The positioning of Japanese in a secondary CLIL science classroom in Australia: language use and the learning of content

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In Australia, content and language integrated learning (CLIL) is commonly implemented as a way to encourage innovation in language teaching. This paper explores how Japanese can also be used to innovate the teaching of content. Qualitative data are drawn from a Year 8 science Japanese CLIL classroom in a secondary school with an opt-in CLIL program. In the class, a monolingual (in English) science teacher was co-teaching with a Japanese language teacher. Findings from observations, after-class reflections, teacher and student interviews, a student survey and work samples revealed that students were highly engaged with the Japanese component of their science lessons. Kanji was further positioned as a way for students to deepen their understanding of scientific concepts. However, there also appeared to be a separation in the way both teachers and students spoke about Japanese language use and learning science. Implications of these findings are discussed in the paper.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)192-211
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Immersion and Content-Based Language Education
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • CLIL
  • Japanese
  • science and secondary education

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