The integration of language and content: action research on a theory of task design
In 2001–2002, we were funded to integrate the teaching of selected generic skills with the teaching of accounting content in a first year accounting unit.
Integrated materials were collaboratively designed, trialed in semester 2, 2002, and evaluated immediately afterwards. The new materials were presented as an integral, assessable component of the syllabus. The intervention produced
a marked improvement in student learning (Sin & Jones, 2003), which was assessed using objective criteria combining considerations of content and expression. The materials were essentially adaptations of the task-types used in communicative language teaching and testing, designed to ensure that students focused on content rather than form. We hypothesized that, if form is driven by meaning, an improvement in language proficiency would accompany improved understanding of content, both achievable through a sustained focus on meaning.
This note briefly outlines the kinds of task used and results obtained.
Author: Alan Jones, Samantha Sin