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CLIL - An Overview - a diagram of some of the issues related to content and language integrated learning.


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EU Language Action Plan (.pdf)

Language Teacher Education in Europe (.pdf)

European Union Position on CLIL and Training For CLIL


European Union Positions on CLIL and Training For CLIL

 

COMMUNICATION FROM THE COMMISSION

TO THE COUNCIL, THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT,

THE ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COMMITTEE

AND THE COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS

Promoting Language Learning and Linguistic Diversity:

An Action Plan 2004 – 2006

Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL), in which pupils learn a subject through the medium of a foreign language, has a major contribution to make to the Union’s language learning goals. It can provide effective opportunities for pupils to use their new language skills now, rather than learn them now for use later. It opens doors on languages for a broader range of learners, nurturing self-confidence in young learners and those who have not

responded well to formal language instruction in general education. It provides exposure to the language without requiring extra time in the curriculum, which can be of particular interest in vocational settings. The introduction of CLIL approaches into an institution can be facilitated by the presence of trained teachers who are native speakers of the vehicular language.

 

5. Training teachers of other subjects

Most pupils and trainees could study at least some of their curriculum through the medium of a foreign language. Many more members of the teaching profession should in future be able to teach their subject(s) through at least one foreign language; to this end, trainee teachers should study language(s) alongside their area of specialisation and undertake a part of their teaching studies abroad.

 

Promoting Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL)

I.2.4 The Socrates programme’s Lingua action 2 will fund a series of transnational projects for the development and dissemination of new, specific methodologies for teaching subjects through languages other than lingua francas. The Commission will propose that the general Socrates Call for Proposals in 2004 be amended accordingly.

2005

I.2.5 The Commission will propose that the general Socrates Call for Proposals published in 2004 (Socrates Comenius action 1: school projects) be amended so as to increase support to schools wishing to introduce a Content and Language Integrated Learning approach. In particular, extended exchanges of teachers between partner schools will be encouraged.

2005 and 2006

I.2.6 A European conference will be held for decision-takers and inspectors to launch a major new study on the benefits of Content and Language Integrated Learning.

2004

I.2.7 The European Eurydice Unit will gather and disseminate information on the availability of Content and Language Integrated Learning in European education and training systems, based on the collection of available data by its Network.

2005

 

 

The Training of Teachers of a Foreign Language:

Developments in Europe

 

Secondary Schools: Teaching other subjects through the medium of a foreign language

Training to teach other subjects through the medium of a foreign language is an optional

feature of initial teacher training in Austria and Germany. In both these countries it is

possible to gain an additional qualification in bilingual teaching. Germany seems to offer

the most opportunities in bilingual training because several hundred of its schools have

introduced so-called bilingual wings, in which a number of subjects are taught through the

medium of English or French. Initial teacher training with additional bilingual accreditation

is available at the universities of Bremen, Oldenburg, Wuppertal, Cologne, Bochum, Trier

and Saarbrücken among others. The dual Lehramt/Maîtrise qualification on offer at the

teacher training colleges of Karlsruhe and Freiburg also includes a degree of bilingual

training. The University of Nottingham offers a PGCE BILD Programme, which trains

students to teach History, Geography and Science through a foreign language, but this is

the only course of its kind in the UK.

Students can train in a range of different subjects for minority language education across

Europe. Otherwise, bilingual schools are expected to employ native speakers or teachers

who have trained in two subjects (one of which is a language, the other the subject they

wish to teach). This is the case in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovenia.

It is evident that bilingual teaching has many advantages, and is beginning to gain increasing currency. It is certainly an area in which development needs to be encouraged.

 

Subject/language combinations

The practice of training in a language and another discipline is also widely followed, and needs to be further encouraged. It provides a good basis for teachers to teach their other discipline through the foreign language (‘bilingual teaching’).

 

Primary Schools: Teaching other subjects through the medium of a foreign language

Although bilingual teaching, also known as CLIL (Content and Language Integrated

Learning), is available in a great many primary schools throughout Europe, specifically designed teacher training programmes are relatively few and far between. Only in countries

whose population is composed of officially recognised bilingual subgroups is bilingual

initial teacher training compulsory. Bilingual Primary teacher training in foreign languages is

offered in English in Malta and Finland, English and French in Germany, and English and

Danish in Iceland. The Austrian primary languages initiative means that all teachers are

trained for CLIL across most subjects of the Year 1 curriculum.

The results of existing bilingual schemes need to be analysed in more depth to ascertain

whether more training should be provided for primary teachers, and how best it might be

implemented.

 

In-service Teacher Training for Primary and Secondary Education

CLIL (Content and Language Integrated Learning)

Eleven countries currently provide courses in CLIL. The Czech republic has an in-service training course in ICT carried out through the medium of English, Germany offers an inservice training course aimed at primary level teachers in bilingual education (through

LINGUA) and Slovenia introduced a pilot project on teaching Geography through the medium of a foreign language. The most active countries, as far as CLIL is concerned, remain, however, the countries where there is a historical, political, cultural or social need for it, as in the Netherlands and in Switzerland. The latter, being a multilingual country, shows a strong need for multilingual education and offers a wide range of courses, seminars, workshops, and better materials. In the Netherlands, much of the teaching in schools is carried out in English, without any special provision in initial teacher training, but thanks to a wide range of in-service training courses.

