Countries :: Netherlands

Netherlands - Dutch Content and Language Integration
Netherlands - Dutch Content and Language Integration

Dutch Content and Language Integration 15-16.06.06

Colleagues from the Dr Moller College ( in Holland are about to embark on delivering their curricula through the medium of English.
It's always a pleasure to meet groups at NILE and this group was no different.
The teachers come for intensive professional development over the space of a week or two weeks. So, they are thirsty for ideas to take home to their classes and use immediately.

Surveying speed reactions
Information gap work

The programme they had was very diverse and my contribution was as shown in the image below:

The teachers were very enthusiastic and though there were a number of issues and needs arising from the discussion we had to close the two days, I am sure they will be well equipped to make a start on this journey.
Issues and needs identified: 

- Time from the school for projects/materials
- Being together for one day for discussion and development
- Contact with other Dutch bilingual schools?
- Collaborate with English teachers?

Their subjects were diverse as well.  Any interested colleagues might like to get in touch with them to share ideas and materials, as well as join them all at the factworld yahoogroups forum

Netherlands - Fifth National CLIL Conference
Netherlands - Fifth National CLIL Conference

Fifth National CLIL Conference
1 November 2011
Conference centre De Reehorst, Ede

I've been talking about subject-specific language for the last year (2010-2011), since the publication of the Macmillan VPS Science and Geography books, which were all about learning vocabulary. I've since started investigating and writing about general academic language for the Your CLIL section of Macmillan's onestopenglish site, and it was this topic which was the focus of my keynote to the 600 TTO bilingual teachers congregated at the wonderland De Reehorst conference centre at Ede, Holland.

600 Dutch bilingual teachers, sold out!
The organizers really did put on a show, with the nifty theme of 'CLIL's got talent' running through the plenary sessions and with the audience enjoying the performances of numerous TTO school students along the way.
TTO talented students singing and dancing it up

Onno chairing the show   

I'd like to thank Onno for inviting me, and Macmillan for sponsoring my participation. I think I not only got to talk about my latest project, but I also found out a lot about the TTO institution, famous for its bilingual education.

It's indicative that the conference was a sell-out, that it attracted over 600 teachers from the TTO schools, that it is still expanding. The Dutch have something sorted out. It's not just that they are so competent in English, and bilingual learning, they have a structure and a system in place which is only to be praised by the rest of us who wish we had a similar support and development structure.

There were many publishers at the event. I spent some time talking to the local representatives about their publications. 'Translation and simplification' were words used by one to describe how their books are produced, translated from the original Dutch, and simplified to suit the language level of the learners.
Great many CLIL books on the stands in the exhibitors' hall

Other publisher links and training resources at the event:

Utrecht U-Teach Bilingual and International Teaching:
National Geographic / HEINLE CENGAGE Learning: 
TTO students smashing stereotypes

Noordhoff Uitgevers
OVD Bricks
Malmberg - 

There are video clips in English and which relate to a wide range of classroom aspects
Coffee time mingling
Els on CLIL Biology

Els de Hulla a biology teacher educator who works with a lot of CLIL teachers gave a very interesting workshop on the 'Dodo', with a focus on the skills of investigation into an extinct species. I particularly liked Els' suggestion to get students to read the original text, but to present students with a task that gets them to transfer information without being able to 'copy and paste' from the text. She did this with a text which looked at the advantages of the preservation of different species and then followed this up with a question which gets students to consider 'What if the dodo were still with us today', so that students would have to draw on the advantages but create their own predictions. Nice!

Els is part of the team at Leiden University where the ICLON CLIL Courses are delivered:

At Els' workshop I learned about the new Biology curriculum which has a focus on concepts and contexts, as well as forms and functions. This is an exciting development (and particularly important for a CLIL method) as it has the focus removed from a specific content to skills for dealing with any content focus. Here, for example, we looked at the Dodo but it could just as easily have been any other extinct animal for which we had to investigate the advantages for its species existing in the world today. This is good for CLIL because CLIL is about skills, and language for those skills as much as teaching about a specific content area.
Onno and Stefan from the European Platform, conference organizers
CLIL Skills 2nd edition

It was nice to see that the European Platform has issued a second print run of the CLIL Skills book from Rosie Tanner, Liz Dale and Wibo Van der Es, congratulations to the colleagues for their success in getting this book out into the world, sold out and reprinted!

