Academic journal article Foreign Language Annals

Integration PCK: Modeling the Knowledge(s) Underlying a World Language Teacher’s Implementation of CBI

Academic journal article Foreign Language Annals

Integration PCK: Modeling the Knowledge(s) Underlying a World Language Teacher’s Implementation of CBI

Article excerpt

Content-based instruction (CBI) can be traced to the emergence of dual-language programs in both the United States and Canada during the mid-1960s (Genesee & Lindholm-Leary, 2007). What distinguishes CBI from conventional approaches to language learning is "the expectation that students can learn-and teachers can teach-both academic subject matter content and a new language at the same time" (Lightbown, 2014, p. 6). Although there has been in recent years a drastic increase in scholarship discussing the potential of the CBI approach in the context of language education worldwide (e.g., Cammarata, 2016; Coyle, Hood, & Marsh, 2010; Lyster, 2007; Nikula, Dafouz, Moore, & Smit, 2016), formal recognition by world language (WL) educators in the United States is much more recent and can generally be linked to the National Standards for Foreign Language Learning in the 21 st Century, which at the time of their release in 1996 highlighted the importance of reinforcing and teaching academic content from other disciplines in the target language (Standard 3: Connections; NSFLEP, 2015).

Several indicators highlight the growing centrality of CBI in WL education. First, the ACTFL has identified the integration of content and language as a research priority (Glisan & Donato, 2012). Second, research on the implementation of CBI in WL education is increasing (e.g., Cammarata, 2009, 2010; Cumming & Lyster, 2016; Martel, 2016a; Pessoa, Hendry, Donato, Tucker, & Lee, 2007). Third, CBI is mentioned in the rubrics for the ACTFL/CAEP's Program Standards for the Preparation of Foreign Language Teachers (ACTFL, 2013). Despite this momentum, however, surprisingly little research exists on the knowledge that a teacher must possess in order to implement CBI in a WL context (see Morton, 2016, for a recent discussion of the issue within bilingual education). Thus, the primary aim of this case study was for researchers to better understand the knowledge embedded in the enactment of CBI through the development and application of a theoretical model that builds on Shulman's (1987) pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) construct.

Teachers' Knowledge Base and CBI Implementation in Conventional WL Education

Two recent reviews of literature on CBI have underscored the field's understanding of the influence of WL teachers' experience, knowledge, and beliefs on their implementation of CBI. The first (Tedick & Cammarata, 2012) examined the last 10 years of research on integrating content and language within pre-K-12 educational contexts, concluding that although teachers' experience, beliefs, and perceptions are central to any curricular reform movement including CBI program implementation, "there is minimal research focused on teachers' actual experience of implementing CBI in varied contexts" (p. S48). The other, Tedick and Wesely (2015), explored research on content-based foreign/second language education in U.S. K-12 contexts and revealed (1) a significant lack of research on CBI in non-immersion WL programs for majority-language students in the United States (Cammarata, 2009, 2010; Morgan, 2013; Pessoa et al., 2007); (2) a notable lack of research on a wide variety of topics relating to teacher development, including preservice teacher preparation; and (3) the absence of theoretical frameworks in U.S. language teacher education. Together, these reviews underscore the pervasive lack of research on several important aspects of CBI.

Shulman's Framework

Shulman (1987) argued that teachers must possess a variety of forms of knowledge in order to teach, highlighting PCK as a particularly important dimension in that it distinguishes a teacher who is effective at imparting his or her particular subject matter from someone who is a sophisticated knower of that subject matter or simply a good classroom manager. In other words, PCK is "that special amalgam of content and pedagogy that is uniquely the province of teachers, their own special form of professional understanding" (p. …

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