University Students’ English Language Improvements through a Content-Based Course

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Erica Gómez Flórez
Jhon Jaime Jiménez Díaz
Sergio Alonso Lopera


Content-Based Instruction (CBI) may result in improved proficiency in language skills due to the meaningful combination of subject matter and foreign language as a means of communication. This paper shows how university students improved their level of English by means of a content methodology as they attended a course called Topics in Molecular Microbiology. The course was a collaborative enterprise between the School of Microbiology and the School of Languages at a public university. The methodology used was a case study. Five instruments and the MELICET test were used and analyzed in order to check students’ language gains. The findings support that seven undergraduate students improved their speaking and listening skills. Finally, this study offers two implications: Universities should offer more CBI courses; language teachers and content teachers should work collaboratively.

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How to Cite
Gómez Flórez, E., Jiménez Díaz, J. J., & Lopera, S. A. (2011). University Students’ English Language Improvements through a Content-Based Course. HOW Journal, 18(1), 73-94. Retrieved from
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Author Biographies

Erica Gómez Flórez, Universidad de Antioquia, Medellín

Erica Gómez Flórez, MA in French literature, Rouen-France University; specialist in teaching French as a foreign language, Bourgogne-French University. She is a full time professor at Universidad de Antioquia. Her research interest is teaching reading comprehension.

Jhon Jaime Jiménez Díaz, Universidad de Antioquia, Medellín

John Jiménez Díaz, PhD candidate in education, Universidad de Antioquia; MA in didactics of teaching English, Universidad de Caldas; specialist in teaching foreign languages, Universidad de Antioquia. He is a professor at Universidad de Antioquia. His research interest is teaching reading strategies.

Sergio Alonso Lopera, Universidad de Antioquia, Medellín

Sergio Lopera Medina, PhD student in linguistics; MA in linguistics; specialist in teaching foreign languages, Universidad de Antioquia. He is a full time professor at Universidad de Antioquia. His research interests are teaching EFL reading comprehension, compliments in pragmatics.


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