This paper reports on CATS (2006-2007), a project initiated by the Research Centre Teaching in Multicultural Schools, that addresses language related dropout problems of both native and non-native speakers of Dutch in higher education. The projects main objective is to develop a model for the redesign of the curriculum so as to optimize the development of academic and professional language skills. Key pedagogic strategies are the raising of awareness of personal proficiency levels through diagnostic testing, definition of linguistic demands of curriculum tasks, empowerment of student autonomy and peer feedback procedures.
More specifically, this paper deals with two key areas of the project. First, it describes the design and development of web-based corpus software tools, aimed at the enhancement of the autonomy of students academic reading and writing skills. Secondly, it describes the design of three pilots, in which the process of a content and language integrated approach - facilitated by the developed web tools - was applied, and these pilots respective evaluations.
The paper concludes with a reflection on the project development and the experiences with the pilot implementations.