Knowledge construction, meaning-making and interaction in CLIL science classroom communities of practice

Natalia Evnitskaya, Tom Morton

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    45 Citations (Scopus)


    This paper draws on Wenger's model of community of practice to present preliminary findings on how processes of negotiation of meaning and identity formation occur in knowledge construction, meaning-making and interaction in two secondary Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) science classrooms. It uses a multimodal conversation analysis methodology to provide detailed analyses of how teachers and students use talk-in-interaction and other semiotic resources to build and maintain their communities of practice. The data come from two CLIL classrooms in Spain in the same curricular area (biology) but which differ in geographical and sociolinguistic context (Barcelona and Madrid), and in terms of age, level of secondary education and pedagogical approach. The findings show the complex patterns of participation and reification as teachers and learners use different linguistic and other resources to make meaning. The paper argues that a combination of Wenger's meso-level practice model and micro-level multimodal conversation analysis is highly effective in elucidating how learning and identity formation are accomplished in CLIL classrooms. It also suggests that the efforts to understand classroom processes and language use in CLIL classrooms can be strengthened by forging links between CLILresearch and the classroom discourse work across different disciplines. © 2011 Taylor & Francis.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)109-127
    JournalLanguage and Education
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2011


    • CLIL
    • Classroom interaction
    • Communities of practice
    • Conversation analysis
    • Meaning-making
    • Multimodal analysis


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