Benefits of Content-Based Instruction for Foreign Languages

Instructor: Jesse Richter

Jesse holds two masters, a doctorate and has 15 years of academic experience in areas of education, linguistics, business and science across five continents.

Are you looking for a better understanding of the benefits of content-based instruction for foreign languages? This lesson first reviews the nature of this instructional approach, and then describes the benefits associated with the approach.

First Things First: What is Content-Based Instruction?


There are many approaches a teacher may use to teach foreign languages. One particularly effective approach is content-based instruction (CBI) which is a collection of methods that teach authentic content through language rather than traditional methods of teaching language explicitly. Another way to look at it is that CBI focuses on what is being taught by using the target language rather than focusing on the target language itself. For example, if the target language is Spanish, the teacher might present a lesson or unit on the Spanish Civil War by using the Spanish language. Another example would be learning French by discussing current events from a French newspaper. The main idea behind CBI is that intrinsic motivation increases when language learners are immersed in authentic content.

Benefits of CBI

All instructional approaches have pros and cons. Let's take a look at the many benefits of CBI.

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