Public lecture, Birkbeck, London. Improving second language acquisition: Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) in Madrid, 1st July 2016
A free talk given by Dr.Carmen Pena Díaz,Universidad de Alcalá (Website:http://www3.uah.es/
The Spanish joke “What is a Spanish person? Someone whose life is spent learning English”, perfectly defines the Spanish general perception of their second language acquisition, which is usually English. According to a survey conducted by the national media, 65% of Spaniards recognize that they are not able to speak, read or write in that language and there is an eternal and complex dilemma of why this occurs in a country where many hours are dedicated to its study both at school and privately and also, where schooling in English begins at very early ages. In response to this dilemma of why Spaniards do not seem to acquire English as proficiently as their neighbours (there is a general belief that Portuguese or French speak English much better), there tend to coalesce diverse opinions such as the fact that audiovisual material is dubbed into Spanish, that there are not enough hours of study devoted to this language, that little importance is given to its study, etc. All of these opinions are perceived by the general public and even by some language teachers. However, not much importance is normally given to the way English is being taught and the learning methods which are used. The purpose of this paper is to analyze precisely which factors are involved in the solution to this dilemma, specially regarding one of the latest attempts to improve this acquisition, the implementation of CLIL methodology, which is being made to improve younger generations’ English proficiency.