Success in learning a foreign language is seen as the ability to use a foreign language in a variety of life contexts. Integration of mathematics content into a grade-appropriate English curriculum has the potential to enlarge the possibilities for young learners to experience more authentic and meaningful communication and more varied life-like interaction in a number of content-based activities. The aim of the paper was to study mathematics content in international coursebooks used for teaching English as a foreign language (EFL) in grades 1–4 in Serbian primary schools and to explore the means for integrating mathematics content into English classes. The study was based on a content analysis of seven EFL coursebook sets and focused on mathematics content analysis in relation to six study questions. The results revealed four distinct key content integration categories and showed that some of the coursebooks surveyed in the study contain mathematics content that is well integrated into language curriculum and supports deeper learning of both mathematics and language through cross-curricular links. However, the results also indicated that mathematics content in the coursebooks surveyed is mainly not grade appropriate or cognitively challenging enough, which requires EFL teachers to provide more materials for expanding the cross-curricular links. Pedagogical implications of the study refer to EFL teachers’ professional development needs for enhancing their own skills to implement content-based instruction by introducing creative and motivating content-based and grade appropriate materials and tasks into their classrooms and thus engage the flexible minds of young learners in a holistic learning experience.
young learners, content-based instruction, mathematics content, primary English curriculum, EFL coursebooks.
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