Supporting content and language integrated learning through computer-based dual concept mapping

Dongpin HU, Minhong WANG, Lingyun HUANG, Jimmy DE LA TORRE

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

Abstract

Among various approaches to teaching and learning English as a foreign language, content and language integrated learning (CLIL), i.e. learning subject content in a non-native language, has received wide attention. Despite its positive effects on language learning, CLIL poses cognitive challenges to learners. To deal with the challenge, prior studies applied concept maps to visualize knowledge structures to support content learning, but paid inadequate attention to visualizing text structure to support language learning. Some studies mixed knowledge structure and text structure in one concept map, failing to help students distinguish between knowledge structure and text structure. It is important to visualize both knowledge structure and text structure and present them in two parallel concept maps to facilitate CLIL. To this end, this study proposed a computer-based dual concept mapping approach visualizing both knowledge structure and text structure of learning content in two parallel concept maps to support science content and English language integrated learning. This study was conducted with 89 eighth-grade students from two classes, who were randomly assigned to either the experimental or control condition. Students’ achievements in English language and science knowledge were assessed by knowledge tests; their cognitive load was measured through a questionnaire survey. By comparing student performance in the two conditions, the study shows that the experimental group experienced a lower level of cognitive load and achieved better learning outcomes in both science knowledge and language performance. Further, there were more significant differences between experimental and control groups for low and medium achievers in English language than for high achievers, indicating that the proposed approach was more beneficial for the former. The findings provide new insights into the pedagogy and strategy for CLIL, that is, visualizing both knowledge structure and text structure of learning content in two parallel concept maps with the support of concept mapping technology. Copyright © 2024 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis group.

Original languageEnglish
JournalComputer Assisted Language Learning
Early online dateFeb 2024
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Feb 2024

Citation

Hu, D., Wang, M., Huang, L., & De la Torre, J., (2024). Supporting content and language integrated learning through computer-based dual concept mapping. Computer Assisted Language Learning. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1080/09588221.2024.2317842

Keywords

  • Content and language integrated learning
  • Content-based instruction
  • Learning English as a foreign language
  • Computer-based tool concept map

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