Teacher language awareness and scaffolded interaction in CLIL science classrooms

Daozhi Xu*, Gary James Harfitt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Teacher language awareness (TLA) constitutes the teacher’s self-reflective knowledge about the operation of language systems in pedagogical practices. This study focuses on teachers’ understanding of learning of language and learning through language in Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) contexts, exploring how teachers proceduralise their knowledge of language to facilitate science learning in Hong Kong. By analysing the reflective relationship between TLA and scaffolding strategies of two teachers (students n = 31; 32) during a set of lessons in a secondary school, this paper suggests that it is critical to re-orient the TLA focus from teachers to the act of learning and learners’ needs. This expanded conceptual framework of TLA sheds light on how to transform teachers’ implicit knowledge of language into explicit awareness of scaffolding in class. The TLA-filtered, scaffolded interactions can therefore promote the use of language not merely for pedagogical purposes but also as a cognitive learning tool.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)212–232
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Immersion and Content-Based Language Education
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 25 Sept 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL)
  • learners’ needs
  • scaffolding strategies
  • science classrooms
  • Teacher language awareness
  • Scaffolding strategies
  • Learners' needs
  • Science classrooms


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