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Bellaterra Journal of Teaching & Learning

Language & Literature


Vol. 9(1), Feb-Mar 2016









Lettre de l’éditrice Dooly 1-8

From the CLIL craze to the CLIL conundrum: Pérez Cañado 9-31
Addressing the current CLIL controversy

The Effect of Portfolio-Based Assessment on Jordanian Obeiah & Bataineh 32-46


EFL Learners’ Writing Performance

Is There a Place for Cross-cultural Contastive Rhetoric Lin Zhou 47-70


in English Academic Writing Courses?

Analyse du matériel pédagogique en matière de Addou 71-83


ponctuation dans l’école primaire algérienne

Reseña: Fundamentos didácticos de la lengua y la Cremades 84-88


literatura, por Amando López Valero y Eduardo
Encabo Fernández (2013)

An interview with Dr. Martin Lamb on research in Torras Vila 89-94


English language learning and teaching

Bellaterra Journal of Teaching & Learning Language & Literature
Vol. 9(1), Feb-Mar 2016, 1-8
Lettre de l’éditrice (Français)
Nota de l’editora (Català)
Nota de l’editora (Español)
Editor’s Note (English)

DOI: http://10.5565/10.5565/rev/jtl3.668

Lettre de l’éditrice

Nous sommes ravis de vous présenter le premier volume de 2016. Pour commencer l'année,
nous avons procédé à quelques changements au sein de notre équipe éditoriale. Avec la
présence internationale en expansion de notre journal, le travail lié à l'édition a
considérablement augmenté et par conséquent, à partir de 2016, le Dr Emilee Moore (de
l'Université de Leeds) jusqu’à présent éditrice de Commentaires et critiques devient co-
éditrice de Bellaterra Journal of Teaching & Learning Language and Literature se joindra à
nous. Nous avons également renouvelé et agrandi notre Comité scientifique et élargi notre
équipe de correcteurs pour couvrir de façon plus appropriée la diversité croissante des
apportations, à la fois géographique et thématique. Nous sommes convaincus que cela va
assurer et améliorer le niveau de nos publications. Pourtant, en dépit de notre reconnaissance
internationale croissante, nous insistons sur le fait que nous avons la ferme intention de
continuer à soutenir la diffusion des travaux de qualité des jeunes chercheurs dans notre
domaine spécifique de l'éducation.

Comme d'habitude, les articles dans ce volume assurent au lecteur un large éventail de sujets
et de contenus concernant l'enseignement et l'apprentissage de la langue et de la littérature.
Nous débutons ce premier volume avec l'article du Dr Pérez Cañado, qui propose une
réfléxion critique sur l'état actuel du l’Enseignement de Matières par l’Intégration d’une
Langue Étrangère (EMILE) couvrant trois domaines clés: les principales caractéristiques
(comment a-t-il été défini et compris), la exécution (ce sont les différentes façons dont cette
approche a été réalisée dans la salle de classe) et la recherche (quels types de critères ont été
pris pour examiner et valider cette approche). L'article souligne le fait que l'approche a
dépassé les «coins de pratiques» et elle est devenue plus répandue et acceptée tant au niveau
de la politique que de la pratique. La perspective adoptée est d’autant plus intéressante que
l'approche elle-même stimule de plus en plus d'études dans le champ de croissance et Pérez
Cañado fournit un aperçu très perspicace de la topographie en constante évolution de la
pratique et de la recherche en CLIL.

Notre section d'articles de recherche présente une grande variété géographique car elle
comprend des études de Jordanie, des États-Unis d'Amérique et d'Alger avec une orientation
similaire en ce qui concerne l'observation du processus d'enseignement et d'apprentissage de
l'écriture. La section commence par l'étude de Obeiah et Fahmi Bataineh sur l'effet de
l'évaluation du portefeuille sur les compétences et les sous-compétences d'écriture de l’anglais
jordanien comme langue étrangère (EFL) et met l’accent sur leur développement, leur
organisation, leur conventions et les choix de mots (article en anglais). Les auteurs suggèrent
qu'une stratégie d'enseignement basée sur le portefeuille peut aider à promouvoir l'auto-
réflexion de l’apprenant et l'auto-direction dans le processus global de l’apprentissage de
l’écriture en EFL. Ensuite, Zhou (anglais) décrit et analyse une approche pédagogique qu'elle
qualifie de «rhétorique contrastive interculturelle» (CCRC) dans des cours d'écriture au
niveau des études supérieures dans une université américaine. Après avoir brièvement décrit
la conception du cours, elle compare alors les gains du groupe cible et du groupe contrôle de
2 Dooly

l'étude dans les compétences d'écriture dans leur utilisation dans des clauses dépendantes et
des éléments de cohésion. L’analyse est suivie par des données qualitatives issues de réponses
des élèves au programme de cours. Dans le même sens à l'article précédent, Zhou suggère que
ce type d'instruction peut promouvoir la réflexion métacognitive en ce qui concerne le
processus d'écriture académique. Notre dernier article de cette section, écrit par Addou (en
français) déplace l'accent de l'enseignement de niveau universitaire à l'enseignement de
niveau primaire de la grammaire. Contextualisée au sein d'une école primaire à Alger, Addou
examine les manuels et les activités des livres pour déterminer si leur conception est
appropriée pour la ponctuation et les compétences cibles clés à l’écrit.

Ces articles sont suivis d'un entretien très instructif avec Martin Lamb sur les défis auxquels
sont confrontés les chercheurs dans le domaine de l'enseignement et de l'apprentissage des
langues (écrit par Torras Vila, entretien en anglais). Dr. Martin Lamb, de l'Université de
Leeds, est un érudit de premier plan dans ce domaine. Nous terminons notre premier volume
de cette année avec une critique du livre (Cremades, en espagnol) intitulé Fundamentos
Didacticos de la lengua y la literatura, por Amando López Valero y Eduardo Encabo
Fernández (Síntesis, 2013).

Nous espérons que vous apprécierez le premier volume de cette année 2016.

Melinda Dooly
31 Mars 2016

Crédits
Les illustrations des couvertures de chaque volume ont été conçues par des étudiants de l’école EINA
(Escola de Disseny i Art, Barcelona), dans le cadre du programme d’études supérieures ‘Illustration
créative’, sous la direction de Sonia Pulido, professeure d’illustration de presse.

Au comité de lecture du volume 9.1


L’éditrice remercie les personnes suivantes pour leur contribution à la préparation du Volume 9.1:

Cristina Aliagas (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona), Alba Ambròs (Universitat de Barcelona),


Encarnación Carrasco (Universitat de Barcelona), Núria Vilà (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona),
Annie Wilson (Universitat de Barcelona), et Javier Elvira (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid).

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Nota de l’editora

És un plaer poder presentar-los el primer volum de la nostra revista de 2016 i al mateix temps
comunicar-los alguns canvis en el nostre equip editorial. Degut a la creixent presència
internacional de la nostra revista, la quantitat de treball d’edició s’ha incrementat
considerablement, per tant, a partir de principis de 2016, la Dra. Emilee Moore (de la
Universitat de Leeds) deixarà el seu lloc d’editora de la secció de ressenyes i entrevistes i
passarà a ser coeditora de Bellaterra Journal of Teaching and Learning Language and
Literature. També hem renovat i augmentat el nombre de membres del Comitè Científic i
ampliat la nostra llista d’avaluadors per cobrir més adequadament la creixent diversitat, tant
geogràfica com temàtica dels manuscrits presentats per a la seva publicació en BJTLLL.
Estem convençuts que aquests canvis garantiran la continuïtat de la nostra revista i ajudaran a
millorar la qualitat de les publicacions que ja gaudim. Tot i així, malgrat el nostre
reconeixement internacional cada vegada més gran, destaquem que ens mantenim ferms en la
nostra missió de donar suport a la difusió de la feina de qualitat dels joves investigadors en la
nostra àrea específica de la didàctica de les llengües i la literatura.

Com de costum, els articles en qüestió donen al lector una àmplia gamma de temes i
enfocaments relatius a l’ensenyament i l’aprenentatge de la llengua i la literatura. Comencem
aquest primer volum amb l’article críticament compromès de la Dra. Pérez Cañado sobre
l’estat actual de l’Aprenentatge Integrat de Continguts i Llengües Estrangeres (AICLE), que
cobreix tres àrees clau: les característiques principals (com s’ha definit històricament), la seva
implementació (els diferents formes en què aquest enfocament s’ha dut a terme a l’aula) i la
investigació (quins tipus d’estudis s’han dut a terme per examinar i validar aquest
enfocament). L’article posa en relleu el fet que l’enfocament ha deixat de centrar tant en ser
‘racons de pràctica’ i passar a ser més generalitzat i acceptat tant en els nivells de la política
com en la pràctica. Inevitablement, això comporta més mirades crítiques, ja que estimula cada
vegada més estudis en aquest camp. En aquest sentit, Pérez Cañado proporciona una visió
molt perspicaç de la topografia canviant de la pràctica i la recerca en AICLE.

La secció d’articles d’investigació té una àmplia expansió geogràfica, ja que inclou estudis
fets a Jordània, els Estats Units d’Amèrica i Algèria, encara que tots els articles tenen un
enfocament comú; examinen el procés de l’ensenyament i l’aprenentatge de l’escriptura. La
secció comença amb l’estudi dut a terme per Obeiah i Fahmi Bataineh sobre l’efecte de les
carpetes d’aprenentatge (portafolis) en estudiants d’anglès com una llengua estrangera a
Jordània. L’estudi té en compte les competències necessàries per escriure en un llengua
estrangera, centrant-se en particular en les sub-competències de saber organitzar i
desenvolupar temes, triar les convencions de l’escriptura apropiades i la selecció de paraules
(article en anglès). Els autors suggereixen que una estratègia d’ensenyament basat en les
carpetes d’aprenentatge pot ajudar a promoure l’auto-reflexió i l’autonomia de l’alumne en el
procés global de l’aprenentatge de l’escriptura en anglès com a llengua estrangera. A
continuació, Zhou (article en anglès) descriu i analitza un enfocament pedagògic, que ella
anomena ‘la retòrica contrastiva intercultural’, en els cursos d’escriptura a nivell de màster en
una universitat nord-americana. Després de descriure breument el disseny del curs, l’autora
compara els avenços del grup de l’estudi amb un grup de control en les competències
d’escriptura pel que fa al seu ús de les clàusules dependents i la cohesió del text. A la segona
part de l’estudi, l’autora examina qualitativament, algunes produccions dels estudiants durant
el curs. De manera similar a les idees promocionades a l’article anterior, Zhou suggereix que
aquest tipus d’instrucció pot promoure la reflexió metacognitiva pel que fa el procés

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d’escriptura acadèmica. L’últim article d’aquesta secció, escrit per Addou (en francès) canvia
l’enfocament des del nivell universitari a l’ensenyament de primària, centrant-se en qüestions
de l’ensenyament de la gramàtica. Contextualitzat dins d’una escola primària a Algèria,
Addou examina els llibres de text i els llibres d’activitats per determinar si el seu disseny és el
més apropiat per apropar l’alumne a coneixements de l’ús de la puntuació i altres
competències clau relacionades amb l’escriptura.

Continuem amb l'entrevista molt aclaridora, realitzada a Martin Lamb, sobre els desafiaments
als quals s'enfronten els investigadors en el camp de didàctica de les llengües (escrita per
Torras Vila, entrevista en anglès). El Dr. Martin Lamb, de la Universitat de Leeds, és un
investigador principal en aquest camp. Finalitzem el nostre primer volum d'aquest any amb
una ressenya escrita per Cremades (en espanyol) del llibre titulat Fundamentos didácticos de
la lengua y la literatura, d'Amando López Valero i Eduardo Encabo Fernández (Síntesis,
2013).

Esperem que tots gaudeixin del primer volum de 2016 de la nostra revista.

Melinda Dooly
31 de març de 2016

Crèdits
Les il·lustracions per a les portades de cada edició són dissenyades per estudiants d’EINA (Escola de
Disseny i Art, Barcelona), dins el programa del postgrau d’Il·lustració Creativa, dirigit per Sonia
Pulido, professora d’Il·lustració de Premsa.

Els revisors de volum 9.1:


L’editora voldria enviar un agraïment especial als avaluadors i avaluadores del volum 9.1:

Cristina Aliagas (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona), Alba Ambròs (Universitat de Barcelona),


Encarnación Carrasco (Universitat de Barcelona), Núria Vilà (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona),
Annie Wilson (Universitat de Barcelona), I Javier Elvira (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid).

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Nota de la editora

Nos es muy grato poder presentarles el primer volumen de nuestra revista de 2016 y al mismo
tiempo comunicarles que para este comienzo de año hemos introducido algunos cambios en
nuestro equipo editorial. Debido a la creciente presencia internacional de nuestra revista, la
cantidad de trabajo de edición se ha incrementado considerablemente, por lo tanto, a partir de
principios de 2016, la Dra. Emilee Moore (de la Universidad de Leeds) dejará su puesto de
editora de la sección de reseñas y entrevistas y pasará a ser coeditora de Bellaterra Journal of
Teaching and Learning Language and Literature. También hemos renovado y aumentado el
número de miembros del Comité Científico y ampliado nuestra lista de evaluadores para
cubrir más adecuadamente la creciente diversidad, tanto geográfica como temática de los
manuscritos presentados para su publicación en BJTLLL. Estamos convencidos de que estos
cambios garantizarán la continuidad de nuestra revista y ayudarán a mejorar la calidad de las
publicaciones que ya disfrutamos. Aún así, a pesar de nuestro reconocimiento internacional
cada vez mayor, destacamos que nos mantenemos firmes en nuestra misión de apoyar la
difusión del trabajo de calidad de los jóvenes investigadores en nuestra área específica de la
didáctica de las lenguas y la literatura.

Como de costumbre, los artículos en cuestión aseguran al lector una amplia gama de temas y
enfoques relativos a la enseñanza y el aprendizaje de la lengua y la literatura. Comenzamos
este primer volumen con el artículo críticamente comprometido de la Dra. Pérez Cañado
sobre el estado actual del Aprendizaje Integrado de Contenidos y Lenguas Extranjeras
(AICLE), que cubre tres áreas clave: las características principales (cómo se ha definido
históricamente), su implementación (los diferentes formas en que este enfoque se ha llevado a
cabo en el aula) y la investigación (qué tipos de estudios se han llevado a cabo para examinar
y validar este enfoque). El artículo pone de relieve el hecho de que el enfoque ha dejado de
centrarse tanto en ser ‘rincones de práctica’ y pasar a ser más generalizado y aceptado tanto
en los niveles de la política como en la práctica. Inevitablemente, esto conlleva más miradas
críticas, ya que estimula cada vez más estudios en este campo. En este sentido, Pérez Cañado
proporciona una visión muy perspicaz de la topografía cambiante de la práctica y la
investigación en AICLE.

La sección de artículos de investigación tiene una amplia expansión geográfica, ya que


incluye estudios hechos en Jordania, los Estados Unidos de América y Argelia, aunque todos
los artículos tienen un enfoque común; examinan el proceso de la enseñanza y el aprendizaje
de la escritura. La sección comienza con el estudio llevado a cabo por Obeiah y Fahmi
Bataineh sobre el efecto de las carpetas de aprendizaje (portafolios) en estudiantes de inglés
como una lengua extranjera en Jordania. El estudio tiene en cuenta las competencias
necesarias para escribir en un lengua extranjera, centrándose en particular en las sub-
competencias de saber organizar y desarrollar temas, elegir las convenciones de la escritura
apropiadas y la selección de palabras (artículo en inglés). Los autores sugieren que una
estrategia de enseñanza basada en las carteras de aprendizaje puede ayudar a promover la
auto-reflexión y la autonomía del alumno en el proceso global del aprendizaje de la escritura
en inglés como lengua extranjera. A continuación, Zhou (artículo en inglés) describe y analiza
un enfoque pedagógico, que ella llama ‘la retórica contrastiva intercultural’, en los cursos de
escritura a nivel de máster en una universidad estadounidense. Después de describir
brevemente el diseño del curso, la autora compara los avances del grupo del estudio con un
grupo de control en las competencias de escritura en cuanto a su uso de las cláusulas
dependientes y la cohesión del texto. En la segunda parte del estudio, la autora examina

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cualitativamente, algunas producciones de los estudiantes durante el curso. De forma similar a


las ideas promocionadas en el artículo anterior, Zhou sugiere que este tipo de instrucción
puede promover la reflexión metacognitiva en lo que respecta el proceso de escritura
académica. El último artículo de esta sección, escrito por Addou (en francés) cambia el
enfoque desde el nivel universitario a la enseñanza de primaria, centrándose en cuestiones de
la enseñanza de la gramática. Contextualizado dentro de una escuela primaria en Argelia,
Addou examina los libros de texto y los libros de actividades para determinar si su diseño es
el más apropiado para acercar el alumno a conocimientos del uso de la puntuación y otras
competencias clave relacionadas con la escritura.

Continuamos con la entrevista muy esclarecedora, realizada a Martin Lamb, sobre los
desafíos a los que se enfrentan los investigadores en el campo de didáctica de las lenguas
(escrita por Torras Vila, entrevista en inglés). El Dr. Martin Lamb, de la Universidad de
Leeds, es un investigador principal en este campo. Finalizamos nuestro primer volumen de
este año con una reseña escrita por Cremades (en español) del libro titulado Fundamentos
didácticos de la lengua y la literatura, de Amando López Valero y Eduardo Encabo
Fernández (Síntesis, 2013).

Esperamos que puedan disfrutar del primer volumen de 2016 de nuestra revista.

Melinda Dooly
31 de marzo de 2016

Créditos
Las ilustraciones para las portadas de cada edición son diseñadas por estudiantes de EINA (Escuela
de Diseño y Arte, Barcelona), dentro del programa del posgrado en Ilustración Creativa, dirigido por
Sonia Pulido, profesora de Ilustración de Prensa.

Los revisores del volumen 9.1


La editora agradece a las siguientes personas su contribución a la preparación del Volumen 9.1:

Cristina Aliagas (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona), Alba Ambròs (Universitat de Barcelona),


Encarnación Carrasco (Universitat de Barcelona), Núria Vilà (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona),
Annie Wilson (Universitat de Barcelona), y Javier Elvira (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid).

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Editor’s Notes

We are excited to present you with the first volume of 2016. Kicking off the year, we have
introduced a few changes to our editorial team. With the expanding international presence of
our journal, the amount of editing work has increased considerably therefore, as of 2016, Dr.
Emilee Moore (of Leeds University) will move from Reviews and Criticisms editor to Co-
editor of Bellaterra Journal of Teaching & Learning Language & Literature. We have also
renewed and added to our Scientific Committee Members and widened our reviewer pool to
more appropriately cover the growing diversity of submission, both geographically and
thematically. We are convinced that this will guarantee the continuance as well as enhance the
standard of publications that we already enjoy. Still, despite our growing international
recognition, we emphasize that we are steadfast with our mission of supporting the
dissemination of young researchers’ quality work in our specific area of education.

As usual, the articles herein ensure the reader a wide range of topics and foci concerning
language and literature teaching and learning. We begin this first volume with Dr. Pérez
Cañado’s critically engaged article on the current state of Content and Language Integrated
Learning (CLIL), covering three key areas: main features (how has it been defined and
understood), implementation (what are the different ways in which this approach has been
carried out in the classroom) and research (what types of studies have been carried out to
examine and validate this approach)? The article underscores the fact that the approach has
moved beyond ‘pockets of practice’ and become more widespread and accepted on levels of
both policy and practice. This inevitably brings forth more critique as the approach itself
stimulates more and more studies into this growing field. Pérez Cañado provides a very
insightful overview of the ever-changing topography of practice and research in CLIL.

Our regularly featured research article section has a wide geographic span as it includes
studies from Jordan, the United States of America and Algiers while at the same time all the
articles have a common focus; they all look at the process of teaching and learning writing.
The section begins with Obeiah and Fahmi Bataineh’s study on the effect of portfolio
assessment on Jordanian English as a Foreign Language (EFL) learners’ writing competences
and sub-competences, specifically focusing on development and organization of theme,
correct use of conventions and word choices (article in English). The authors suggest that a
portfolio-based teaching strategy can help promote learner self-reflection and self-direction in
the overall process of learning to write in EFL. Next, Zhou (English) outlines and analyses a
pedagogical approach that she refers to as ‘cross-cultural contrastive rhetoric’ (CCCR) in
graduate-level writing courses at an American university. After briefly describing the course
design she then compares the study group and control group’s gains in writing competences
in their use of dependent clauses and cohesive devices. This is followed by qualitative data
stemming from student responses to the course programme. Along similar lines to the
preceding article, Zhou suggests that this type of teaching instruction can promote
metacognitive reflection as regards the academic writing process. Our final article in this
section, written by Addou (in French) shifts the focus from university level teaching to
primary level teaching of grammar. Contextualized within a primary school in Algiers, Addou
examines textbooks and activities books to determine how appropriate their design is for
correct punctuation use and related key target competences in writing.

These articles are followed by a very enlightening interview with Martin Lamb about the
challenges facing researchers in the field of teaching and learning languages (written by

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Torras Vila, interview in English). Dr. Martin Lamb, from the University of Leeds, is a
leading scholar in this field. We close our first volume of this year with a review by Cremades
(in Spanish) of the book entitled Fundamentos didácticos de la lengua y la literatura, by
Amando López Valero and Eduardo Encabo Fernández (Síntesis, 2013).

We hope you enjoy this year’s first volume of 2016.

Dr. Melinda Dooly


31 March 2016

Credits:
Illustrations for the covers of each issue are designed by students of EINA (Escola de Disseny i Art,
Barcelona) studying in the postgraduate course ‘Il·lustració Creativa’, under the direction of Sonia
Pulido, teacher of Illustration for Publishing Media.

Reviewers for Volume 9.1


The editor would like to thank the following reviewers for their contribution to the preparation of
Volume 9.1:

Cristina Aliagas (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona), Alba Ambròs (Universitat de Barcelona),


Encarnación Carrasco (Universitat de Barcelona), Núria Vilà (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona),
Annie Wilson (Universitat de Barcelona), and Javier Elvira (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid).

Bellaterra Journal of Teaching & Learning Language & Literature. 8.4 (Nov-Dec 2015)
ISSN 2013-6196
Bellaterra Journal of Teaching & Learning Language & Literature
Vol. 9(1), Feb-Mar 2016, 9-31

From the CLIL craze to the CLIL conundrum:
Addressing the current CLIL controversy
María Luisa Pérez Cañado
Department of English Philology, University of Jaén, Spain

Article received 28 March 2016, final version received 31 March 2016


http://dx.doi.org/10.5565/rev/jtl3.667

Abstract
This article provides an updated account of the evolution of Content and Language
Integrated Learning (CLIL), from an initial period of CLIL craze to one of CLIL critique to,
at present, what could be considered a CLIL conundrum. The controversies which currently
affect this approach are documented on three main fronts (characterization, implementation,
and research), illustrating how the so-called pendulum effect is at work in all of them. The
concomitant challenges posed by these controversies are identified and specific ways to
redress them are provided via concrete research-based proposals stemming from two
governmentally-funded research projects. The ultimate aim is to identify the chief hurdles
which need to be tackled within the CLIL arena in the very near future and to signpost
possible ways of superseding them in order to continue advancing smoothly into the next
decade of CLIL development.

