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Lithuania - A Focus on CLIL 2015
Lithuania - A Focus on CLIL 2015

Lithuania - Focus on CLIL 2015

The preliminary programme is now available for the 17th Lakma International Conference 16-17 October 2015.
I'm very privileged to be asked to present a plenary at the event as well as a workshop.

This is also the event which sees the official launch of our book Putting CLIL into Practice.
Phil Ball is also presenting at the conference.

My plenary 'CLIL for ELT' and workshop 'CLIL Projects for ELT' slides are in this folder.

Take a look at the programme, it's packed full with CLIL presentations and talks.
I'll write more after the event.
Hope to see you there!

_ _ _ 

Focus on CLIL
The Vilnius University of Education Science is celebrating 80 years since its foundation. Happy Birthday!
It was a nice context for a conference and the FOCUS on CLIL Conference from the Lithuanian Association of Language Teachers (LAKMA).
The University of Educational Sciences, Vilnius

It is the first English Language Teachers’ Conference I’ve attended with a programme entirely dedicated to CLIL. Wow! Good job LAKMA!
You can read the programme at the LAKMA site and I'm told that the plenary presentations will all be uploaded there too.

Phil Ball gave the opening plenary on CLIL in 3 Dimensions and gave the context for the new book from OUP Putting CLIL into Practice which was on sale in the conference book fair. It sold out within an hour! It’s due out in the bookshops proper this coming week.
Putting CLIL into Practice was 'launched' at the conference

I gave a plenary called ‘CLIL for ELT’ which followed on from Phil’s talk. In short, I highlighted what language teachers can usefully steal from the subject curriculum for the purposes of enriching their language lessons. I also gave a workshop ‘CLIL Projects for ELT’ in the graveyard slot between 6 and 7 pm.  Here, I gave many examples of CLIL practice from my school – Anglia School. I also gave away four copies of FACTWorld Journal 15 entitled ‘CLIL for ELT’ (available as pdf here) and one colleague from Japan got a FACTWorld badge!

The reception had a Lithuanian folk band playing polka and, of course, we had to dance.
Loretta declares the reception open

Franz, me and Phil at the reception

Franz Mittendorfer brought his inimitable Austrian style, charm and wisdom to offer insights into how CLIL helps prepare our youngsters for employment – Tripe E – Education for Empowerment and Employability. Now, that really is a challenge and a weight to carry. CLIL aims to best get learners ready for the world of work.

I visited a number of workshops including a very rich presentation of materials exploiting traditional stories for CLIL themes from colleague Silvia Dolakova from the Czech Republic - Story-based CLIL for Young Learners and CLIL meets flipped learning: An example of effective teaching practice in non-ideal contexts from Patrizia Cuguzi from Italy. Imagine that! Making the most of the small number of hours in school for CLIL by getting learners ‘flipped’ and doing their research using smart technology OUT of school hours! Genius!

Dr Ann Snow gave a plenary which placed CLIL in relation to CBI. It is something that has to be said and understood. CBI has been around since the late 1970s and there are many overlaps between CLIL and CBI. Ann placed CLIL in a map under the heading ‘Sheltered’. 
Is CLIL a sub-section of sheltered CBI?

It would be interesting to hear your opinions about this. Is CLIL a sub-section of CBI? Does it fit under the heading ‘a form of sheltered Content-Based Instruction’?

One thing that was completely clear and a great message from Ann’s talk was that both CBI and CLIL are about 3 dimensions. Ann used the terms ‘Language’, ‘Content’ and ‘Learning Strategies’, in Putting CLIL into Practice we use the terms ‘Language, Concepts and Procedures’. Essentially, it’s these concepts overlap. It places the focus squarely on these three dimensions for planning CLIL AND for assessing CLIL and this is a challenge for language teachers and subject teachers alike. Subject teachers are challenged to pay respect to language demands and language teachers should be brave and take the step to teaching and assessing conceptual content. Yes!
Friends and colleagues in CLIL Vilma and Lilija

I met up with colleagues from previous projects in Lithuania which was lovely.

