Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) involves teaching a curricular subject through the medium of a language other than that normally used. The subject can be entirely unrelated to language learning, such as P.E. , Arts & Craft or Sciece lessons being taught in English in a school in Spain. CLIL is taking place and has been found to be effective in all sectors of education from primary through to adult and higher education. Its success has been growing over the past 10 years and continues to do so.
Teachers working with CLIL are specialists in their own discipline rather than traditional language teachers. They are usually fluent speakers of the target language, bilingual or native speakers. In many institutions language teachers work in partnership with other departments to offer CLIL in various subjects. The key issue is that the learner is gaining new knowledge about the ‘non-language’ subject while encountering, using and learning the foreign language. The methodologies and approaches used are often linked to the subject area with the content leading the activities.
Benefits of CLIL
CLIL’s multi-faceted approach can offer a variety of benefits. It:
- builds intercultural knowledge and understanding
- develops intercultural communication skills
- improves language competence and oral communication skills
- develops multilingual interests and attitudes
- provides opportunities to study content through different perspectives
- allows learners more contact with the target language
- does not require extra teaching hours
- complements other subjects rather than competes with them
- diversifies methods and forms of classroom practice
- increases learners’ motivation and confidence in both the language and the subject being taught