Multidisciplinary approach: linguistic, cognitive and educational perspectives
Work package 1: Phonological dimension
This work package compares the acquisition of Dutch and English intensifying constructions by French-speaking CLIL and non-CLIL secondary school students. Psycholinguistic studies demonstrate that language users and learners are highly sensitive to frequency of input, at the construction, type and token level (Ellis 2002; Ellis & Cadierno 2009; Goldberg 2010). Since CLIL programs provide more second language input than non-CLIL programs and can be considered closer to L1 acquisition because of their inherent usage-based approach, we expect a better acquisition of L2 intensifying constructions by immersion students. In other words, we assume that CLIL students will more often produce the typical Germanic intensification constructions (adjectival compounds) and will display more lexical variation in the domain of intensification than non-CLIL students. This work package focuses on late immersion, carrying out a longitudinal study during the 5th and 6th year of different secondary schools in French-speaking Belgium providing CLIL education in Dutch and/or English.
PhD student: Isa Hendrikx
Supervisors: Kristel Van Goethem & Fanny Meunier
The main objective of this work package is to compare the productive and receptive phraseological knowledge of pupils in immersive and non-immersive settings. Phraseology refers to the study of word combinations such as good at, in addition to, op school, tot binnenkort, etc. The analysis involves corpus data (written and oral), as well as a receptive vocabulary test. The participants are upper-secondary school pupils learning Dutch or English as a foreign language. Interactions with other cognitive, educational and socio-affective variables are also investigated.
PhD student: Amélie Bulon
Supervisors: Fanny Meunier & Kristel Van Goethem
This work package aims to investigate how CLIL may influence cognitive development and functioning. First, throughout the last decades, a large number of studies concluded that speaking multiple languages has an overall positive influence also on nonverbal cognitive skills such as executive control. However, the extent to which the cognitive benefits of speaking two languages may be restricted to very specific aspects of executive control or to specific types of foreign-language acquisition methods or contexts such as CLIL education, remain important but open questions. Second, beyond foreign language skills acquisition in Dutch or in English, this work package aims to investigate whether the main language of education, French, is equally developed in CLIL than in non-CLIL education. Third, we aim to investigate whether the linguistic gains expected from CLIL education arise at the expense of the knowledge of the instructed content. This work package focuses on CLIL and non-CLIL pupils from two developmental groups such as pupils in their 5th and 6th grade of primary education and pupils in their 11th and 12th grade of secondary education. Dutch or English was instructed as CLIL language for CLIL pupils or as traditional first foreign-language for non-CLIL pupils.
PhD student: Morgane Simonis
Supervisors: Arnaud Szmalec & Benoît Galand
This work package focuses on pupils’ socio-affective profiles (including attitudinal, motivational, emotional and socio-cultural variables) related to learning English or Dutch at school. More precisely, we investigate whether and how these aspects vary according to the educational approach (CLIL or non-CLIL), the target language (English or Dutch) and the instruction level (primary or secondary education), as well as over time. The mixed-method design therefore includes longitudinal quantitative analyses based on questionnaire data, while focus groups and classroom observations allow for complementary qualitative analyses. Finally, we also look into interactions with cognitive, linguistic and educational variables.
PhD student: Audrey De Smet
Supervisors: Philippe Hiligsmann & Laurence Mettewie