Key words: CLIL, controversy, characterization, implementation, research

Resumen
Este artículo realiza una revisión actualizada de la evolución del Aprendizaje Integrado de
Contenidos y Lenguas Extranjeras (AICLE), desde un periodo inicial de defensa de este
enfoque hasta otro de crítica posterior, desembocando en una etapa de controversia. El
debate que actualmente rodea a este enfoque afecta a tres frentes principales (su
caracterización, su implementación y su investigación), todos los cuales se abordan,
ilustrando cómo el llamado efecto péndulo se puede discernir en cada uno de ellos. Se
identifican los principales retos que derivan de la controversia existente en estas tres grandes
áreas del AICLE y se proponen formas concretas de afrontarlos mediante ejemplos
provenientes de dos proyectos de I+D sobre el tema. El fin último es identificar los
principales obstáculos que se han de superar en el campo del AICLE en el futuro inmediato
y realizar propuestas concretas sobre cómo afrontarlos con garantías para continuar
avanzando en el desarrollo de este enfoque.

Palabras clave: AICLE, controversia, caracterización, implementación, investigación

Précis
Cet article fournit une mise à jour de l'évolution de l’Enseignement de Matières par
l’Intégration d’une Langue Étrangère (EMILE), d'une période initiale de la défense de cette
approche à d'autres critiques ultérieures, conduisant à une période de controverse. Le débat
actuel entourant cette approche affecte trois fronts principaux (la caractérisation, la mise en
œuvre et la recherche), qui sont tous traités, illustrant comment le soi-disant effet pendule
peut être discernée dans chacun d'eux. Les principaux défis posés par le conflit dans ces trois
domaines d'EMILE sont identifiés et des moyens concrets pour y faire face sont proposés
par des exemples tirés de deux projets de recherche sur le sujet. Le but ultime est d'identifier
les principaux obstacles à surmonter dans le domaine de l'EMILE dans l'avenir immédiat et
faire des propositions concrètes pour les traiter avec des garanties pour continuer à
progresser dans le développement de cette approche.

Mots-clefs: EMILE, controverse, caractérisation, implémentation, recherche


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Introduction
The 21st century has been characterized by great upheaval in the language teaching arena. In
these past 15 years, considerable strides have been taken towards the “multilingual turn”
(May, 2014, p. 1) in language education. At a time when teaching through a single language is
regarded as “drip-feed” (Vez, 2009, p. 8) or “second rate” (Lorenzo, 2007, p. 35) education,
encouraging polylanguaging, translanguaging, or plurilingualism has become paramount,
particularly in the European scenario, where the “mother tongue + 2” objective (namely, the
need for EU citizens to be proficient in their mother tongue plus two other European
languages) has been targeted for over three decades (European Commission, 1995).
Against this backdrop, a specific approach to language teaching has forcefully come to
the fore and embedded itself in the language teaching scenario: CLIL (Content and Language
Integrated Learning) in English, AICLE (Aprendizaje Integrado de Contenidos y Lenguas
Extranjeras) in Spanish, or EMILE (l’Enseignement de Matières par l’Intégration d’une
Langue Étrangère) in French. It has been “embraced quickly and enthusiastically by
stakeholders: Parents, students, language/educational policy-makers all over the world, but
especially in Europe” (Lasagabaster & Doiz, 2016, p. 1). Indeed, in our continent, it has had
an exponential uptake particularly over the course of the past two decades, and has swiftly
been “put into practice from primary education through vocational education to university”
(Merino & Lasagabaster, 2015, p. 1). If, according to authors such as Hughes (2010), CLIL
initiatives are expected to come to fruition in 20 years, the time is ripe to step back and do
some much-needed stocktaking into how they have played out.
And this is especially the case since CLIL has undergone a very interesting evolution
since it first entered the European scene. It was initially heralded as the potential lynchpin to
tackle the foreign language deficit on our continent and was embraced as “a lever for change
and success in language learning” (Pérez Cañado & Ráez Padilla, 2015, p. 1), as “awesome
innovation” (Tobin & Abello-Contesse, 2013, p. 224), or as “the ultimate opportunity to
practice and improve a foreign language” (Pérez-Vidal, 2013, p. 59). However, after this
period of unbridled enthusiasm, over the course of the past half a decade, a more critical
attitude has emerged (Cabezas Cabello, 2010; Bruton, 2011a, 2011b, 2013, 2015; Pérez
Cañado, 2011, 2012; Cenoz, Genesee, & Gorter, 2013; Paran, 2013), calling into question
some of the core underpinnings of CLIL and shaking CLIL advocates out of their
complacency. As Paran (2013, p. 334) has put it, we have moved from a “celebratory
rhetoric” which saw CLIL as a near panacea to dwelling almost exclusively “on the

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problematic issues of CLIL”. This so-called “pendulum effect” (Swan, 1985, p. 86) which has
characterized language teaching history has just made itself conspicuous in the CLIL scenario
(Pérez Cañado, in press), leading to CLIL controversy on different fronts. Great debate has
been sparked off and contradictory opinions have been harbored vis-à-vis pivotal aspects of
CLIL characterization, implementation, and research, thereby creating the need to revisit
some taken-for-granted issues affecting this approach and constituting challenges to be
addressed in the present and very near future of CLIL theory and praxis.
It is precisely on these challenges that the present article seeks to focus. It will identify
these three areas of current contention in CLIL (characterization, implementation, and
research), canvassing the chief challenges they have generated and offering routes to address
and overcome them through the provision of concrete examples from two ongoing
governmentally-funded research projects (cf. Acknowledgements). The ultimate aim is to
identify the chief hurdles which need to be tackled in the very near future and to signpost
possible ways of superseding them in order to continue advancing smoothly into the next
decade of CLIL development.

CLIL challenges
The controversy in CLIL characterization
An initial controversy which is affecting CLIL pertains to its very characterization. When
CLIL was coined and launched in the mid-1990s by UNICOM, the University of Jyväskylä
(Finland), and the European Platform for Dutch education (Marsh, 2006; Fortanet-Gómez &
Ruiz-Garrido, 2009), it was defined as “a dual-focused education approach in which an
additional language is used for the learning and teaching of both content and language”
(Marsh & Langé, 2000, p. 2). The dual-focused component underscores the fact that CLIL has
two aims: one subject- or theme-related, and the other, language-focused. The additional
language, in turn, is normally not the most widely used one in the environment. Finally, the
emphasis on both teaching and content points to the very hallmark of CLIL: the fact that it
straddles these two aspects of learning, involving the fusion of previously fragmented
elements of the curriculum and requiring teachers to forego their respective mindsets
grounded on a single subject and to pool their skills and knowledge (Coyle, Hood, & Marsh,
2010).
Although it is widely consensual that CLIL is a “well-recognized and useful construct
for promoting L2/foreign language teaching” (Cenoz et al., 2013, p. 16), its exact limits are

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very difficult, if not impossible, to pin down. CLIL has been challenged for its “ill-defined
nature” (Paran, 2013, p. 318), “convenient vagueness” (Bruton, 2013, p. 588), and internal
ambiguity (Cenoz et al., 2013, p. 2). Indeed, according to Paran (2013, p. 319), it is “afflicted
with a high lack of terminological clarity, starting with the confusion between CLIL, CBI, and
Immersion Education”. This is why, initially, the prevalent tendency was to distill the core
features which differentiate CLIL from other types of immersion approaches and which make
it a foreign language teaching trend in its own right, and not a mere offshoot of other types of
bilingual programs (Lasagabaster & Sierra, 2009; Pérez Cañado, 2012; Pérez-Vidal, 2013;
Dalton-Puffer, Llinares, Lorenzo & Nikula, 2014). These affect the language of instruction
(generally not present in the students’ context), the languages taught through CLIL (mostly
major international linguae francae, with English holding a hegemonic position), the
methodology used (which involves the integration of language and content, with foreign
language teaching and CLIL lessons being timetabled alongside each other), the language
level targeted (a functional vs. native-like competence of the language studied), the linguistic
command of teachers (which, in line with the foregoing, need no longer be native-like), the
amount of exposure to the second or foreign language (lower, as age of onset of language
learning tends to be pushed back in CLIL contexts), or the types of materials employed
(adapted or originally designed, as opposed to authentic ones).
However, the metaphorical pendulum has of late swung to the other extreme, calling
into question this reductionist, isolationist view of CLIL as detrimental for practitioners and
researchers (Cenoz et al., 2013, p. 1): “We argue that attempts to define CLIL by
distinguishing it from immersion approaches to L2 education are often misguided”. In this
vein, Somers and Surmont (2010), Cenoz, Genesee, and Gorter (2013), Hüttner and Smit
(2013), Cenoz (2015), and Cenoz and Ruiz de Zarobe (2015) expound on the similarities
rather than differences between CLIL, immersion, and Content-Based Instruction (CBI), and
advocate a more inclusive, integrative, and constructivist stance which does not attempt to
provide “a detailed, theoretically ‘tight’ definition of what is (not) CLIL” or enter into “heated
discussion into where to draw the borders and what (not) to include” (Hüttner & Smit, 2014,
p. 164).
Indeed, authors such as Somers and Surmont (2010) or Cenoz et al. (2013) have
capitalized on the similarities between CLIL and immersion education. To begin with, vis-à-
vis the language of instruction and the language taught through CLIL, they maintain that
immersion programs also incorporate target languages which are not always present in
students’ contexts and they also point out that CLIL is equally used to teach regional and

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minority languages which are official in certain communities (e.g., French in Belgium or
Catalan/Basque in Spain). Methodologically, the balance between language and content also
runs through immersion education, which is seen as an instance of a content-driven approach
rather than a language-driven one by Met (1998) or Genesee (2004). Both types of programs
call for what Cenoz et al. (2013, p. 10) consider a more “systematic, explicit and coherent
integration of language and content instruction”. The language level targeted is no different
from CLIL, according to the afore-mentioned authors, as instrumental motivation drives both
CLIL and immersion programs, and an advanced functional proficiency (vs. a native-like one)
is also the goal of immersion programs in North America. Late and partial immersion
programs cannot hope to reach a native-like proficiency either. In line with the foregoing, the
demystification of the native speaker as the ideal teacher is now also present in immersion, as
it is in CLIL. Furthermore, the starting age is no longer different in both types of programs,
since there are both middle and late immersion programs and early CLIL ones (from infant
education). Finally, in regards to materials, Somers and Surmont (2010) and Cenoz et al.
(2013) uphold that they are originally designed in both contexts. Thus, in view of these
arguments, it is “difficult, if not impossible, to identify features that are uniquely
characteristic of CLIL in contrast with immersion education” (Cenoz et al., 2013, p. 13).
The same occurs with CLIL and CBI. As Cenoz et al. (2013: 11) underscore,
“some consider CLIL to be the same as CBI and, thus, immersion, which is clearly a form of
CBI”. Indeed, according to Ruiz de Zarobe (2008, p. 61). “Content and Language Integrated
Learning (CLIL) and Content-based Instruction (CBI) can be considered synonymous. The
former is used more frequently in Europe while the latter has gained more popularity in the
United States and Canada”. Indeed, Cenoz (2015) has recently maintained that the essential
properties of CLIL and CBI (use of the L2 as a medium of instruction, societal aims, or the
typical type of student) are the same. There are only what she terms accidental differences
between both approaches, which are “linked to the specific educational contexts where the
programmes take place” (Cenoz, 2015, p. 22). CLIL and CBI are thus now considered “labels
for the same reality” (Cenoz & Ruiz de Zarobe, 2015, p. 90).
Thus, the way out of this “terminological puzzle” (Dalton-Puffer et al., 2014, p. 2) is
held to lie in “integration” (Cenoz & Ruiz de Zarobe, 2015, p. 90). A much broader, all-
encompassing view of CLIL is now proposed, where this acronym is regarded as an
“umbrella construct” which includes immersion education (Cenoz et al., 2013, p. 13), a
“blanket term” (Cenoz et al., 2013, p. 5), or a “holistic view of what we do with language use
and languages in a pluralistic sense” (Coyle, in Piquer Vives & Lorenzo Galés, 2015, p. 89).

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Coyle (in Piquer Vives & Lorenzo Galés, 2015, p. 89) goes as far as to claim, in this sense,
that “My vision for the future is that CLIL, as a concept or term, won’t even be used”. Thus,
the onus is now on recognizing the diversity of formats which can be subsumed within CLIL
and on ensuring that the results and effects of all types of multilingual programs (be they
CLIL, CBI, or immersion) are shared so that the pedagogical and research community can
benefit from them. As Cenoz et al. (2013, p. 16) claim, “A taxonomy or delineation of
alternative formats for CLIL would help bring order to these matters”.

The controversy in CLIL implementation


This lack of conceptual clarity affecting CLIL trickles down to on-the-ground practice and
has clear implications for CLIL implementation. Just as the definition of CLIL has been
plagued with ambiguity, so has its implementation been criticized for lacking cohesion
(Coyle, 2008), clarity (Bruton, 2011b), and coherence (Cenoz et al., 2013). Although CLIL
may be historically unique, it is not unique pedagogically (Cenoz et al., 2013).
Indeed, criticism has recently been leveled at CLIL due to the plethora of models or
variants which can be identified within it. This wide spectrum of models which CLIL
encompasses is held to be dependent on a series of factors or parameters. For Coyle et al.
(2010), these are operating factors -among which they subsume teacher availability, levels of
teacher and student language fluency, amount of time available, ways of integrating content
and language, out-of-school opportunities and networking with other countries, and
assessment processes- and scale of the CLIL program –which rests on extensive instruction
through the vehicular language, where the latter is almost exclusively used, or partial
teaching, where code-switching or translanguaging are present to a greater extent. According
to Wolff (2005), CLIL variants are determined by environmental parameters, which he
outlines as involving the degree of FL and content teaching, choice of subjects, time of
exposure, and linguistic situation (monolingual/monocultural – multilingual-multicultural). In
turn, Smit’s (2007) proposal also encompasses extent of content and language teaching and
adds as further criteria population segments (elite-mainstream), age groups, monolingual-
multilingual settings, types of teachers involved, learner assessment, type and amount of
target language usage, and language taught. Finally, for Rimmer (2009, p. 4), the variables
which intervene in what he terms “the CLIL mix” are degree and depth of content, L1/L2
balance, involvement of subject specialists, and the extent to which CLIL is present in the
curriculum.

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The flexible combination of these factors is conducive to a remarkably broad array of


CLIL programs and this has been regarded as detrimental by certain scholars for the
pedagogically coherent evolution of CLIL: “Identifying the programmatic, instructional, and
student-related properties that are specific and perhaps unique to CLIL is complicated by the
diverse and ill-defined range of learning contexts/opportunities that can be classified as
CLIL” (Cenoz et al., 2013, pp. 12-13).
However, another notable batch of authors has recently countered this view, crafting a
compelling argument that the variegated types of approaches which can be subsumed within
CLIL have, far from hampering its development, helped it to accommodate the linguistic
diversity of the European landscape (Wolff, 2005; Coyle & Baetens-Beardsmore, 2007;
Lasagabaster, 2008; Pérez Cañado, in press), thereby avoiding the one-size-fits-all model
(Smit, 2007) which has “failed miserably” (Lorenzo, Moore, & Casal, 2011, p. 454). This
“context-sensitive stance on CLIL”, as Hüttner and Smit (2014, p. 164) term it, is necessary,
as “CLIL practice is informed by local realisations of language teaching methodologies (…)
and, most importantly of all, a host of content subjects” (Hüttner & Smit, 2014, p. 163). It is
furthermore fully commensurate with Kumaravadivelu’s (2001, p. 538) post-method
pedagogy of particularity, a claim which Durán-Martínez and Beltrán-Llavador (2016, p. 89)
also endorse:
The CLIL approach is stretching some commonly assumed practices and theories of
teaching and of second language acquisition beyond their boundaries to the extent
that the concept of method itself is being challenged and suggestions have been
made to replace it with the pedagogic parameters of particularity, practicality and
possibility as organizing principles for L2 teaching and teacher education.

Thus, CLIL is, in Dickey’s (2004, p. 13) terms, like a “blanket on a large bed shared by many
children, each pulling in their own direction”, and it is precisely its flexible nature and
numerous variations which have allowed it to “stretch to meet all needs” rather than be “torn
to shreds” (Ibid.).
Irrespective of the camp with which one sides, it remains incontrovertible that we
stand in need of characterizing “representative pedagogical practices” (Bruton, 2011a, p. 5) of
CLIL and of knowing exactly “what it looks like in practice” (Bruton, 2011b, p. 254). Its
linguistic, methodological, and organizational traits need to be further honed, sharpened, and
fine-tuned in line with the demands of the diverse contexts where it is being applied.
This is, however, not the only controversy which has been aroused vis-à-vis CLIL
implementation. Contention has also repeatedly underpinned the discussion on the (lack of)

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egalitarianism in CLIL teaching. An initial set of authors maintain that CLIL promotes social
inclusion and equity, as the introduction of this approach in mainstream education provides a
greater range of students with opportunities for linguistic development which they were
previously denied. In this sense, Marsh (2002, p. 10) claims that “Egalitarianism has been one
success factor because this approach is seen to open doors on languages for a broader range of
learners”. Coyle et al. (2010, p. 2) also incide on this issue, underscoring that CLIL is
appropriate “for a broad range of learners, not only those from privileged or otherwise elite
backgrounds”. To take a case in point, in Andalusia, where bilingual programs have been
running for a decade, CLIL is currently being applied school-wide in all compulsory public
education stages. The goal for 2020 is to extend CLIL to the whole of Primary and
Compulsory Secondary Education (CSE), an objective which is well underway in Primary
Education, where all public schools which have been implementing CLIL programs for five
or more years now only have bilingual classes for the whole of this educational stage, with
monolingual streams no longer existing.
However, this egalitarianism has again been called into question by another set of
scholars, who have sounded a note of caution as regards the level of self-selection in CLIL
strands, with its corollary inadequacy for attention to diversity (Lorenzo, Casal, & Moore,
2009; Hughes, 2010). Mehisto (2007, p. 63) warns that “CLIL can attract a disproportionally
large number of academically bright students” and Bruton (2011a, 2011b, 2013, 2015) and
Paran (2013) are particularly adamant on this score. The thrust of their argument is that CLIL
branches normally comprise the more motivated, intelligent, and linguistically proficient
students and that these differences are conducive to prejudice and discrimination against non-
CLIL learners. The latter are considered “remnants” by Bruton (2013, p. 593), who maintains
that CLIL is favoring elitism: “Implicitly, CLIL is likely to be elitist and cream off certain
students” (Bruton, 2013, p. 595); “rather than increasing the equality of opportunity, CLIL in
certain contexts is subtly selecting students out” (Bruton, 2013, p. 593).
In order to address this second controversy affecting CLIL implementation, it
becomes incumbent on practitioners to cater to diversity and to ensure CLIL enhances
language and content learning in over- and under-achievers alike. As Durán-Martínez and
Beltrán-Llavador (2016, p. 88) put it, we are now faced with the “difficulty of catering for
inclusive alternatives for SEN children and the need to become fully confident and proficient
in their use of English”.

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The controversy in CLIL research


However, is there is an area where the so-called pendulum effect has been at work, that is
CLIL research (cf. Pérez Cañado, in press). Two clear moments can be discerned if we
canvass the research hitherto conducted into the effects of CLIL. In an initial phase, CLIL
advocates vastly outnumber its detractors or skeptics, and investigations on CLIL paint its
outcomes in the most positive light possible, almost exclusively singing the praises of this
approach (Marsh & Langé, 2000; Madrid & García Sánchez, 2001; Coyle, 2002, 2006, 2008,
2009a, 2009b, 2010; Marsh, 2002, 2008; Wolff, 2003; Coonan, 2005; Järvinen, 2005; Lyster,
2007; Muñoz, 2007; Lasagabaster, 2008; Ruiz de Zarobe, 2008; Gimeno Sanz, 2009; Navés,
2009; Coyle et al., 2010). This is what Cenoz et al. (2013, p. 14) term “the bandwagon
effect”: since CLIL makes “all the right noises” (Rimmer, 2009, p. 5) to stakeholders, these
authors hastened to jump on the CLIL bandwagon, given the “evangelical picture” (Banegas,
2011, p. 183) that was offered of this approach.
In the past few years, the pendulum has violently swerved to the opposite extreme,
initiating a second phase in CLIL research which harbors a pessimistic outlook on its effects
and feasibility (Cabezas Cabello, 2010; Bruton, 2011a, 2011b, 2013, 2015; Paran, 2013);
questions the validity of the research conducted (Pérez Cañado, 2011, 2012; Bruton, 2011a,
2011b, 2013, 2015; Paran, 2013; Pérez Cañado & Ráez Padilla, 2015); and warns against the
wholesale adoption of CLIL and the dangers inherent in the rush to embrace it: “It is very
possible that deficient FL teaching might become even more deficient, especially for the less
academically able, the less linguistically proficient, or the less economically privileged”
(Bruton, 2013, p. 595).
Some of the studies which were interpreted by their authors as yielding positive
effects of CLIL programs (e.g., Ruiz de Zarobe, 2007; Alonso, Grisaleña, & Campo, 2008)
are now reinterpreted from a negative stance (cf. Bruton 2011a). The methodological
shortcomings of these studies are now also pinpointed for the first time and attention is drawn
to the fact that they could potentially compromise the validity of the outcomes obtained (cf.
Bruton, 2011b, 2013; Pérez Cañado, 2012; Pérez Cañado & Ráez Padilla, 2015). These
caveats can be classified in terms of variables (the homogeneity of the experimental and
control groups has very rarely been guaranteed; moderating variables have not been factored
in or controlled for; the L1 and content knowledge of the subjects taught through CLIL have
rarely been worked in as dependent variables), research design (there is a clear need for
longitudinal as opposed to cross-sectional research; treatment and comparison groups should
be matched and compared; an eclectic or mixed research design should be favored; multiple

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triangulation should be employed), and statistical methodology (statements on the effects of


CLIL should be based on empirical analyses and not merely on stakeholder appreciations;
inter-rater reliability and inter-coder agreement should always be calculated; multivariate
procedures should be used to isolate those variables which are truly responsible for the
possible differences ascertained) (cf. Pérez Cañado & Ráez Padilla, 2015 and Pérez Cañado,
in press for a more detailed account of these lacunae).
In order to bring this metaphorical pendulum to a standstill in CLIL research, it
behooves future investigators to ensure these methodological flaws are superseded in their
research. Rather than interpret the same (methodologically skewed) studies from opposing
perspectives, new ones devoid of research design and statistical problems should be
conducted in order to have unbiased, balanced, and methodologically sound research shed
light on the true effects of CLIL.