You can read about those projects in the Lithuania section of FACTWorld. Just head for the Lithuania flag and read on. There is a book on CLIL with a collection of activities, and lessons from Lithuanian CLIL classrooms.

Vilma and Lilija both gave a plenary on the Interface between Competence-based Education and CLIL. This is really the main message of the conference – If you want to best prepare your children for life after school, CLIL can help you do that.
It can do that because CLIL is all about COMPETENCES.
The content and the language have a ‘single’ purpose and that is to serve the teaching and learning of skills (thanks Phil!). Amen.

Lithuania - CLIL book and conference
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.)


Lithuania - CLIL Forum
Lithuania - CLIL Forum

CLIL FORUM, Vilnius, 1-3rd December, 2005

The British Council Lithuania in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and Science ran a three day workshop at the Vilnius In-Service Teacher Training Centre for a group of 49 teachers from all over Lithuania and with visiting colleagues from Latvia and Germany.

The meeting was held as a follow-up to a similar event held in December 2004 with a view to developing CLIL materials and methodology in the now large network of Schools in Lithuania delivering part of their curriculum through the medium of English as a foreign language.

The event proved so popular that around 200 teachers applied to attend and the 16 groups of three teachers who were accepted was above the number originally planned for.  Somehow they managed to squeeze in.
…opening the event… 

The overall aims of the meeting were to give teachers the opportunity to present examples of their work in schools in CLIL; to present teachers with examples of materials, lessons, tasks with a CLIL focus, and to prepare teachers for a materials writing task which they would then complete back in their home school contexts. 

These materials will form a collection of CLIL materials for a publication for distribution around schools in Lithuania and abroad offering models of CLIL tasks for teachers of different subjects.

Day 1
Sample activities were presented to the group from a book in-writing focusing on the language demands of curriculum subjects and tasks to process and produce this language.
Teachers began presenting their school CLIL contexts to the group.  During the presentations colleagues were given the task to note ‘successes’ and ‘challenges’ they hear.

Groups were asked to rotate in an ‘open market’ to try to identify colleagues with shared interests, content areas, student age groups and based on the successes and challenges noted so far. 
... getting into groups …  

Day 2
A model lesson on Plate Tectonics was presented highlighting language demands and a task to activate this language through presentation work. 
… talking about plate movement… 

A list of criteria for good CLIL teaching and learning was presented.
Groups were handed a lesson plan focusing on CLIL teacher considerations for the lesson.
Groups were given a blank model lesson plan and set the task of beginning to identify a focus for their group work on preparing activities, lesson, or lessons. 
Groups moved to a computer lab to type up their notes and discuss further.
Draft project lessons were presented to the group
Group feedback was given and noted 
… drafting the projects … 

Day 3
Sample activities were presented for guiding listening in CLIL.
The Science Across the World programme was offered as a means of finding international partners (this had been identified as a useful tool for providing CLIL learners with audience for their foreign language content work).
Teachers in their groups were asked to make a plan of action for following up on the meeting.
… planning action …

• Latvian colleagues were keen to take what they had learned back to their country and maintain links, seeking to take CLIL further back home.
• Nadine Ott, of the British Council Germany, established links with the CLIL project with a view to developing common initiatives between Lithuania and Germany, a country where substantial work in CLIL has already taken place.  A trainer training project is in the pipeline which will involve these two countries, among others, during the course of next year.
• The initial drafts of lessons were written following a ‘language support’ approach to CLIL for a wide range of subjects: History, Music, Biology, Biochemistry/Physics/History, Chemistry, Nature Studies, Art, Ethics, Geography as well as key points for consideration on Networking for CLIL in Latvia.
• A group identity was created among colleagues at the event and the Lithuania CLIL yahoogroup founded last year expanded by 46.  The group is to be used for sharing the lessons written, for discussion on the piloting process and for coordinating the work of the whole network.
• Volunteers were identified to liaise between schools, the group as a whole, the British Council and myself. 

