Content-Based Learning


Content-based learning is not a new methodology in the U.S., however, for Asian students, like Taiwanese students, it’s still an unfamiliar learning approach. For instance, teachers in Taiwan tend to ask students to learn the vocabularies, grammar, pronunciations by memorizing instead of providing a vividly explanation, activity or related circumstance. Hence, gradually students’ mindsets become regarding learning English as a boring, tiring, torturing task. As a result, even Taiwanese government has been promoting and practicing English education for a long long time, to most citizens, English is still a foreign language not a second language. This chapter’s purpose is to make this pedagogy widely known to educators in Taiwan.


Content-based Learning joins language learning to content/subject matter and engages them both concurrently. Language is seen as a tool or medium for acquiring knowledge about other things, instantly proving its usefulness. An important factor in this kind of learning is that the content itself determines what language items need to be mastered, not the other way around. "Age" can be seen as a learner variable, a contextual consideration that can be rated alongside knowing "who" exactly your students are, and "where" and "why" they are learning English as a Second or Foreign Language. In virtue of this, I believe this pedagogy can benefit a great deal of non-English major college students in Taiwan such as engineering or information science department. When these English-halfhearted students study math or science using English as the medium, they are more intrinsically motivated to learn more of the language and they will subconsciously gradually acquire the English vocabularies, grammar, usage, etc.


The age 12-20 coincide with a time of rapid transition and change, both mentally and physically. As teenagers begin to develop more cognitive ability, they can be exposed to language learning techniques that require more logical and/or abstract thinking. Probably the most important considerations for these learners are "affective" ones. Issues to do with ego and self-esteem are at their height, and teenagers can be incredibly sensitive to the ways others see their physical, mental and emotional development. Teachers of these students need to be able to find ways to draw on and develop cognitive, analytical and logic skill. In view of this, content-based learning provides mental and cognition mature students a more effective and significant learning approach in acquiring vocabulary, reading, listening and writing. They will not only learn the subject knowledge but also the language usage in that field in academic way and day-to -day way.