Profesionales de la Educación Bilingüe

Dr. Thom Morton



Tom Morton is Honorary Research Fellow at the Department of Applied Linguistics and Communication, Birkbeck, University of London. He also teaches on the online Masters in Bilingual Education at the Universidad Internacional de la Rioja (UNIR). He is a member of the UAM-CLIL Research Group at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, where he has participated in many national and international funded research projects. His research interests include classroom interaction in CLIL, CLIL students’ language and literacy development, and teacher cognition and identity in CLIL. He is co-author of two books on CLIL: The Roles of Language in CLIL (Cambridge University Press), with Ana Llinares and Rachel Whittaker, and Applied Linguistics Perspectives on CLIL (John Benjamins), with Ana Llinares. He has published many articles on CLIL and bilingual education in journals such as Applied Linguistics, The International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, Language and Education, and Teaching and Teacher Education.

Using cognitive discourse functions to integrate content, language and literacy in the assessment of learners in bilingual education


Assessment in bilingual education programmes which integrate content and language learning is a challenging issue. Practitioners can lack clear guiding principles about the balance of content and language, whether language should be assessed at all, and which assessment methods are most appropriate. Moreover, current assessment practices in bilingual education often separate, rather than integrate, content and language learning outcomes, and place too much emphasis on summative rather than formative assessment. This paper presents findings from recent research carried out by the UAM-CLIL Research Group at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, which explores the application of Dalton-Puffer’s (2013) construct of “Cognitive Discourse Functions (CDFs)” as a way to identify and integrate content, language and literacy learning outcomes in bilingual education. The paper outlines the implications of the UAM-CLIL group’s findings on CDFs for what, why and how we assess, and which instruments are most appropriate for assessing emergent bilinguals learning academic content through an additional language.

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