Monday, October 14, 2013

Is that CLIL or what?

I have received some comments and questions about what’s CLIL and what’s not and, especially about the definition of "language showers"...  it seems to me that this is an aspect not clearn enough!
Is teaching a subject in a foreign language CLIL? Are immersion programmes CLIL? Are “language showers” CLIL? Are “workshops” or modules CLIL?

Have a look at the following article and decide by yourself if you are doing CLIL or not!

The many faces of CLIL

CLIL stands for Content and Language Integrated Learning. It refers to teaching subjects such as science, history and geography to students through a foreign language. This can be by the English teacher using cross-curricular content or the subject teacher using English as the language of instruction. Both methods result in the simultaneous learning of content and English.

CLIL is an umbrella term covering a dozen or more educational approaches (eg immersion, bilingual education, multilingual education, language showers and enriched language programmes). What is new about CLIL is that it synthesizes and provides a flexible way of applying the knowledge learned from these various approaches. The flexibility of the approach is, above all, evident in the amount of time devoted to teaching or learning through the second language. CLIL allows for low- to high-intensity exposure to teaching/learning through a second language. The approach can also be used for short-term high-intensity exposure (see figure below).

Language showers

Language showers are primarily intended for students aged between six and ten years old, who receive between 30 minutes and one hour of exposure per day. This includes the use of games, songs, many visuals, realia, handling of objects and movement. Teachers usually speak almost entirely in the CLIL language. 

Routines are developed and considerable repetition is used so students know what to expect. This creates a sense of security, lowers anxiety and boosts learning.

Language showers aim to help students to:
• be aware of the existence of different languages;
• develop a positive attitude towards language learning;
• be prepared for language learning.

Suggested activities
Teachers focus on routine activities with which the students become comfortable. They set the stage by telling students what to expect and then switch to the CLIL language, for example:

  • to manage snacktime or lunchtime. Instructions are given in the CLIL language, vocabulary for foods is learned and students answer questions about what they are eating. The teacher says: ‘Mmm, apples. Shelly has an apple. Who else has an apple? What is that Paul? Yes, very good. That’s right, it’s an apple. What colour is the apple, red or green? Is it red like Igor’s shirt or green like Chantal’s skirt?’ Simultaneously pointing to Igor’s red shirt and Chantal’s green skirt will facilitate comprehension.

  • to help students get dressed for breaks or for going home. Articles of clothing can be put on in various sequences while the students repeat the new words. Considerable gesturing/pointing is used to help students associate the object with its name in the CLIL language. The teacher may say: ‘What shall we put on first? Our gloves? Our hats? Our coats? Our boots? What colour is Vadim’s hat? What colour is Penny’s scarf? Today, let’s put on our gloves first. Now let’s put on our coats and try to button them. Is that difficult?’ (Said with a grimacing face.) ‘Is that easy?’ (Said with a smiling face.) Students answer with one word or in short phrases using the CLIL language.

  • singing songs that include considerable movement and that help teach vocabulary (eg the Shimmy Shimmy Shake, also known as the Hokey Cokey: I put my left hand in, my left hand out, my left hand in and I shake it all about …). Using actions together with new vocabulary helps students to learn and more easily recall vocabulary. Also, words in songs are more easily retained than lists of words.

 Are you a CLIL teacher?

Even if you are unaware of the term CLIL, you may already have been using CLIL methodology for many years. You may already be following and using many of its principles.
•             Bilingual Integration of Languages and Disciplines (BILD)
•             Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL)
•             Content and Language Integration in Primary CLIP
•             Content-based Instruction (CBI)
•             Content-based Language Instruction (CBLI)
•             Content-based Language Teaching (CBLT)
•             English Across the Curriculum (EAC)
•             English as an Academic Language (EAL)
•             English as a Medium of Instruction (EMI)
•             Foreign Language Immersion Program (FLIP)
•             Foreign Languages as a Medium of Education (FLAME)
•             Languages Across the Curriculum (LAC)
•             Teaching Content Through English
•             Teaching English Through Content

Part of this article is taken from onestopenglish 

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