Bilingual Education Using a CLIL Approach: In-Service Science Teachers’ Perceptions of Science-English Classes Taught by Pre-Service English Teachers

Jean E. Curran, Chiou Lan Chern

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Ministry of Education in Taiwan has developed new curriculum guidelines which include an emphasis on overall competency and subject integration. Taiwan’s educators are also involved in planning to make Taiwan bilingual by 2030, with English as a second official language. English, traditionally taught with a focus on linguistic elements, is now viewed instead as a tool to acquire content-area knowledge. Teachers are actively exploring the best approaches to face the challenges of interdisciplinary cooperation and developing students’ bilingual skills. The purpose of this qualitative study was to assess the effectiveness of science-English classes that were part of 5-day science camps designed for elementary or junior high school students and were taught by pre-service English teachers. Two English professors adopted a CLIL approach as they worked with eight pre-service English teachers as well as a chemistry professor and his students to develop four units on science content for the camps. Scaffolding for both the instructors and the students was incorporated at various stages of the preparation and implementation of the science-English classes. At the conclusion of the camps, 24 in-service science teachers who participated in the camps with their students were asked to answer open-ended questions on their impressions of attending the four science-English lessons. Results showed that the in-service science teachers felt the science classes taught by the pre-service English teachers effectively engaged the students and led them to become more comfortable using English in content courses. Suggestions for how the lessons could be modified to provide additional assistance to learners were also offered. These in-service science teachers also expressed an interest in developing interdisciplinary programs in their own schools if enough support could be provided. The results indicate that in-service subject teachers should be encouraged to play a greater role in teacher training and professional development courses focused on interdisciplinary cooperation.

Original languageEnglish
JournalTaiwan International ESP Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Bilingual education
  • Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL)
  • In-service science teachers
  • Interdisciplinary cooperation
  • Teacher training

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Communication
  • Linguistics and Language


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