When we talk about anything in English, we find we use many acronyms to make words shorter. Nothing could be truer when we talk about CLIL. CLIL is a teaching approach which stands for Content Language Integrated Learning.
This is about task-based teaching a non linguistic subject in L2. The L2 is usually English but can be any European language, it being a European based idea. The idea was coined by David Marsh in 1994. Since then, many European countries have adopted this idea to help students learn English through chunks of language in another school subject. Providing scaffolding techniques is also mandatory if you have students that are not all at the same level of learning. You want every student arriving at the same goal.
The open umbrella theme by Phil Ball, covers many ideologies such as multiculturism, bilingualism as well as a more European outlook.
CLIL also intertwines with Coyle’s 4Cs: Content, Cognition, Culture and Communication.
Communication is at the basis of creating sound relationships, them being at school, work or at home. Speaking of school, having good communication skills is essential. It helps create critical thinking skills, because one is being clearly understood and you have the student asking, questioning himself, evaluating and creating referring to Benjamin Bloom’s taxonomy. Good communication skills are not to be underestimated.
To add to what was stated above, the importance of non verbal communication is just as important. The saying is that a picture is worth more than a thousand words. So are body language, voice intonation, chromatics, proxemics, the choice of artefacts we choose to wear all express some kind of communication. And believe me, when I say they ARE louder than words.
The way we choose to communicate can only help students increase their motivation, obtain better marks and even help them after school and direct them to lifelong learning. One can even go beyond that and state that being empathetic and having good listening skills is of outmost importance.
To sum up, we can conclude by saying that CLIL is an excellent way of teaching and learning another language through a content-based concept. Teachers helping teachers and students to share, experience and learn in a way that is communicative, stimulating and always more appreciate by all figures in the teaching world.
Author: Teresa Platì – JUMP Trainer