An investigation into the effectiveness of CLIL in improving second-language competency in Mathematics in an Intermediate School in Abu Dhabi

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The British University in Dubai (BUiD)
Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) is increasingly being introduced across the global mainstream education sector. The idea that the English language can not only be used to teach subject content, but actually enhance its delivery, is a controversial but widely recognised claim being put to the test by modern researchers. This study investigates the use of CLIL for the teaching of mathematics in a secondary government school in Abu Dhabi, UAE. It tests hypotheses based on two research questions, (1) How does the implementation of CLIL activities affect students’ achievement in Mathematics and English? (2) Is students’ motivation increased through the use of CLIL in the Mathematics classroom? The findings suggested that the use of CLIL had a positive impact on student achievement when compared with the control group. According to results from student, teacher and parent questionnaires and semi-structured interviews, motivation was also positively affected in the CLIL classes. A key finding that emerged was the presence of Gifted and Talentedness amongst the learners and how this impacted upon the assessment results. Given the limited availability of up-to-date CLIL research, especially in the Middle East, all of the areas addressed warrant further research.
Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL), second-language competency, United Arab Emirates (UAE)