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CLIL to spread across Italian school system

In a decree issued at the beginning of August, Italy’s Ministry of Education announced the introduction of Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) from nursery school upward. Until now, this method, by which children learn the language through English Medium teaching of one or more academic subjects, has been restricted to those aged 14 and upwards enrolled in high schools and technical institutes.

As a first step to spreading the practice across the system, covering preschools, primary and  middle schools, the government is opening its CLIL training programmes to teachers of non-language subjects. 

The courses, which are worth 20 training credits, will be offered by universities across the county. In order to qualify for the course, teachers will have to show they have reached level B2 on the Common European Framework in the target language, most commonly English, but also other European languages, such as French and German ,both of which are widely spoken as a first language in some regions of Italy.

Although B2 is generally accepted as the base level needed for CLIL teachers, some studies –including the ELLiE study on early language learning and work from the successful Madrid Clil programmes – suggests that teachers who have C1 in the target language get much better results, especially when teaching very young learners. 

Image courtesy of Shutterstock
Melanie Butler
Melanie Butler
Melanie started teaching EFL in Iran in 1975. She worked for the BBC World Service, Pearson/Longman and MET magazine before taking over at the Gazette in 1987 and also launching Study Travel magazine. Educated in ten schools in seven countries, she speaks fluent French and Spanish and rather rusty Italian.
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