CLIL Lithuania Group    

Nijole, from the Ministry of Education and Science, announced that a CLIL conference is planned for September next year and this makes a good target for this publication to be launched.  I am very excited about this network and am hoping to be able to visit the schools involved during the piloting stage of their materials writing.  The teachers were interested in this idea and all being well it should lead to a video collection of the teaching which will focus on the lessons written.

Many thanks to the Ministry of Education for hosting us, to the British Council for their continued investment in CLIL development in Lithuania, to Lilya and Vilma for their interpreting skills where necessary and to the group for their enthusiasm and coping with and managing the discussion in such a large group. 

Lithuania - CLIL in Lithuania
Lithuania - CLIL in Lithuania


1. Pre primary level. It has become a fashion to offer language classes (mainly English) in some kindergartens.

2. Primary level. A foreign language is being taught from year 1 only in some profiled schools.

3. Secondary level. Beginning with the secondary level all schools provide studies of foreign languages. This lasts approximately for 7 years. In some gymnasiums students study such subjects as Economics or Physics in a foreign language, but this is not a very common practice.

4. Tertiary level. All students study foreign languages at least for a year.Higher education institutions in Lithuania are of two types: universities and colleges. They may be both State and non-State. At present there are 15 state (10 universities and 5 academies) and 7 non-state (4 university-type and 3 colleges) higher education institutions in Lithuania. They are as follows: Kaunas University of Medicine; Kaunas University of Technology; Klaipeda University; Law University of Lithuania; Lithuanian Academy of Music; Lithuanian Academy of Physical Education; Lithuanian University of Agriculture; Lithuanian Veterinary Academy; The General Jonas Zemaitis Military Academy of Lithuania; Siauliai University; Vilnius Academy of Arts; Vilnius Gediminas Technical University; Vilnius Pedagogical University; Vilnius University; Vytautas Magnus University.

Four of them train language specialists, others develop general skills of students in foreign languages up the advanced level.

Studies of foreign languages differ a great deal among the universities. The length of language studies usually is restricted to one academic year. During this year some universities offer the courses of general English/German/French. When the students have reached the required level of language skills, at some universities they are allowed to continue language studies choosing some alternatives like Business English, English for Academic Purposes, Introduction into TOEFL, etc. Other universities right from the beginning offer specialised language studies (ESP), depending on the profile of the Faculty. It may be English for Law, English for Economics and Management, English for Environmental Studies, etc. In 10 universities of Lithuania courses on content through languages are prepared and it is possible to deliver them under demand for foreign students. These courses are usually given by native language professionals.

Still, there are universities, which offer a variety of subjects to be taught in foreign languages. This is a common practice in Social Sciences, some subjects in Economics and Engineering, etc. Some universities have special units like International Study Centres that organise most of the studies in a foreign language. Students have a possibility to attend the courses offered by the visiting or native professors.

Ruta Veteryte Management Teacher

Vilmante Liubiniene English/ESP Teacher

Lithuania - CLIL Teacher Training 2012
Lithuania - CLIL Teacher Training 2012

The Lithuanian ministry of Education is investing in CLIL teacher training.
June 17-18th 2012

I was invited by colleagues from the University of  Vilnius to contribute to their programme of in-service training. This involved working with a small group of trainers from the programme for a day followed by a day with 80 teachers from the programme across the country.
Teachers' association president opens proceedings 

The department of modern languages 
The brief for the training was basic principles of CLIL, projects, and materials design.

The slightly different characteristic with this group of colleagues was that there was a mixture of languages including English, French and German.
The oak tree planted by colleagues from the department 

The university is a maze of inner courtyards 

I talked with the group of trainers on a range of issues to do with their programme of training which is planned over 2 years and includes 200 hours of input for the teachers on the programme.
The teachers' workshop took place in a lecture hall, on a warm humid day and we decided to offer them a plenary as a whole group, and then divide the languages into two groups. We certainly would have had problems without the trusty Monika to interpret for the group.  
I spoke on the topic of identifying language for content teaching and followed this up with practical activities with a focus on materials design. The idea was to provide the teachers with a portfolio of ideas and techniques for creating their own resources.

