CLIL, as we have seen in previous articles is an acronym for Content Language Integrated Learning. This defines the methodology in which content from a non linguistic subject is taught through the language, may it be English or any other European language.
It was created by David Marsh and Anne Maljiers in 1994 in Finland in unison with the European Council. It is becoming more and more common to see it being put into practice by many schools throughout Europe.
This, because it has above all advantages and perhaps only one drawback. It builds intercultural knowledge and understanding. It develops intercultural communication skills as well as improving language competences and oral communication skills. It develops multilingual interest and attitudes.
The only drawback is the detailed planning it involves. We must consider our target aim, the level of English, the time, and the short, long term goals.
There are teachers that have started thinking of implementing CLIL in their schools. These teachers are full of questions as to when, where, who and how to go about doing it. Understanding this methodology, appreciating its simple but complex ideas behind it and then practicing it is key.
After having looked at its definition, its history, examples of, the teachers then have, hands on practice in preparing a CLIL lesson. They look at the different models that can range from Maths to Geography: all in English. It is like “killing two birds with one stone.” No pun intended. It is necessary to remember that the non linguistic subject needs to be pre taught in L1 first before proceeding to it being taught in L2.
This, of course, is all part of the detailed planning mentioned earlier. If a school wishes to implement CLIL, offering it as an option to all students, it will only increase the prestige of the school. In an era where English and Informatics go hand in hand, any school would only want to be a part of this and not risk the chance of being left behind.
The teachers leave with hope and positive expectations. CLIL offers exactly that. There is much evidence to suggest that CLIL students are equally, if not more successful, at learning a subject that students learning content subjects in L1.
Teresa Platì – JUMP Trainer