Integrating content and language in higher education in Italy: ongoing research

Costa, Francesca and Coleman, James A. (2010). Integrating content and language in higher education in Italy: ongoing research. International CLIL Research Journal, 1(3) pp. 19–29.



This paper describes a current research study into Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) at the tertiary level in Italy. Studies on CLIL in primary and secondary schools have continued to increase in number, but there is still a lack of research at the tertiary level, and no doctoral study has yet been conducted with particular reference to CLIL in Italian higher education. The design of the research described in this paper comprises two main parts, the first quantitative and the second qualitative, with a third aspect whose purpose is to validate the approach to analysis of the qualitative data. First, a questionnaire survey of all Italian universities seeks to discover how many courses are presently delivered using English as the vehicular language. A second, small-scale survey asks students their views of presentation techniques used in English-language lectures. The qualitative element takes the form of a case study involving three Italian universities, each presenting a different institutional profile. For each university, two professors will be recorded giving at least three hours of lectures, and their input presentation strategies will be analyzed. Triangulation of the data will be obtained by means of: the recording and transcription of the lectures, observations, and interviews with the lecturers. At the end of the study, the perceived effectiveness of a range of input presentation strategies will be discussed.

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