Dilsah Kalay


Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) has recently attracted the attention of practitioners in the language teaching field. As the name suggests, CLIL is an approach built upon teaching content-based area through a language as a medium. For such a language learning process, one of the important language aspects is vocabulary. The number of words language learners know - vocabulary size - and how well they know those words - vocabulary depth - (overall, the receptive dimension of word knowledge) are crucial foci to consider in language learning. Therefore, the primary concern of the present study is to examine the effects of the CLIL approach on the receptive vocabulary knowledge of university students in a state university. Accordingly, Vocabulary Levels Test (VLT) by Schmitt, Schmitt and Clapham (2001) and Word Association Test (WAT) by Read (2000) are administered to the participants before and after CLIL treatment. The findings indicated that the subjects’ size of vocabulary knowledge has significantly differed with CLIL instruction in time, which means that CLIL instruction has been found to be successful for developing both general and academic vocabulary knowledge. Similarly, an increase in the depth of vocabulary knowledge of participants alongside with the CLIL instruction has been observed, indicating that participants’ quality of vocabulary knowledge evaluated through WAT seems to have improved with CLIL treatment. Further research including less frequent words as well as the productive aspect of word knowledge might shed light on the impacts of CLIL treatment on vocabulary development of language learners, especially university students.

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CLIL; receptive vocabulary knowledge; size; depth

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