Main courtyard 
Luckily too, I knew where to look for a range of content resources available in numerous languages, Science Across the World. The principles of CLIL I talked about were based broadly within examples from the Science Across programme.
Topics chosen included:
Biodiversity - Talking from a picture (English, French, German)
Acid rain - Guiding listening (English, French, German)
Chemistry in our lives - Supporting writing (English, French, German)
What did you eat? - Reading and sorting (English, French, German)
Keeping healthy - Group discussion (EnglishFrenchGerman)
Road safety - Carrying out a survey (English, French, German
I also put together a template for the speed reaction test.
President's residence 

We managed to get active... 
and interact in the lecture hall 

The speed reaction test was popular, and this comes from the Science Across project 'Road Safety', but it's no longer in the series of exchange topics today.
I'm posting links to the topic files here in case there is interest from colleagues in looking into doing a project on this topic. Some of the data is out of date, but the activities are still relevant, particularly in countries like Bulgaria where I live and where road safety is a continuing major problem.
Road Safety (English, French, German) 
Many thanks to Macmillan for the onestopenglish subscription and the CLIL resources which went home with colleagues at the end of day 2 

Lithuania - CLIL writing retreat
Lithuania - CLIL writing retreat

CLIL Writers' Retreat, Lithuania

Vilma Backiute of the British Council Lithuania ( and the Ministry of Education and Science in Lithuania organised a writers' retreat to finalise the preprint draft of a publication on Content and Language Integrated Learning in Lithuania, 25-26th September, 2006.

The small team of writers, Vilma Backiute, myself, Lilija Vilkanciene ( and Loreta Andzuliene  (, met with the ambitious project of proof reading the whole text, adding any outstanding materials to sections where necessary, compiling a glossary, translating relevant sections into the Lithuanian language and making sure that the text was as reader-friendly as possible. 
The meeting took place in the tranquil lake district in North Eastern Lithuania.  We were lodged in log cabins, ate home made bread, local produce from the lake and surrounding areas, including home made honey beer and pickles.  You could almost hear the stars burn it was so quiet at night. 
The publication is the culmination of three years of work which has seen the CLIL project in Lithuania grow to more than 500 teachers from all over the country and from a range of content subjects.  These teachers have been developing their own materials, and gaining experience teaching their subjects through the medium of English.  The book aims to celebrate this work as well as offer a resource for other teachers looking for ideas, as well as offering information for school directors and administrators looking into developing CLIL in their own schools.  There is also interest from teacher training institutions in exploiting the book for their own CLIL training programmes in the future. 
The colleagues even came up with their own translation for the difficult term 'CLIL' in the Lithuanian language.  Don't ask me what it was, I'll report back when they teach me that lesson!
Without giving too much away now to keep you in suspense, the book will be published to be launched in December at a conference in Vilnius for teachers from around the country and with representatives from neighbouring countries where similar projects are being carried out. 

Bravo to colleagues in Lithuania, it's quite an achievement in three years!

Lithuania - Developing CLIL in Lithuania
Lithuania - Developing CLIL in Lithuania

CLIL Lithuania, 22-29th April 2006

The British Council ( and the Ministry of Education and Science in Lithuania ( organised a programme of events around the country with a focus on the development of teaching content through the medium of English.

The week began with a focus group meeting of teachers and trainers from institutions around the country looking at ‘the next step’ for the CLIL project in Lithuania.  
Vilma gets the group focused on issues for CLIL in Lithuania…

Lilija reports on Lithuanian CLIL activity so far …

Building on the collation of sample lessons from the network of schools working in CLIL the focus group discussed how to take the project into teacher education at pre- and in-service levels.  The current stage of the project is to close at the end of 2006 with a publication of resources for teachers and trainers showcasing lessons in CLIL at a launch event with international participation.  The focus group discussed how they might make use of the publication as a basis for training programmes in their own institutions.