Future research routes and ways forward


How exactly to go about this? This next section provides concrete instances on how to step up
to the challenges posed by the controversy on CLIL characterization, implementation, and
research. They derive from two governmentally-funded R&D projects financed by the
Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness and the Junta de Andalucía (cf.
Acknowledgements).
To begin with, in order to counter the terminological and pedagogical vagueness of
CLIL and to offer practitioners clear-cut guidelines which can foster successful CLIL
implementation, we have conducted extensive classroom observation in diverse CLIL
contexts. Indeed, direct observation has been employed as one of the data-collection
techniques within the qualitative part of the investigation. Two researchers per class have
observed and videotaped one hour of a content subject being taught through CLIL and one
hour of the English as a foreign language class participating in the CLIL program across a
broad range of different contexts: public and private schools, Primary and Secondary
Education, rural and urban contexts, and 12 different provinces within three autonomous
communities (Andalusia, Extremadura, and the Canary Islands).
The outcomes of the observation have been collated between the researchers and
followed up with a short face-to-face interview with the teacher being observed in order to
complete the closed-response items with more open-ended information. The basis for this
behavior observation has been a protocol which has been originally drawn up and validated

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via the expert ratings approach within the projects (cf. Appendix). It has allowed the
researchers to paint a more precise picture of what CLIL looks like at the grassroots level vis-
à-vis aspects such as L2 use in class; L2 development and discursive functions; oral, written,
and general competence development in CLIL classes; methodology and types of groupings;
materials and resources; coordination and organization; and evaluation. The insights gleaned
from such fine-grained and extensive observation, which can be replicated in many additional
contexts, should allow us to make headway in characterizing representative pedagogical CLIL
practices and to shed light on this initial controversy.
In turn, as regards the equity conundrum, steps can be taken to redress it on two
major fronts. First and foremost, future research should determine whether there is indeed
self-selection in CLIL and whether, as Bruton (2011a, 2011b, 2013) has put it, the more
motivated, intelligent, and linguistically proficient students can be found in CLIL groups.
This has been done in our projects by including an initial year-long phase devoted to
determining the homogeneity of CLIL and non-CLIL groups. Contrary to what Bruton has
claimed, it has been possible to match bilingual and non-bilingual learners within and across
schools. CLIL and non-CLIL classes have been found to be homogeneous on four different
variables: verbal intelligence, motivation (where four factors have been considered: will,
anxiety, disinterest, and self-demand), socioeconomic status, and extramural exposure to the
foreign language. Thus, a random, non-probabilistic sample of over 1,500 CLIL and non-
CLIL students in 36 schools in both urban and rural areas of 12 provinces and three
autonomous communities has been found to be homogenous on all these fronts, thereby
shooting down the belief –in our context, clearly unsubstantiated- that the most intelligent,
motivated, and socially privileged students are those found in CLIL streams. It would thus be
necessary to administer tests such as those applied in the first phase of our projects in other
contexts where comparative research on the effects of CLIL is going to be undertaken.
It would furthermore be desirable to factor in moderator or intervening variables in
future research in order to determine how CLIL is functioning with the diverse types of
learners who are now increasingly involved in dual-focused programs and to whose diversity
it now becomes essential to cater. In this sense, our studies have considered 11 different
intervening variables in order to determine the possible modulating (differential) effect they
exert on CLIL and non-CLIL students’ L1, L2, and content learning: type of school (public,
private, charter), province, setting (rural-urban), gender, sociocultural status, motivation,
verbal intelligence, English level, time of exposure to English inside and outside school, and
linguistic competence of the teacher. Singling out these learner variables will undoubtedly

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contribute to fostering successful learning for all the different types of students who are
increasingly participating in bilingual programs.
Finally, vis-à-vis the research arena, the swings of the pendulum could be
mitigated by carving out a research agenda which supersedes the methodological
shortcomings which have compromised the validity of CLIL investigations which have
hitherto been conducted. We again provide a practical example from our research projects.
To begin with, in terms of variables, our studies have begun by guaranteeing the
homogeneity of the CLIL and non-CLIL strands in terms of verbal intelligence, motivation,
socioeconomic status, and extramural exposure to the language. Twice the amount of schools
which finally partook in the projects were selected (two public rural ones for Primary
Education, two public urban ones for Primary Education, two public rural ones for CSE, two
public urban ones for CSE, two private ones, and two charter ones per province), the four
tests were administered, and the existence of statistically significant differences was
calculated within and across groups and schools: between the CLIL and mainstream EFL
classes in public schools; between the CLIL groups in private and public schools; and
between the non-CLIL classes in charter and public schools. The schools which evinced the
greatest homogeneity within and across cohorts were selected for participation in the
subsequent phases of the projects, thereby ensuring the comparability of the experimental and
control groups within and across schools. Secondly, as mentioned in previous paragraphs,
moderating variables were factored in and controlled for in order to determine their possible
modulating effect on the L1, L2, and content subjects taught through English. Finally, the
impact of CLIL programs (the independent variable) was gauged not only on English
language (L2) competence (grammar, vocabulary, and the four skills), but also on the
students’ Spanish language competence (L1) and on the level of mastery of the contents of
those subjects implemented through CLIL, so that three different dependent variables were
considered.
In terms of research design, our studies are longitudinal rather than cross-sectional,
as they have examined the impact of CLIL on L1, L2, and content mastery over the course of
a year and a half, administering post-tests at the end of 6th grade of Primary Education and 4th
grade of CSE, and delayed post-tests halfway through the first year of Baccalaureate. An
eclectic research design has also been followed, as our studies have combined a quantitative
section of applied, primary, quasi-experimental research with a pre-/post-test control group
design, to which a delayed post-test has also been added, and a qualitative part involving

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survey research. The latter has also employed multiple triangulation, specifically of four
types:
- Data triangulation, as multiple sources of information have been consulted to mediate
biases interjected by people with different roles in the language teaching context: students,
parents, and teachers (and within the latter, non-linguistic area teachers, English language
teachers, and teaching assistants).
- Methodological triangulation, since multiple data-gathering procedures have been drawn
on: questionnaires, interviews, and observation.
- Investigator triangulation, due to the fact that three different researchers have analyzed the
open-response items on the questionnaire and interviews, written up their conclusions, and
collated their findings.
- Location triangulation, given that language learning data have been collected from multiple
data-gathering sites: Primary Schools, Secondary Schools, and the provincial educational
administration.
Finally, concerning statistical methodology, Cronbach α, the Kuder-Richardson
reliability coefficient, ANOVA, and the t test have been employed to ensure that findings are
grounded on solid statistical evidence, and factor and discriminant analyses have been used to
determine whether CLIL is truly responsible for the differences ascertained between the
bilingual and non-bilingual branches or whether they can be ascribed to the intervening
variables considered.
By controlling these methodological issues and thereby remediating the flaws of prior
investigations on these fronts, the outcomes obtained will provide reliable, empirically solid
information on the true effects of CLIL, thereby bringing the research pendulum to a
standstill.

Conclusion
The present article has provided an updated account of the exciting and challenging time
which Content and Language Integrated Learning is currently living. Its hard-and-fast
appearance in the field of language education, its swift uptake across the continent (and even
beyond it), and the phenomenal amount of attention it has attracted have caused a vibrant
research scene to burgeon around it, leading from what we could term an initial CLIL craze to
a period of CLIL critique and, at present, to a CLIL conundrum. It is on these controversies
which currently affect the characterization, implementation, and research on CLIL that we

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have focused, as well as on how to best redress the concomitant challenges they pose through
concrete research-based proposals.
It transpires from the foregoing that CLIL is still a thriving area of research, that there
are still many exciting avenues to explore in the future, and that much road is still to be paved
in the CLIL enterprise. Controversies are always healthy and, like Cenoz et al. (2013, p. 16),
we celebrate the more “critical empirical examination of CLIL in its diverse forms”, since we
consider it has infused the field with renewed life and enriched the multiple perspectives from
which it can be examined. However, we also believe that these seemingly contradictory
camps are not irreconcilable and have offered ways out of the current CLIL conundrum. If
time and patience dovetail with continuous stocktaking, rigorous research, and ongoing
collaboration, we firmly believe that a solid template can be built for the future, where the
CLIL agenda will continue advancing strongly and steadily.

Acknowledgements
This work has been supported by the research projects FFI2012-32221 and P12-HUM-2348,
funded by the Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad and the Junta de Andalucía,
respectively.

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Author information
Dr. María Luisa Pérez Cañado is Associate Professor at the Department of English Philology of the University of
Jáen, Spain, where she has also been Vicedean of the Faculty of Humanities and Education for twelve years.
Email: mlperez@ujaen.es

To cite this article:


Pérez Cañado, M.L. (2016). From the CLIL craze to the CLIL conundrum: Addressing the current CLIL
controversy. Bellaterra Journal of Teaching & Learning Language & Literature, 9(1), 9-31. DOI:
http://dx.doi.org/10.5565/rev/jtl3.667

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Appendix
Proyecto MON-CLIL: Los Efectos del Aprendizaje Integrado de Contenidos y Lenguas
Extranjeras en Comunidades Monolingües: Un Estudio Longitudinal

PROTOCOLO DE OBSERVACIÓN
VARIABLES DE IDENTIFICACIÓN

1. CENTRO: __________________________________________________________________
2. CURSO: 6º EP 4º ESO
3. ASIGNATURA: ______________________________________________________________
4. TIPO DE PROFESORADO:
Lengua extranjera
Área no lingüística
Auxiliar lingüístico
5. ¿ES COORDINADOR/A DE SU SECCIÓN BILINGÜE? Sí No
6. EDAD: __________
7. SEXO: Hombre Mujer
8. NACIONALIDAD: ____________________________________________________________
9. SITUACIÓN ADMINISTRATIVA:
Funcionario/a con destino definitivo
Funcionario/a con destino provisional
Interino/a
Otro: __________
10. EXPERIENCIA DOCENTE GENERAL:
Menos de 1 año
1-10 años
11-20 años
21-30 años
Más de 30 años
11. EXPERIENCIA DOCENTE EN UN CENTRO BILINGÜE:
Menos de 1 año
1-5 años
6-10 años
11-15 años
Más de 15 años

1. USO DE LA L2 EN CLASE

1. El nivel de competencia lingüística del profesor en clase se asemeja a:


A1
A2
B1
B2
C1
C2

2. El profesor utiliza el inglés para el desarrollo de la clase


Entre 0%-25%
Entre 25%-50%
Entre 50%-75%
Entre 75%-100%

3. El profesor traduce del español al inglés en el desarrollo de la clase


Mucho
Bastante

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Poco
Nada
4. El profesor practica el “code-switching” de manera razonada y sistemática
Mucho
Bastante
Poco
Nada

5. El nivel de competencia lingüística del alumnado es adecuado para su etapa educativa


Mucho
Bastante
Poco
Nada

6. El alumnado utiliza el inglés en clase


Entre 0%-25%
Entre 25%-50%
Entre 50%-75%
Entre 75%-100%

7. El alumnado traduce del español al inglés en el desarrollo de la clase


Mucho
Bastante
Poco
Nada

8. El alumnado practica el “code-switching” de manera razonada y sistemática


Mucho
Bastante
Poco
Nada

Otras observaciones: ……………………………………………………………………………………….


………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
………………………………………………………………………………………

2. DESARROLLO DE LA L2 EN CLASE: FUNCIONES DISCURSIVAS

Se utiliza el inglés en clase para:

9. Dar instrucciones Mucho Bastante Poco Nada


10. Introducir el tema Mucho Bastante Poco Nada
11. Transmitir contenidos Mucho Bastante Poco Nada
12. Realizar actividades Mucho Bastante Poco Nada
13. Aclarar dudas Mucho Bastante Poco Nada
14. Formular preguntas
15. Corregir tareas Mucho Bastante Poco Nada
16. Repasar conocimientos Mucho Bastante Poco Nada
17. Organizar los distintos tipos de
Mucho Bastante Poco Nada
agrupamiento
18. Interactuar con los
Mucho Bastante Poco Nada
compañeros/alumnos/profesores
19. Suministrar feedback sobre las
Mucho Bastante Poco Nada
actuaciones de clase
…………………………………………………………………………
Otras observaciones:
…………………………………………………………………………

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…………………………………………………………………………
…………………………………………………………………………
…………………………………………………………………………

3. DESARROLLO DE COMPETENCIAS EN CLASE

En la clase, se favorece el desarrollo de:

20. La comprensión oral Mucho Bastante Poco Nada


21. La expresión oral Mucho Bastante Poco Nada
22. La comprensión escrita Mucho Bastante Poco Nada
23. La expresión escrita Mucho Bastante Poco Nada
24. La interacción comunicativa
oral (listening+speaking)
25. La interacción comunicativa
escrita (reading+writing)
26. La capacidad crítica Mucho Bastante Poco Nada
27. La creatividad Mucho Bastante Poco Nada
28. La autonomía en el aprendizaje Mucho Bastante Poco Nada
29. La conciencia metalingüística Mucho Bastante Poco Nada
30. Aspectos interculturales de la
Mucho Bastante Poco Nada
lengua extranjera
…………………………………………………………………………
…………………………………………………………………………
Otras observaciones: …………………………………………………………………………
…………………………………………………………………………
…………………………………………………………………………

4. METODOLOGÍA Y TIPOS DE AGRUPAMIENTO

31. Se utiliza el aprendizaje basado


Mucho Bastante Poco Nada
en tareas en clase
32. Se utiliza el aprendizaje basado
Mucho Bastante Poco Nada
en proyectos en clase
33. Se da prioridad a la dimensión
Mucho Bastante Poco Nada
léxica en la clase bilingüe
34. Se utiliza aprendizaje
Mucho Bastante Poco Nada
cooperativo en la clase bilingüe
35. Se utiliza el método transmisivo
Mucho Bastante Poco Nada
de gramática-traducción en clase
36. Se utiliza el método audiolingual
Mucho Bastante Poco Nada
en clase
37. Se realizan actividades abiertas Mucho Bastante Poco Nada
38. Se realizan actividades de
Mucho Bastante Poco Nada
respuesta única
39. Se realizan actividades que
requieren únicamente la activación
de procesos cognitivos de nivel bajo Mucho Bastante Poco Nada
(tales como memorizar,
comprender y aplicar)
40. Se realizan actividades que
exigen movilizar procesos
Mucho Bastante Poco Nada
cognitivos complejos (tales como
analizar, evaluar y crear)
41. El docente favorece el
andamiaje lingüístico (mediante
paráfrasis, repeticiones, ejemplos, Mucho Bastante Poco Nada
definiciones, sinónimos y
antónimos, etc.)

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42. El docente favorece que los
alumnos aprendan y usen
estrategias de compensación y de
Mucho Bastante Poco Nada
aprendizaje (e.g., para resolver
problemas de comprensión
lingüística)
43. Se siguen las recomendaciones
del Marco Común Europeo de Mucho Bastante Poco Nada
Referencia
44. Se siguen las recomendaciones
Mucho Bastante Poco Nada
del Portfolio Europeo de Lenguas
45. Se utiliza el agrupamiento
Mucho Bastante Poco Nada
“lockstep” en clase
46. Se utiliza el trabajo en grupo en
Mucho Bastante Poco Nada
clase
47. Se utiliza el trabajo en parejas en
Mucho Bastante Poco Nada
clase
48. Se utiliza el trabajo individual en
Mucho Bastante Poco Nada
clase
…………………………………………………………………………
…………………………………………………………………………
Otras observaciones: …………………………………………………………………………
…………………………………………………………………………
…………………………………………………………………………

5. MATERIALES Y RECURSOS

49. Se utilizan materiales auténticos


Mucho Bastante Poco Nada
para la enseñanza bilingüe
50. Se utilizan materiales adaptados
Mucho Bastante Poco Nada
para la enseñanza bilingüe
51. Se utilizan materiales originales
diseñados por el profesorado para Mucho Bastante Poco Nada
la enseñanza bilingüe
52. Se tiene en cuenta la atención a
la diversidad en los materiales que Mucho Bastante Poco Nada
se emplean
53. Se utiliza software multimedia en
Mucho Bastante Poco Nada
clase
54. Se utilizan materiales de
Mucho Bastante Poco Nada
referencia online en clase
55. Se utilizan blogs, Wikis
(herramientas Web 2.0) y webquests Mucho Bastante Poco Nada
en clase
56. Se utilizan pizarras electrónicas
Mucho Bastante Poco Nada
interactivas en clase
57. Se utiliza comunicación
mediada por ordenador en clase Mucho Bastante Poco Nada
(e.g., e-Twinning)
…………………………………………………………………………
…………………………………………………………………………
Otras observaciones: …………………………………………………………………………
…………………………………………………………………………
…………………………………………………………………………

6. COORDINACIÓN Y ORGANIZACIÓN

58. Se constata la coordinación


entre el profesorado de ANLs y los Mucho Bastante Poco Nada
auxiliares de conversación

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31 Pérez Cañado

59. Se constata la coordinación
entre el profesorado de ANLs y el
Mucho Bastante Poco Nada
profesorado de inglés como lengua
extranjera
60. Se constata la coordinación
entre el profesorado de inglés como
Mucho Bastante Poco Nada
lengua extranjera y los auxiliares de
conversación
61. Existe integración curricular (se
integran contenidos de distintas
Mucho Bastante Poco Nada
asignaturas y campos de
conocimiento)
62. Se apoya el aprendizaje
Mucho Bastante Poco Nada
lingüístico en clases de contenido
63. Se apoya el aprendizaje de
Mucho Bastante Poco Nada
contenidos en clases lingüísticas
64. Se enfatiza la conexión entre la
Mucho Bastante Poco Nada
L1, L2 y L3
65. Se colabora en la preparación y
Mucho Bastante Poco Nada
diseño de materiales
…………………………………………………………………………
…………………………………………………………………………
Otras observaciones: …………………………………………………………………………
…………………………………………………………………………
…………………………………………………………………………

7. EVALUACIÓN

66. A la hora de evaluar, se da


prioridad al dominio de los
Mucho Bastante Poco Nada
contenidos frente a la competencia
lingüística
67. A la hora de evaluar, se incluye
Mucho Bastante Poco Nada
un componente oral
68. Se practica la evaluación
Mucho Bastante Poco Nada
diversificada
69. Se practica la evaluación
Mucho Bastante Poco Nada
formativa
70. Se practica la evaluación
Mucho Bastante Poco Nada
sumativa
71. Se utiliza la autoevaluación (e.g.,
a través del Portfolio Europeo de Mucho Bastante Poco Nada
Lenguas)
…………………………………………………………………………
…………………………………………………………………………
Otras observaciones: …………………………………………………………………………
…………………………………………………………………………
…………………………………………………………………………

Bellaterra Journal of Teaching & Learning Language & Literature. 9.1 (Feb-Mar 2016)
ISSN 2013-6196
Bellaterra Journal of Teaching & Learning Language & Literature
Vol. 9(1), Feb-Mar 2016, 32-46

The Effect of Portfolio-Based Assessment on Jordanian EFL
Learners’ Writing Performance
Salameh F. Obeiah & Ruba Fahmi Bataineh
Yarmouk university, Irbid, Jordan

Article received 30 March 2015, accepted 19 September 2015, final version 24 October 2015
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5565/rev/jtl3.629

Abstract
This study examines the effect of portfolio assessment on Jordanian EFL tenth
grade learners’ overall writing performance and their performance on the sub-skills
of focus, development, organization, conventions and word choice. The study is
quasi-experimental in which an experimental group and a control group of 20
students each were purposefully drawn from tenth grade classes at the public
schools for girls in the North-Eastern Badia Directorate of Education. The
experimental group was instructed on how to generate ideas, structure, draft, and
edit their written pieces following Hamp-Lyons and Condon’s (2000) model while
the control group was instructed conventionally as prescribed in the Teacher’s
Book. The findings revealed that the portfolio group outperformed the
conventionally-instructed group (at α≤ 0.05) in their overall writing performance
and in their performance on the writing sub-skills of focus, development,
organization, conventions and word choice.

Key words: EFL, Jordan, portfolio assessment, writing performance

Résumé
Cette étude examine l'effet de l'évaluation par le portfolio sur les performances de
l'écrit en général des apprenantes jordaniennes en dixième classe de la langue
anglaise comme langue étrangere (EFL) ainsi que leurs performances des cinq
sous-compétences de concentration, développement, organisation, conventions et
choix des mots. L'étude est quasi-expérimentale dans laquel on compare un groupe
expérimental avec un groupe contrôle de 20 élèves qui ont été délibérément
selectionnées parmis les étudiantes de la dixème classe dans l'école publique des
filles de la Direction Badia Nord-Est de l'éducation. La façon comment générer des
idées a été enseigné au groupe expérimental ainsi que la structure, la redaction
preliminaire, la revision et l'édition de leurs propres textes en suivant Hamp-Lyons
et Condon (2000), tandis que le groupe côntrole a été enseigné d'une façon
traditionelle exactement comme prescrit dans le livre de l'enseignant. Les résultats
ont démontré que le groupe du portfolio a surperformé le groupe instruit
traditionellement (à ≤ 0,05) dans leurs performances générales à l'écrit et celles des
sous-compétences de concentration, développement, organisation, conventions et
choix des mots.

Mots clés: Anglais comme langue étrangère (EFL), Jordanie, l'évaluation par le
portfolio, la performance à l'écrit


33 Obeiah & Bataineh

‫أﺛر اﻟﺗﻘﯾﯾم اﻟﻘﺎﺋم ﻋﻠﻰ اﻟﺳﺟل ﻋﻠﻰ اﻷداء اﻟﻛﺗﺎﺑﻲ ﻟﻠطﺎﻟﺑﺎت اﻷردﻧﯾﺎت ﻣﺗﻌﻠﻣﺎت اﻟﻠﻐﺔ اﻹﻧﺟﻠﯾزﯾﺔ ﻟﻐﺔ أﺟﻧﺑﯾﺔ‬

‫اﻟﻣﻠﺧص‬

‫ﺗﺘﻨﺎول ھﺬه اﻟﺪراﺳﺔ ﺗﺄﺛﯿﺮ اﻟﺘﻘﯿﯿﻢ اﻟﻘﺎﺋﻢ ﻋﻠﻰ اﻟﺴﺠﻞ ﻋﻠﻰ أداء طﺎﻟﺒﺎت اﻟﺼﻒ اﻟﻌﺎﺷﺮ اﻷردﻧﯿﺎت‬
‫ اﻟﺘﺮﻛﯿﺰ واﻟﺘﻨﻤﯿﺔ‬،‫ﻣﺘﻌﻠﻤﺎت اﻟﻠﻐﺔ اﻹﻧﺠﻠﯿﺰﯾﺔ ﻟﻐﺔ أﺟﻨﺒﯿﺔ ﻓﻲ اﻟﻜﺘﺎﺑﺔ ﻋﺎﻣﺔ وﻓﻲ ﻣﮭﺎراﺗﮭﺎ اﻟﻔﺮﻋﯿﺔ اﻟﺨﻤﺲ‬
‫ وﺗﺴﺘﺨﺪم اﻟﺪراﺳﺔ اﻟﻤﻨﺤﻰ ﺷﺒﮫ اﻟﺘﺠﺮﯾﺒﻲ‬.‫واﻟﺘﻨﻈﯿﻢ واﺳﺘﺨﺪام اﻟﻘﻮاﻋﺪ واﻷﻋﺮاف واﺧﺘﯿﺎر اﻟﻜﻠﻤﺎت‬
.‫ﻋﻠﻰ ﻋﯿﻨﺔ ﺗﻢ اﺧﺘﯿﺎرھﺎ ﻗﺼﺪﯾﺎ ﻣﻦ اﻟﻤﺪارس اﻟﺤﻜﻮﻣﯿﺔ اﻟﺘﺎﺑﻌﺔ ﻟﻤﺪﯾﺮﯾﺔ ﺗﺮﺑﯿﺔ اﻟﺒﺎدﯾﺔ اﻟﺸﻤﺎﻟﯿﺔ اﻟﺸﺮﻗﯿﺔ‬
‫ وﻗﺪ ﺗﻢ‬.‫ ﺗﻜﻮﻧﺖ ﻛﻞ ﻣﻨﮭﻤﺎ ﻣﻦ ﻋﺸﺮﯾﻦ طﺎﻟﺒﺔ‬،‫وﻗﺪ ﻗُﺴﻤﺖ اﻟﻌﯿﻨﺔ إﻟﻰ ﻣﺠﻤﻮﻋﺘﯿﻦ ﺗﺠﺮﯾﺒﯿﺔ وﺿﺎﺑﻄﺔ‬
‫ وﻣﺮاﺟﻌﺘﮭﺎ‬،‫ وﻛﺘﺎﺑﺘﮭﺎ ﻓﻲ ﻧﺴﺦ أوﻟﯿﺔ‬، ‫ وﺗﺮﻛﯿﺒﮭﺎ‬،‫ﺗﺪرﯾﺲ اﻟﻤﺠﻤﻮﻋﺔ اﻟﺘﺠﺮﯾﺒﯿﺔ ﻛﯿﻔﯿﺔ ﺗﻮﻟﯿﺪ اﻷﻓﻜﺎر‬
‫ ﺑﯿﻨﻤﺎ ﺗﻢ ﺗﺪرﯾﺲ اﻟﻤﺠﻤﻮﻋﺔ اﻟﻀﺎﺑﻄﺔ‬،(2000) ‫وﺗﺤﺮﯾﺮھﺎ ﺣﺴﺐ ﻧﻤﻮذج ھﺎﻣﺐ ﻟﯿﻮﻧﺰ وﻛﻮﻧﺪون‬
‫ وﻗﺪ ﻛﺸﻔﺖ اﻟﻨﺘﺎﺋﺞ أن ﻣﺠﻤﻮﻋﺔ اﻟﺘﻘﯿﯿﻢ‬.‫ﺑﺎﻟﻄﺮﯾﻘﺔ اﻟﺘﻘﻠﯿﺪﯾﺔ ﻋﻠﻰ اﻟﻨﺤﻮ اﻟﻤﻨﺼﻮص ﻋﻠﯿﮫ ﻓﻲ ﻛﺘﺎب اﻟﻤﻌﻠﻢ‬
‫ ﻓﻲ اﻷداء‬0,05 ≥ α ‫اﻟﻘﺎﺋﻢ ﻋﻠﻰ اﻟﺴﺠﻞ ﻗﺪ ﺗﻔﻮﻗﺖ ﻋﻠﻰ اﻟﻤﺠﻤﻮﻋﺔ اﻟﻀﺎﺑﻄﺔ ﻋﻨﺪ ﻣﺴﺘﻮى اﻟﺪﻻﻟﺔ‬
.‫اﻟﻜﺘﺎﺑﻲ اﻟﻌﺎم وﻓﻲ ﻣﮭﺎراﺗﮫ اﻟﻔﺮﻋﯿﺔ اﻟﺨﻤﺲ‬

