According to many studies, early foreign language learning brings a lot advantages for the child’s linguistic and cognitive development. One of the most important is the exposure to the target language from early years. With the introduction of the first foreign language as a non-compulsory elective subject in the first grade and as a compulsory subject in the second grade of primary school in Slovenia, a way of teaching foreign language that is similar to the CLIL method (Content and language integrated learning) has been promoted. The concept is built on learning the content of the non-linguistic subjects while at the same time developing foreign language proficiency. This is why the main question is how to incorporate non-linguistic content (also mathematical content) in the foreign language instruction. Mathematics in the first grade is based on the student’s concrete experiences and should, according to the modern principles of teaching, include problem solving. It should also take the progress of student’s development into consideration and finally, present a challenge to the students.
Since the foreign language lessons and the lessons of other subjects should be connected and should complement one another according to the recommendations of the syllabuses, a model for including mathematical content into English language instruction has been designed in the applicable part of the thesis. The modern principles of teaching both subjects have been considered while establishing the model.
In the empirical part of the thesis, the model was the basis for the teaching approach that was applied in the practice and was developed to connect Mathematics and English in the first grade in a way that a particular mathematical content was taught in English. There were 23 students of the first grade included in the action research. In eight lessons of Mathematics and English, the mathematical content geometric shapes was taught. After each lesson, the lesson plan and the actual teaching process were evaluated and if required, changes and adaptations were planned for the next lesson. The lesson evaluation was performed by using a pre-prepared observation sheet which involved a number of categories to observe particular features of the lesson. Students achieved the aims of both subjects and also developed cooperation abilities and abilities for solving problems. It was confirmed that the model enables students to achieve the aims of the two different school subjects simultaneously. In addition, the model offers teachers a possibility to plan diverse lessons that motivate students to learn mathematics with enjoyment and also to learn a foreign language spontaneously.