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October 04, 2008

Teacher Development - CLIL

Hello Readers,

You may have noticed four letters that have become increasingly more prevalent: CLIL. But what do these letters stand for and what does it mean?

CLIL, or Content Language Integrated Learning, is ...

... described as 'learning which aims to introduce students to new ideas and concepts in traditional curriculum subjects ... using the foreign language as the medium of communication' (CILT, the National Centre for Languages). This is similar to the more common term, bilingual learning, which can simply be described as using a foreign language to study a subject, e.g., mathematics, science, music.

So who uses CLIL? You may be surprised to learn that CLIL is not specific to ELT and has been around for some time. It can be an ESL teacher looking for interesting and familiar content for the students OR by a subject teacher who wants to integrate a foreign language into the classroom.

According to one ELT professional (Steve Darn), CLIL should include the following:
* Content - Progression in knowledge, skills and understanding related to specific elements of a defined curriculum

* Communication - Using language to learn whilst learning to use language

* Cognition - Developing thinking skills which link concept formation (abstract and concrete), understanding and language

* Culture - Exposure to alternative perspectives and shared understandings, which deepen awareness of otherness and self.

For ELT professionals familiar with the Communicative Teaching approach, CLIL may not seem very different. Skills, both receptive and productive, can be integrated. Reading or listening passages are often used for input. The focus is on functional language which is dictated by the context of the subject. Accuracy is not focused on as much as fluency. Different language learning styles are taken into consideration.

There are many useful CLIL resources available online. Check these out!





Hope that helps!

Carol Rueckert
Writer, ESL Lesson Plan
E-mail: crueckert@eslemployment.com
Blog: www.esl-lesson-plan.com

"I hear, and I forget. I see, and I remember. I do, and I understand." - Chinese Proverb

*Looking for more articles that spotlight Teacher Development in the ESL industry? Click HERE!

About the author of this entry:
Carol, a native English-speaker hailing from the small town of St. Joseph in Minnesota, USA, worked in China for more than 7 years. During that time, she worked at universities, private language schools, grade schools, international schools, and did private tutoring as well. Besides teaching, she also worked as a Head teacher, an Education Manager, and a Material Development Manager. In addition to working on this newsletter, she also writes a monthly column for Time Out Beijing, authors ESL textbooks for publishing houses in China, and is an Editor for Garnet Publishing in England. Carol holds a BA in Communications from the College of St. Benedict/ St. John's University, and a CELTA, and has just finished her MA TESOL course at Oxford Brookes University. Look for her posts on the ESL-Jobs-Forum discussion boards!

Posted by crueckert at October 4, 2008 02:44 AM

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Hi Carol,

Great to see you referencing Teaching English here. Just thought I'd let you know about some other resources we have on the site to help with CLIL. We have really nice demo lesson plan here http://tinyurl.com/4r7429 and a nice basic introduction here: http://tinyurl.com/3ppwvy

Hope tthese are useful


The Teaching English Team
The global home for Teachers of English

Posted by: Teaching English Team at October 14, 2008 10:34 AM

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