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ESL forum > Techniques and methods in Language Teaching > CLIL. What do you think?    

CLIL. What do you think?


CLIL. What do you think?

Nowadays CLIL became extremely fashionable. Each and every ELT course book has CLIL in it. Every EFL teacher who teacher 2+2 in English says she/he teaches CLIL. But is it CLIL in fact or it’s just cross-curricular learning? Isn’t CLIL taught by SUBJECT teachers in English, not by English teachers who integrate some content in their lessons. In Latvia we don’t have many teachers who have two specialities...I mean English and Science, for example. What do you think of it? Does it make any sense to use CLIL, at English courses for YL, for example? Or as a part of basic education at schools? Do you use it yourself? What is your experience? Thank you all for attention! I really would like to know and share experience about CLIL.

28 Nov 2015      


This is an interesting topic and I hope to hear what others have to say about CLIL. When I started as a primary teacher in a British school here in Peru, I had to teach English and Social Studies in English. It was difficult for me because I didn’t consider myself a Social Studies teacher. I had to start doing research and prepare thoroughly. Also, I had taught exclusively in English Institutes and I wasn’t prepared to teach English ten hours a week to one group.


In those days, we used “Teaching for Understanding” but as CLIL became popular, you could say we were doing “CLIL” under another name. What I noticed about our students was that they became very versant in higher vocabulary – for example, they could talk about Ancient Egyptians using words like mummies, pharaoh, pyramids, etc. However, they couldn’t say what they had for breakfast that morning or what kinds of clothes they wore.


Now, everyone here is interested in EBL (Enquiry Based Learning) because it is the method required to be classified as an IB school. It includes cross-curricular planning. I am currently teaching English, Social Studies and Science! The Science part has been very challenging for me. The students ask me things and I have to confess that I don’t know. Our school is growing and we are opening a secondary school. We are going to have to look for Science teachers who speak English and not English teachers who know a bit of science.


Nevertheless, I think it is very useful to teach courses in English if your school is focused on doing it right and dealing with the problems. The students, over time, can become very fluent in area or topic.

29 Nov 2015