Italy - Milan CLIL Trainers
Saturday morning CLIL with Teacher Trainers
Gisella Lange asked me to lead a session with her intrepid group of trainers and I have to admit to having felt a little anxious about it.
After all, the group of around 15 teachers and trainers are probably some of the most experienced in CLIL projects in Europe.
I needn't have worried. It was a terrific experience. I knew some of the group personally as well and it's always a plus to have a friendly face in the crowd.
As it was we had a healthy debate around the many 'unsolved' issues to do with CLIL.
Here are some of them.
Instituto Technico Carlo Cattaneo where we met
§ Is there a worldwide or Europe survey on the outcomes of the CLIL approach?
§ The future of CLIL?!?
What is CLIL is what is not CLIL? What are the “cons” of the CLIL approach?
§ Can CLIL become a threat in countries where the native language is not strong? Could CLIL eventually lead to the loss of those languages?
§ What about the role of language teachers in the future of CLIL? Will they be able to work on it or is it going to be a content teachers’ domain?
§ Can we try and define what content is? CLIL vs ESP?
Moreover our trainees often ask these kinds of questions:
§ If we perform a Shakespearean play, would that be considered CLIL?
§ What if I teach ITC in English? Would that be a CLIL or being ITC a language itself it can’t be considered a real CLIL?
§ If we work on narrative texts such as the fairy tale for primary school, would that be a CLIL?
§ Are we sure that in CLIL contexts the content is acquired as it would be in the native language? Is there any evidence of it?
We met in a resource room where Gisella tells me she and her team meet regularly. Gisella had prepped me with a list of issues which are continually raised in her work and the work of her trainers and teacher network.
This was a welcome opportunity for me to simply discuss with peers a number of important areas of education. CLIL has become such a buzz word that it was welcome for me to give my opinion on some of the questions which I hear about, which I know colleagues are discussing and some are unsure where to stand. You can download my slides here.at the foot of the page.
Another plus was the croissants and chocolates!
It's a great shame that the Italian government is cutting back funding for development in CLIL.
These colleagues are left out on a limb, still as enthusiastic as ever, thank goodness for that, but with less support.
I still think they are doing a great job! I'll be back here to help.
We have the idea to begin writing curriculum documents for specific subjects which actually identify necessary language within the documents themselves.
Thanks to Fabrizio already for the expression of interest!
That's for another blog.