Monday, September 13, 2010

Content Based Instruction: This is really it.

Content Based Instruction is like learning a subject primarily Language (English or Filipino, but also can be used with other subjects) using the content of another subject. This way, learners can connect and and can cross the barrier between one subject (like Language) and the other subjects (other academic subjects). As a matter of fact, one of the aims of language teaching is to develop among learners language and communication skills necessary for them to acquire knowledge to other subject areas. This is so true since language is the basic medium to convey information. If one learner is deficient with language skills (i.e. reading, writing and listening skills), he/she may find difficulty understanding the other subjects.

For example, when a teacher teaches about a lesson in English, like "Good Qualities of a Paragraph", he/she may use sample paragraphs with topics containing or relating to other subjects like Science or History. Or when teaching a lesson about Filipino, he she can utilize selections pertaining to Araling Panlipunan or HELE.

Content Based Instruction is not only limited to Language Teaching. As a matter of fact, other subjects can also be integrated. For instance, a lesson in Math can be integrated with Civics or Science by giving sample problems relating to the given subjects. As a concrete example, let's say that a teacher has addition as a topic. He/she can give a problem like this: "In his journey, Magellan started out with 5 ships. At the end of the journey only 1 was left. How many ships were destroyed along the journey?" This is just a simple sample but I hope this can present that even Math can be integrated with History. In this case, learners will not only learn about arithmetic but also a a bit of History. This is like hitting two birds in one stone.

This strategy lies on the teacher's creativity. As teachers, we should be creative enough to at least present the lesson as meaningful as possible and in a way learners can make connections rather teaching isolated facts.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Jay, let me add a little bit more. For anyone crossing the age of 15 without proper English proficiency and for any professional crossing the age of 22 without a professional level of communication, Content-based Instruction (CBI) is the only way to survive at home or at work - especially in this internet and globalize world.
    An individual trying to acquire language skills in a second language / foreign language can drop out at any time. He / she can decide the level at which she could discontinue the process. Therefore, it is extremely critical that content should be motivating. Content should ensure that the learner is coming back to the lesson on his / her own. Not be force. Language acquisition never happens by force, as it is a cognitive process.
    Here comes the significance of using one's passion for language learning. As in the case of World's No.1 CBI programs, Espoir Smart English series strikes gold by providing great content in common mans' passionate topics - Smart English through Love & Romance, Smart English through Success Secrets, Smart English through Technology & Science, Smart English through Movies, Smart English through Cricket, Smart Communication through Wit & Wisdom, etc.