My keynote focused on General Academic Language and was based largely on the resources at the Your CLIL section of Macmillan's website.
me fluffing my lines
I got excited (I know, I know, get a life...!) when I found this site, it's basically a website for producing maps of concepts where you can not only put noun phrases in the cells on the map, but you can also embed other parts of the sentence into the branches of the tree. This, in short, means that you can create a diagram of complete text which is extremely useful for structuring learning and memorising.

I've been trying to persuade Macmillan to reproduce this software in some form on their website so that teachers can create their own maps, leave a copy for others, and in that way build a bank of ready made maps of content and language... we wait and see!
What you can see here, is a concept map of the sort you can create using the site above, on the 'Human Organism' where all the key vocabulary is given in the cells, and all the key verb and preposition phrases are given in the branches. Imagine something like this for each unit in your textbook!

Watch this space!

I don't want to go into too much detail about the Your CLIL resources, enough to say that they are an audit of the core language function and thinking areas of Science and Geography, and are available at the Macmillan website. There are 18 so far, I'll keep producing them as long as there is interest. Who knows, we may be able to do the same for Maths and for History at some point too!

The last resource I wrote at the time was 'cause and effect' shown here. I used this one to contextualise a lesson plan, and supplementary resources which are in draft form and which I hope we'll see up on Macmillan's site soon for download.
When students are faced with a task like this one where they have to discuss the factors affected by global warming and then discuss the consequences, they need language to be able to carry out the task, they have much of this language in the task itself in the slide and it is common for this language to be visible in tasks in textbooks. What IS NOT there is the general academic language needed to answer this task.

Students need to be able to create the language of cause and effect, the adverbs and conjunctions...

students need to be able to produce verb phrases ...

... and they need to be able to produce noun phrases describing cause and effect.

I sat in on a Maths teachers' meeting chaired by Brian Dixon. It's good to see colleagues organizing themselves and this cluster group of around 20 teachers represented a wide range of experiences from decades to 0 years experience in the TTO schools.

It was well structured with Brian focusing immediately on what was achievable for the group in one hour. They set an agenda based on a questionnaire from a previous event, the results structuring this agenda.

Concerns revolved around the following:
1 - Teachers' level of English
2 - Students' deteriorating motivation
3 - Moving away from the textbook

1) The teachers were very concerned about their English, complaining that it can distract students from their lesson if, for example, the teacher mispronounces a word like 'isosceles'. There was an expressed need for more exposure to native speaker English and the coaching system was mentioned where schools have native speaker facilitators to help with teaching and language issues. Unfortunately, there aren't enough to go around. was mentioned as a good place for definitions and pronunciation.
My feeling is that it's more a question of self-confidence than a real problem for the teaching and learning process. The level of English of even the lowest level in this particular group (based on what I heard them saying in English) was very high. I work in countries where teachers are asked to teach maths in English, and they can't speak any English. I suspect that some of these teachers are worried about details, when in reality they are producing amazing results.
2) It could be that number two is related to the first issue. I never realised before about this problem, but teachers reported that in their TTO schools, it is common for first years to arrive with high motivation levels only for that to begin to fall after 6 months, deteriorating in the second and third years, so maintaining motivation is a big issue.
Suggestions about 'carrots and sticks' were given, for example, where students are given 'effort' grades for language which are reflected in parallel to their content reports. A card system is used where students are given pink cards for lack of participation, after 4 cards they are called to a meeting with parents to discuss motivation and participation, and in the end the question 'do you really want to be here?'

There is an issue here, I keep hearing teachers repeat the same question 'what does CLIL offer me?' 

