AWEJ Volume.4 Number.1, 2013                                                                            pp. 267-284

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Teaching Scientific Vocabulary to EFL Learners Using English: Content and Language Integrated Learning 


Rehab Helmi Albakri
The British University, Dubai, UAE



This study investigates a method for teaching vocabulary of Biology using English to Arab learners who study English as a foreign language at a private school in Sharjah. The rationale for doing this study is that Arab students who learn all subjects in Arabic find difficulties when they learn the same subjects in English, consequently, a failure in understanding English scientific texts will happen to students. The methodology of teaching vocabulary of Biology in English is expected to enhance students’ skills such as reading, writing and speaking to be able to understand scientific texts especially those related to Biology. Also, the study is adapted to suit the needs and motivations of the Arab learners whom I teach and may be suitable in schools that provide academic subjects in Arabic while English is studied as a foreign language. To achieve the purpose of the study a literature review of the main theories related to content and language integrated learning (CLIL) is conducted. Then, data samples are collected from 30 female students of grade 12 who are nearly advanced learners of English and have studied Biology for about three years but in Arabic. The qualitative instruments used to collect data include observations by school supervisors, students’ works, and interviews with some of the students who are involved in the study. The results of data analysis prove the positive outcomes of the study which are represented by promoting students to understand English scientific texts, answering questions of comprehension, pronouncing words of the lesson correctly and reading aloud parts of the texts easily.

Key words: CLIL, vocabulary of Biology, English skills, Arab learners, scientific texts