L1-based Communication Strategies in CLIL and NON-CLIL Learners of L3 English
Ollo Jiménez, Patricia
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The use of first language (L1)-based Communication Strategies (CSs) in oral and written second language (L2) production has been extensively researched in Second Language Acquisition (SLA). As regards Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) settings, studies seem to evince that CLIL learners do not resort as frequently to their L1 as NON-CLIL learners do (i.e. Celaya & Ruiz de Zarobe, 2010). Nevertheless, little is known about L2 learners’ self-reported opinions regarding their use of L1-based CSs (borrowing, foreignising and calque) by means of written questionnaires (Martínez Adrián, Gallardo del Puerto, & Basterrechea, forthcoming). Specially, there is scarcity of this kind of studies comparing CLIL to NON-CLIL learners’ self-reported opinions as their proficiency in English as a foreign language (EFL) increases. Consequently, the present preliminary study will try to fill this gap by (i) examining the effect of CLIL on secondary school learners’ self-reported opinions on L1-based CS use; (ii) and the effect of proficiency on the self-reported use of L1-based CSs. The sample consisted in 78 Basque/Spanish bilingual learners of L3 English from 2nd and 4th year of compulsory secondary education from four intact groups which differed in grade and exposure to CLIL instruction. The Quick Placement Test (QPT) was used to test general proficiency and a questionnaire taken from Gallardo del Puerto, Basterrechea, & Martínez Adrián (forthcoming) ; Martínez Adrián et al. (forthcoming) was administered for examining learners’ self-reported opinions on their use of L1-based CSs. Results show that CLIL students in year 2 and in year 4 outstripped their NON-CLIL peers in general proficiency. Moreover, CLIL learners in year 2 performed slightly better than NON-CLIL students in year 4. In terms of amount of L1-based CSs, CLIL learners in both grades reported to use these strategies to a lesser extent than their counterparts. The communicative nature of CLIL programmes can account for the quantitative differences. As for types of CSs, NON-CLIL learners reported to use foreignisings to a higher extent than their CLIL peers in both grades. On the contrary, as for borrowings and calques differences between CLIL and NON-CLIL learners were not found. This study has also proved that learners reported a less frequent use of L1 strategies as proficiency increases due to a higher command of the target language (TL). In addition, self-reported opinions suggest that foreignisings are not typical of advanced students. In the same vein, borrowings and calques ranked lower as learners’ proficiency increases in both settings. Findings are discussed in light of learners’ grade and the nature of CLIL instruction.