Challenging Boundaries: First Chapters In!

I’m really excited to have received the first two submissions for Challenging Boundaries in Language Education, the volume I am editing, which will be published by Springer towards the end of 2019. I have already high expectations from these authors, and I’m very pleased to say that the chapters are of an even higher standard than I had hoped for.

The first chapter, by Katerina Vourdanou, is entitled Challenging Boundaries in the CLIL Classroom: An E-learning Teacher Training Programme. In the chapter, the author looks into the increasingly popular Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) approach. She argues that CLIL, properly understood, involves more than the parallel teaching of language and content. This is a point that has been raised by a number of CLIL theorists, including most recently Nikula et al. (2016). What is groundbreaking about Katerina’s chapter is the use of Activity Theory as a conceptual lens, which she uses to discuss how such fusion can be achieved. In the chapter, Katerina looks into new pedagogical norms (‘teaching and learning at the boundary’) associated with CLIL, and discusses how hybrid teacher identities may emerge. Building on this, she then presents a professional development course for teachers, which aims to prepare them to teach CLIL in a coherent way.

The second chapter, by Dietmar Tatzl, also looks at the fusion of content- and linguistic-focused instruction, and provides a pracitcal counterpoint to Vourdanou’s contribution. In the chapter, entitled Building a Model Engine for Language Learning with Tertiary Engineering Students, Dietmar describes and evaluates a university course, in which participants had to construct a model airplane engine, while following instructions and writing a manual in English. Based on the results of the evaluation, which are presented with meticulous detail and precision, the author demonstrates the feasibility of such pedagogical projects that go beyond just language teaching, and provides readers with an excellent example of good practice, as well as insightful discussion of the practicalities involved.

Both chapters will undergo peer-review, to futher enhance their quality, and I expect to receive more chapters as the submission deadline draws nearer. I will keep updating this space with new developments, but for now I just wanted to share my exitement about the way in which this book has began to shape up.

Featured image: eye/see @ flickr [CC BY-NC-ND]

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