Austria - Cooperation in CLIL

Report on COOP CLIL Salzburg
(10th – 13th November 2014)

I was asked to prepare input on how language teachers can best collaborate with subject teachers. I’d prepared an agenda which explored ‘points of contact’ between the pairs of teachers including: subject content and language; thinking skills; seeing ‘shape’ in content; co-preparation and team teaching; observation and feedback.

Petra gets us started

We began with the language teachers and the subject teachers discussing separately their own perspectives on the role of the language teachers and then feeding them back in plenary. This gave a summary of ideas on what language teachers are actually doing, or what colleagues felt these teachers should be doing, in practice to support CLIL.

Colleagues at work

The exploration of ‘points of contact’ aimed at presenting colleagues with starting points to explore cooperative CLIL work in school.
In all three groups there was overwhelming enthusiasm for subject teachers and language teachers cooperating in CLIL. So much so that I decided with the groups’ agreement to cut my prepared agenda a little shorter in order to provide the pairs ‘hands on’ time to begin discussing their CLIL cooperation with respect to the points discussed so far.


This immediate cooperation is testament to the transparent good will among colleagues in HTLs to get down to the business of CLIL together given the opportunity to do so. The most glaring conclusion to my afternoon workshops is quite simply this very fact, that given the opportunity (time together) cooperation in HTL CLIL can be a very effective and fruitful experience but is sadly not as prevalent in school as we would like it to be for a number of reasons, and lack of organized time for language and subject teachers to get together is one of them.

Feedback on cooperation

I decided it would be a good idea to write up the meeting in an article and try and get it published. The reason for this is simply that managers and heads need to be aware of the bigger picture when it comes to implementing CLIL. It's not an exaggeration to say that effective CLIL implementation needs to be made on a school level at least. There are clearly success stories on an individual basis where lone teachers are working wonders in their own classroom, but for CLIL to be sustainable, schools need to have a policy and a practice for going into CLIL. This article makes some suggestions based on teacher feedback at the Salzburg meeting.

This article is published at the BBC - British Council teachingenglish website:

Thanks to everyone involved. It was such a success that we're already organizing a repeat for 2015!

My slides are linked below.

Attached files