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History of the toilets

Social meda usage

A holistic approach to language instruction

Global health needs

Water - a human right

Content Based Lessons

CONTENT BASED LESSONS (CBL) focus on both the language skills:

BICS (Basic Interpersonal Communication Skills):

social language.

CALP (Cognitive Academic Language Profiency):

academic language.

It's hard to find a teacher who lacks tools on the paper side of things. So what about the digital piece? Just as some teachers tend to use whiteboards to explain everything and others prefer handouts, each teacher finds his or her favorite tools in the digital world. An LMS can work as a digital foundation to build on, and media creation tools can make your online classroom interactive and more visually attractive.



1. What is a CBL?

2. What doeas a CBL look like?

3. What are the advantages of CBLs?

4. What are the possible problems?

5. Conclusions

A student with a fixed mindset is more likely to give up when faced with a challenge they cannot solve right away. A student with a growth mindset, however, is more likely to keep working until they solve difficult problems because they believe that they can expand their capacities to include ones they don’t currently have.

The best part is that the growth mindset can be learned! This mindset is especially helpful for students who are easily frustrated and start to doubt their learning abilities because it helps grow their confidence and encourages them to keep working through struggles. It’s also surprisingly helpful for high-performing students who are often motivated more by the achievement of getting top grades than the process of learning. The growth mindset encourages them to become more curious and to lose their fear of making mistakes.

The focus of a CBL is on the topic. Students develop their language skills in the foreign language by using it to learn about this topic.

  • interesting and motivating: students use the target language for real purposes (i.e. students develop their own ideas to deal with social problems).
  • students develop a wider knowledge of the world.
  • students develop study skills such as researching, note taking, summarizing, critically evaluating information etc.
  • students develop their thinking skills.
  • group work can develop their collaborative sills.

  • CBLs should be integrated with the training of language skills (vocabulary, grammar exercises...)
  • Students might switch to their mother tongue as the focus of the lesson is on the topic rather than language skills.
  • Information sources in the target language might be difficult to understand for beginners --> Students could be allowed to use sources in their mother tongue and then present the results in the target language.
  • Students might just copy and paste --> sources should demand the active role of students (i.g. by giving them contrasting sources that have to be critically evaluated by them).

  • The preparation of CBLs might be time consuming for teachers, who have to search for suitable information sources for their students --> working with colleagues of other subjects might be helpful.
  • CBLs can be motivating but also challenging: students should be involved (i.e. by choosing the topic) in order to keep their interest alive.

Several options. An example:

  • Choose a topic that appeals to students
  • Assign students a research task and a source of information (websites, Youtube...)
  • After researching, students share and compare their results.


Peachey, Nick (2010): Content-based instruction. https://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/article/content-based-instruction

Abb. 1: https://www.researchgate.net/figure/The-Iceberg-of-CALP-and-BICS_fig3_315739201

Abb. 2: https://koreatesol.org/content/content-based-instruction