Suggestions included:
•Writing CLIL curriculum guidelines for one subject and in doing so provide clear guidelines as a model for other subject areas.
•Certification for students working in CLIL recognising work through the medium of English
•Compiling a teacher training pack – (retraining for German/French teachers)?
•The CLIL Lithuania Publication: ◦Writing an introduction with background information on CLIL in the publication
◦Including sample activities in the publication, universal task types, specific guidelines which teachers could apply to any subjects
◦Documenting case studies of experiences in Lithuanian CLIL
◦Providing links to resources
◦Lesson plans and materials as examples

The focus group was to meet up again on Friday this week to consider the results of the feedback from the school visits during the week in the light of the above.

Day two
...took us to Kaunas and the Kalnieciai Secondary School ( where colleagues from the CLIL network delivered two content lessons through the medium of English.  

Kristina gets started on ‘energy’ …

The lessons included a Civics lesson on ‘Refugees and the consequences of war’ from Genute and Daiva and a Geography lesson on ‘Alternative energy’ from Genute and Kristina.  

The teachers from the school in the CLIL project came together with the focus group participants to discuss their own needs and I had the chance to sit and chat with the teachers on the lessons we observed.  The lessons and discussion will form part of the publication of guidelines for teachers and trainers in CLIL in Lithuania.  My congratulations and thanks go to the students and teachers who were willing to have us in their lessons.  It must be quite a disturbing experience to have as many adults as students in the class during an open lesson as well as two cameras filming the process!

Thanks also to headteacher Regina Rackeliene for the school’s hospitality (and ‘tinginees’ cakes!).

Day three
... in Kaunas had teachers from the region and as far away as Vilnius coming together to investigate CLIL and the prospect of getting started themselves back in school.

The key for me, on the basis of the school visits and lesson observations, was to focus the teachers on the language demands of their own given subjects.  We carried out tasks which had teachers consider what the core language of text was, how to draw it out of a text and provide some framework for processing the language for the learners.  

Colleagues examine variation in their group… Supertasters...

There are lots of examples of this type of activity and language investigation at the FACTWorld ( website behind the UK flag in the NILE LAC course description.  Please write to me if your interested in more information about this.

There was another lesson to observe today on ‘Mass Media’ and delivered in two languages by Romualdas and Rimantas.  

Again, the lesson was filmed and will form part of a collection of materials which we hope will build into the beginnings of a teacher training programme with the collaboration of several training institutions in Lithuania.
On Wednesday we travelled to Siauliai to visit the Didzdvario Gymnasium ( to be welcomed by director Vidas Bacys.  

The school has been approved as an International Baccalaureate school and Rima is working on coordinating training for her colleagues to be able to deliver their curriculum in English.  A group of them are planning to come to NILE in the summer for two weeks language development and CLIL methodology.
The first class was a double history lesson on the origins of the First World War with Vidas and Kristina …
… preparing arguments …

With over 1100 students the school was a busy place and the students weren’t phased by our visit.  
… laying down the rules for a debate …

… language support for Maths … and lesson two was a Maths lesson on trigonometry.  

It’s very refreshing that a school should open its doors like this and have its teachers filmed and open to scrutinising.  Personally, I think they did a cracking good job and wish them all the best with their new venture.  I plan to try and help as much as I can.  If any of you are interested in finding out about how the school is doing in its work as an English medium state school in Lithuania, you can contact Rima on. She’s also in the factworld yahoogroup.

Day two in Siauliai was for teachers but with another Maths lesson.  
Here Aiste got the students, 13 year olds, to carry out tasks on geometry which lead to a presentation of their work.  Students measured the area and perimeter of their left foot, created a story based on geometry and created geometry crosswords and then presented their work to their classmates.  
It was a pleasure to be able to sit in a watch and I have to say as a language teacher that the presentations of the learners were astounding in what was only their second lesson in Maths in English. 

The school arranged for us to interview some of the students to record their opinions on English-medium education and the views were from year 10 and 11 students, most good, some cautious.

Over the rest of the day, I worked with 20 teachers from around Siauliai and beyond on getting started in CLIL.  

The background of the teachers was varied and so were their views on this area of innovation in education in Lithuania.
… testing speed reactions in the group …
We talked a lot about the use of MT in the classroom and I played a clip from Aiste’s maths lesson where learners prepared in Lithuanian and presented in English.  The results speak for themselves.