How can this be possible, that they aren't seeing the advantage of CLIL methods?
The third issue was discussed, and the site Mr Barton was offered for a portal of maths resources for those in need:
Lida giving me my annual cycling exercise, best way to see Amsterdam!    As ever, I had a delightful time staying with friend and colleague Lida Schoen, our YAC queen.

The weather held out to be lovely while we toured around Amsterdam and jumped on a ferry to the Cantine to watch the sunset across the docks.    
On the ferry

Lida would beat me back to Bulgaria where we are to present Veselina Vasileva with her IUPAC prize for the Global Stamp competition in which she came first in her age group. More on that soon!
Well-deserved glass of Dutch beer (thanks for having me Lida, always a pleasure!)

Netherlands - Masterclass for bilingual Geography and Science
Netherlands - Masterclass for bilingual Geography and Science

Masterclass for bilingual Geography and Science
Creative teaching for Geography and Science

I did a day of workshops recently for Loes Coleman of Radboud in’to Languages, onderdeel van de Faculteit der Letteren
Many thanks to Macmillan for contributing some nice freebies including copies of my Science and Geography Vocabulary resources and a copy of Uncovering CLIL and also a free subscription to onestopclil.
Ravenstein, Oct 16th, 2009

The workshop was held at the lovely former nunnery at Ravenstein ( We had 26 Geography and Science teachers from all over Holland come to join us for the day. One colleague even made the trip over from Germany (glad you came Pete!).
I was particularly willing to do this workshop with this group of teachers because I'd heard a lot about the network of some 100 bilingual schools around Holland. These are schools which have a tradition for teaching some of the curriculum through the medium of English.

I did have the feeling though that there may be little I could do which a group like this didn't already know.
Workshop programme

Loes and I agreed on a programme which was divided into four sections.

In session 1 I laid out my own perspective on CLIL. I've said this many times, and at the risk of boring some of you will say it again, CLIL is about knowing what language needs the students have and then doing something about it within a given subject. The rest, well that's Geography, or Science. Session 2 looked at identifying this language in different subjects. Session 3 focused on task design and the last Session 4 looked at networks and resources available for integrating content and language. It was a broad agenda, perhaps too busy in hindsight. You need a week at least to get fully to grips with all the issues above.
Our coordinator, Loes Coleman, gets us under way.
I can still remember their names. Mountain Maarten, sadly, had to leave early.

Session 1
Introduction: What is CLIL? (PPT download 2mb). Colleagues considered various dimensions for learning and we discussed the need for a focus on language as a separate dimension in CLIL/bilingual education. This was contextualised with an activity where colleagues discussed a subject task and predicted the language demands and wrote down specific phrases learners would need to produce in order to be able to carry out the task correctly.
Session 2 looked at the language of content learning.

I'm going to be delivering a Webinar for Macmillan on this very theme:
"Integrating content and language - which language?
Colleagues working together on producing a chart to accompany a reading text in Session 2: CLIL Task Design. My feeling is that CLIL teachers have a good understanding of 'structure' of texts, can produce charts, diagrams or other scaffold to guide learners through the reading of a content text. Some books do offer a large amount of this guidance. Geography books can tend (UK in particular) to have a lot of this structuring of reading. In a foreign language, it makes the work more efficient, the content more transparent and the learning more effective if reading is guided in this way. Of course, the opposite is equally true!    
Other colleagues worked on tables, substitution tables based on texts with a view to supporting speaking and / or writing on a topic.    
Substitution tables can be used for supporting writing / speaking simple sentences, for writing / speaking paragraphs and as part of a frame can support whole text / specific genre writing / speaking.
We also carried out a number of interactive speaking and reading activities. These included question loops, information searches and we took a look at how PowerPoint presentations can be embedded with language and offered as handouts to support production in student presentation work.  There are plenty of these types of tasks appearing on There are more coming online with each upload.    
Do you know what a gorilla does when it's angry?

