Teaching English Clarifying CLIL Submitted on 13 March, 2009 Nina Lauder, a freelance author and teacher trainer for

Oxford University Press, writes about the benefits of CLIL in the classroom. CLIL (Content and Language Integrated Learning) is a term with which educational professionals in primary schools are becoming increasingly familiar. However, a certain degree of confusion still exists with respect to CLIL, including what benefits are achieved through CLIL and how ESL/EFL and content area teachers can initiate integrated learning in the primary classroom. Generally speaking, CLIL is seen as being dual focussed as it aims to introduce children to content areas such as Art, Science, Music or Physical Education using a foreign language, in this case English, as the medium to teach all or part of the subject. Essentially, English shifts from being used exclusively for language-based purposes and becomes a vehicle to teach and learn non-language content. In a nutshell, CLIL focuses on learning content in a foreign language, rather than learning the language itself. In terms of the implementation of CLIL in the primary classroom, there is a range of valid interpretations as to how to integrate language and content. In some educational situations, CLIL is achieved through bilingual immersion programmes. In this case, a number of hours a week are dedicated to teaching subjects in English while, in other contexts, the integration of content and language is done through small 'doses' of the non-language area being presented in English. Some professionals distinguish between soft CLIL, which tends to be somewhat less demanding, and which is sometimes referred to as "the ELT variety of teaching content", versus hard CLIL where limited concessions are made to reduce language and content loads. Regarding the benefits of CLIL, research and feedback from teachers in primary school settings has demonstrated that, by taking the emphasis off learning language and placing it on learning content, the children's educational experience is enhanced. Teaching nonlanguage content in English makes the use of the foreign language more contextualised, real and meaningful for children, as well as providing a variety of stimuli for a broader range of learners. In addition, dedicating time in content area classes in English allows children to receive additional exposure to the foreign language in a natural way without requiring extra time in the curriculum. When it comes to the introduction of CLIL into the classroom, there are countless ways that language and non-language practitioners can integrate language and content. Although there is no right or wrong way of implementing CLIL into the primary classroom, successful programmes frequently have clearly set goals and objectives, in combination with the English teacher and content area teacher working in conjunction with each other when planning and preparing materials and classes. A number of primary level ELT books present themes such as the weather, maps, animals, and jobs which can be tied into content areas. Nevertheless, in most cases, the

and non-language teachers. in March.org. Incredible English Kit. For example.. (Course book 1.info/ Retrieved from the webpage British Council. In addition. In summary. when addressing the unit on animals. Language teachers. JET: Projects Across the Curriculum. Oxford University Press. Cross-curricular Activities. 2009. © Lauder.. Peter. Using languages to learn and learning to use languages. teachers need to adapt the integration of language and content to their own needs and circumstances. Mary Glasgow Magazines.G. tied in with the topic they are learning. In order to make these themes more appropriate for CLIL. S.com/index. themes and topics than can be performed in English and set goals and objectives according to their particular situation. 2006 ©. © Fried-Booth.html http://www. Project Work.. Marsh . Non-linguistic teachers can start off by familiarising children with basic vocabulary in English. teachers can centre the children's attention on whether the animals are omnivores. Langé.shtml http://www. 3). D.factworld. D. London. Marsh. Phillips. rather than placing emphasis on the language structures being presented. Oxford University Press. visual cues and graphic organisers whenever possible to help children understand content and can use the English language in the classroom as much as feasible. Dunford H. © Websites http://www. Oxford University Press © 2007 Svecova. Teaching English. Oxford University Press.clilcompendium. herbivores or carnivores.uk/think/methodology/clil. .. Hana. © 2000 Phillips. Oxford Basics. They can make use of realia. Bibliography and Useful Resources • • • • • • Burwood. D. 2. Nina. Sarah and Redpath. Projects with Young Learners. another excellent way to encourage children to work on topics in English at their own pace is through project work. Finland: University of Jyväskylä. can and should work in collaboration to decide on subject areas.teachingenglish.focal point tends to be on the language structures rather than on the content. Eds. Diana L.. or they can involve children by performing hands-on experiments and demonstrations in English. teachers should make an effort to broaden the concepts and ensure that content becomes the main focus.

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