“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.” – David Marsh,
University of Jyväskylä, Finland (1994)
The term CLIL refers to the integration of contents and language in the
learning process: while using a foreign language, you can learn contents
at the same time, improving the level of language competence and the
motivation and interest to the subject. This can be carried out by the
teacher of this target language using cross-curricular content or the
subject teacher using the target language as medium of instruction.
The essence of CLIL is in integration. It is a dual-focused education
approach whereby content and language goals are pursued with a
sophisticated understanding of student cognition, usually referred to as
However, in addition to a focus on content and language, there is a third
element that comes into play: learning skills. The development of learning
skills supports the achievement of content language goals.
There are many advantages to the CLIL approach:
it develops confident learners and enhances academic cognitive
processes and communication skills.
CLIL encourages intercultural understanding and community
In addition, research shows that learners become more sensitive to
vocabulary and ideas presented in their first language as well as in
the target language and they gain more extensive and varied
In the target language, learners reach proficiency levels in all four
skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing.
CLIL is an ‘umbrella’ term that embraces any type of programme where
an additional language is used to teach non-linguistic content matter.
Author: Catherine Perri – JUMP Trainer