‫ اﻷردن؛ اﻟﻠﻐﺔ اﻹﻧﺠﻠﯿﺰﯾﺔ ﻟﻐﺔ أﺟﻨﺒﯿﺔ؛ اﻟﺘﻘﯿﯿﻢ اﻟﻘﺎﺋﻢ ﻋﻠﻰ اﻟﺴﺠﻞ؛ اﻷداء اﻟﻜﺘﺎﺑﻲ‬:‫اﻟﻜﻠﻤﺎت اﻟﻤﻔﺘﺎﺣﯿﺔ‬

Introduction
The portfolio has emerged as a viable assessment tool since the 1990s, as educational
practitioners have sought alternative, more authentic means of assessment to align with the
conceptions of teaching and learning that place more emphasis on the learners’ evolution. The
portfolio, a collection of a learner’s best work, not only documents learner progress over time but
also encourages him/her to become more self-directed, take the initiative for learning, make
judgments, and participate in the evaluation of his/her own work and solve emerging problems
(Crosby, 1997; Gosselin, 1998; Yang, 2003).
That portfolios have been recognized as an important educational assessment tool is
perhaps not surprising as there have been several areas in which they are recognized for
contributing significantly to the assessment and learning process. For instance, the range and
comprehensiveness of the evidence they provide and the variety and flexibility of the purposes
they serve (Julius, 2000) have been remarked. They have been reported to help document growth
over time (e.g., Politano, Cameron, Tate & MacNaughton, 1997; Tierney, Carter & Desai, 1991),
both in process- and product-related learning (e.g., Costa & Kallick, 2000; Gillespie, Ford,
Gillespie & Leavell, 1996), to provide data for out-of-class assessment (e.g., Fritz, 2001; Willis,
2000), and to inform instructional decision-making (e.g., Arter & Spandel, 1992; Gillespie et al,
1996). Also, the potential to allow students to reflect on what they have accomplished (Lam,

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34 Obeiah & Bataineh

2011) and that to increase students’ motivation and opportunities for autonomous learning
(Crosby, 1997) have contributed significantly to the popularity of portfolios in classroom
assessment.
The positive aspects of the portfolio have been extended to specific content areas of
learning as well. A plethora of research acknowledges portfolios as a promising alternative to
traditional instruction and assessment, both in the first and second/foreign language classroom.
Not only are portfolios used to assess writing (Barootchi & Keshavarz, 2002; Fahim & Jalili,
2013; Hamp-Lyons & Condon, 2000; Manning, 2000; Nezakatgoo, 2011; Shohamy and Walton,
1992), but they are also used, among several other areas, in early childhood education (e.g.,
Potter, 1999; Smith, 2000), both in the mainstream and special needs classroom (e.g., Law &
Eckes, 1995; Richter, 1997); in primary education science (e.g., Valdez, 2001) and mathematics
(e.g., Kuhs, 1994) and in secondary education science (e.g., Reese, 1999). Portfolios are also
popular in teacher education programs (e.g., Kinchin, 2001; Schonberger, 2000) as well as in
chemistry (e.g., Weaver, 1998), English (e.g., Gillespie et al, 1996) and music education (e.g.,
Durth, 2000) classrooms.
Unfortunately, an extensive review of the literature revealed a dearth of local and regional
research on portfolio-based instruction and assessment in the foreign language classroom. To the
best of these researchers’ knowledge, Bataineh, Al-Karasneh, Al-Barakat and Bataineh (2007)
and Alnethami (2009) most probably constitute the only local research contributions to portfolio-
based instruction and assessment. As regards writing competences, however, literature from
around the world (e.g., Apple & Shimo, 2004; Caner, 2010; Fahim & Jalili, 2013; Hamp-Lyons
& Condon, 2000; Hirvela & Sweetland, 2005; Khodadady & Khodabakhshzade, 2012; Marefat,
2004; Nezakatgoo, 2011; Paesani, 2006) provides empirical evidence that portfolio assessment
does significantly contribute to the improvement of learners’ writing performance. In addition,
even though a few studies address the potential benefits of portfolio assessment in the EFL
writing classroom (e.g., Fahim & Jalili, 2013; Hamp-Lyons & Condon, 2000; Khodadady &
Khodabakhshzade, 2012; Marefat, 2004), most of the literature on portfolio assessment targets
writing in first language contexts (Hamp-Lyons & Condon, 2000; Hirvela & Pierson, 2000;
Hirvela & Sweetland, 2005; Weigle, 2002).

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Problem, Purpose, Questions and Hypotheses of the Study


Following the shift from traditional teacher-centered assessment to ‘alternative’ student-centered
assessment in the language classroom, portfolios has received the lion’s share of attention as a
tool which addresses not only assessment but also teaching and learning alike. However, despite
the widely reported prospective gains (e.g., Apple & Shimo, 2004; Marefat, 2004), research on
portfolios in the Jordanian language teaching context has lagged behind, which is further
reflected in virtually non-existent portfolio-based pedagogical practices in the Jordanian
classroom.
Traditional writing strategies and (summative) timed tests are still the norm in the
Jordanian EFL classroom, which may be partially accountable for reports of poor writing
performance for students throughout primary and secondary education. The reportedly far from
satisfactory realities of foreign language instruction in general and writing instruction in
particular, which is consistent with international accounts (e.g., Harder, 2006; Moon, 2008) of
writing as the neglected skill, have prompted these researchers to seek an alternative approach to
writing instruction and assessment in the Jordanian EFL classroom. Thus, the study examines the
potential effect of portfolio assessment on Jordanian EFL tenth grade students’ writing
performance, both overall and on the writing sub-skills of focus, development, organization,
conventions and word choice.
It is worth noting that this study adopts assessment more as a central contributor to the
instructional process rather than an end in itself. These researchers use assessment formatively
to monitor learning and provide ongoing feedback to help students identify their strengths and
weaknesses and target areas that need work, as opposed to summative assessment which
evaluates student learning at the end of an instructional unit against a set of standards or
benchmarks.

More specifically, the study attempts to answer the following questions:

1. To what extent does portfolio assessment affect Jordanian EFL students’ overall writing
performance?

2. To what extent does portfolio assessment affect Jordanian EFL students’ writing
performance on the sub-skills of focus, development, organization, conventions and word
choice?

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36 Obeiah & Bataineh

To achieve the purpose of the study, these questions are rephrased into two null hypotheses,
which are

H01: Portfolio assessment has no statistically significant effect (at α ≤ 0.05) on Jordanian
tenth grade EFL students’ overall writing performance, and

H02: Portfolio assessment has no statistically significant effect (at α ≤ 0.05) on Jordanian
tenth grade EFL students’ writing performance in the sub-skills of focus, development,
organization, conventions and word choice.

Significance of the Study


As portfolio assessment is hardly ever used in the Jordanian EFL context, except probably for
few isolated research initiatives by in-service teachers for graduate work (e.g., Alnethami, 2009),
this research may not only add to the existing literature but also set an example for further similar
research in Jordan and other similar EFL contexts. Furthermore, as experienced EFL
practitioners, these researchers realize that writing, often dubbed the neglected skill, is almost
always given the lowest priority relative to the other three skills (e.g., Al-Gomoul, 2011; Al-Jarf,
2007; Hyland, 2003; Soles, 2005) and, thus, continues to need special attention in the EFL
classroom.
This study is further meant to provide information for teachers, curriculum designers and
other stakeholders concerned with reforming foreign language instruction, in particular in Jordan
but is equally applicable in other similar contexts, as the role of portfolio assessment for effective
improving EFL students’ writing performance is demonstrated herein.

Methods and Procedures


The participants of this study were 40 female Jordanian tenth grade EFL students purposefully
chosen from the public schools in the North-Eastern Badia Directorate of Education. The
experimental group consisted of 20 students and was taught through the Portfolio Assessment
Model (detailed below). The control group consisted of 20 students and was taught per the
guidelines of the Teacher Book (also detailed below). To collect the data, the participants’ and
the school principal’s consent to participate in the study was obtained. Permission to use the data
was obtained through the school participation. The participants were informed by the researcher

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about the nature and purpose of the study and answered all their queries prior to obtaining their
consent to participate in the research.
The study followed the quasi-experimental control/experimental group design. Three
variables were examined: the independent variable of portfolio assessment and the two dependent
variables of overall writing performance and writing performance in the sub-skills of focus,
development, organization, conventions and word choice.
To achieve the purpose of the study, the researchers made use of several instruments:
pre/post tests, Portfolio Assessment Model and Analytical Scoring Rubric1.
1. The pre-test, in which the participants of both groups were asked to write a 100-
word essay about trees was administered to the experimental and control groups prior to
the treatment to determine potential significant differences in their overall writing
performance and that on the five sub-skills of focus, development, organization,
conventions and word choice. The choice of the topics for both pre- and post test essays
was driven by the content of the student textbook, to avoid overwhelming them with
unduly difficult or uninteresting topics.
2. The post-test, in which the participants of the control group only were asked to
write a 100-word essay about rainforests, was administered at the end of the experiment.
3. The Portfolio Assessment Model, put forth by Hamp-Lyons and Condon (2000),
was adopted to collect data from the portfolio assessment group. The Model consists of
three procedures: collection (in which the learner is expected to collect his/her final drafts
in a portfolio), selection (in which the learner is expected to select the best three final
drafts for summative grading), and reflection (in which the learner is expected to reflect
upon the first and the final drafts).
The Analytic Scoring Rubric, adapted from Wang and Laio (2008), consisted of the five sub-
skills of focus, development, organization, conventions and word choice, each with six levels.
Each of the five sub-skill is rated on a scale from zero to five along a set of specific descriptors.
For example, the excerpt below illustrates the scale used in assessing the sub-skill of focus.
0 Failing to address the writing task
1 Inadequately addressing the writing task
2 Occasional problems in addressing the writing task (e.g., frequent wandering
off the topic)
3 Adequately addressing the writing task (with occasional wandering off the
topic)

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4 Almost addressing the writing task (with minor errors)
5 Fully addressing the writing task
Each participants’ score was the mean of two raters’ scores (out of 25).
The validity of the instruments was established by referring them to a jury of Jordanian
university professors in education, measurement and evaluation and curriculum and instruction.
The jury’s comments and recommendations (e.g., rearranging, merging and deleting items,
adjusting the weights for the writing sub-skills in the rubric) were all taken into account and
reflected in the final versions of these instruments. Similarly, the reliability of the instruments
was also established. The pre- and post tests were administered to two comparable groups of
tenth grade students from the North-Eastern Badia Directorate of Education, which were
excluded from the main sample of the study, allowing a three-week interval between the two
administrations. The reliability coefficient for the pre-test amounted to 0.96 and that for the post-
test to 0.89, both considered appropriate for the purposes of this research.
Furthermore, intra- and inter-rater reliability of scoring was also established by asking
another rater to use the Rubric to assess a sample of 15 students’ responses on the pre-test. Both
raters individually evaluated the same sample of pre-test responses using the Rubric. The intra-
rater reliability coefficients for the two raters and their inter-rater reliability coefficient amounted
to 0.89, 0.86 and 0.92, respectively, which are all appropriate for the purpose of this research.
Two tenth-grade sections from a purposefully-chosen school for girls in the North-Eastern
Badia Directorate of Education constituted the sample of the study. The participants of the
experimental group and the control group were all pre-tested by writing an essay of about 100
words about trees. A number of lesson plans based on Hamp-Lyons and Condon’s (2000)
portfolio model were designed and used to teach the experimental group as follows: At the
beginning of the treatment, the instructor/first researcher illustrated the design, objective and
procedure of the Portfolio Model and allowed the students to practice writing on topics from their
textbook, Action Pack 10. He marked the student’s first drafts and provided feedback on each per
the five sub-skills in the Rubric (viz., focus, development, organization, conventions and word
choice). After allowing them time to ponder the feedback, the participants were asked to reflect
on their own writing. After their self-assessment, they were asked to exchange papers and assess
each other’s written pieces, after which further reflection was expected in light of the instructor
and peer feedback. The instructor/first researcher was available for clarification and further
feedback, either individually or in groups, throughout the sessions and in the after-session recess.

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39 Obeiah & Bataineh

By contrast, the Control group was instructed conventionally per the instructions of the
Teacher Book: Every session, the instructor/first researcher introduced the topic of the day and
then wrote it on the board. He then reminded the students to write a topic sentence, support the
main idea with some detail, and then restate their main idea in the conclusion. He further directed
them on how to generate ideas, organize them and draft their essays, all within the session. The
students sat quietly, thinking and writing down sentences. When done, the essays were read aloud
for the whole class. Further revisions were assigned homework before submission the following
session. No pair or group work was allowed.
At the end of the treatment, the students in the experimental group were each asked to
choose three of their best essays for final assessment. A student’s score is the average of the
scores of these three essays, based on the five criteria of the Rubric (viz., focus, development,
organization, conventions and word choice) which were each divided into five sub-levels. Every
student received a composite score of 25 (further made of the average of the two raters’ scores).
The control group writing performance was assessed based on the post-test in which they
were asked to write an essay of about 100 words about rainforests.
For data analysis, means and standard deviations were used to compare the writing
performance of the experimental and control groups. ANCOVA was also used to control the
differences between the groups before the treatment and to detect any significant differences (at
α≤ 0.05) between the experimental group and the control group which can be attributed to the
treatment.

Findings of the Study


Drawing on information from the relevant sources of data obtained in the course of the study,
each research question is addressed by testing the relevant hypothesis. To test the first hypothesis,
portfolio assessment has no statistically significant effect (at α≤ 0.05) on Jordanian EFL tenth
grade students’ overall writing performance, descriptive statistics were obtained, as shown in
Table 1.

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Table 1: Means and Standard Deviations of Students’ Overall Writing Performance
Posttest/Portfolio
Pre-test
Assessment Adjusted Standard
Group n
Standard Standard Mean Error
Mean Mean
Deviation Deviation

Control 20 6.55 2.21 8.35 1.92 7.37 0.57

Experimental 20 3.75 1.37 13.70 3.04 14.67 0.57

Table 1 shows differences in the means and standard deviations of the experimental and
the control group which are 3.75 with standard deviation of 1.37 for the experimental group and
6.55 with standard deviation of 2.21 for the control group. There were also differences in the
adjusted mean scores of the experimental group and the control group on the post-test and the
portfolio assessment in favor of the experimental group.

Table 2: ANCOVA of Students’ Overall Performance


Partial Eta
Source Sum of Squares df Mean Squares F Sig.
Squared
Overall 66.44 1 62.44 12.53 0.001* 0.25
Way 331.20 1 331.20 66.49 0.000* 0.64
Error 184.30 37 4.98
Corrected Total 532.97 39
n= 41 *Significant (at α ≤ 0.05)

Table 2 shows a statistically significant difference in students’ overall writing


performance in the portfolio assessment group (F= 66.49, df= 39, 1 P= 0.001). Thus, the first null
hypothesis, portfolio assessment has no significant effect (at α≤ 0.05) on Jordanian EFL tenth
grade learners’ overall writing performance, is rejected.

To test the second hypothesis, portfolio assessment has no significant effect (at α≤ 0.05)
on Jordanian EFL tenth grade learners' writing performance on the sub-skills of focus,
development, organization, conventions and word choice, descriptive statistics were used, as
shown in Table3.

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Table 3: Means and Standard Deviations of Students’ Performance on the Writing Sub-
Skills on the Pre-test, post-test and Portfolio Assessment
Post-Test/Portfolio
Pre-test Adjusted Standard
Group Skills Assessment
Mean Error
Mean SD Mean SD
Focus 1.45 0.75 2.10 0.55 2.01 0.14

Development 1.00 0.45 1.60 0.68 1.42 0.18

Organization 1.15 0.48 1.55 0.60 1.41 0.17


Control
Conventions 1.05 0.39 1.15 0.36 1.09 0.11

Word Choice 1.90 0.44 1.95 0.22 1.83 0.11

Focus 1.10 0.30 2.80 0.83 2.88 0.14

Development 0.20 0.41 2.70 0.73 2.87 0.18

Organization 0.30 0.47 2.75 0.71 2.88 0.17


Experimental
Conventions 0.70 0.47 2.75 0.63 2.80 0.11

Word Choice 1.45 0.51 2.70 0.73 2.81 0.11

Table 3 shows differences in the means, standard deviations and the adjusted mean scores
on the post-test and the portfolio assessment between the experimental group and the control
group performance on the sub-skills of writing in favor of the experimental group.

Table 4: ANCOVA of the Students’ Performance on the Portfolio Assessment and the Post-
Test in the Various Writing Sub-skills

Sum of Mean Partial Eta


Skill Source df F Sig.
Squares Squares Squared
Focus Focus pre 3.31 1 3.31 7.81 0.008* 0.17
Way 7.04 1 7.04 16.60 0.000* 0.31
Error 15.68 37 0.42
Corrected Total 23.90 39
Development Development pre 1.42 1 1.42 2.99 0.09 0.075
Way 11.21 1 11.21 23.61 0.000* 0.39
Error 17.57 37 0.47
Corrected Total 31.10 39
Organization Organization pre 0.92 1 0.92 2.17 0.14 0.05
Way 11.94 1 11.94 28.02 0.000* 0.43
Error 15.77 37 0.42
Corrected Total 31.10 39
Conventions Conventions pre 0.77 1 0.77 2.99 0.09 0.07
Way 25.11 1 25.11 97.51 0.000* 0.72

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Sum of Mean Partial Eta
Skill Source df F Sig.
Squares Squares Squared
Error 9.52 37 0.25
Corrected Total 35.90 39
Word Choice Word Choice pre 2.41 1 2.41 10.24 0.003* 0.21
Way 7.90 1 7.90 33.49 0.000* 0.47
Error 8.73 37 0.23
Corrected Total 16.77 39
n= 41 *Significant at (α ≤ 0.05)

Table 4 shows statistically significant differences on students’ performance on the writing


sub-skills of conventions, word choice, organization, development and focus respectively. Thus,
the null hypothesis, portfolio assessment has no statistically significant effect (at α≤ 0.05) on
Jordanian tenth grade EFL learners’ writing performance on the sub-skills of focus, development,
organization, conventions and word choice, is rejected.

Limitations of the Study


The potential generalizability of the findings may be limited by a number of factors which could
not have been avoided. First, the experiment only targeted intact sections of female tenth grade
students in the public schools of North-Eastern Badia Directorate of Education over a period of
three months in the first semester of the academic year 2014/2015. Not only would a larger
sample and longer duration have provided better data, but having both male and female students
would have enhanced the generalizability of the findings. Second, had a teacher, other than the
first researcher, taught both the experimental and control groups, it would have added to the
credibility of the findings and ruled out any potential shades of bias. However, that the
experiment was conducted in North-Eastern Badia, inaccessibly remote for anyone from another
area, accounted for not finding any volunteers to teach the groups, and thus the first researcher
ended up teaching both groups. Third, the researchers had initially intended to video-tape the
experiment, but the conservative nature of the community prompted the participants and their
teachers and school principals to ask that sessions not be videotaped. Even though nothing has
escaped documentation, the researchers would have felt more confident with the hard evidence
provided by the recordings.

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Discussion and Recommendations


The hypotheses of the study assumed no significant effect for the portfolio assessment on the
participants’ overall writing performance and their performance on the sub-skills of focus,
development, organization, conventions and word choice (at α≤ 0.05). The results showed that
students in the portfolio assessment group were superior to their counterparts in the control group
in their overall writing performance and in their performance in the sub-skills of focus,
development, organization and word-choice.
One possible catalyst in the superiority of the experimental group was their access to the
scoring Rubric. The students in both wrote about topics chosen from their textbook, Action
Pack10, but the experimental group had the added advantage of adherence to what is sought and,
thus, positively scored. The first students’ drafts were scored according to the Rubric along the
criteria of focus, development, organization, conventions and word choice. Through the feedback
provided, students realized their areas of strength and weakness and were allowed the privilege of
working on these areas throughout the treatment. Another possible explanation of the superiority
of the experimental group may be the contribution of self-reflection, direction, and assessment
involved in portfolio-based instruction, as it incorporates pedagogy, learning, and evaluation as
well as promotes critical thinking and learner autonomy (e.g., Banfi, 2003; Yang, 2003). Finally,
allowing the experimental group students to pick their best work may have contributed to the
superiority of this work relative to that of the control group which was produced in one shot and
in a test-like context.
More research needs be done on portfolio assessment to allow for better comparisons and
more credible generalizations of results. Future research might involve a larger sample in other
EFL contexts and other research instruments such as observation, learner diaries and focus group
interviews.

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1
For a copy of the instruments used in this study, contact the principal author at
Loujein_salama@yahoo.com.

Author information:
Salameh F. Obeiah (Ph.D) is currently an EFL supervisor in the Jordanian Ministry of Education. Under Prof.
Bataineh’s supervision, Dr. Obeiah successfully defended his dissertation in TEFL at the Department of Curriculum
and Instruction at Yarmouk university (Irbid, Jordan) in August of 2015. His research interests include contrastive
analysis, teacher education and CALL.
Email: Loujein_salama@yahoo.com

Ruba Fahmi Bataineh (Ph.D) is a professor of TESOL at the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at
Yarmouk University (Irbid, Jordan). Her research interests include sociolinguistics, pragmatics, literacy, CALL, and
teacher education. Professor Bataineh has published extensively in renowned international and regional journals. She
is also a member of the editorial and/or review boards for a number of regional and international journals.
Email: rubab@yu.edu.jo

To cite this article:


Obeiah, S.F., & Bataineh, R.F. (2016). The effect of portfolio-based assessment on Jordanian EFL learners’ writing
performance. Bellaterra Journal of Teaching & Learning Language & Literature, 9(1), 32-46. DOI:
http://dx.doi.org/10.5565/rev/jtl3.629

Bellaterra Journal of Teaching & Learning Language & Literature. 9.1 (Feb-Mar 2016)
ISSN 2013-6196
Bellaterra Journal of Teaching & Learning Language & Literature
Vol. 9(1), Feb-Mar 2016, 47-90

Is There a Place for Cross-cultural Contastive Rhetoric in
English Academic Writing Courses?
Lin Zhou
University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, USA

Article received 14 August 2015, accepted 15 November 2015, final version received 4 February 2016
http://dx.doi.org/10.5565/rev/jtl3.645

Abstract
This is a primary study investigating the pedagogical approach of employing cross-
cultural contrastive rhetoric (CCCR) comparisons in graduate-level writing courses.
Two 501-level (advanced) classes were recruited to participate in this study: one
class received CCCR instruction and participated in CCCR discussions, and the
other class did not receive CCCR instruction and discussions. The study entailed
both quantitative and qualitative investigations involving the grading of the results,
the counting of use of dependent clauses and cohesive devices in students’ writing
samples; pre- and post-study surveys, questionnaires and interviews. The findings
show that students who received CCCR instruction and participated in CCCR
discussions demonstrated more active use of connectives and showed increased
metacognition about the similarities and differences between English academic
writing academic writing in their L1s.