The feedback from the teachers revealed that they were hungry for more input on CLIL, more opportunities to network with each other, and that they were keen to get started in their schools.

… working on reading tasks …
It’s a shame to have to leave, I could quite happily sit in on Siauliai classes, and talk to students and teachers about their experiences for a while longer yet.  Hope I get the chance to return.

Friday, last day, Vilnius.

Today the focus group was brought back together after the week of school visits, with ideas about the project publication, the launch conference in December (December 8th) and to discuss the theme of training for CLIL in Lithuania.

In short, we identified what we have and what we need to make these things happen.  People came forward offering their skills where they thought they could.   

… needs and resources…
The main outcomes of the discussion with the group were as follows:

- to write a publication outlining CLIL in Lithuania, good practice, and ideas and materials for teachers getting started in CLIL
- to run a conference to launch the publication with a Lithuanian audience, but with some international participation.  
- The Ministry of Education and Science has earmarked funds for the publication (editorial work group and publishing) and for the conference for local participation
- The British Council has allocated funds for the international participation at the conference
- colleagues from 4 training institutions have been brought together into a working group to develop training for CLIL in Lithuania

I’m going to be helping colleagues as much as I can and it’s encouraging that the Ministry is now talking about moving beyond this stage into CLIL teacher training, into curriculum designing, into certification for learners of CLIL.  The collating of the materials, writing the background on CLIL in Lithuania, the organisation of the conference all of this lies ahead.  I’m exhausted but very satisfied with the week.  The partnership between the British Council, the Ministry and colleagues from the training institutions is impressive and bodes well for the sustainability of the work in CLIL in Lithuania.

Lithuania - Investing in CLIL
Lithuania - Investing in CLIL

Lithuania is investing in Content and Language Integrated Learning.  

9-10 Nov 2004
The Ministry of Education and the British Council are coordinating training for subject and language teachers around Lithuania as part of a multilingual project including French, German and English as well as a wide range of subjects taught through the medium of these languages.

The Group… 

I provided input to a two-day seminar, 9-10 November 2004, for 70 teachers from this project from 35 schools around Lithuania along with colleague and teacher trainer Lilija Vilkanciene (

The seminar included:
 Identifying language needs
 The language of thinking
 Integrating Content and Language
 Language Skills in CLIL
 CLIL Video lesson observation
 CLIL Networking
 CLIL Resources, CDs, Websites
 Lesson scripts for CLIL Teachers
 CLIL Assessment
 Science Across the World 

The seminar was hosted by the national teacher training institute based in Vilnius and Marianne Tomi of the Cultural Section of the French Embassy joined the seminar.  Our British Council coordinator was Vilma Backiute (

It was an experience working through the medium of four foreign languages, we are certainly putting what we preach into practice.  I was in the interesting situation to be translating from French to English between two groups of Lithuanian speakers!

Dr Loreta Zadeikaite ( Head of Basic and Secondary Education Division at the Ministry of Education and Science in Lithuania came along and suggested possible avenues for following up on this beginning.

Talking about talking…

Follow up:
 - collecting and disseminating CLIL materials developed by practising teachers
 - recording good practice (video recording lessons)
 - beginning the process of documenting good practice (course writing for CLIL teacher training)
 - planning for a Forum for CLIL teachers in Lithuania (and the region) possibly in April, 2005
 - setting up an electronic group for this network to communicate and share
 - support teachers in their first steps through peer support (British Council to play a role in helping this process work)

Additionally, all of the colleagues were offered subscription to the Science Across the World ( programme of exchange projects and all 70 were enthusiastic abour signing up the FACTWorld yahoogroups network ( of 1300 CLIL teachers in 40 countries around the world.

Signing up to Science Across… 

Dr Zadeikaite from the Ministry
A special aspect of this initiative is the collaboration of the partners involved.  The British Council, the Cultural Section of the French Embassy, the Ghoete Institute, and the Lithuanian Ministry of Education are all bringing people together to share ideas on integrating content and language in education.