Collaborative learning of professional and academic vocabulary by economics majors within the CLIL framework

Education and pedagogical science

The article explores the advantages of learning professional terms and academic vocabulary using a course book in CLIL format in the process of student collaboration. The study was aimed at determining the efficiency of general academic vocabulary acquisition and learning professional terms through applying the integrated context-based language learning approach. We have examined the scientific works studying the problems of teaching a foreign language at a technical university including the ones describing the application of content-based language learning. We have made an attempt to ascertain whether CLIL format combined with collaborative learning was an effective means of learning new words. By conducting a trial experiment in the groups of 3rd-year economic majors, we have tried to determine whether the students’ collaborative activities in the CLIL format contributed to more successful vocabulary development. The experiment helped us find out that CLIL approach proved to be useful in acquiring frequently used words, academic vocabulary in particular. On the other hand, intentional learning is more appropriate than CLIL for acquiring special terms, which are not frequent for the whole volume of the texts. The results of the experiment reveal that content-based language learning proves to be more effective in combination with lexical exercises aimed at consolidation of new terms. The experiment also proves that CLIL format should be used in combination with collaborative learning.