Key words: contrastive rhetoric; English academic writing; metacognition;


pedagogical approach; dependent clauses; connectives

Resumen
Este artículo se trata de un estudio diseñado para investigar el enfoque pedagógico
de emplear la retórica contrastiva y la comparación entre culturas (cross-cultural
contrastive rhetoric o CCCR en inglés) en los cursos de escritura a nivel de
postgrado. Dos clases de nivel advanzado fueron reclutados para participar en este
estudio: una clase recibió instrucción CCCR y participó en las discusiones
relacionados al enfoque CCCR, y la otra clase no recibió instrucción CCCR ni
discusiones. El estudio utilizó investigaciones cuantitativas y cualitativas que
consistieron en la clasificación de los resultados, el recuento del uso de las
cláusulas dependientes y cohesión del texto en las muestras de escritura de los
estudiantes; encuestas pre- y post-estudio, cuestionarios y entrevistas. Los
resultados muestran que los estudiantes que recibieron instrucciones CCCR y
participaron en las discusiones CCCR demostraron un uso más activo de los
conectivos y mostraron un aumento de la metacognición acerca de las similitudes y
diferencias entre la escritura académica en la lengua meta (inglés) y la L1 de los
estudiantes.

Palabras clave: retórica contrastiva; escritura académica en inglés; metacognición;


diseño pedagógico; clausulas dependientes; conectivas

Resum
Aquest article es tracta d'un estudi dissenyat per investigar l'enfocament pedagògic
d'emprar la retòrica contrastiva i la comparació entre cultures (cross-cultural


48 Zhou

contrastive rhetoric o CCCR en anglès) en els cursos d'escriptura a nivell de
postgrau. Dues classes de nivell avançat van ser reclutats per participar en aquest
estudi: una classe va rebre instrucció CCCR i va participar en les discussions
relacionats a l'enfocament CCCR, i l'altra classe no va rebre instrucció CCCR ni
discussions. L'estudi va utilitzar investigacions quantitatives i qualitatives que van
consistir en la classificació dels resultats, el recompte de l'ús de les clàusules
dependents i cohesió del text en les mostres d'escriptura dels estudiants; enquestes
pre- i post-estudi, qüestionaris i entrevistes. Els resultats mostren que els estudiants
que van rebre instruccions CCCR i van participar en les discussions CCCR van
demostrar un ús més actiu dels connectius i van mostrar un augment de la
metacognició sobre les similituds i diferències entre l'escriptura acadèmica en la
llengua meta (anglès) i la L1 dels estudiants.

Paraules clau: retòrica contrastiva; escriptura acadèmica en anglès; metacognició;


disseny pedagògic; clàusules dependents; connectives

Introduction
The theoretical basis for the thesis is contrastive rhetoric—the study of how one’s first language
influences his/her writing in a second language (English in this study) and the dynamic model of
academic writing that calls for students’ metacognition instead of prescriptive pedagogies. The
focus of the article is not on looking for the differences between students’ L1s and English in the
areas of academic writing, but the pedagogical applications based on the existing studies of
contrastive rhetoric studies. The subjects of the study are students in the Writing Service Courses
in the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, which according to the university official
website, has the largest international student population of any public institution in the U.S. with
almost 10,000 students from abroad on campus. According to International Student Scholar
Services of University of Illinois, the total number of international students in Fall 2014 is 9824.
As is indicated in the literature review below, the detected limitations of traditional
contrastive rhetoric have led to a new model and approach towards contrastive rhetoric in
teaching students to write in a foreign language. Kubota and Lehner (2004) have suggested
critical contrastive rhetoric, which recognizes students’ identities, the rhetorical forms and
multiplicity of languages, which is in line with the dynamic model of L2 writing employing
contrastive rhetoric. This call for a new perspective of the contrastive rhetoric emphasizes the
cultural aspect. Thus, this research defines the dynamic cross-cultural contrastive rhetoric
(CCCR) as the explicit instruction of students on the similarities and differences between their L1

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49 Zhou

writing and L2 writing and actively involving them in the finding of such similarities and
differences in their academic writing in their L1s and English academic writing.
The instruction of dynamic CCCR does not aim to teach the cross-cultural differences in
rhetoric as a fact but as a starting point for students to reflect on their past experience of writing
in both their L1s and L2. The instruction covers both the similarities and differences to craft a
general picture of CCCR of both languages to students so that they could understand that
academic writing is not only about following templates or rules. The areas for investigation
include both the study of the organization and the language because, as Quinn (2012) has
concluded, the direct learning of rhetorical patterns can benefit students’ L2 writing in English
and allow them to function better in the new discourse community.
Following these lines of inquiry, this study investigated whether cross-cultural contrastive
rhetoric activities would facilitate ESL students in understanding the possible gap between their
understanding of English academic writing and the expectations of English academic writing, and
whether a pedagogical approach employing CCCR activities would improve students’
metacognition and prompt them to change their previous ways of writing.
The research used an existing ESL writing service course as the experimental group, and
another class of the same level that followed the same curriculum as the control group. All
students in the control group received cross-cultural contrastive rhetoric (CCCR) lessons as part
of their instruction. Pre-instruction surveys, unit feedback, and post-instruction interviews
supplemented the instruction over the course of the semester. The question of the research is
whether students’ awareness of cross-cultural contrastive rhetoric of Academic Writing in
students’ L1s and English Writing has a positive correlation with the performance of English
writing.

Literature Review
The literature review demonstrates that the prospect of contrastive rhetoric has experienced an
increased presence, indicating an increasing significance in L2 writing classes. Early studies such
as Leki (1991) contended that contrastive rhetoric has the greatest potential of practical
application in L2 writing classes. Silva (1993) claimed that although L1 and L2 writings are
similar in their broad outlines, they are different in numerous and important ways. Kachru (1997)
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50 Zhou

opined that for the purpose of finding a typology and a set of universals of rhetorical patterns,
contrasting rhetorical patterns is meaningful. More recently, Petrić (2005) pointed out that the
findings from contrastive rhetoric studies could serve as indicators for general tendencies and
should be tested out in the real teaching context. Walker (2011) concluded that regardless of
criticism of cross-cultural contrastive rhetoric, a recent resurgence in the number of high quality
pedagogical studies concerning the teaching of intercultural rhetoric in university writing classes
for East-Asian (Chinese, Japanese, and Korean) writers has been observed. Furthermore, despite
the increasing globalization, it has been noticed that EFL writing in Japan still demonstrates some
cultural features drawn from contrastive rhetoric studies (McKinley, 2013). This seems to
corroborate what Leki claimed in 1991, which is that ideally contrastive rhetoric can provide
writing teachers (and students) more understanding of the cultural differences in writing.
Secondly, it has been discovered that the strong link between contrastive rhetoric and
culture is a key feature of contrastive rhetoric. Carrell (1984) found that strict expository
organization facilitates ESL readers in recalling information of the paper and different discourse
types seemed to have different effects on ESL readers’ quantity of ideas reproduced in their free
written recall based on their different native languages. Similarly, Matalene (1985) argued that a
culture's rhetoric constitutes an interface where the prescriptions of the language meet the
practices of the culture. Liebman (1998) also remarked that students could be ethnographers of
contrastive rhetoric and this helps them become more conscious of their academic discourse.
Atkinson (2004) concluded that using the notion of culture to explain differences in written texts
and writing practices is one of the distinctive characteristics of contrastive rhetoric, and he
suggested a more flexible and inclusive interpretation and application of using culture as an
analysis tool.
However, whether there is a correlation between the pedagogies of contrastive rhetoric in
L2 writing and improvement of writing performance has not been conclusively proven. The
understanding at the moment is that the static teaching (Matsuda, 1997) is not the ideal means of
teaching L2 writing using contrastive rhetoric. The pedagogical application of insights generated
from contrastive rhetoric studies have been limited by the static theory of L2 writing, which has
been widely employed in teaching organizational structures.

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Parallel to studies in contrastive rhetoric, the concept of metacognition is receiving more
recognition in learning. It was originally coined by Flavell (1979) and it refers to learners’ own
knowledge of their own thinking, and Anderson (2002) defined metacognition as “thinking about
thinking” (p. 23). Metacognition leads to specific changes in how learning is conducted and
strategies that generate different or better learning outcomes (Anderson, 2008). Veenman, Van
Hout-Wolters and Afflerbach (2006) relate various concepts pertaining to metacognition,
including metacognitive awareness, metacognitive beliefs, metacognitive knowledge, executive
skills, higher order skills and self-regulation.
Lastly, various studies have confirmed the existence of differences in English writing due
to varied cultural backgrounds. Kaplan (1966) described thought patterns as linear for native
English speakers, parallel for native speakers of Semitic languages, indirect for native speakers of
Oriental languages and digressive for native speakers of Romance languages and Russian. While
this very early work in the field by Kaplan is now seen as oversimplification of these differences,
this paper is critical in that it founded this field. Mauranen (1993) found that Anglo-American
writers tended to reveal more writer presence in their academic writing than Finnish writers, as
they appeared to use more metatext that helps to guide their readers through the structure of the
paper. In terms of lower level linguistic concerns, L2 writers’ texts were simpler in structure.
Their sentences included more but shorter T units (Hunt, 1965), fewer but longer clauses, more
coordination, less subordination, less noun modification, and less passivization. They evidenced
distinct patterns in the use of cohesive devices, especially conjunctive (more) and lexical (fewer)
ties, and exhibited less lexical control, variety, and sophistication (Silva, 1993). Fagan and
Cheong (1987) found that Chinese students used the same traditional transitional connectives
(e.g., but, and) as English writers. Tucker (1995) stated that Asian writing was intentionally non-
directional. Yang and Cahill (2008) held that Chinese expository rhetorical pattern does not differ
greatly from that of English. (These studies provide theoretical basis for the choice of linguistic
focus of English academic writing for this study: the use of dependent clauses and connectives).
Despite consistent findings about contrastive rhetoric between English and other
languages, researchers maintain that writing should not be taught as prescription of rules and
patterns generated by contrastive rhetoric research as it involves a myriad of factors. Land (1998)
propagated the idea of a pluralistic US rhetoric that equipped students with necessary skills to use

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Standard English Writing to succeed in a variety of disciplines. Mohan and Lo (1985) found that
greater awareness of students’ native literacy and their educational factors affect students L2
academic writing.
Similar to Liebman (1998), Gebhard, Gaitan and Oprandy (1987) suggested that in
writing, students and teachers should go beyond prescription and work as investigators of
writing. Kubota and Lehner (2004) also critiqued traditional contrastive rhetoric as constructing a
static, homogeneous, binary picture of English versus other language and also projecting English
writing as a superior to other writing styles. Most importantly, traditional contrastive rhetoric
assumed the automatic L1 transfer in ESL learners’ writing and hence, these authors emphasized
the importance of self-reflexivity in critical contrastive rhetoric.
The dynamic model of L2 writing means that teaching ESL organizational structure does
not translate into prescribing patterns, but to involve “a way of raising ESL students’ awareness
of various factors that are involved in structuring the text” (Matsuda, 1997, p. 56). Along these
lines, Atkinson (2003) has argued for a new view of L2 writing that takes into consideration of a
large scale of social and cultural contexts that influence L2 writing. Similarly, Connor (2002) has
stated that as cultures and genres are dynamic, contrastive rhetoric should reflect the change of
patterns and norms over time. These new lines of thought concerning CCCR were integrated into
the study design described below.

Methodology
The research adopts a mixed methodology in which both quantitative and qualitative analysis
were involved: following the execution of the cross-cultural contrastive rhetoric instruction,
quantitative data was collected and analyzed concerning use of specific language features. Also,
interviews, surveys, and reflections were recorded to analyze students’ metacognition
development and subjective perceptions of CCCR instruction and discussions. For the
pedagogical intervention (which served as both the object of study as well as the instrument for
collecting data), instructors conducted CCCR instruction and discussions using three delivery
modes: in-class discussion, videos, and readings. After students received CCCR instruction and
finished the discussions, they submitted their findings of similarities and differences between
English academic writing and academic writing in their L1s through online forms. Furthermore, a

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series of CCCR activities and discussions were integrated into the existing curriculum of ESL
Writing Service Courses.i
CCCR instruction and discussions focused on two major aspects: global aspects of
academic writing such as rhetorical style and organization and local language aspects including
use of dependent clauses and cohesive devices. Students’ final performance in these areas served
as the criteria of the evaluation to draw the connection between the awareness of cross-cultural
contrastive rhetoric and students’ writing performance.
The process of the research employs both traditional classroom setting discussions and
technology-assisted videos and online forms. The instruction of the cross-cultural contrastive
rhetoric was integrated into the writing service courses, separate exercise sessions addressing the
instruction were created online and students were asked to complete the exercises to demonstrate
their understanding of the instruction of CCCR and share their findings of cross-cultural
contrastive rhetoric analysis between English academic writing and academic writing in students’
L1s. The data was collected in the form of video recording, reflections, writing samples, surveys
and interviews, and analyzed through transcription and cross-referencing between the control and
experimental group as well as within each group.

Data Collection and Analysis


Participants in this study are all international graduate students who were required to take ESL
Writing Service Courses at the graduate level. The students’ native languages include: Chinese
(Mandarin), Korean, Farsi, Spanish and Turkish. They also represent a large variety of academic
fields. There were 14 students in each group and students were given consent forms at the
beginning of the semester without the teachers’ presence. According to the consent forms, twelve
of each group agreed to participate in the study and gave the researcher permission to use their
data, including writings, video recordings, and surveys for this study. The students’ names are
changed in the study to protect their identities.
Phase 1 of the study focuses on two specific elements explored by the experimental
group: the use of dependent clauses and cohesive devices. Dependent clauses were chosen as one
focus area here because these were the two main topics that surfaced in students’ beginning-of-
semester questionnaire as well as their diagnostic analysis. Students’ grammatical errors lay in

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dependent clauses and their writings in general lacked coherence. These two areas were two of
the surfaced themes from students’ beginning-of-semester questionnaire. However, it is important
to note that the statistical analysis here is not suggesting that the number of dependent clauses
and connectives is proportional to the quality of writing. The purpose of the statistical analysis is
to investigate whether CCCR instruction and activities lead to more production of dependent
clauses and connectives and hence demonstrate students’ improvement of metacognition of
CCCR. In addition, in the original research, students’ numerical grades given by four ESL
instructors were also quantitatively analyzed, but no significant differences were observed. This
showed that students who receive dynamic CCCR instruction and participate in the CCCR
discussions did not have an overall better performance in their writing assignments than their
counterparts who do not receive dynamic CCCR instruction as determined by the grades given by
raters. The statistical model used to analyze the data is chi-square as it is appropriate for
comparison studies to determine whether the change is significant.
Phase 2 of the study focuses on students’ subjective perceptions of the instruction and
discussions which incorporate the concept of CCCR. Furthermore, students were also asked to
rate different tools which were used to conduct these CCCR instruction and discussions. Students’
reflections and ratings were compared between the experimental group and control group to
demonstrate differences.

Results & Discussions of Phase 1 (Quantitative study)


Research Question 1
Do students who receive dynamic CCCR instruction and participate in the CCCR discussions
perform better than their counterparts in specific areas, including dependent clauses and cohesive
devices, in comparison to those who do not receive dynamic CCCR instruction?
The following data showed students’ use of dependent clauses in both the control and
experimental group for their first assignment. In order to determine whether the change shown in
students’ writings is significant, a statistical analysis needs to be conducted to determine the
significance. Chi-square test was conducted to calculate whether there is significant difference
between two groups at the very beginning. Non-significant data reveals that students’ uses of
dependent clauses were at roughly similar level at the beginning of the semester.
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Table 1. Percentage of Use of Dependent Clauses for First Assignment from Control Group
Pseudonym L1 Number of Dependent Clauses Number of Sentences Percentage
Yueyue Chinese 5 23 22%
Sunsun Korean 14 32 44%
Kwon Korean 7 30 23%
Hyun Korean 5 27 19%
Oscar Turkish 6 20 30%
Mengmeng Chinese 2 24 8.0%
Jongjong Chinese 6 24 25%
Xuxu Chinese 4 25 16%
Huahua Chinese 4 17 24%
Lee Chinese 5 25 20%
Bobo Chinese 9 19 47%
Ahmed Turkish 7 22 32%
*Class Average 26%

Table 2. Percentage of Use of Dependent Clauses for First Assignment from Experimental Group
Pseudonym L1 Number of Dependent Clauses Total Number of Sentences Percentage
Alma Farsi 2 15 13%
Xiaochen Chinese 5 25 20%
Fanfan Chinese 6 18 33%
Hanhan Chinese 9 22 41%
Lili Chinese 5 16 31%
Songsong Chinese 23 31 71%
Hengheng Chinese 13 15 87%
Jiajia Chinese 4 33 12%
Haohao Chinese 6 26 23%
Liang Chinese 10 22 45%
Kim Korean 7 22 32%
Santiago Spanish 6 24 25%
Ibrahim Persian 10 24 42%
Minmin Chinese 7 18 39%
*Class Average 37%

In order to determine whether there is a significant difference between the experimental


group and control group, Chi-square test was conducted on the data from Table 1 and Table 2. In
Table 3, numbers in the column of dependent clause and non-dependent clauses are the average
of the whole class.
Table 3. Chi-Square Analysis of Dependent Clauses for First Assignment
Dependent Clauses Non-Dependent Clauses
Control Group 6 18

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Experimental Group 8 14

Although class average of experimental group is 11% higher than the control group, there
is no significant difference between two sets of data. This is because from Chi-square-test at the
significance level of 0.05, the P-value is 0.41. The result is not significant at p<0.05. This shows
that students’ use of dependent clauses were at similar levels at the beginning of the semester. As
the first assignment is an argumentative essay, students from different disciplines were asked to
write an argumentative response to a provided topic. This statistical data showed a clear
reflection of students’ understanding of English argumentative writing.
With the similar use of dependent clauses at the beginning of the semester, findings from
the use of dependent clauses at the end of the semester provided meaningful information about
whether CCCR instruction and discussions improved students’ use of dependent clauses. Table 2
shows the percentage of use of dependent clauses for final assignment from the control group and
it could be seen that the class average for the control group is 25.21%.
Table 4. Percentage of Use of Dependent Clauses for Final Assignment from Control Group
Pseudonym L1 Number of Dependent Clauses Number of Sentences Percentage
Yueyue Chinese 15 102 15%
Sunsun Korean 46 134 34%
Kwon Korean 20 105 19%
Hyun Korean 32 105 30%
Oscar Turkish 29 119 24%
Mengmeng Chinese 34 96 35%
Jongjong Chinese 19 133 14%
Xuxu Chinese 24 91 26%
Huahua Chinese 38 102 37%
Lee Chinese 19 67 28%
Bobo Chinese 9 74 12%
Ahmed Turkish 25 97 26%
*Class Average 25%

Table 5. Percentage of Use of Dependent Clauses for Final Assignment from Experimental Group
Total
Number Percentage
of Dependent Total Number of dependent
Pseudonym L1 Clauses of Sentences clauses used
Alma Farsi 29 72 40%
Xiaochen Chinese 28 129 22%
Fanfan Chinese 40 68 59%
Hanhan Chinese 45 114 39%
Lili Chinese 27 115 23%
Songsong Chinese 50 127 39%
Hengheng Chinese 11 66 17%

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Jiajia Chinese 31 124 25%
Haohao Chinese 35 134 26%
Liang Chinese 42 117 36%
Kim Korean 21 100 21%
Santiago Spanish 30 65 46%
Ibrahim Persian 19 68 28%
Minmin Chinese 20 108 19%
*Class Average 31%

Table 5 shows the data from the experimental group with the class average of 31%. In order to
determine whether there is a significant difference between the experimental group and control
group, Chi-square test is conducted on the data from Table 4 and Table 5. In Table 6, numbers in
the column of dependent clause and non-dependent clauses are the average of the whole class.
Table 6. Chi-Square Analysis of Dependent Clauses for Final Assignment
Dependent Clause Non-Dependent Clauses
Control Group 26 76
Experimental Group 31 69

By the end of the semester, students’ use of dependent clauses and connectives were calculated
again. Only students from the experimental group had received specific instruction and
participated in CCCR activities in the areas of connectives and dependent clauses. Comparing the
two groups, it could be seen that the class average of the experimental group is 5% higher than
that of the control group. Chi-square-test was used to run the data between control and
experimental group in terms of use of dependent clauses for final assignment. The Chi-square
statistic is 0.7568. The P value is 0.384332. This result is not significant at p < 0.10. The data
shows that there is no significant difference between the use of dependent clauses for final
assignment between the control group and experimental group.
Other than dependent clauses, another area of focus for CCCR instruction and discussions
is connectives. Table 7 and 16 demonstrate students’ use of cohesive devices from both the
control and experimental group for their first assignments. The data for first assignments was
collected because it served as the baseline for the comparison at the end of the semester.
Table 7. Percentage of Use of Cohesive Devices for First Assignment (Control)
Pseudonym L1 Sentences Number Percentage
with Connectives of Sentences
Yueyue Chinese 9 23 39%
Sunsun Korean 12 32 38%
Kwon Korean 17 30 57%

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Hyun Korean 11 27 41%
Oscar Turkish 13 20 65%
Mengmeng Chinese 10 24 42%
Jongjong Chinese 14 24 58%
Xuxu Chinese 11 25 44%
Huahua Chinese 9 17 53%
Lee Chinese 8 25 32%
Bobo Chinese 7 19 37%
Ahmed Turkish 9 22 41%
*Class Average 45%

Table 8. Percentage of Use of Cohesive Devices for First Assignment (Experimental)


Pseudonym L1 Sentences with Connectives Total Number of Sentences Percentage
Alma Farsi 4 15 27%
Xiaochen Chinese 7 25 28%
Fanfan Chinese 8 18 44%
Hanhan Chinese 7 22 32%
Lili Chinese 3 16 19%
Songsong Chinese 12 31 39%
Hengheng Chinese 3 15 20%
Jiajia Chinese 7 33 21%
Haohao Chinese 7 26 27%
Liang Chinese 6 22 27%
Kim Korean 9 22 41%
Santiago Spanish 6 24 25%
Ibrahim Persian 11 24 46%
Minmin Chinese 1 18 6.0%
*Class Average 29%

Table 7 and Table 8 demonstrate the percentage of sentences with connectives for first
assignment from both groups.
In order to determine whether there is a significant difference between the experimental
group and control group, Chi-square test was conducted on the data from Table 7 and Table 8. In
Table 9, numbers in the column of Sentences with Connectives and Sentences without
Connectives are the average of the whole class.
Table 9. Chi-Square Analysis of Connectives for First Assignment
Sentences with Connectives Sentences without Connectives
Control Group 11 13
Experimental Group 7 15

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The Chi-square statistic is 0.9466. The P value is 0.330592. This result is not significant at p <
0.10. In other words, students’ uses of connectives from both groups were at similar level at the
beginning of the semester before the CCCR instruction and activities.
At the end of the semester, students’ sentences with connectives from both groups were
calculated to investigate whether students’ use of connectives changed after CCCR instruction
and activities. Table 10 and 11 demonstrate the final data of two groups on sentences with
connectives in relation to total number of sentences.
Table 10. Percentage of Use of Cohesive Devices for Final Assignment from Control Group
Pseudonym L1 Sentences with Connectives Total Number of Sentences Percentage
Yueyue Chinese 16 102 16%
Sunsun Korean 52 134 39%
Kwon Korean 40 105 38%
Hyun Korean 51 105 49%
Oscar Turkish 25 119 21%
Mengmeng Chinese 22 96 23%
Jongjong Chinese 32 133 24%
Xuxu Chinese 11 91 12%
Huahua Chinese 40 102 39%
Lee Chinese 16 67 24%
Bobo Chinese 23 74 31%
Ahmed Turkish 18 97 19%
*Class Average 28%

Table 11. Percentage of Sentences with Connectives for Final Assignment from Experimental Group
Pseudonym L1 Sentences with Connectives Total Number of Sentences Percentage
Alma Farsi 20 77 26%
Xiaochen Chinese 45 132 34%
Fanfan Chinese 40 69 58%
Hanhan Chinese 59 113 52%
Lili Chinese 39 115 34%
Songsong Chinese 42 113 37%
Hengheng Chinese 29 72 40%
Jiajia Chinese 44 120 37%
Haohao Chinese 49 134 37%
Liang Chinese 28 103 27%
Kim Korean 54 100 54%
Santiago Spanish 26 65 40%
Ibrahim Persian 19 68 28%
Minmin Chinese 45 83 54%
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*Class Average 40%

Table 12 Chi-Square Analysis of Connectives for Final Assignment


Sentences with Connectives Sentences without Connectives
Control Group 29 73
Experimental Group 39 58
Chi-square test was used to run the data between control and experimental group in terms
of use of cohesive devices for final assignment. At the significance level of 0.10, the Chi-square
statistic is 3.0645. The P value is 0.08. This result is significant at p < 0.10. Based on this data, it
could be concluded that experimental group wrote more sentences with connectives than the
control group at the end of the semester when the CCCR study had been completed. Again, this is
not suggesting that writing performance is proportional with the number of connectives, but
rather students from the experimental group showed an increase in the use of connectives after
CCCR instruction and activities. This change was then comparatively interpreted together with
students’ reflection and interviews so as to show the improvement of their metacognition of
CCCR by the end of the semester (discussed in more detail in the next section).
Among the data collected including students’ scores for their first and final assignments,
their use of dependent clauses for their first and final assignments, and their use of connectives,
the most significant improvement is seen in their use of connectives, which were used in an
attempt to present a more coherence piece of writing, followed by the use of dependent clauses
which were used to improve the complexity of the sentences in their writing, although their
change in their numerical scores is not significant. Answering the first research question of
whether students who receive CCCR instruction and participate in CCCR discussions perform
better in their writings: from the rating results, students in the experimental group did not seem to
be significantly better than those in the control group based on the numerical grades despite the
difference of 0.29 in their grades.

