The Effect of Content-Based Language Instruction on EFL Learners' Attention, Engagement, Volunteering and Verbal Interaction
Encouraged by the increasing popularity of content-based courses in academic contexts, the present study explored the possible effects of content-based language instruction (CBLI) on 72 Iranian university students' motivated behaviors, namely, attention, engagement, eager volunteering and verbal interaction. The participants, who took part in the study, were divided into two groups of language class (LC) and content class. The average age in both groups was 22 with almost the same language proficiency level. To gather information on the participants' motivated behaviors in language class and content class, a modified version of COLT (Communicative Orientation of Language Teaching) and MOLT (Motivation Orientation of Language Teaching) classroom observation scheme was implemented. Each class was observed five times during the first semester of the educational year 2012-2013. The observations took place with three-weak interval between them which totally covered almost the whole semester. The analysis of scheme-based classroom observation for a whole semester revealed that the students in the content-based class paid attention, engaged in and volunteered for learning tasks and activities more than their counterparts in the language-based class did. They also had more contribution to the total verbal interaction in the classroom. In the light of the findings, this study suggests that by shifting the focus in English language classrooms from form-focused to meaningfocused, language instructors can create more opportunities for the students to participate in learning activities and remain well-motivated throughout the semester. (original abstract)
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