What is CLIL?
CLIL stands for “Content and Language Integrated Learning”. It means teaching subjects other than foreign languages (e.g. history, geography, mathematics, economics, etc) in a foreign language.
It is a modern approach to teaching, based on the idea that, on some level, all teachers are teachers of language. With the increasing prominence of English as the international language, the skills learnt in a CLIL classroom are more relevant than ever.
In some European countries, CLIL knowledge is a fast route to promotion within your school or organisation.
What are the benefits of CLIL?
When implemented properly, CLIL can improve performance in both the content subject and the foreign language. Describing and discussing interesting topics in a language that is directly relevant can provide great benefits in terms of vocabulary, fluency and speed of acquisition. It gives students a taste of internationalism and can increase motivation.
Employers demand transferable skills, which are also a key theme in modern education. CLIL develops these skills and gives students a tangible example of transferability. Intercultural insight is becoming more and more valuable as the world becomes a smaller place.
CLIL is most commonly used in the teaching of English, where it can give students confidence in the essential international language, but can be used to develop any language where there is a natural meeting of subject and language.
Who uses CLIL?
CLIL teaching takes place in both private and state schools. The main challenge that schools have is finding teachers who have the skills and knowledge to plan and implement effective CLIL lessons. As a teacher with knowledge of CLIL methodology, you will make yourself much more valuable to employers.
What is the best approach to CLIL?
According to the 4Cs curriculum (Coyle 1999), a successful CLIL lesson should include elements of:
• Communication - Using language to learn whilst learning to use language
• Cognition – engagement: thinking and understanding
• Content – Developing knowledge, skills and understanding of the subject • Culture – self and other awareness / citizenship
There are a number of different approaches being explored. Classes can be taught by native-speaker teachers who are expert in the target subject; others use non-native speakers who are not experts in the target subject. Some schools organise projects that combine dedicated language teachers with teachers of other subjects.
There is no single “right” way to approach CLIL. The important thing is to develop foreign language skills while studying other subjects.
Applying language teaching methodology in CLIL
The content of each course determines the exact learning route, but teaching skills from the language teaching classroom are an important element in a CLIL class. For example, use of audiovisual materials often plays a larger role in the CLIL classroom than in traditional, non-language classrooms. Lessons are often based on listening or reading texts / passages and the linguistic benefits are viewed more in terms of vocabulary than grammar.
At the same time, the emphasis in CLIL lessons is on language use as opposed to language learning, which marks an important difference from the language classroom.
CLIL teaching means that languages complement other subjects as opposed to competing with them for students’ attention.
How can a CLIL methodology or CLIL refresher course help you?
As CLIL is a relatively new concept in teaching, it can be hard to find support from teachers with significant CLIL experience. By taking a CLIL course with ESL, you will receive support from acknowledged experts in CLIL methodology and implementation.
Planning is at the heart of successful CLIL teaching. A training course will help you find and produce materials at the right level for the groups you teach.
You will also get the chance to develop your own language skills, if you are not a native speaker. For example, small things like accurately giving classroom instructions go a long way towards creating an authentic experience.
General English with Primary or Secondary CLIL in Oxford,
Advanced CLIL course in Brighton, BSC,
CLIL refresher course in Bournemouth,
CLIL refresher course in London, IH,
CLIL & Methodology Course in Newcastle,
Teacher Development with CLIL in Liverpool,