Results & Discussions of Phase 2 (Student Responses)


In Figure 1 to 9, x-axis is the scale of 1 to 5 which shows students’ subjective perception towards
the discussed question, with 1 being the lowest end of the spectrum and 5 the highest, and y-axis
represents the number of students. At the end of the semester, students’ responses to the study of
CCCR instruction were collected to supplement the numerical data. Their responses reflected the
areas of CCCR instruction and discussions that the participants felt had influenced their writing
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more and their preferred delivery modes of CCCR instruction and discussions. Among the
experimental group who received the CCCR instruction, their responses to the question of “On
the scale of 1 to 5, how much do you think that your L1 influences your English academic
writing?” are summarized below in figure 1:

How much does L1


influence your EAW?
10 57%

5 21%
14%
7%
0
0
1 2 3 4 5

Figure 1. Students’ Perceptions of How Much L1s Influence Their EAW


Among 14 students, three students were in the middle of the spectrum and 1 student rated this 2.
This finding is strongly reinforced by the experimental participants’ written responses explaining
their ranking. Xiaochen (Chinese) stated that, “although the English sentences she wrote was [sic]
grammatically correct, they seem strange to native speakers,” and Lili (Chinese) also shared the
same sentiment: “I’m not used to writing sentences with (dependent) clauses. Sometimes, when I
use clauses, I confuse myself. In Chinese, we have the same translations for some of the
connectives and when I write academic papers, I don’t know which one to use.”
Kim (Korean) focused more on the sentence structural differences between Korean and
English as the verb is always placed at the end of a sentence with a verb conjugation whereas this
is not the case in English. He felt that this is the reason behind his incorrect English sentences.
From the perspective of rhetorical organization, he contended that the body paragraph in Korean
has the structure of IEP, which are illustration, explanation and point. He believed that before the
CCCR intervention he was more prone to use the IEP structure instead of PIE structure in English
academic writing in which the point is stated first and then the illustrations are provided with the
explanation at the end connecting the illustrations and the main point of the body paragraph.
Hanhan (Chinese) reported her understanding of the influence of L1 in her English
academic writing as following, “my L1 influenced my English writing in the way that I’m not
good at connecting the sentences. Because in Chinese, even if there are no connection devices
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between two sentences, the paragraph is still regarded to be fluent, but in English writing, I need
to apply different ways to make my article as a unity.” Hanhan also agreed with the reading
materials provided on the Chinese style of writing (Chen, 2005) about the use of Chinese sayings:
“sometimes I use proverbs in my L1 which only make sense to Chinese speakers, and that causes
confusion.”
Jiajia (Taiwanese), summarized how she perceived that her L1 influenced her English
academic writing thus:, “The way I structure my essay, the way I use the connectives or
transitions, and sentence structure”. Alma (Farsi) thought that her L1 influenced her use of
punctuation marks and clauses she used in English academic writing. Haohao (Chinese) realized
some problems of his shifts in English grammar were caused by direct Chinese translation,
saying that, “I prefer to use long sentences. Sometimes, I just translate the Chinese sentences into
English. Besides, there are a lot of shifts in my English writing, because I never heard of the
concept of shifts in Chinese.” Based on the above illustrations, it is clear that students in the
experimental group demonstrated metacognition about how their L1 influences their English
writing after the cross-cultural contrastive rhetoric study was finished.
Discussion of Research Question 2: What are the areas of CCCR instruction that play a more
important role in students’ writing assignments from students’ perspectives?
CCCR studies and instruction were divided into four aspects: rhetorical styles, rhetorical
organization, clauses and connectives. In this article, only the use of clauses and connectives
were calculated. Rhetorical styles and rhetorical organizations are comparably less quantifiable
and it is difficult to evaluate students’ progress of rhetorical styles and organizations using
quantitative data. Instead, students’ subjective opinions in their reflections and surveys showed
their understandings of rhetorical styles and rhetorical organizations. Students from the
experimental group were asked to rate each of them in terms of how useful they think it was for
improving their English academic writing. The following graphs are respective summaries of
students’ responses towards the CCCR instruction and discussion on rhetorical styles, rhetorical
organization, clauses and connectives (1 denotes the least and 5 the most in the graph):

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Rhetorical Styles
10 64%
8
6 29%
4
2 7%
0 0
0
1 2 3 4 5

Figure 2. Rhetorical Style

The x-axis is the spectrum showing students’ subjective perceptions of the helpfulness of
comparing rhetorical styles in English academic writing and academic writing in their L1s by the
end of the course with 1 the least and 5 the most and the y-axis is the number of students. Figure
2 indicates that 93% of students gave a 4 and 5 on the scale of 1-5, with 1 the lowest and 5 the
highest, for rhetorical styles. The rest of the students gave a 3. It shows that students in general
perceived rhetorical styles as helpful in the CCCR curriculum.helpful in CCCR curriculum.

Rhetorical
Organiza?on
8 50%
6 43%
4
2 7%
0 0
0
1 2 3 4 5

Figure 3. Rhetorical Organization


Among 14 students, 93% of them contended that the CCCR instruction organization was helpful.
Both rhetorical style and organization were discussed at the beginning of the semester, and
students have repeatedly referred to these two in their reflections and questionnaires. This result
informed ESL instructors that CCCR activities could be a very effective to grab students’
interests in ESL writing courses that could be implemented in the courses.

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Clauses
7 43%
6
5 29% 29%
4
3
2
1 0 0
0
1 2 3 4 5

Figure 4. Clauses
Among the 14 students in the experimental group, 10 students felt that CCCR studies and
instruction on dependent clauses are helpful as they rated this as 4 or five. Four students rated this
as 3 and this may be due to the fact that these students are more confident with the English
clauses in the first place. This could be seen in students’ performance in the first assignment.
There are a few students who did much better than average by analyzing the percentage of clause
usage in the assignment.

Connec?ves
6 36%
5 29% 29%
4
3
2 7%
1 0
0
1 2 3 4 5

Figure 5. Connectives
Connectives, among the four aspects of the CCCR studies, received the lowest rating from the
experimental group: 65% of the students thought it was helpful whereas 7% of the students did
not indicate it as helpful while 29% of the students gave a rating of 3. Students’ subjective
perception about connectives is the opposite of their performance in their writings. Among the
four categories, students’ use of cohesive devices is the only data that shows significance
difference between the control group and the experimental group by the end of the semester. This
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data also shows that sometimes students’ subjective opinions of certain aspects of English
academic writing are not accurate in making the most informed decisions.
Discussion of Research Question 3: What are the delivery modes of CCCR instruction and
discussions that students respond well to?
The following graphs are students’ ratings on each type of delivery mode in terms of how
effective they think it is in helping them understand the differences and similarities between their
L1s and English. Figure 6 demonstrates students rating of in-class instruction of CCCR: 86% of
students rated it at 4 or 5 and 7% rated it at 2 and 3 respectively. Figure 3 is students’ ratings of
videos of CCCR: all students gave it a rating equal or above 3 with 79% of the students rated it as
4 and 5. Figure 4 shows students’ ratings of readings of CCCR: 21% of students rated it at 2 and
43% rated it at 3, and only 35% of students rated it at 4 or 5.

In-class Instruc?on
8 50%

6 36%

2 7% 7%
0
0
1 2 3 4 5

Figure 6 In-class Instruction

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Videos
8
43%
6 36%

4 21%

2
0 0%
0
1 2 3 4 5
Figure 7 Videos

Reading
8
43%
6
4 21% 21%
14%
2
0
0
1 2 3 4 5
Figure 8 Reading

From Figure 6 to 8, it could be seen that students rated the videos as the most effective, in-class
discussions second, and readings as least effective. This information provides some important
implications to teachers who intend to incorporate some CCCR instruction in the English
academic writing courses in terms of which type of delivery mode to use for different types of
topics. This finding also brings up an important implication for conveying information to students
in general since reading, the traditional way that large amounts of information are conveyed to
students in many courses, were seen as the least effective overall.
Both the experimental and control groups were also asked at the end of the semester about
their confidence level in writing in English.

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10
57%
8
50%
6 36%
33.3%
4
16.7%
2 7%
0% 0% 0% 0%
0
1 2 3 4
5
Control
Experimental
Figure 9 How Confident Students Are with EAW
Figure 9 shows that 64% of students in the experimental group gave a 4 or 5 for their confidence
level which is better than the control group shown by the blue bars. Figure 9 shows that zero
students from the control group gave a 5 on their confidence of English academic writing
Comparing students’ confidence level in the control group and experimental group, it could be
seen that bars in Figure 9 that reveals students’ confidence about their writing at the end of the
semester are more towards the right end of the continuum of 1 to 5 compared to Figure 9. In the
experimental group, 100% of students’ confidence level is above level 3, whereas in the control
group 83.3% of the students’ confidence level is above level 3. The major purpose of this study is
to equip students with the necessary writing skills to ensure their success in their major courses.
The fact that students became more confident in English academic writing proves the possibility
of applying this CCCR model in ESL writing courses and it deems its efficacy in reducing the
possible affective filter that international students might have in the endeavor of English
academic writing.

Conclusions
The results indicate that the pedagogy exploiting cross-cultural contrastive rhetoric could be
implemented as a model for various courses of English academic courses. CCCR instruction and
discussions recommended by this study is student-centered. Instead of providing students the
model, rule and formulae to follow, the instructor facilitates students in the process of finding and
recognizing similarities and differences between English academic writing and academic writing
in their L1s in different aspects including rhetorical styles, rhetorical organization, and use of
English language such as dependent clauses and cohesive devices.

Bellaterra Journal of Teaching & Learning Language & Literature. 9.1 (Feb-Mar 2016)
ISSN 2013-6196


68 Zhou

The growth of students’ metacognition reflected students’ knowledge of their own
thinking (Kellogg, 1994) and the trajectory of their discovery of contrastive rhetoric throughout
the semester traces their metacognition development which in turn helps them see how English
academic writing could be shaped using their knowledge and experience of their native languages
and academic writing in their native language. Future possible research could be generated based
on this study: as this study lasted only one semester, students’ further writing performance could
not be reported. For some students, it takes longer to internalize the findings and discoveries from
CCCR activities.

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i
Videos of instruction of dependent clauses can be found at:
http://tinyurl.com/kjz3y9g
http://tinyurl.com/qb2k4k3
http://tinyurl.com/p5z4ujh

Bellaterra Journal of Teaching & Learning Language & Literature. 9.1 (Feb-Mar 2016)
ISSN 2013-6196


70 Zhou


Author Information
Lin Zhou graduated from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a MASTERS degree of Teaching
English as a Second Language. She did this study on pedagogical approach employing cross-cultural contrastive
rhetoric as her thesis project and her thesis advisor was Dr. Randall Sadler.
Email: linzhou2@illinois.edu

To cite this article:


Zhou, L. (2016). Is there a place for cross-cultural contastive rhetoric in English academic writing courses?
Bellaterra Journal of Teaching & Learning Language & Literature, 9(1), 47-90. DOI:
http://dx.doi.org/10.5565/rev/jtl3.645

Bellaterra Journal of Teaching & Learning Language & Literature. 9.1 (Feb-Mar 2016)
ISSN 2013-6196


Bellaterra Journal of Teaching & Learning Language & Literature
Vol. 9(1), Feb-Mar 2016, 71-83

Analyse du matériel pédagogique en matière de
ponctuation dans l’école primaire algérienne

Hassiba Addou
Faculté des lettres, des langues et des arts, Université Djillali Liabès, Sidi-Bel-Abbès- Algérie

Article reçu le 2 Octobre 2015, accepté 24 janvier 2016, version finale 27 janvier 2016
http://dx.doi.org/10.5565/rev/jtl3.650

Résumé
Savoir écrire, lire et communiquer nécessite un apprentissage particulier.
L’acquisition des compétences démarcatives dans
l’enseignement/apprentissage du français langue étrangère, suppose un
usage à bon escient de la ponctuation. A l’école primaire algérienne, ce
genre d’apprentissage reste sensible puisqu’il dépend, essentiellement,
des programmes et de l’âge des apprenants. C‘est dans cette optique que
nous développerons une analyse du matériel pédagogique afin
d’examiner l’adéquation entre la conception et l’élaboration de l’objet à
enseigner la ponctuation, et les composantes des compétences visées,
notamment dans les manuels scolaires et les cahiers d’activités.

Mots-clés : ponctuation, apprentissage, compétence, programme


primaire, manuel scolaire

Abstract
Knowing how to write, read and communicate requires special training.
The acquisition of demarcation skills in French as a Foreign Language
implies a good understanding and ability to use punctuation. At primary
schools in Algiers, the success of this genre of learning largely depends
on the type of learning programs that are implemented as well as the age
of the target students. Along these lines, this article provides an analysis
of pedagogical materials aimed to examine the adequacy of the design
and development of the artifacts used to teach punctuation, and related
key target competences, particularly in textbooks and activities books.

Keywords: punctuation, learning, competency, primary program,


textbooks

Resumen
Saber escribir, leer y comunicar necesita una formación muy particular.
La adquisición de las competencias demarcadoras en el aprendizaje de
francés como lengua extranjera supone una comprensión de la
puntuación. En la escuela primaria argelina, el éxito de este genero de
aprendizaje depende esencialmente del tipo de programa y la edad del
alumnado. Desde este punto de vista, el artículo describe un análisis del
material pedagógico con el fin de examinar la adecuación entre el diseño
(su concepción) y la elaboración de los objeto utilizado para que enseñar
la puntuación, y los componentes relacionados a las competencias
72 Addou

aludidas, particularmente en los manuales escolares y los cuadernos de


actividades complementarias.

Palabras clave: Puntuación, aprendizaje, competencia, programa escolar


primario, libros de textos

Cadre de l’étude
L’usage des signes de ponctuation dans l’acquisition de l’écriture, pour des apprenants du
cycle primaire, semble donner lieu à des considérations confuses : pourquoi ponctuer ?
Qu’est-ce que ponctuer ? Certains signes plus faciles à apprendre que d’autres sont vite
appropriés par les apprenants (le point d’interrogation pour poser une question), d’autres ne le
sont pas. « Ces systèmes font l’objet chez l’enfant d’une lente acquisition en mémoire, qui
prend place parallèlement à l’acquisition des fonctions de ces marques dans le texte »
(Favart, 2005, p. 309).
L’intérêt de cette étude est de décrire et de comprendre quelques indices (ceux des
programmes, des manuels scolaires et des cahiers d’activités) qui peuvent illustrer la façon
dont est perçu l’acte de ponctuer par rapport à l’acte d’écrire. Selon nous, dès ses premiers
contacts avec l’écrit, le jeune apprenant doit acquérir des compétences aussi bien pour la
compréhension et la maîtrise du code alphabétique de la langue française, que du code
graphique. Les deux systèmes ne peuvent fonctionner qu’en complémentarité. « Nul
aujourd’hui ne songerait sérieusement à remettre en cause l’importance de la ponctuation,
tant sur le plan de l’aide à la lecture et à l’expression, que de la clarté des idées et de
l’écriture au sens large du terme » (Catach, 1996, p. 3).
Comment les textes officiels prescrivent-ils l’acquisition de la ponctuation au
primaire, pour les apprenants de la 3ème année primaire (8-9ans), la 4ème année primaire (9-10
ans) et la 5ème année primaire (10-11 ans) ? Comment s’articule ce genre d’apprentissage pour
ces trois niveaux? Y a-t-il une stratégie de progression pour l’objet à enseigner ? Que peut-on
observer dans les manuels scolaires de la langue française comme contenus en rapport avec la
ponctuation ? Comment un tel savoir est-il présenté? De quelle manière a-t-on élaboré les
exercices en relation avec l’application des programmes et les compétences visées, dans les
cahiers d’activités ? Notre approche est descriptive et analytique, elle permet à la fois
d’observer, de recueillir des données et d’analyser les contenus des programmes et des
manuels scolaires en matière de ponctuation. Selon nous, l’élaboration des programmes doit
mesurer la complexité et l’utilité de l’apprentissage de la ponctuation. Une répartition d’un tel



73 Addou

apprentissage dans les trois niveaux doit être raisonnée, tout en prenant en considération les
apprentissages à poursuivre dans les cycles supérieurs (collège et lycée). Une analyse d’un
corpus d’une cinquantaine d’apprenants appartenant à deux écoles différentes, nous a parue
utile, afin d’examiner la recevabilité des activités (présentation : consignes) et afin de vérifier
la compatibilité entre les compétences visées et les programmes.

État des lieux et méthodologie


Les réflexions qui suivent procèdent de l’observation des programmes institutionnels, des
contenus bien spécifiques des manuels scolaires du cycle primaire, ainsi que les activités
proposées dans les cahiers d’activité des apprenants pour chaque niveau : une façon de
rechercher, comment ces derniers abordent la transposition didactique, d’un savoir savant à un
savoir scolaire en matière de ponctuation.

Prescriptions ministérielles pour l’apprentissage de la ponctuation


Dans le respect des finalités de l’éducation définies dans le Chapitre I, Article 2 de la Loi
d’orientation sur l’éducation nationale1, l’école algérienne a pour mission de:
• assurer aux élèves l’acquisition de connaissances dans les différents champs
disciplinaires et la maîtrise des outils intellectuels et méthodologiques de la
connaissance facilitant les apprentissages et préparant à la vie active.
• doter les élèves de compétences pertinentes, solides et durables susceptibles d’être
exploitées à bon escient dans des situations authentiques de communication et de
résolution de problèmes et qui les rendent aptes à apprendre toute leur vie, à prendre
une part active dans la vie sociale, culturelle et économique et à s’adapter aux
changements.
C’est dans cette perspective, que nous proposons de jeter de la lumière sur ce qui a été édicté
par les textes officiels par rapport à l’apprentissage de la ponctuation dans le français langue
étrangère. Le programme de la 3ème année primaire2 ne présente aucune forme théorique pour
l’enseignement/apprentissage de la ponctuation, cependant, à l’écrit, il vise les compétences
relatives à la ponctuation comme suit:
• utiliser une ponctuation simple(le point, le point d’interrogation, le point
d’exclamation et la virgule).
Le même programme attend du jeune apprenant de langue française de:
• reconnaitre les interlocuteurs dans un dialogue.



74 Addou

Nous nous interrogeons, comment peut-on reconnaitre les interlocuteurs dans un dialogue, si
on n’apprend pas aux apprenants que les paroles d’un dialogue doivent être insérées entre
guillemets < « »>, et que les guillemets doivent être précédés par un deux-points < :> pour
annoncer l’ouverture du dialogue. Plus encore, un dialogue suppose un échange de paroles et
d’interlocuteurs. Le tour de rôle nécessite, ainsi, la présence des tirets <-> pour une meilleure
présentation et une meilleure compréhension du contexte de communication (qui parle ?).
Aussi, nous nous interrogeons sur la prescription suivante : l’apprentissage doit se faire au
double plan de l’appropriation du signe et du sens. Changer la place d’une virgule ne change-
t-il pas le sens ; mettre un point d’exclamation à la place d’un point d’interrogation ne
dénature-t-il pas la modalité de la phrase ? « Il suffit du déplacement d’une virgule pour
dénaturer le sens de ma pensée. Jules Michelet» (Demanuelli, 1987, p. 44).
A ce constat, l’appropriation du signe devrait impliquer, explicitement, les signes
typographiques. Le programme de la 4ème année3 stipule un renforcement des compétences
acquises par l’apprenant de 9 à 10 ans et ce dans la continuité du programme de la 3ème année
qui constitue le socle des apprentissages premiers. Pourquoi continuer, alors, à viser les
mêmes compétences de la 3ème année, c'est-à-dire, utiliser le point délimitant à bon escient,
reconnaître une forme interrogative et exclamative s’il s’agit vraiment d’une continuité ? L’un
des objectifs fondamentaux de l’apprentissage de la langue française en 4ème année, c’est de
produire de courtes phrases en utilisant la ponctuation appropriée. Est-ce une ponctuation
textuelle ? Ou, phrastique, dont l’apprenant n’a reçu aucun enseignement dans ce sens, ni de
quelle forme, ni de quelle manière (emploi de la virgule), bien que les textes officiels
précisent deux sortes de composantes de compétences, en grammaire. L'une d'elles est relative
à la grammaire textuelle. À ce titre, l’apprenant sera capable de:
• transformer une phrase déclarative en phrase interrogative et exclamative;
• distinguer les types et les formes de phrase dans un texte;
• ponctuer un texte court (le point, la virgule, le point d’exclamation, le point
d’interrogation, le tiret);
Concernant la grammaire de phrase, l’apprenant sera capable de:
• analyser la structure élémentaire de la phrase(les différents constituants) et la relation
syntaxique(les accords simples).
Nous pensons qu’à ce niveau, nous pouvons établir une similitude entre un découpage de la
structure élémentaire de la phrase (sujet-verbe-complément), et un découpage en signe de
ponctuation, notamment l’emploi de la virgule, en mettant l’accent sur quelques usages fautifs



75 Addou

de la virgule : une virgule ne se met jamais entre un sujet et son verbe, ou entre un verbe et
son complément. Si le programme de la 5ème année 4 stipule qu’à ce niveau, la langue
devient un objet d’étude, un objet sans cesse en construction sur le plan textuel puis sur le
plan phrastique, nous nous interrogeons, en revanche, pourquoi cibler, uniquement, les signes
de ponctuation qui assurent une fonction dialogique dans le texte (les parenthèses, les tirets,
les guillemets et les deux points).

