out of English context.

Even though some learners think they can speak fluently, suchas the author of this thesis, cultural differenceslike the use of pause, the rate or flow of conversation, even some kinds ofdialect and accent still make them feel stressful when facially talk to nativeEnglish speaker. Different cultures makes different expression way, somisunderstandings and embarrasses could easily happen.

How these learners mentioned above who want to learn English well as asecond language can be helped effectively? Except for the well-describedmethods in TESOL, CLIL is another approach we can use in classrooms.

Content and Language Integrated Learning, or CLIL, is an approach forlearning content through a second language, which is English in this case,therefore, teaching both the subject and the language. It is a term created in1994 by David Marsh and Anne Maljers as a methodology similar to but distinctfrom language immersion and content-based instruction. This kind of approachhas been identified as very important by the European Commission.(Wikipedia )

CLIL can help students to learn a different language and culture better innon-English environments. CLIL is a student-centered type of teaching methodthat could make language be learned mainly through acquisition and using it. Asit is known that language is learned best when the language is used to learnsomething else. Examples like in a bilingual English school, maths and sciencesare taught in English. In CLIL classes, language serves to communicatemeaning.


Students areexpected to be able to reproduce the core of the text in their own words, thiscan nurture self-confidence and provide effective opportunities for students touse their English skills now, rather learn them now for use later.   

CLILcan also help teachers to plan a sequence of lessons that are more targeted forstudents to motivate them on language learning. CLIL is where a subject istaught in the target language rather than the first language of the learners.So materials are often characterized by lots ofvisual support for meaning, to allow low language level students to access highlevel content; tasks are designed to allow students to focus on and learn touse the new language as they learn the new subject content. Teachers couldprovide tasks taking into account the learning purposes and learner styles,receptive skill activities of language competence such as read, listen and do genre, e.g., listen and fill inthe table. This can provide exposure to the language without requiring extratime in the curriculum.

Insummary, the benefits of CLIL can be seen in terms of languagecompetence(e.g.four skills), language barrier breaking, cultural awareness andmotivation increased. In this consideration, enhancing teachers’ languagecompetences in general to promote the teaching of non-linguistic subjects inforeign or second languages, this might be the essence of teacher trainingissue next.‍


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