Lithuania - CLIL book and conference

CLIL Conference, Lithuania

The launch of a teaching and teacher training resource for CLIL!
A CLIL conference and book launch was held in Lithuania this week.  The conference took place at the Sarunas Hotel, Vilnius on the 8th December and was followed by a day’s practical workshop on CLIL on the 9th at the American International School of Vilnius.

You can download the complete book here (7mb)

The conference celebrated the work of teachers integrating content and language in Lithuania and covered the three years of the project in English and other projects in French and German.  The event was organised by the British Council and the Ministry of Education and Science in Lithuania and supported by the Goethe Institute and the French Cultural Centre.

Special thanks to Vilma Backiute ( of the British Council in Lithuania for her vision and commitment to the project and seeing us through to this goal.
Dr Loreta Zadeikaite from the Lithuanian Ministry of Education and Science opens the conference.  She is accompanied by the Lithuanian Secretary of State for education, and directors of the French Cultural Centre, the British Council and the Goethe Institute.
CLIL Publication

For our part, when I say ‘our’ I mean the English-medium side of the project, the meeting was a culmination of three years of work in integrating content and language in education in Lithuania.  The event was also an opportunity to launch a publication ‘Integruotas dalyko ir uzsienio kalbos mokymas’ (Content and Language Integrated Learning) which records the three areas of work in English, French and German and also offers a DVD with lesson clips from CLIL lessons in English in Lithuania, materials and activities.  The book is so much more than just a book and a DVD.  It also represents an evaluation of the work of these projects in Lithuania.
CLIL in the World
If that wasn’t enough we had the privilege of having Professor Dieter Wolf give a talk on ‘CLIL in the World and EU’ ...

The French perspective and EMILE/CLIL testing instruments
and Jean Sérandour give an overview of the French project.  An area which interested me personally in this presentation was the news that students undertaking the EMILE/CLIL courses at this school in Lithuania can be assessed in their French-medium subjects and receive certification. Assessment is an area all CLIL teachers talk about and I'll be communicating with Jean to take a look at some samples of the test materials and instruments such as mark schemes these colleagues have been using in their EMILE exams.  Perhaps we can use this model for other areas and other languages.

France, Germany, Latvia, Holland, Estonia, Lithuania, England

I reported on the English-medium project and the series of events from initial workshops up to the publication and Lithuanian teachers presented local perspectives on the work.

There was a panel discussion from colleagues in Ministry and Educational institutions around the country on CLIL issues and the future of CLIL in Lithuania.

 Conference theatrics...
The day ended with a performance of forum drama from Arc Theatre which integrated drama and climate change through the medium of English with audience participation.  This ensured that the day ended on a high.
Other significant outcomes

There were other no less significant outcomes from the two days.  Colleagues from the Ministry of Education and Science dealing with teacher training expressed interest in consultancy on CLIL training provision in Lithuania.  Also colleagues from the Faculty of History at the University of Vilnius are considering implementing reform in their pre-service programme to include a 30% time allocation to CLIL History training.  I promised to let them have examples of programmes I know of in other contexts and put them in touch with colleagues I know already carrying out these types of programmes of CLIL training.

Additionally, Loreta, a colleague from our writing team and teacher at the pedagogical institute in Vilnius, tells me that 11 of her final year students of English have opted for the CLIL module that she is going to be teaching early in 2007.

CLIL Practical Workshop

The workshop on day two took place at the American International School of Vilnius,
View of Vilnius from the school     
 ... and many thanks go to Jeff Haun, Director of the school, who welcomed the 31 teachers to the practical workshop led by Lida Schoen on producing and ‘selling’ cosmetics in the classroom.   
It was a Saturday and we weren't completely sure how many people would turn out for the workshop, but we needn't have worried there were 31 teachers including colleagues from Latvia at the open workshop which started in the school Science lab, hosted by Science teacher Arunas.
Vilma gets us under way...   
Lida started by stressing the Science Across the World programme ( as a wonderful tool for finding partners and integrating language and Science. 

We work very closely with Science Across and it is very pleasing to see teachers motivated into exploiting the programme for their own purposes. This is the case with deputy director of the Siauliai School, Rima, who jumped on the idea of using Science Across in her own teaching and CLIL training context.

The Chemistry and Language of Cosmetics

Lida and I tried to count how many places we've done this workshop together now... Buenos Aires in Argentina, Taipei in Taiwan, Krasnoyarsk in Siberia, Sofia in Bulgaria, Gwanju in Korea, Beijing in China and now Vilnius in Lithuania.  It was a perfect way of putting into practice what was discussed during the conference the day before. 
...the colleagues mix, blend, combine their chemicals...

... they collaborate and discuss the qualities they want...
... until they get the right consistency, viscosity, stickiness, jelliness, colourfulness, ponginess, ooziness and other important chemical and cosmetic qualities... 

... and they design their cosmetic line, branding, labelling and advertising...

Cosmetics advertisements

The presentations / advertisements are always a pleasure and a high on which to end any event...
 ...and we put together a panel of serious judges... 
... to look at the presentation, delegation, timing, visuals, originality, jingle, poetry...
... the selling power of the products ... 
... the chemistry involved ...
 ... the drama ... 
... the fun ...

  ... looking for that special something ... 
... artistic license ...
Prize giving, certificates and kisses   

Lida reviews the products...

We're very lucky to be supported by Bio-Rad with wonderful prizes such as this classroom kit for DNA extraction.  The kit gives everything you need to extract DNA from pupils' cheek cells, put them in a small heart shaped bottle and hang it on a chain around the neck...which Kastas won for his school with his performance ...
... and he got a kiss from Lida!
Vilma presents one of our school hosts, Jolita, with a copy of the CLIL book in thanks for her school  

It's always sad to say goodbye to a group of teachers who have been enthusiastic and involved.  This is the case here especially as it's the end of three years of a project.  The results, I think, are clear and can be seen in the series of reports here in the 'Lithuania' section.

The ingredients were/are all here for success with great partnerships, resources, needs-based in-service training and a publication which lends itself as a foundation for pre-service training in the future in institutions around Lithuania.  All things considered though, it is the teachers who made this project work.  They took the risks, they brought their energy and they opened their classrooms.  

I don't think this is the end of the story.  There are three threads for teacher training which are likely to grow and the ministry is very keen to see this area of CLIL develop in Lithuania.  There are also moves afoot to build on this experience in collaboration with colleagues in other countries in the region, including Latvia and Estonia.

I think everyone knows that I'd be glad to be involved!

(A quick footnote about the DVD accompanying the book.  Some colleagues have already reported difficult in playing the DVD.  The DVD is completely fine and working, make sure that you have an up to date player installed on your computer and it should play ok.)


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