Les signes et les fonctions de la ponctuation, cités dans les manuels scolaires
Le manuel scolaire constitue un outil pédagogique incontournable dans l’apprentissage,
l’apprenant se réfère aussi bien à son livre qu’à son enseignant. Notre examen du manuel
scolaire de 3ème année primaire (Mina, Anissa et Sadjia, 2012) nous a dévoilé une réalité
inattendue. Bien que l’apprentissage soit centré sur l’acte de parole, le terme de ponctuation
ne figure nulle part dans le livre, à l’exception de la page 125. Ceci nous donne une indication
sur la place que revêt la ponctuation dans les pratiques didactiques. A la page 88 du même
manuel, nous avons rencontré quelque chose qui fait allusion à la ponctuation dont l’intitulé
de la leçon (interroger/répondre – donner un ordre), et les exemples présentés ci-après
montrent, la présence d’un point, d’un point d’interrogation et d’un point d’exclamation
(s’agit-il d’un apprentissage implicite ?). Le point d’exclamation < !> mis après le mot
personne n’est pas pertinent. Le maître qui va justifier l’emploi de celui-ci en le mettant en
relation avec sa fonction (un point d’exclamation sert à exprimer une émotion forte : la joie,
l’étonnement, la peur…) ne trouvera pas quoi dire pour ce cas. Dans l’énoncé en question,
l’énonciateur semble neutre en complétant sa réponse par une affirmation:
-Qui est dans la salle bain ?
-Personne ! Manil est dans le jardin.
Les signes de ponctuation ne sont pas des accessoires, ce sont des éléments dotés du
sens, un mauvais usage de ces signes est qualifié d’erreur à dominante idéogrammique
(Catach, 1980). D’où la sensibilité d’être précis dans le choix des signes de ponctuations ou
ponctèmes (Catach, 1996 ; Gonac’h, Delabarre & Lenfant, 2014).
Contrairement, à celui de la 3ème année, le manuel scolaire de la 4ème année (Hamida,
Aîcha & M’Hamed, 2013, p. 124-125) présente clairement une leçon de ponctuation aux
pages 124 et 125. La leçon donnée à la page 124, s’intitule : je repère la ponctuation dans les
comptines, dans les poèmes. Elle s’annonce par des consignes, il est demandé au jeune
apprenant de lire le poème Le rayon de lune, de déduire pourquoi il a fait des pauses et à
conclure que les signes présentés ne se ressemblent pas. Il n’est pas des prérogatives de cette



76 Addou

recherche de discuter la méthodologie d’enseignement appliquée pour cet apprentissage,


néanmoins, nous nous arrêtons sur le contenu du cadran jaune en fin de la leçon intitulée je
repère la ponctuation dans les comptines, dans les poèmes à la page 124, qui semble être un
retiens de la leçon : pour découper un texte en phrase ou un poème en vers, il existe des
signes de ponctuation :
§ Le point(.) indique que la phrase est terminée.
§ Le point d’interrogation( ?)aide à poser des questions.
§ Le point d’exclamation( !)montre la joie, la colère, la peur…
§ La virgule(,) sépare des mots ou des phrases.
Ces signes de ponctuation aident les lecteurs à marquer des pauses.
Le contenu d’une règle ou d’un retiens a une grande influence sur les connaissances des
apprenants, essentiellement, dans leurs débuts d’acquisition d’une langue étrangère qui va
rester ancré dans leurs mémoires. Chose pour laquelle, donner des informations complètes et
précises, même à ce niveau, s’avère d’une importance cruciale. Dans la mesure où l’on cerne
la fonction de la ponctuation dans le fait de marquer des pauses pour les lecteurs. Cela ne va-
t-il pas enraciner une représentation chez l’apprenant, d’un rôle typiquement facultatif de la
ponctuation, une fonction similaire à faire des arrêts pour respirer. Qu’en est-il des
scripteurs ? Et de construction de sens ?
Aussi, une mise à jour, quant à la présentation des signes de ponctuation dans le
manuel, tel que l’on constate en page 124, est nécessaire ; désormais, les signes de
ponctuation ne devront pas être présentés entre guillemets, de la façon « ? », puisque ces
derniers font eux-mêmes partie de la ponctuation. Les grammairiens et les linguistes les
présentent ainsi < ?> pour éloigner toute confusion. Toutefois, nous relevons une distance
entre ce que stipulent les textes officiels en traçant les objectifs suivants:
• produire de courtes phrases en utilisant la ponctuation appropriée;
• compléter des dialogues par une ou deux répliques;
• produire de courts textes (quelques phrases) pour dialoguer, raconter et/ou décrire.
Et les activités qui se présentent dans la page 125, dont le travail demandé aux apprenants,
consiste à mettre des points d’interrogations et des points d’exclamation. Il s’agit de
compétences déjà acquises en 3ème année. L’examen du manuel scolaire de la cinquième
année (Lamine, Sacia, Nafissa, Fouzia & Mohammed, 2011), a enfin confirmé nos doutes sur
l’état de l’apprentissage de la ponctuation, au primaire : il se fait, d’une manière répétitive (un
même enseignement dans les trois niveaux) au lieu d’un enseignement progressif et
complémentaire d’un niveau à un autre. Et par conséquent, un apprenant de la cinquième


77 Addou

année (la troisième année d’apprentissage du français langue étrangère) acquit une
compétence démarcative qui sert à délimiter une phrase en fonction de la modalité de celle-ci.
Le retiens de la page 15 du même manuel, bien qu’il ait cité explicitement une fonction
pertinente de la ponctuation qu’est la compréhension, en garde cependant les mêmes
connaissances données en 3ème année et en 4ème année. Plus encore, une définition a donné
l’impression de revenir en arrière : une phrase commence par une majuscule et se termine par
un point, cette phrase est considérée, dans toutes les méthodologies d’enseignement/
apprentissage, comme le point de départ des cours sur la ponctuation, elle ne devrait pas avoir
sa place à ce niveau (celui de la 5ème année). Une autre connaissance semble être donnée pour
enrichir ou ajouter un plus par rapport à ce qui a été donné à des niveaux inférieurs. Il existe
aussi d’autres signes de ponctuation:
• les virgules (,) pour séparer les mots;
• les guillemets (<< >>) et les tirets (-) pour les dialogues.
Ces informations ne s’avèrent guère nouvelles ni complémentaires, puisqu’ qu’elles ont fait
l’objet des activités données aux apprenants de la 4ème année (analysées ci- dessous). Ailleurs,
pour ce niveau, des travaux de recherches s’inquiètent sur la ponctuation du mot en relevant
les constats suivants : « le fait de ne pas renforcer les signes de ponctuation jugés d’usage
fréquent avec d’autres signes tels que l’apostrophe <’>, le trait d’union <-> et l’espace <ɸ>
qui est jugé absent de la grammaire scolaire et de la grammaire traditionnelle» (Chabanne,
1998, p. 226).
Composantes des compétences et activités d’entrainement
A titre d’illustration, nous avons choisi de mener une recherche qui met l’accent sur les
activités d’entraînement, faisant partie du processus d’apprentissage de la ponctuation. Pour
ce faire, nous avons opté pour le choix des activités prises du cahier d’activités de la 4ème
année. A notre sens, il s’agit d’activités variées, allant du simple repérage des signes jusqu’à
l’adaptation des signes à un dialogue. Nous ne nous sommes pas intéressés aux compétences
démarcatives associées aux compétences scripturales, notre objectif était d’examiner le
processus d’apprentissage de la ponctuation en le mesurant avec sa conception et son
élaboration ; pour cela nous avons éloigné toute surcharge cognitive à laquelle les apprenants
seraient confrontés dans leurs productions écrites. La quête d’un transcodage phonie/graphie
dans une langue qui vient de naître, peut rendre l’évaluation des compétences en ponctuation
non exacte, dans la mesure où le code alphabétique, pour les jeunes apprenants, prime sur le
code typographique (jugé secondaire). Les activités de la page 30 du cahier d’activités de la



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4ème année présente quatre activités, dont la composante de la compétence visée, s’inscrit
dans : Assurer la présentation d’un écrit comme le stipule le programme de la 4ème.

Présentation des activités


La première activité avait pour consigne d’entourer en rouge les signes de ponctuation dans le
texte. Il s’agit d’un micro-texte de trois lignes et demie qui contient 47 mots et un effectif de
signes de ponctuation de 11 emplacements. Les signes que comporte le texte sont : {, /. / ?/ ! /:
/…}.
La deuxième activité comporte deux consignes : placer les points et entourer la lettre
qui doit être en majuscule. Une information était donnée entre parenthèses (il y a 5 phrases)
afin de faciliter la tâche aux jeunes apprenants : il s’agit d’une évaluation semi guidée. Le
micro-texte de trois lignes et demie comporte 54 mots et un effectif de signes de ponctuation
de trois {, /:/.}.
La troisième activité comporte deux consignes : mets les signes de ponctuation (.)- (?)-
(!) qui conviennent dans le texte à la place de ( ), et entoure les lettres qui doivent être en
majuscule. Le micro-texte de deux lignes et demie comporte 42 mots avec quatre virgules et
six emplacements ( ) de signes de ponctuation que l’apprenant devrait compléter.
La quatrième activité concerne la réécriture d’un dialogue et le remplacement des
barres par les signes de ponctuation qui manquent. Cette fois-ci aucun signe n’a été donné.

Cadre d’analyse
Notre corpus d’étude a concerné un groupe de cinquante-deux apprenants de la 4ème année (9
à 10 ans), appartenant à deux écoles primaires dans la wilaya de Sidi Bel Abbes ; à savoir
TALEB Salima et AFFEN Fatima Zohra (jugées parmi les écoles ayant souvent un
classement satisfaisant durant les épreuves de la sixième année). Ce corpus est constitué sur la
base des exercices relevés dans les cahiers d’activités des apprenants concernant la
ponctuation. Nous avons disposé les 25 apprenants (9 à 10 ans) appartenant à
l’école « TALEB Salima » dans une salle de classe, et les 27 apprenants (9 à 10ans)
appartenant à l’école « AFFEN Fatima » dans une autre salle. Nous avons remis à chaque
élève une copie des exercices, nous avons demandé aux élèves de bien lire la consigne et de
faire les quatre activités dans un temps de 20mn. Le choix des 4 exercices n’était pas
aléatoire, d’une part, ce sont des exercices d’application de ce qui est censé donné durant le
cours (à propos de la ponctuation), et d’autre part, nous avons ciblé la diversification des
objectifs (repérage des signes de ponctuation-emplacement des signes-le choix du signe qu’il



79 Addou

faut à la place qu’il faut-la mise en forme d’un dialogue). Les 52 copies ont été examinées.
Nous les avons, ensuite, analysées selon des critères relatifs à notre thème de recherche, à
savoir : la formulation des consignes, la pertinence dans le choix des activités, la réceptivité
des apprenants, c’est -à-dire leurs comportements observables vis-à-vis du travail demandé.

Résultats et analyses
La première activité avait pour objectifs de tester des compétences de repérage et
d’identification des signes de ponctuation préexistant dans le texte. Les résultats obtenus
montrent que la quasi-totalité des apprenants ont réalisé cette activité à l’exception de deux
apprenants. Quelques omissions ont été relevées, notamment, en ce qui concerne les trois
points de suspension, les deux points et les virgules (précisément la virgule qui se place après
le complément de phrase hier). Les compétences de détection semblent largement être
acquises. Quant à la deuxième activité, basée nettement sur la ponctuation textuelle (la
segmentation du texte en cinq phrases), elle avait comme attentes de tester les compétences de
délimitation des phrases (majuscule /point). Les performances observées ne semblent pas
rassurantes. Les apprenants semblent avoir des difficultés au niveau de la compréhension de
la consigne : 25% d’apprenants ont utilisé des virgules, des points d’interrogation et des
points d’exclamation alors que seul l’usage du point leur a été demandé. 35% d’apprenants
ont utilisé le point d’une façon non raisonnée, c’est-à-dire que le point n’est pas utilisé pour
clore une phrase. Par exemple :
[…] d’aller. chez la paysanne
[…] de sa drôle. de barbe
[…] va rendre visite à un vieux. Sage du village.
Nous pensons que les activités d’applications, données dans les cahiers d’activités des
apprenants de la quatrième année ayant pour objectif la vérification des compétences visées
par l’unique leçon sur la ponctuation (Hamida, et al., 2013, p. 124) ne sont pas en adéquation
avec le contenu de la leçon en question. Selon nous, ces activités devraient être précédées par
d’autres apprentissages qui devraient se faire antérieurement tels que : qu’est-ce qu’une
phrase ? Comment associer la définition de la ponctuation à la description de ses composantes
et de leurs fonctionnements ? « Traiter exhaustivement cette question pour proposer un
programme d’apprentissage cohérent, articulant savamment les différentes notions,
catégories, fonctions impliquées» (David & Vaudrey-Luig, 2014, p.6). Seuls, 20% des
apprenants ont réussi le bon usage des points et des majuscules ; en revanche, certains
apprenants semblent confondre entre la majuscule de la phrase et la majuscule du nom propre



80 Addou

Barbe-de-plumes cité trois fois dans le texte5. La troisième activité a pour but de tester les
compétences des apprenants par rapport à la substitution du point déclaratif par le point
interrogatif ou exclamatif. L’analyse du corpus a abouti aux constats suivants:
• une performance de 90% quant à l’usage du point d’exclamation après l’interjection
oh !
• une performance de plus de 80% quant à l’usage du point d’interrogation après la
question qu’est-ce qu’il y a dedans.
En ce qui concerne l’expression que ce cartable est lourd, 60% des apprenants ont mis
un point d’interrogation, 20% ont mis un point et 20% ont mis un point d’exclamation. Nous
supposons qu’il y a eu confusion entre que ce et qu’est-ce que pour la majorité des
apprenants. Quant à l’expression des briques, pour répondre à la question qu’est-ce qu’il y a
dedans ?, nous avons relevé trois types de réponses:
• 10% seulement, d’apprenants ont mis un point d’exclamation : des briques !
• 30% ont mis un point d’interrogation : des briques ?
• 60% ont mis un point : des briques.
Cette activité nous a amenés à nous poser les questions suivantes: comment évaluer ? Quels
sont les critères d’évaluation ? Comment concevoir des activités qui permettent une
évaluation stricte des compétences acquises ? Qu’est ce qui est pertinent dans ce genre
d’évaluation ? Les résultats obtenus dans la quatrième activité, ont permis de relever des
constats qui nous ont révélé d’autres questionnements par rapport à l’exercice donné ci-après:
• Bonjour // qui es-tu // dit le petit prince //
• Bonjour // je suis un renard et toi // qui es-tu //
• Je suis le petit prince// je recherche les hommes //
Bien que 80% aient réussi à mettre un point après l’expression dit le petit prince, 20% ont mis
un deux-points < :>. Ce constat ne nous a pas laissé indifférents, nous nous sommes
interrogés, qui est plus compétent ? Les apprenants qui ont mis un point ? Ou les 20% qui ont
mis un deux-points ? Qui ont, peut-être, compris qu’il s’agit d’un dialogue et qui avaient,
peut-être, une représentation du genre le petit prince dit. Nous nous demandons si les marques
du dialogue faisaient partie des critères de réussite préétablis, et dans ce cas, les
emplacements prévus pour les signes de ponctuation attendus de l’apprenant dans cette
activité, sont erronés. Qu’en est-il des emplacements des tirets et des guillemets ? Si ce n’était
pas le cas, pourquoi parler de dialogue ? S’agit-il alors d’une simplification de notions qu’on
croit adapter aux capacités des apprenants, afin d’éviter la surcharge cognitive : « L’absence



81 Addou

de signe de ponctuation du dialogue n’est pas le reflet d’une méconnaissance du code mais
plutôt la conséquence d’une surcharge cognitive» (Guénez, 2014, p. 72).
D’autres activités, à notre sens, peuvent donner un impact très positif sur l’usage et
l’importance de la ponctuation dans la compréhension. Exemples:
« Vous n’aurez pas vos cadeaux comme prévu. »
« Vous n’aurez pas vos cadeaux, comme prévu. »
Amine dit : « Imad est méchant ».
Amine, dit Imad, est méchant.
Les jeunes apprenants peuvent, d’une manière ludique, prendre conscience de la
gravité que peut engendrer un usage fautif des signes de ponctuation. Pour les exemples cités
ci-dessus, changer l’emplacement d’un signe ou utiliser un signe à la place d’un autre peut
donner deux jugements différents.

Conclusion
A travers, l’étude descriptive et compréhensive, que nous avons menée, nous avons éclairé
une réalité qui nous a parue ambigüe quant à l’apprentissage de la ponctuation. Nous pouvons
affirmer, qu’il s’agit d’un écart qui existe entre les attentes des institutions et les contenus
pédagogiques qui régissent les pratiques didactiques qui peuvent influencer les
comportements scripturaux observables des apprenants. La nécessité de remettre en cause la
stratégie d’apprentissage actuelle s’impose. Se limiter, au primaire, à un inventaire restreint de
signes de ponctuation n’est pas simplifié, il est plutôt lacunaire. Le jeune apprenant de 8 à 11
ans doit prendre conscience, dès ses premiers pas dans l’apprentissage du français langue
étrangère, des signes graphiques, dont Claude Tournier dit qu’ils sont Comparables au mot,
pour mettre en évidence leur importance (Tournier, 1980, p. 36). Une démarche déductive
(j’apprends puis j’applique) telle qu’elle était conçue dans l’ancien programme et dans les
anciens livres de grammaire s’impose, notamment en troisième année (l’apprenant doit se
mettre face à une leçon de ponctuation complète, où la quasi-totalité des signes de
ponctuation lui seraient présentés). A partir de la quatrième année, et durant tout son cursus
d’apprentissage, il aurait à faire à l’approche par compétences (je découvre, j’apprends, je
m’exerce) à condition qu’il soit intégré dans des apprentissages progressifs et
complémentaires. L’idée de simplification a fini par être critiquée par de nombreux
chercheurs: Chabannes (1998), Paolacci (2010), Paolacci et Favart (2010). Le modèle scolaire
doit prendre en considération qu’il s’agit d’un long apprentissage à entreprendre, à savoir la
ponctuation du texte, de la phrase et du mot. Au plan pédagogique, on doit mesurer ce que les



82 Addou

apprenants du cycle primaire auront comme apprentissage en matière de ponctuation en


troisième année, en quatrième année et en cinquième année.

Références bibliographiques
Catach, N. (1980). L’orthographe française. Paris: Nathan Université.
Catach, N. (1996). La ponctuation (Histoire et système). Paris: Presses Universitaires de
France Que sais-je?
Chabanne, J.C. (1998). La ponctuation dans les manuels à l’école primaire (8-10 ans) :
aspects théoriques et didactiques. In J.M. Defays, M. Rosier & F. Tilkin (Eds), A qui
appartient la ponctuation? (pp. 223-241). Paris, Bruxelles: Editions Duculot.
David, J., & Vaudrey-Luigi, S. (2014). Enseigner la ponctuation. Le français aujourd’hui,
187(3-6). DOI : 10.3917/lfa.187.0003.
Demanuelli, C. (1987). Points de repère: approche interlinguistique de la ponctuation
français-anglais. Saint-Etienne: Université de Saint-Etienne.
Favart, M. (2005). Les marques de cohésion: leur rôle fonctionnel dans l’acquisition de la
production écrite de texte. Psychologie française, 50: 305–322.
Doi.org/10.1016/j.psfr.2005.05.006.
Gonac’h, J., Delabarre, E., & Lenfant., M., (2014). Des signes de ponctuation en relief et en
sourdine chez des élèves de CM1 normands, le français aujourd’hui, 187: 57-65.
Doi.org/10.3917/lfa.187.0057.
Guénez, C, V., (2014). A la recherche de styles de scription, usages de ponctuation : erreurs,
normes, créativités. Le français aujourd’hui, 187 : 67-77.
Doi.org/10.3917/lfa.187.0067.
Hamida, K., Aicha, D., & M’hamed, I. (2013). Mon livre de français. Alger: Office National
des Publications.
Lamine, S., Sacia. F., Nafissa. A., Fouzia. N., & Mohamed. N. (2011). Mon livre de français.
Alger: Office National des Publications Scolaires.
Mina, M., Anissa., B., & Sadjia., M. (2012). Mon premier livre de français. Alger: Office
National des Publications Scolaires.
Paolacci, V. (2010). Les manuels scolaires de grammaire, entre savoirs linguistiques de
référence et prescriptions institutionnelles. Le cas de la ponctuation dans les manuels
de CM et sixième. In Actes du colloque (CDROM). Enseigner la grammaire en
Francophonie : curricula, pratiques observées, formation des enseignants. Toulouse.
Février.
Paolacci, V., & Favart, M. (2010). Traitement des marques de cohésion par les jeunes
scripteurs : l’utilisation de la ponctuation et des connecteurs à l’entrée en sixième.
Approche linguistique, cognitive et didactique. Langages, 177: 117-132.
Doi.org/10.3917/lang.177.0113.
Tournier, C. (1980). L’histoire des idées sur la ponctuation ; des débuts de l’imprimerie à nos
jours. Langue française, 45: 28-41. Doi.org/10.3406/lfr.1980.5261


1
Loi
n°08-04 du 23 janvier 2008 portant loi d'orientation sur l'éducation nationale. Journal
officiel de la république algérienne n°4.
2
Programme de français de la troisième année primaire, direction de l’enseignement
fondamentale, commissions nationales des programmes, Alger, juin 2011.
3
Programme de français de la quatrième année primaire, direction de l’enseignement
fondamentale, commissions nationales des programmes, Alger, juin 2011.



83 Addou


4
Programmede français de la cinquième année primaire, direction de l’enseignement
fondamentale, commissions nationales des programmes, Alger, juin 2011.
5
Le choix du nom du personnage Barbe-de-plumes n’est pas judicieux, il risque de
déconcentrer l’apprenant (pour le jeune apprenant, cela pourrait être pris comme une phrase).

Remerciements
Un grand merci à mon directeur de thèse Prof. Belabbas Missouri (Université de Sidi Bel
Abbès- Algérie) et la professeure Veronique Lagae (Université de Valenciennes et du
Hainaut-Cambrésis Campus du Mont Houy, Valenciennes –France) qui m’ont guidé dans mes
premières tentatives de recherche sur le sujet en question et aussi d’avoir apporté les
corrections nécessaires.

