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Content and Lanaguage Intergrated Learning (CLIL) 
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Post Content and Lanaguage Intergrated Learning (CLIL)
Content and Lanaguage Intergrated Learning (CLIL) deals with teaching other subjects, mainly math and science, using English, not L1, as the classroom language. At least that's my understanding.

They are killing two birds with one stone, teach English while teaching something else.

I've only heard of this recently, but it seems very interesting and it's possibly something we need to look into if we'd like jobs in the distant future. Has anyone had any experience with this or anything to share on the subject?

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Fri Feb 29, 2008 10:27 am
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It seems to be immensely fashionable in methodological circles at the moment. Whether that subsides (think Task-Based learning, the Lexical Approach etc.) remains to be seen.

What I think is quite good about it for teens in particular is that teen courses often did include an element of that - units on the environment, history etc., but in the rather limited way that ESL writers could manage. It makes sense to have a content load which is devised by a broader range of educators and which is actually useful to the mainstream of the educational program the students are following.

The problem is that plenty of ESL teachers have barely adequate training (or no training at all) for teaching ESL. It's expecting a lot if they also have to teach Math, Science etc. at the same time.

It seems to me that often workable ideas coming from the methodology innovators are not entirely tuned into the realities of day-to-day ESL. That's not to say that these ideas should be ignored, but rather adapted to what can realistically be achieved with the resources available.

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Mon Mar 03, 2008 5:03 am
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Hi Mark,

From what I understand the general consensus is that it leads to considerable improvement in language skills, but generally holds back performance in the actual subject.

I don't have the references with me, but I believe this was a big issue in certain rural areas of Africa where maths and other subjects were taught in French. The kids, who spoke local languages at home, improved in French but were behind in maths skills.

However reviewing material the kids are already familiar with in a new language may be beneficial e.g. doing simple math in English class.

Jonmarks also has a good point, I used to have a hard enough time teaching science classes, and I wouldn't have wanted to do it without the previous training or experience!

Be genki,

Richard

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Mon Mar 03, 2008 9:24 am
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Richard makes a good point. Reviewing material already learned in non-English classes in English could prove beneficial but teaching new lessons and concepts in these classes could slow the students down, unless their English is at a conversational level. For example, countries that are far more bilingual than say...Japan.

Does anyone who if CLIL includes classes where new information is being introduced for the first time?

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Mon Mar 03, 2008 11:36 am
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I had a sniff around on the net. http://www.clilcompendium.com/ seems to have a concise yet thorough overview.

I dunno. I'm not entirely convinced. I mean, teach Math using English, why not teach Biology using Music or Geograhy using Pottery? Since the Ancient Greeks study has been divided into discrete disciplines. Has that approach really been failing so badly that we need to rethink? Or I am I seriously missing the point?

But as Mark indicated, we'd be well advised to keep abreast of developments in this if we want to stay relevant.

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Tue Mar 04, 2008 7:43 am
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I am all for content language learning! I have found that students learn LANGUAGES the best when language is presented in context (as opposed to substitution drills/activities) However I also agree with jonmarks and Richard, and Patrick. The goals should be to supplement learning in other subjects, not to replace it.


Tue Mar 04, 2008 11:05 am
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Here in Spain, they have started to use CLIL in some schools and it seems it works.
Some schools combine both classes, so they do Science both in English and L1.
I read that some schools teach a subject in English, but of course, students need a better lever of English than the one they have now.
I just started preparing some English classes which include History and Science material, but the important achievement is English. I don't mind if they don't learn Science well because they already have Science in L1. I talked with the Science teacher so I work with facts they already know. We will try to add some new information, but for me it is a way to put English in a different context and to see if children can do it.
I'll start these classes next month. If you want I'll tell you how they go.


Tue Mar 04, 2008 8:09 pm
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How about CLIL as an opportunity for covering areas that are often not included in the syllabus due to time and other constraints: contemporary Arts, "citizenship", inter-personal skills, that kind of thing. Just as useful really as learning about Chemistry etc., but not automatically included in many school timetables. Just an idea - I'll be giving it some thought before trying it myself.

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Thu Mar 06, 2008 6:00 am
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I can see it working if it is started from a young age and vocabulary is built up over time. But then the issue is making sure they have the vocab in their first language for them to function in their society.
My daughters, after one year at a Japanese school, can do some maths in Japanese that she can't explain in English!!


Mon Mar 24, 2008 2:42 pm
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Did anyone see Eigo de Shaberenaito Jr. on NHK last night? It was definitely an example of how NOT to teach CLIL.
Apparently a private elementary school in Gunma has a rule of NO JAPANESE. Students are taught subjects in English by foreigners. They showed a 4th year math class learning division. On the chalkboard was the equation 11/2= 5 R 1 (sorry can't find the division sign on my keyboard). This is fine. That's what kids learn in this year. But underneath were the words, dividend, divisor, quotient. Here is the dialog between teacher and students
Teacher: "Dividend divided by divisor equal quotient. Repeat."
Students: "Divident divided by divisor equal quotient."
Teacher: "Dividend divided by divisor equal quotient. Repeat."
Students: "Divident divided by divisor equal quotient."
Teacher: "Dividend divided by divisor equal quotient. Repeat."
Students: "Divident divided by divisor equal quotient."
Teacher: "Easy, right?"

I can't help but wonder if this is the best way to teach either subject.


Tue Apr 01, 2008 8:56 am
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Remainder = math learned because kids are clever and just follow the pattern, language ???

I didn't see the program. Was their English fluent? If so, then maybe not such a big deal, but since the teacher was asking them to repeat, I'd assume not.

"Eleven divided by two equals 5 with a remainder of 1." would seem helpful, though.

It might be a problem of the NS teacher being a math teacher not a language teacher. It's best to have both.

(The upcoming podcast on ESL Teacher Talk will be about CLIL and with Clive who is in Italy and has had some experience using CLIL and is currently in a training program for it.)

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Tue Apr 01, 2008 10:50 am
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mesmark wrote:
Was their English fluent? If so, then maybe not such a big deal, but since the teacher was asking them to repeat, I'd assume not.

"Eleven divided by two equals 5 with a remainder of 1." would seem helpful, though.

It might be a problem of the NS teacher being a math teacher not a language teacher. It's best to have both.

(The upcoming podcast on ESL Teacher Talk will be about CLIL and with Clive who is in Italy and has had some experience using CLIL and is currently in a training program for it.)


On the show one student explained the NO Japanese policy in English. His English was fairly good.

As for the math class, I was wondering how effective it is for students just understanding the concept of division to have to learn and repeat words like dividend, divisor, and quotient, even for a class of native English speakers. I know those words never pop into my mind when I do division.

I'm looking forward to listening to the new podcast. I'm sure that CLIL carefully prepared and executed can be very powerful.


Tue Apr 01, 2008 1:44 pm
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Here's the podcast I did with clive on CLIL
Content and Language Intergrated Learning

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