 

 

 

1 Initial teacher training in bilingual education: The BILD Project

The BILD Project, which ran for three years under the auspices of a Lingua A research project, brought together a team of bilingual trainers and researchers from four countries to develop methods and materials for the initial and continuing training of bilingual teachers. Bilingual teaching, or CLIL (Content and Language Integrated Learning), is the teaching of “content” subjects, such as history, geography or music, through the medium of a foreign language. The resources developed were published by the University of Nottingham in CD-Rom format.

Rather than on the BILD Project per se, this case study focuses on two initial teacher training courses which informed, and were informed by, the research. These are the BILD

PGCE offered by the School of Education at the University of Nottingham, UK and the

Additional Qualification in Bilingual Training offered by the University of Wuppertal, Germany. Attention is also paid to the provision of bilingual training to German trainees in the second phase of training at the Studienseminar Bonn.

Elements of good practice exemplified by these courses include:

Bilingual teaching;

Bilingual teaching practice;

Mentoring;

Integration of theoretical and practical aspects of training;

Networking between training institutions;

European focus.

 

2 Bilingual in-service training

While bilingual teaching has occurred in German schools for over 30 years, little provision has been made for the formal training of practising bilingual teachers. This case study examines an in-service training initiative which took place in the Federal Land of North Rhine Westphalia in 1997 and 1998. A series of bilingual training courses were run for practising teachers with qualifications and teaching experience in a language and subject combination appropriate to bilingual teaching. Content subjects offered included Biology, Geography, History, and Political Studies. The “bilingual” teaching of foreign languages was also addressed. At present, bilingual teaching in Germany is conducted principally in English (60 schools) and French (18 schools) with some provision in Italian (1), Greek (2), Russian (2) and Spanish.

This report looks specifically at the course run for teachers of History and English by an experienced bilingual teacher working in the Mataré Gymnasium, Meerbusch.

Elements of good practice exemplified by the course include:

Bilingual in-service training;

European Dimension;

Networking;

Co-operation;

Reflective Practice.

 

Training Needs

Initial training – primary

Bilingual training is proving a successful approach and needs to be extended, particularly in countries where bilingual schools are already widespread.

Initial training – secondary

Training in bilingual teaching methods needs to be introduced where they are not yet available, especially in the pre-accession countries, and needs to be made more widely available elsewhere

In-service (continuing) teacher training

Training in bilingual teaching techniques for non-language specialists need to be introduced in most countries.

Additional training in language skills for prospective bilingual subject teachers is required across Europe.

 

Recommendations

18. Bilingual Training (CLIL)

Summary recommendation

Increased training should be provided in bilingual teaching approaches (content and language integrated learning), and pilot projects should be implemented in each country.

Reasons (why it needs to be done)

Bilingual teaching approaches, particularly aimed at Content and Language Integrated

Learning (CLIL), are demonstrating many advantages, especially in increasing language diversity, improving motivation for language learning, and introducing a more international perspective. These approaches have emerged from the great diversity of methodologies across Europe. Traditionally, second languages were taught through grammar study and translation. In recent decades, this has often been replaced by communicative language teaching, which stresses oral skills, and competence in transactions and interactions, though some teachers still use grammar study to complement the development of oral work.

A key weakness of the communicative approach has been its relation to content. In it, the topic for language study often involves the learner as host or tourist, which in some cases can be very successful. In the early stages of language learning, in particular, this content may enhance learners’ motivation. However, there is evidence that in sustained teaching, such content can pall and result in demotivated learners, leading to disappointing linguistic progression. There is also evidence that by continuing to work and think through this limited content, learners can lose opportunities to develop thinking and learning skills that generate more advanced language competence.

Content and Language Integrated Learning addresses both these issues, and others, by providing a more content-rich environment for language learning and teaching. CLIL builds from the communicative approach and has a developed programmatic research base. It is necessary, therefore, that more teachers are trained to use it. There are various models of CLIL, which can be adapted for various age phases of education, and for contexts, which include regional languages, bilingual states, national languages and full international languages. At the same time as addressing language learning needs, CLIL has a major focus on the content based disciplines, such as history, geography, with which it is used. These issues lie outside the remit of this report, but in some senses, CLIL has the potential to enable teaching in all disciplines to contribute to language learning. It also has the potential to extend language diversity, especially in situations where specialist language teaching is unavailable.

Detailed recommendation (what needs to be done)

Provision to train teachers in CLIL approaches should be increased. It may be delivered through full-time courses (as core or complementary), short courses and at a distance through web-based and other ICT based materials. Policy and practice should be further developed through pilot projects, with the aim of providing guidance for practice in training. Such practice needs to cover all age phases of education as well as training at pre-service and in-service levels. Guidelines for training in CLIL should be included in the

European Benchmark referred to in another recommendation.

Agency (who should carry it out)

Coordination should be provided by the Advisory Group on European Teacher Training, recommended in this report. It could also be provided by a separate European unit, with responsibility for coordinating the work of the numerous national and trans-national networks and offices dealing with CLIL. Pilot projects should be funded by DG Education and Culture, and where possible by national or local agencies.

 


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