Références de l’auteur
Hassiba Addou est doctorante à l’Université Djillali Liabès de Sidi Bel Abbès (Algérie). Elle
prépare actuellement un doctorat en didactique du français langue étrangère (FLE) portant sur
le traitement didactique des compétences démarcatives: l’utilisation de la ponctuation chez les
apprenants en classe de FLE. Elle occupe aussi un poste d’enseignante de français au cycle
secondaire et fait partie d’une commission de certificat d’aptitude professionnelle de
l’enseignement secondaire.
E-mail: addouhassiba@yahoo.fr

Pour citer cet article:


Addou, H. (2016). Analyse du matériel pédagogique en matière de ponctuation dans l’école primaire algérienne.
Bellaterra Journal of Teaching & Learning Language & Literature, 9(1), 71-83. DOI:
http://dx.doi.org/10.5565/rev/jtl3.650



Bellaterra Journal of Teaching & Learning Language & Literature
Vol. 9(1), Feb-Mar 2016, 84-88

Reseña
Fundamentos didácticos de la lengua y la literatura, por Amando López Valero y
Eduardo Encabo Fernández (2013). Síntesis, 226 páginas. Tapa blanda 22,50 €, eBook
14,39 €, Visor online 14,39 €, ISBN: 9788499589640, ISBN Digital: 9788499587479.

Raúl Cremades
Universidad de Málaga, España

(Reseña recibida 13 de enero; aceptada 14 de septiembre; versión final 22 de septiembre de 2015)


DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5565/rev/jtl3.611

El propósito esencial de los autores de esta obra avalada por el prestigio académico del sello
editorial Síntesis queda claro desde las primeras líneas de su introducción: contribuir a la
construcción de una filosofía de trabajo y de pensamiento para un área esencial del sistema
educativo: la didáctica de la lengua y la literatura.
A pesar de los cambios sociales y culturales de las últimas décadas, la importancia de
la lengua en el sistema educativo no ha disminuido sino todo lo contrario. Así se refleja en la
reciente bibliografía académica especializada y en los textos legales educativos más recientes
(véase la Lomce y sus desarrollos normativos autonómicos), que no dejan de recalcar la
necesidad de reforzar el desarrollo de las competencias relacionadas con el lenguaje. Por ello,
el planteamiento de un volumen como este, que ofrece al profesorado los fundamentos para
desarrollar sus propias estrategias, se hace especialmente necesario por su esfuerzo de
actualización y por su voluntad de enfoque en lo esencial, ya que, como se afirma en la
introducción, “el proceso educativo es una labor permanente sobre la acción planificada y
llevada a la práctica” (p. 9).
El recorrido que se ofrece en la obra por los distintos elementos de la didáctica de la
lengua y la literatura se puede considerar panorámico, ya que abarca desde los aspectos más
genéricos de esta área de conocimiento, como las bases epistemológicas y metodológicas,
hasta los más concretos y actuales, como el libro electrónico o los instrumentos de evaluación
para todos los niveles educativos.
El libro se divide en cinco partes. La primera trata sobre los fundamentos científicos y
curriculares del área. La segunda y la tercera se dedican respectivamente a la didáctica de
cada uno de sus campos: la lengua y la literatura. La cuarta aborda los conceptos, criterios e
instrumentos de la evaluación lingüística y literaria. Y la quinta recorre cuestiones no menos
importantes, como las TIC y otros recursos para la enseñanza de la lengua y la literatura.
En cada una de estas cinco partes los autores han organizado los contenidos por
capítulos. De este modo no solamente consiguen ofrecer una visión general y completa de la
85 Cremades

disciplina, sino que además aportan una estructura categorial que ayuda a los lectores a
delimitar y profundizar en los numerosos conceptos expuestos que, aunque diversos y
específicos, son también complementarios y están necesariamente relacionados.
La parte I, titulada “Cuestiones epistemológicas y metodológicas”, se divide en los tres
capítulos siguientes: “1. Epistemología de la didáctica de la lengua y la literatura”; “2.
Currículo y educación lingüística y literaria”; y “3. El marco europeo de referencia para las
lenguas”. El primero de ellos ofrece atinadas reflexiones e informaciones que consiguen dar
respuestas a las principales cuestiones que pueden plantearse quienes se adentren por primera
vez en el estudio de la disciplina que nos ocupa. Podríamos resumir así las cuestiones
resueltas en este capítulo:
• ¿Por qué debe ser preponderante la didáctica de la lengua y la literatura en la
formación del profesorado?
• ¿Qué razones legitiman y refuerzan la necesidad de la didáctica de la lengua y
la literatura?
• ¿Cuáles son los principales factores que propician el nacimiento del área de
didáctica de la lengua y la literatura en España?
• ¿Cómo se podría definir la didáctica de la lengua y la literatura?
• ¿Qué dimensiones del conocimiento abarca esta área?
• ¿Cuáles son los cuatro marcos que inciden en el núcleo epistemológico y
definen el campo de intervención de la didáctica de la lengua y la literatura?
• ¿En qué factores se basa la relación entre la didáctica de la lengua, la
sociología de la educación y la sociolingüística?
• ¿Cómo ha evolucionado el concepto de enseñanza de la literatura?
• ¿Cuáles son los principales motivos para una enseñanza conjunta de la lengua
y la literatura?
Las respuestas a estos aspectos básicos giran en torno al conocimiento del sujeto que necesita
aprender lengua y literatura, el contenido sobre el que debe trabajarse, y la necesaria
actualización de la metodología.
El segundo capítulo, dedicado al currículo, comienza con un apartado sobre las
características generales y las competencias que abarca la educación lingüística y literaria,
mientras que el resto de los apartados se centran, respectivamente, en cada una de las distintas
etapas educativas: Educación Infantil, Educación Primaria, Educación Secundaria Obligatoria
y Bachillerato.
En el tercer capítulo de esta primera parte los autores profundizan tanto en el concepto
de aprendizaje permanente y como en la educación en las competencias propuestas por el
Marco común europeo de referencia para las lenguas: aprendizaje, enseñanza, evaluación
(2001), que establece estos tres tipos de competencias comunicativas:

Bellaterra Journal of Teaching & Learning Language & Literature. 9.1 (Feb-Mar 2016)
ISSN 2013-6196
86 Cremades

• Lingüísticas: Abarca los sistemas léxico, fonológico, sintáctico y las destrezas


y otras dimensiones del lenguaje como sistema.
• Sociolingüísticas: Aspectos socioculturales o convenciones sociales del uso del
lenguaje.
• Pragmáticas: La interacción por medio del lenguaje, así como todos los
aspectos extra y paralingüísticos que apoyan la comunicación.
La parte II de esta obra está dedicada a la “Didáctica de la lengua” y se estructura en torno a
los tres capítulos siguientes: “4. Didáctica de la lengua oral”; “5. Conocimiento de la lengua y
su didáctica; y “6. Didáctica de la escritura”. En el capítulo dedicado la expresión oral se
aborda también la comunicación no verbal como parte esencial de la lengua oral y se
reflexiona sobre los principales recursos necesarios para el desarrollo de la expresión oral.
Las diferencias y coincidencias entre el lenguaje oral y el escrito son tratadas en el
capítulo dedicado al conocimiento de la lengua y su didáctica, en el que también se recorren
otras cuestiones esenciales como la enseñanza y aprendizaje del vocabulario, de las bases
gramaticales y de la ortografía. Este capítulo incluye un apartado final sobre la importancia de
reflexionar sobre la lengua y los modos de hacerlo. Los autores se basan en la idea de que la
enseñanza de la gramática no puede ser un fin en sí mismo, sino un medio para la mejora de la
comprensión y la expresión oral y escrita, en definitiva, para el dominio progresivo del uso de
la lengua. En definitiva, como sostenía Américo Castro ya en 1924, un idioma no se aprende
estudiando gramática, sino practicándolo:
La gramática no sirve para enseñar a hablar y escribir correctamente la lengua propia,
lo mismo que el estudio de la fisiología y de la acústica no enseñan a bailar, o que la
mecánica no enseña a montar en bicicleta. (1924/1987, p. 122)

El último capítulo de esta segunda parte está dedicado a la didáctica de la escritura y se centra
en las técnicas, procesos y estrategias para la composición de textos de diferente tipología, así
como las principales cuestiones paratextuales que pueden influir en ello.
La parte III, con el título genérico de “Didáctica de la literatura”, profundiza en el
desarrollo de las competencias literarias desde un doble prisma: por un lado, la lectura como
proceso para la compresión de distintos tipos de textos, en diferentes soportes y seleccionados
con la ayuda de mediadores (capítulo 7: “Didáctica de la lectura”); y, por otro lado, la
literatura como elemento esencial de la formación estética y las distintas estrategias de
aproximación al universo literario (capítulo 8: “Educación literaria”). Las dos aportaciones
más destacadas de esta tercera parte de la obra son las reflexiones sobre la lectura digital y la
diversidad de técnicas para introducir al alumnado en la lectura literaria.

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El título de la parte IV es “Evaluación en didáctica de la lengua y la literatura” e


incluye los capítulos 9 y 10. El primero de ellos está dedicado al concepto de evaluación en el
área y sus vertientes filosóficas o críticas; y el segundo, a los criterios e instrumentos de la
evaluación, con la inclusión de posibles criterios e instrumentos para la evaluación de las
competencias lingüísticas y literarias. Para los dos autores, el portafolios –correctamente
diseñado y adaptado– constituye el elemento clave del aprendizaje y, por tanto, también de la
evaluación.
Los capítulos más novedosos son los dos que conforman la parte V del libro, titulada
“Tecnologías de la información y de la comunicación y otras cuestiones relacionadas con la
didáctica de la lengua y la literatura”. El capítulo 11, sobre “La relación de las TIC con la
didáctica de la lengua y la literatura”, arranca con una oportuna distinción: ante la
imposibilidad de conocer si en el futuro la lectura digital será superior a la analógica, resulta
necesario saber que existen dos tipos de textos digitales, los producidos directamente online y
aquellos que se escriben de manera tradicional pero usan el ciberespacio para ser difundidos.
En este capítulo, además de un primer acercamiento a la incidencia de las TIC en la didáctica
de la lengua y la literatura, se ofrecen pertinentes apartados sobre los sitios web, los blogs y el
libro electrónico. En cambio, en el capítulo 12 se abordan las llamadas “Otras cuestiones de
didáctica de la lengua y la literatura”, entre las que se incluyen los temas de investigación, el
sexismo lingüístico, y el taller de lengua y literatura, cuestión esta última sobre la que los
autores de la obra cuentan con amplia experiencia y prestigiosas publicaciones.
En definitiva, esta reciente aportación de López Valero y Encabo a los estudios sobre
la didáctica de la lengua y la literatura alcanza sobradamente los objetivos planteados por los
propios autores. Se trata de un solvente manual de gran utilidad tanto para investigadores
sobre la disciplina como para quienes se dedican o se dedicarán a la docencia de la lengua y la
literatura. En 2016 ha sido publicada una segunda edición actualizada de esta obra con los
cambios normativos y estructurales derivados de la promulgación, el 9 de noviembre de 2013,
de la Ley Orgánica para la Mejora de la Calidad Educativa (LOMCE).

Referencias
Castro, A. (1924/1987). La Enseñanza del Español en España. En J. M. Álvarez Méndez
(Ed.), Teoría lingüística y enseñanza de la lengua. Textos fundamentales de
orientación interdisciplinar. Madrid: Akal.

Referencias del autor


Raúl Cremades es doctor en Ciencias de la Educación por la Universidad de Málaga. Ha ejercido como docente
de educación primaria, secundaria y bachillerato en España, Bolivia y Estados Unidos. Actualmente trabaja
como profesor de didáctica de la lengua y la literatura en la Universidad de Málaga y es director de la Fundación

Bellaterra Journal of Teaching & Learning Language & Literature. 9.1 (Feb-Mar 2016)
ISSN 2013-6196
88 Cremades

Alonso Quijano, premio nacional al fomento de la lectura 2015. Sus principales líneas de investigación son la
didáctica de la expresión escrita, la animación a la lectura y las bibliotecas escolares.
Email: raulcremades@alonsoquijano.org

Para citar este artículo:


Cremades, R. (2016). Reseña. Fundamentos didácticos de la lengua y la literatura, por Amando López Valero y
Eduardo Encabo Fernández. Bellaterra Journal of Teaching & Learning Language & Literature, 9(1), 84-88.
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5565/rev/jtl3.611

Bellaterra Journal of Teaching & Learning Language & Literature. 9.1 (Feb-Mar 2016)
ISSN 2013-6196
Bellaterra Journal of Teaching & Learning Language & Literature
Vol. 9(1), Feb-Mar 2016, 89-94

Interview

An interview with Dr. Martin Lamb on research in English language


learning and teaching

Berta Torras-Vila
Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

Text received 17 January 2016; final version 29 January 2016


DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5565/rev/jtl3.664

Dr. Martin Lamb is Senior Lecturer in TESOL at the School of


Education, University of Leeds (United Kingdom). His research
interests include all aspects of language learner motivation, but
especially how it relates to identity, social relations and autonomous
learning behaviour, and how it can be developed through good teaching.
Most of Dr. Lamb’s research has been based in Indonesia, trying to
understand the various motivational and social factors that contribute to
the successful learning of English. His most recent project, in
collaboration with Dr. Martin Wedell, was a British Council-funded
investigation into “inspiring” English teaching in state schools in China
and Indonesia.
He has taught English as a Foreign Language in Sweden, Saudi
Arabia, Indonesia and Bulgaria and has also worked as a teacher
educator on development projects in the latter two countries. At Leeds he
is Co-ordinator of the MA TESOL programme and teaches a range of
undergraduate and postgraduate courses. His Masters modules
specifically focus on L2 speaking, assessing language learning, and
developing practical teaching skills. At an undergraduate level, he
teaches modules on “Education in a multilingual world” and
“Globalization, identity and English language education”. He is also a
personal and academic tutor to international MA students.
The interview published in this issue was conducted in the
autumn of 2015, while the author was participating in a research stay for
her doctoral thesis at the University of Leeds. In this interview, several
issues on English language education are discussed and presented from
the standpoint of an SLA research expert.

Interview
Interviewer: You have extensive experience teaching English in different contexts and
countries (Sweden, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia and Bulgaria). What do you think language
teachers can gain from getting involved in research and what could be done to bring teachers
and educational research closer together?
90 Torras-Vila

Martin Lamb: Well, this a very big question and one that is being debated at the moment
quite vigorously. For example, there is a recent discussion in the ELT Journal about this, an
argument between Simon Borg, he is a Leeds lecturer, who has written a book on teacher
research, and Richard Smith, in Warwick, who has a different view. In the end it all depends
really on what one means by teachers engaging with research. We can be fairly sure that at the
moment teachers do not engage very much with research at the moment. Do you know Emma
Marsden from York? She has done a study of British language teachers, seeing how much
they read research and it seems like the answer is very little. So there are two aspects to this
issue. First of all there is teachers engaging with research that is written up, so looking at the
findings of research and trying to learn from that, to inform their own teaching; and, secondly,
there is the notion of teachers doing research themselves. In regard to the first, teachers
reading research, it seems like not much is done and I think more should be done to try to
make our research more accessible for teachers. As it happens, I am developing a research
project proposal right now to try to see how academic motivation theory, which is a very well
developed field, could be made more accessible and usable for teachers.

Interviewer: Spain has a reputation for having poor results in foreign language learning.
From an observer’s point of view, how could this be improved and what factors should be
taken into consideration?

Martin Lamb: Well, I have never lived in Spain, I have never worked there, so I am hesitant
to give my opinions, but I would guess that a reason that Spain has this reputation is party
because of the vitality of Spanish as a world language, in that it is the dominant language in
Latin America, it is a fast rising language even in North America, and it is predicted to even
overtake English in number of native speakers in North America. It is partly because of the
vitality of Spanish culture and language that Spain and Spanish people have felt no need to
learn English, but I do think it is changing, and my impression is that Spain, at least the
middle classes, or the professional classes, in Spain, realized that to engage with the rest of
the world, even just to engage with Europe, requires learning English particularly, so things
seem to be changing. Spain is in the forefront of innovation when it comes to CLIL, teaching
language through using it as the medium of instruction in other subjects, and from what I have
read it is... there are problems, of course, but it is making good progress. The reason why
something like CLIL may be necessary is because in countries like Spain, I would guess,
learners do not get that much exposure to English outside the classroom, unlike in northern

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Europe, in places like Holland, Germany, Scandinavia, where there is much more English in
the environment. Television programmes are not dubbed into the L1... there is that much
more attention given perhaps to Anglophone culture in northern Europe. So in countries like
Spain it is really essential to try to maximize the amount of exposure that learners get so that
they have a sense of making progress in the language, because ultimately nothing is more
demotivating than studying a subject at school and just not feeling you are getting anywhere,
not feeling you are making any progress and not really developing any skills.

Interviewer: What kind of potential do you think research on motivation and identity has for
developing new strategies to teach English?

Martin Lamb: As I was saying I think academic motivation theory is very well developed,
there are all these different theories... Expectancy Value Theory, Achievement Theory, Goal
Theory, Attribution Theory... in language learning we have things like Gardner’s Socio-
educational model, we have Dörnyei’s L2 Motivational Self System and so on. Theory is
really quite well developed, but application of it is very underdeveloped, and we need more
research linking this theory to practice, I think. One line of research, which is very interesting
and promising, is the Motivational Strategies research. The first stage of the research was
asking teachers through surveys what they believed about motivation and how they motivate
their own learners, but now we have got research which is training teachers to use certain
strategies and then monitoring their teaching and seeing whether it does have an effect on
learner motivation. I think this kind of research, looking at interventions where teachers use
some strategies to deliver and motivate their learners and seeing whether they work or not is a
promising line of research. However, I do not think it is enough because a lot of motivation to
learn language in a classroom comes from other aspects of teacher behaviour. I mean,
obviously there is a lot connected to the language in general and learners’ own visions of their
future selves, and so on, which I think is important, but a lot of learner motivation comes
from the teachers’ own attitudes and the teachers’ unconscious behaviour. If the teacher is
enthusiastic about the subject, and this applies not just to language, but to any subject, the
learners pick up on that. And vice versa. If the teacher does not show enthusiasm then how
can they expect the learners to get enthusiastic about it? So things like the relationship that the
teacher develops with the learners, whether the teacher shows that they care for the learners
and whether they are learning or not, and the teachers’ enthusiasm for the subject... I think

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these more sort of nebulous things are just as important for motivation and we need more
research on those aspects of the classroom.

Interviewer: Could you tell us a little about your extensive research on motivation to learn
English? To what extent does it affect a learner’s process? What challenges does it embed?

Martin Lamb: My modest, I think, research, not extensive, has mainly been about
Indonesian learners of English and just because that is where I spent many years teaching
English. I always believed that there was a problem with motivation in Indonesia, not that
learners were not motivated to learn English, they all are, but it does not seem to translate into
effort to learn. There is a sort of barrier between desire to learn the language, desire for the
language, and the willingness to put effort, sustained effort into learning because obviously,
success only comes through sustained effort over many years. So one of the things I have
been doing in Indonesia is following, tracking a number of learners, from 2002, who were the
original participants in my doctoral research, through to this year - I am still in touch with
many of them - they were aged 11 or 12 and now they are in their early twenties and it has
been fascinating to see those who I chose in my original study as motivated learners, highly
motivated learners, have really succeeded well in learning the language, and they are all now
using it in their lives and in their work, to some degree, whereas those who I identified as less
motivated, back in 2002, have made much less progress. They still desire to learn English but
they, for whatever reason, they have not really achieved any mastery over the language, and
they have ended up very frustrated really. If anything, their motivation has grown over that
time, but they have not been able to learn.

Interviewer: English has become a “global language”. Taking into account this reality, what
factors do you consider as positive and negative and what challenges does this reality imply?

Martin Lamb: Well, I think it is great that there is a global language now, I mean, in this era
of globalization where national borders are coming down and we are all communicating
across borders, we obviously need a global language, and we, in the Anglophone countries are
just very fortunate that it is our language. The downside of that, of course, is that for us, our
young people do not really see any need to learn another language, so there are some kind of
negative attitudes in the British education system towards the teaching and learning of foreign
languages, and we will suffer from that in the future, because every society needs multilingual
people. Just because there is a global language does not mean that we can rely on other people
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speaking languages. If we want to sell our products to other countries, we cannot expect our
customers necessarily to speak our language. So yes it is good that there is a global language,
we are lucky that it is English, but I also think that bilingualism and multilingualism are really
positive on an individual and on a societal level. Monolingual countries like Britain and
America, we need to work especially hard, to try to develop a multilingual culture in the
education system.

Interviewer: You have also done research on “inspiring” teachers in a specific context
(Indonesia). In your article “Cultural contrasts and commonalities in inspiring language
teaching”, you look at these issues taking into account the Indonesian context and the Chinese
context. How would you apply your findings and discussion in that study to a broader
context?

Martin Lamb: I think that the big lesson that we learned from that project was that learner
motivation is very closely connected with teacher motivation, because all the inspiring
teachers who we identified, in Indonesia and in China, they taught in very different ways.
There were many different ways to be an inspiring teacher in classroom, these teachers were
different in personality, they were different in the methods they used in the classroom and
obviously that reflected the educational cultures, which are very different in Indonesia and
China, despite them being Asian countries, they are very different. However, what all these
teachers did have in common was that they were committed, enthusiastic teachers... and as I
was saying before, the learners pick up on that, and that is at the heart of successful teaching,
certainly successful motivating teaching. You have to really want to teach to be successful as
a teacher I think. I mean I am sure many teachers get by, just as learners get by, they may
pass, get the grades they want in the exams, and the teachers teach the courses, and so on, but
truly inspiring teaching, the kind that persuades learners to carry on studying something once
the course is finished, or inspires them to learn at home at the weekend or whatever, that is
truly motivating teaching, and I think that comes as much from the teacher commitment and
teacher motivation, as it does from particular methods.

Interviewer: Could you tell us about what you are currently working on?

Martin Lamb: I am trying to extend that research to two other contexts. I have a colleague in
India who is trying to collect data about inspiring teachers of English in India, and someone
else in Brazil, although it is quite challenging to get good quality data on this topic. Another
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project I am involved in is related to IELTS exam. It is a qualitative study, a case study of


learners preparing for the IELTS exam, trying to see a relationship between the progress they
make on the IELTS exam and the nature of their motivation to do the exam. Obviously it is a
big underexplored issue, how in this era many education systems around the world are
introducing more forms of assessment and high-stakes assessment, as all part of a part of
accountability agenda, so learners in Britain... there is a big debate about when learners
should stop being tested at five, seven or eleven... how often they should be tested and so on.
We need to know what is the motivational effect of these tests. Many would argue that they
are demotivating because they introduce a kind of extrinsic motive for studying and they
force teachers to teach in certain ways that make the subject less interesting and motivating;
but on the other hand, there is no doubt that short-term goals like passing a test can provide
short-term motivation as well. I think it is an interesting issue that can be explored. And the
other thing that I am currently working on, well, just beginning to work on, really, as I
mentioned before, is a possible research proposal for looking at ways of helping language
teachers in the UK to use motivation theory to adapt their teaching in order to strengthen the
motivation of their pupils learning French or German or indeed Spanish in English schools,
but it is still in the early stages.

Interviewer: Thank you very much.

References
Lamb, M., & Wedell, M. (2015). Cultural contrasts and commonalities in inspiring language
teaching. Language Teaching Research, 19 (2), 207-224.

Author information: Berta Torras-Vila is a primary school teacher. She holds a Master in The Acquisition of
English and Intercultural Communication (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona) and a Master in TESOL/Applied
Linguistics (University of Bristol). She is currently completing her PhD on the role of student-teachers’
imagined identities in their investments in English in the context of the English-Medium Primary Education
Bachelor’s Degree offered by the UAB.
Email: berta.torras@uab.cat

To cite this article:


Torras-Vila, B. (2016). An interview with Dr. Martin Lamb on research in English language learning and
teaching. Bellaterra Journal of Teaching & Learning Language & Literature, 9(1), 89-94. DOI:
http://dx.doi.org/10.5565/rev/jtl3.664

Bellaterra Journal of Teaching & Learning Language & Literature. 9.1 (Feb-Mar 2016)
ISSN 2013-6196