ALL ABOUT CLIL
🟢What does CLIL stand for?
Content and Language Integrated Learning. Known in Spanish as AICLE (Aprendizaje Integrado de Contenidos y Lengua Extranjera).
🟢What is it?
CLIL implies a different teaching approach focusing on the acquisition of content subjects through the medium of English. The innovative angle differs very much from the traditional methodology based on learning the foreign language through systematic, mechanical grammar exercises with hardly any attention to communicative skills (Fernández Barrera, 2019).
This teaching approach is highly related to the language learning method presented by Halliday (1993) which consists of a continuum of three main interdependent processes: learning language, learning through language and learning about language (Urmeneta, 2019).
🟢When was CLIL used for the first time?
Back in the late 1950s, in order to introduce French immersion programmes in the English-speaking communities in Montréal.
🟢Some ideas to start applying in your classes (Urmeneta, 2019).
1. Make language comprehensible: The use of gestures, the repetition of keywords and concepts, or the use of paralinguistic resources, in order to help students understand the literal meaning of the messages.
2. Scaffolding leading to conceptualization (Socratic questioning): Allow learners to become active participants in the academic conversation as co-constructors of meaning to foster participation.
3. Shape learner’s language: Using exaggerated emphasis to model correct pronunciation or form.
4. Creating a community of learners: Deal with the students’ emotional welfare and maintain an atmosphere of mutual support.
5. Reassuring students or deliberately leaving them in uncertainty: Be more concerned about the Feedback you give (when?, how?, what?).
🟢How can we introduce this teaching approach in our working environment?
The CLIL approach conveys new methodological and structural dynamics affecting not only the school organisation and the entire educational community, but also classroom management, which is where CLIL takes place. In this regard, teachers are expected to work together and cooperate in many decision-making (Fernández Barrera, 2019).
I would recommend you to start applying the ideas shown above, as well as its general bases, in your lessons. Then, after getting used to it, try to get other teachers progressively involved, in order to make everyone work on the same page.
❌❌❌There is a risk that "academic standards" in the content subject will be lowered due to the students' poor command of the foreign language (Escobar Urmeneta, 2011).
Fernández Barrera, A. (2019). Bilingual education in Spain: a sociolinguistic ethnography of clil in Castilla-La Mancha. Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha, Ciudad Real, España.
Halliday, M.A.K. (1993). Towards a Language-Based Theory of Learning. Linguistics and Education 5, 93-116.
Urmeneta, C. E. (2011). Colaboración interdisciplinar, Partenariado y Centros de Formación Docente: Tres ejes para sustentar la formación del profesorado AICLE. In C. Escobar Urmeneta & L. Nussbaum (coords.), Aprendre en una altra llengua / Learning through another language / Aprender en otra lengua (pp. 203-230). Bellaterra: Servei de Publicacions de la Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, España.
Urmeneta, C. E. (2019). An introduction to content and language integrated learning (CLIL) for teachers and teacher educators. CLIL. Journal of Innovation and Research in Plurilingual and Pluricultural Education, 2(1), 7-19.
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