Sunday, May 19, 2024
HomeSpecial FeaturesAdvertising FeatureA dual approach to learning

A dual approach to learning

The field of bilingual education encompasses many approaches, but the Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) method, already widely used in Europe, has been growing in popularity around the world

The term CLIL is relatively new – education experts David Marsh and Do Coyle coined it in the mid-1990s – but the technique is as old as learning itself. The approach became more formalised in the 1960s in language immersion programmes in Canada, and with languages across the curriculum programmes in the UK and the US.

Broadly speaking, CLIL programmes aim to increase students’ subject-area proficiency while at the same time improving their knowledge of the target language, often English. In the CLIL method, content teachers (who might teach music or biology, for example)teach in the target language.

What sets the CLIL method apart from similar approaches is that the students’ first language is embraced, rather than discouraged. In fact, the hallmark ‘5 Cs’ of this approach are communication, community/ culture, competence and cognition.

How is CLIL methodology used in teaching English?

It’s this meaningful interaction with the content for communication and community- building that makes the CLIL method effective for teaching English. Students are able to see immediate, real-world applications of the language, taking English learning out of a vacuum and making it practical, even essential.

Since content teachers are not normally experts in language instruction, they require training in this area and, in most cases, they also depend on the support of the English teacher. In turn, the English teacher supports the content teacher by introducing relevant vocabulary and functional language related to a given subject and by emphasising critical thinking.

What are the benefits of CLIL for students?

Through CLIL, students are motivated to engage with English in a meaningful, authentic way.

They are able to gain a deeper understanding of the target language as they form links in their minds between their first language and the content, fostering metalinguistic skills.

Students are also able to take their comprehension of content subjects further, as key concepts taught in the subject classroom are reinforced in the language classroom.

How does having a CLIL certificate benefit teachers?

Until recently, the concept of CLIL was largely limited to the realm of academia, rather than in the hands of everyday teachers. CLIL certification changes this by distilling the complex ideas and jargon from textbooks and journal articles into practical knowledge and hands-on skills teachers can use.

CLIL certification creates opportunities for teachers in Kindergarten to 12th-grade schools and other educational settings where they can support the institute’s greater CLIL initiative. Their knowledge of CLIL and their certification can lead to career advancement and the higher salary that comes with it.

How does using the CLIL approach benefit a school?

CLIL methodology, which is applicable in primary and secondary schools, vocational schools, colleges and universities, can help organisations reach goals such as:

  • Meeting local or national bilingual mandates.
  • Gaining an understanding of CLIL methodology necessary for institution-wide adoption.
  • Setting their school apart with accredited training and certification in CLIL.
  • Maximising learning outcomes for students.

How do you become CLIL certified?

Bridge developed its unique CLIL certification programme to fill a training gap within bilingual education.

As Anna Hearrell, Bridge Product Manager, explains, “After attending many international ELT conferences and discussing trends with schools and educators worldwide, we realised that bilingual programmes like CLIL were being implemented, but with no real training or methodology in place. Practical and accessible CLIL training simply wasn’t available to those who needed it.”

Bridge developed its innovative, 120-hour, online Specialized Certificate in Content and Language Integrated Learning programme in 2021. The accredited, two-course training is available for both individual teachers as well as groups of teachers, administrators and other stakeholders.

In the first course, Foundational CLIL Methodology, trainees learn the principles of CLIL and key research behind the method. In the second course, Advanced CLIL Methodology, trainees get a higher- level understanding of CLIL applications, including subject scope, lesson planning and course content design. The programme includes a series of instructional videos produced by CLIL experts Dr Donna Fields and Dr Peeter Mehisto on essential CLIL topics, such as institutional cooperation, scaffolding, student-centred learning and higher-order thinking skills.

The interactive training also includes videos of teachers implementing CLIL methods, practice activities, written assignments with tutor feedback and peer discussion boards.

The CLIL method can seem complex, but with the right training and collaboration between administrators, and both content and language teachers, schools can become part of the global movement in bilingual education.

To learn more about Bridge CLIL certification for teachers or institutions visit content-language-integrated-learning


Image courtesy of Library
Liz Granirer
Liz Granirer
Liz has been a journalist for many years. She is currently editor of EL Gazette and has previously edited the magazines Young Performer, StepForward and Accounting Technician; been deputy editor on Right Start magazine; chief sub editor on Country Homes & Interiors; and sub editor on easyJet Traveller, Lonely Planet and Family Traveller magazines, along with a number of others.
- Advertisment -

Latest Posts