Content-based Instruction

Content-based instruction is a pedagogical approach combining teaching a subject (literature, biology, materials science, etc.) with the learning of a language (Brown 287). Teaching and discussion occur in the target language, but learning the content, whatever it might be, is the main goal for the students (see also English for Specific Purposes). Daryl Rodgers writes, “Program models…vary widely and are best described as being on a continuum from total immersion education (a content-driven or ‘strong’ model) on the one hand to a theme-based course (a language-driven or ‘weak’ model) on the other” (20).


Brown, H. Douglas. Teaching By Principles. Pearson, 2007.

Rodgers, Daryl M. “Making the Case for Content-Based Instruction.” Italica, vol. 91, no. 1, 2014, pp. 16–28. JSTOR,