Conceptualising more explicit university-level oral language communication training with CLIL tutors as mediators in the language classroom

Karen Fleischhauer


Despite having reached the mandatory German language level requisite for entrance to university, many first-semester international students do not begin their studies with sufficient content language skills in their field of study. Prior studies have focused on the importance of language training with written texts and measured student performance based on these; however, few have investigated the importance of oral communication in the college-level CLIL environment. Focusing on the language of mathematics, this paper discusses how students’ oral communication needs are identified and then implemented in the content-specific language classroom. CLIL tutors, working alongside German language instructors, can provide learners with meaningful and authentic input related to effective oral communication skills in an academic setting. The results of student evaluations as well as open interviews with instructors and student tutors at a German technical university give insight into how German oral communication skills are being practiced in language for specific purposes (mathematics) classes.


pre-service teacher; oral communication; LSP mathematics; ideolects; performative verbs; metadiscourse

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