Content-based language teaching is expected to produce self-directed/autonomous learners and motivated students capable of critical thinking (Snow, 2001).
The contents that are integrated into language study are subject matter and authentic text, and the subject matters may include literature, economics, mathematics, journalism, sociology, political science, art history and filmmaking (Byron, 2006).
Content-based ESL instruction is much needed in Korea, where globalization is catching on but where the ESL system is rooted in rote memorization (Cho & Krashen, 2001).
The type of topics ideal for the CBI teaching of English depends on the students' needs and interests. In adopting CBI, there is no need to discard the existing ESL syllabus aimed at developing the student's language skills. All the school needs to do is introduce the CBI concept to enrich the method. CBI is noted for its flexibility such that it can be adapted to any ESL settings and curricula.
The study used the qualitative approach to research through the primary data collection tools of questionnaires and semi-structured interviews with Korean teachers and students in ESL classes. Such interviews are semi-structured if the triangulation method is employed, which is done by checking out the consistency of data obtained from the interviews with those found in the available literature. The references used for this purpose are led by Mohan (1986), Kramsch (2002), Mohan (1986) and Brinton, et al. (1989) for those making a case for CBI in general, and Cho & Krashen (2001), Li (1998), Sook (2002) and Lee (2002) for those focusing on the specific need of Korea for content-based language instruction.
This paper has demonstrated how multi-lingual collaboration in a socio-linguistics course creates an active atmosphere where the discussion and negotiation of content-based meaning or collaborative dialogue in communities of learners have been evaluated as being motivating to the students. It is argued here that such interaction is necessary in the teaching of socio-linguistics, firstly, as the subject-matter in the syllabus is best enhanced by student experiences and perspectives, and secondly, since it raises and sustains the general level of comprehension for potentially challenging themes. The evaluative framework has also contributed to this motivation, since it is based on active participation in this process rather than accuracy alone. This methodologically hybrid approach to teaching and learning is argued, in this case, as being a direct influence from the language-sensitivity and group-work orientation in the EFL training and experiences of the instructor. Future courses must, however, take into consideration the academic culture shock of the demands on students of the interactive lecture which requires students to adopt a student-centered, collaborative learning mode.