Informed Interdependence: A model for collaboration in fostering communicative competencies in a Commerce curriculum

DOI: 10.2989/16073614.2015.1023502
Author(s): Ian SiebörgerDepartment of English Language and Linguistics, South Africa, Kristin van der MerweDepartment of English Language and Linguistics, South Africa, Ralph AdendorffDepartment of English Language and Linguistics, South Africa


The current orthodoxy among academics in higher education studies is that content and language learning should be integrated in order to facilitate communicative competencies in degrees seeking to prepare students for business and professions such as accounting, engineering and pharmacy. Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) has been well-theorised and its goals are laudable; however, we contend that a one-size-fits-all solution of complete integration is not the most practicable or pedagogically-sound option in all contexts. Instead, we argue that establishing relationships of Informed Interdependence between content and language courses may offer greater benefits in specific contexts. This argument may appear counterintuitive, but we believe it has significant insights to add to the continuing dialogue around the use of CLIL.

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