Proceedings of The International Conference on Applied Research in Education
CLIL: Enhancing Engineering Research Article Reading Skills and Vocabulary Knowledge
Budsaba Kanoksilapatham and Attapol Khamkhien
The increasing global and local demands to improve citizen’s English proficiency has augmented the significance of English education across the entire paradigm. In fact, in Thailand, improving Thai university graduates’ English has been one of the burgeoning challenges. Given the significance of academic research articles in the field of engineering and the paramount importance of English, this study focuses on Content Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) implementation in a research methodology course offered to engineering students in a university in Thailand. The objectives of the current study are to estimate the CLIL impact in enhancing the engineering students’ expertise in reading English research articles and enlarging the students’ academic vocabulary repertoire. Throughout CLIL, the language university teachers were in close collaboration with the non-language engineering teachers, including designing the course materials focusing on engineering research articles, developing language tasks and activities, and constructing testing instruments. To compensate for the Thai learners’ relatively limited exposure to the English language, supporting systems like online English lessons on grammar and academic vocabulary were provided. Two sets of similar pre-tests and post-tests in research article reading and vocabulary were administered in Week 1 and Week 8, respectively. The analysis of the test scores congruently yielded positive and significantly enhanced output in the both the content subject and the English language. This study demonstrates that, to achieve full optimization of the potential benefits of CLIL, scaffolding needs to be supplemented to accommodate individual learning contexts.
Keywords: CLIL, engineering, research article reading, Thailand, vocabulary.