Cafe CLIL Discussion 01 - Getting started in CLIL

Discussion_01: Getting started
Dec 19th, 2009

The recording of the discussion is available in YouTube and is the first of what we hope will be many discussions on CLIL in all its aspects.
The two colleagues who joined me for discussion are Bernd Merlock and Lauretta D'Angelo.
Introductory text from these colleagues follows as well as a contact email.

Bernd Morlock
I teach students at vocational schools (age 16 to 19) in History and political science / social studies in the southwest of Germany. We often have to cope with a highly heterogeneous group with sometimes basic deficits which do, however, show some potential if we work hard and make them work hard too. The thing is that we can hardly implement any bilingual streams but have to work with flexible modules. I also work in teacher training where I had some, but so far only little, experience with CLIL. At the moment we are very interested in getting (time-saving) access to suitable materials in modern history and social studies; right now I would be grateful for materials on voting systems (German vs British).

Lauretta D’Angelo,
I taught German as foreign language at upper secondary level from 1977 till 1999. Then I began to work at the Regional Institute for Educational Research in Lombardy (Italy) as researcher and teacher trainer.  In 2000 I began to approach CLIL and develop CLIL programs together with a team of other language teachers coordinated by Gisella Langé  (Inspector for language teachers). We ran together in-service training for teachers of various foreign languages both on site and on line. We developed also European projects about CLIL (Comenius and Minerva). My specific fields of research are European Dimension and European Citizenship at school and foreign language teaching/learning.  Starting from last November I am doing a doctoral research for the University of Zaragoza about the Professional profile of the CLIL subject teacher. I am still working with Gisella Langé and her team about a possible certification (a kind of label) for school that foster the CLIL  approach. I am author of many publications concerning the above mentioned  thematic areas, the most recent one is “Integrazione europea in materia di istruzione e formazione: una sfida ancora aperta” (European Integration in education and training: a still open challenge).


The topics we covered in brief were:

01_Introductions - a general introduction from each colleague, their backgrounds and interests.

02_Networking - Here, we discussed the phenomenon of the vast majority of CLIL meetings being in the ELT sphere and where almost no opportunities exist (in our experience) for subject teachers teaching through the medium of English as a foreign language to get together, to share and network.

03_Malaysia - the example of Malaysia is given of a context with a national policy for foreign language-medium education, problems and solutions.

04_Finding teachers - there was some discussion about recruitment of English-medium subject teachers, the restrictions national educational systems present, examples of small initiatives of exchange between countries.

05_CLIL TT - both Bernd and Lauretta are trainers and we talked about what goes on in their training.

06_CLIL Method - We also touched on what CLIL methodology is, what it offers for both language and subject teachers.

07_Future Topics - We put together a list of possible discussion topics for future Café CLIL meetings.

- Competences for subject teachers

- Materials

- Methodology and tasks

- Testing for subject teachers

- Assessment for students

- Communication and networking for teachers


There were several other colleagues interested in joining this discussion but obviously it's not always easy to coordinate a group to meet at one time, with the same medium for communication.  We used SKYPE, and I recorded the discussion.  This itself presented problems in that I wasn't able to record all three of us at the same time and this meant that I had to record myself separately from Bernd and Lauretta, and then cut and paste the two recordings together afterwards.  I've since found a software which I hope will solve this problem for future Café CLIL meetings.


I suggest we make one meeting per month, and see how we get on.  For the moment, I suggest the following:

One day of Wed to Thurs 21-23 Jan (13.00 - 18.00 Bulgarian time for up to one hour)
One day of Wed to Thurs 25-27 Feb (13.00 - 18.00 Bulgarian time for up to one hour)
One day of Wed to Thurs 15-17 Apr (13.00 - 18.00 Bulgarian time for up to one hour)

I'm afraid that we'll have to be flexible about timing and dates, and I think that the best way to arrange the meetings will be based on choosing the best time for the greatest number.  Let's try it this way for the start, and if there are colleagues who feel left out, perhaps I can try and arrange a second date for a repeat discussion.
If you'd like to get involved in these discussions, just drop me a line ( with an indication of preferred date, time and topic(s) in order of preference.  Please also include a short text about your work background and interest in CLIL to be published on this site.  Please note also that all discussion will be recorded and published here after the meeting.  Skype offers a maximum conference number of 24, so there's room for more, though I'm not sure we'll practically manage so many colleagues talking at once!