Learning subject-specific content through ESP in a Geography-teaching programme: an action research story in Argentina

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Pre-service teacher education courses on subjects such as Biology, Geography or Spanish may include ESP in their curricula. ESP can be taught with a view to reinforcing content and language integrated learning (CLIL). The purpose of this study is to understand how CLIL and ESP can complement each other. In an initial Geography teacher education programme in southern Argentina, a group of student-teachers felt unmotivated to learn English as a foreign language because they perceived their lack of subject matter knowledge in Geography as a higher priority. Instead, they demanded more Geography-related coursework. In this research setting, English language-learning motivation, authenticity and identity played a crucial role. Through action research, the group of student-teachers and their tutor examined and implemented practices during the course of one academic year. Data were collected by means of a questionnaire, diaries and interviews. Results show that the use of authentic materials, a focus on subject matter knowledge and language awareness-based activities had a positive impact on student-teachers' trajectories as future teachers and foreign language learners.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalEnglish for Specific Purposes
Early online date24 Nov 2017
Publication statusPublished - 30 Apr 2018


  • CLIL
  • teacher education
  • action research


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