CLIL refers to situations where subjects, or parts of subjects, are taught through a foreign language with dual-focused aims, namely the learning of content and the simultaneous learning of a foreign language. Through CLIL, students not only learn a second language but also learn about a topic totally new to them, for example drawing or climate change.
The 4Cs of CLIL phrase Content, Communication, Cognition and Culture are interrelated components of CLIL and make up the 4Cs Framework. Culture is also linked to citizenship and community. Incorporating CLIL content into lessons can help teachers develop their own subject knowledge and become more well-rounded educators. Teaching CLIL lessons can also help teachers develop their language-teaching skills by adapting their strategies to meet the needs of teaching subject content.
The main aim of Clil is to improve students’ proficiency in both their mother tongue and the target language, giving each the same importance. To develop the intercultural understanding and social and thinking skills. Furthermore, teachers can also benefit from incorporating subject content into their language lessons. Some language teachers feel hesitant to bring in other subjects, especially if they lack confidence in their ability to teach those subjects. However, incorporating content into language lessons doesn’t require teachers to be experts in the subject matter, as they are teaching the language of geography, science, or other subjects. Bringing in content can make lessons more engaging and enjoyable, adding variety to lesson planning and delivery.
In conclusion, while CLIL is often discussed in terms of its benefits for students, it’s also important to recognise the benefits for teachers. Incorporating subject content into language lessons can help make teaching more enjoyable, develop subject knowledge and language teaching skills, and create opportunities for collaboration, all while helping students learn important content-related language and life skills.
Author: Catherine Perri – JUMP Trainer