Content-Based Language Training (CBLT)

Since their inception the MLS courses have adopted a content-based language learning approach to communicative language training. 


What is Content-Based Language Training?

Content-based language training (CBLT) is founded on an understanding of the value of matching content interests to language lessons, and draws on the earliest language learning experiences of all language users; for each of us as our speech developed, we learnt the language we needed to communicate particular meaning in particular contexts.

In the 1970s and 80s the Canadian Civil Service successfully developed and systemised this approach to bring civil servants to a high level of bilingual proficiency in French and English, and it has subsequently been used across many language learning and language support programmes. CBLT is not really a new method; rather it is a sensible and logical approach to developing language learning programmes.

Too often, the content of language lessons is divorced from student interests or meaningful communication. Rather than learning a language for the sake of learning a language, CBLT focuses on learning a language in parallel to learning some other important content information. In CBLT, language learning occurs while a student is focusing on learning some content information.


What are the advantages of content-based language learning at MLS?

Language learning with real purpose

  • more meaningful
  • more relevant
  • more interesting
  • more motivating
  • more confidence-building
  • more authentic

Language learning with transferable knowledge and skills

  • increased cognitive processing skills
  • increased verbal processing skills
  • increased collaborative skills
  • increased learner autonomy
  • increased verbal memory
  • increased academic knowledge and skills
  • increased professional knowledge and skills

Learning with MLS

Teaching and learning takes places at MLS through specifically designed Elements of tuition.  Each of our courses will select a different mix of Elements and will be delivered at the appropriate level.  We provide a range of different Elements of study, which enable you to access learning across three key curriculum areas:  Core General English; English for Special Purposes; and Content Study.  Our flexible approach to learning also means that MLS is happy, subject to availability, language level and unit start dates, to allow students to exchange standard Elements of learning for an alternative model should they wish.