Crandall and Tucker (1990) defineas an approach to language instruction that integrates the presentation of topics or tasks from subject matter classes (e.g., math, social studies) within the context of teaching a second or foreign language”
There are three principles of communication that define Communicative Language Teaching but which may also be applied to the Content-Based approach.
1.The communication principle which puts forward that activities involving real communication promote language learning.
2.The task principle which refers to the concept that activities in which language is used for carrying out meaningful tasks promote language learning.
3.The meaningfulness principle that implies that language that appears to be meaningful to the learner will support the language learning process
The advantages of content-based instruction
- It can make learning a language more interesting and motivating. Students can use the language to fulfill a real purpose, which can make students both more independent and confident.
- Students can also develop a much wider knowledge of the world through CBI which can feed back into improving and supporting their general educational needs.
Students are actively involved in a Content-Based classroom setting. On the one hand, they are in charge of their own learning process and their support of others and, on the other hand, they may partly choose content and activities. Being actively involved and taking responsibility in a classroom environment appears to be motivating for some though rather overwhelming to others. There are quite a few students who might feel that they cannot keep up with the work-load and quantity of new information.
The Teacher Role and Choice Material
Teaching the Content-Based approach necessitates a large amount of work and energy. The teacher has to fulfill several roles, such as being a good language teacher and in addition having an appropriate knowledge of the subject matter. In addition, the teacher has to choose material. If the material is not suitable enough, he has to adapt it to the learners' language level. There is, however, quite a variety of material available for teachers to use for Content-Based lessons. First of all, teachers can and should use authentic materials such as newspaper articles and advertisements. These are texts native speakers of the language would read themselves. Authentic material intrinsically interests students and this promotes language learning.