Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Language and Education

pp 1163-1174

Content‐Based Instruction

  • Fredricka L. StollerAffiliated withNorthern Arizona University


Content‐based instruction (CBI) is an umbrella term referring to instructional approaches that make a dual, though not necessarily equal, commitment to language and content‐learning objectives. CBI has been translated into practice in diverse ways in response to student needs at primary, secondary, tertiary, and adult education levels, in foreign, second, and multiple language contexts. Unlike other language instruction approaches that define primary content in terms of grammatical structures, communicative language functions, or language skills, in CBI, content refers to the use of nonlanguage subject matter that is closely aligned with traditional school subjects, themes of interest to students, or vocational and occupational areas. Most content‐based settings have strong academic orientations, emphasizing the linguistic, cognitive, and metacognitive skills as well as subject matter that students need to succeed in future educational endeavors. In highly diver ...

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