John Clegg and I have been working for months, if not years now, on materials which provide this language embedded within specific content tasks. The book we've produced is still looking for a publisher, so if you're interested, give us a call / get in touch.
The point about language support like this is that for those students who need it, it gives them the language they need to succeed in the content task.
Ravenstein gardens

The last session, Session 4: Networks and Resources, offered an overview of what has been going on in CLIL around the world in recent years, and examples from these contexts from my own personal experiences.    

The colleagues were very nice to me and said some very encouraging things as we said our goodbyes.

You have to admire teachers who on top of a full teaching load decide, 'hey, let's do it in a foreign language!' They decide this even though it means that they have to get their foreign language up to a Cambridge Proficiency level, they have to put in all the prep that is involved with teaching their subjects, finding the resources, supporting their learners in all the many ways they need it. These colleagues have all signed up to the FACTWorld network and you can find out more about their work, their subject teaching through the medium of the English language, you can do this by writing to them there at the factworld yahoogroup.

I usually get a little carried away when I'm working with a group of teachers like these. I can tend to embarrass colleagues with my enthusiasm for their work. This group took all that in their stride. When I said if they invite me back to their school, I'll come, I meant it. Will bring my camera, collaborate on classes, whatever ... just to be that fly on the classroom wall and see the Dutch doing their CLIL (if any of you read this and consider inviting me,

Best of success to you all!

Netherlands - Science Across the World: Using the Internet for Inter-School Communication I
Netherlands - Science Across the World: Using the Internet for Inter-School Communication I

Science Across the World: Using the Internet for Inter-School Communication

July 3-10th 2005, Amsterdam

Monday 04.07.05 - The skies came down in Amsterdam, western parts of the country were submerged in water, transport was cancelled, buses, trains, tube and bicycles were rested for a day, but we started the Comenius course.

Lida introduces herself at the official opening
The Felix Meritis Building


Teachers came from The Basque Country, Catalonia and Galicia in Spain, from Switzerland, Denmark, Lithuania, Poland and Greece to attend the one-week training programme

Science across the World: using the internet for inter-school communication

The week was formally opened by Ton Koet, director of the English Course at Amsterdam Faculty of Education and of the Graduate School of Teaching and Learning, Universiteit van Amsterdam, and Ruggero Lala administrator for the Amsterdam-Maastricht Summer University.

The participants represented all age ranges of learning from primary through middle school, secondary, young adults, and higher education as well as an education advisor.

Subjects represented included Health and Hygiene, English language and culture, Biology, Physics, Maths, Chemistry, Geology, IT.

Teachers explained their interest in the course coming from a need at home to take up an integrated approach to teaching and learning, some mentioned that they were here specifically to find virtual partners for school educational exchanges, others suggested they wanted to learn new ideas in using IT in their classrooms.
Teachers were introduced to the Science Across programme
The participants then presented their own teaching and learning context in short 5 minute bursts and using a variety of media, posters, ppt, web page.

Daniel Stotz presented the project he coordinates where primary materials are written in English specifically for the children in primary schools in the canton of Zurich, Switzwerland. You can access the site at and you will find downloadable materials and media here. Grazyna Kaminska from Poland also presented her school - ZSO Nr 10 - in Kielce on the Baltic sea.

Colleagues presented throughout the programme on their home and teaching contexts. A number of their presentations will be available in ppt format on the FACTWorld website behind their country flags as soon as our web wizard has uploaded them.

The day ended with an enjoyable guided walk around the city of Amsterdam.

Tuesday 05.07.05

Day 2 - We spent the whole morning investigating issues to do with integrating language and content. Colleagues discussed methodology for integrating content and language and were presented with various activities for developing language skills through the medium of a content subject.

These included information gap activities for Science, group speaking activities, whole-class info gap speaking, jumbled reading activities for Geography, creative writing in Science, as well as a number of listening task types focusing on the structures and diagrams of content subjects.
Writing advice to persecuted lungs…
Q - What to do with a lot of text…?    
A – reorganise and restructure it
A– investigate it for language awareness
Marion Geddes in 1978 identified the ‘semi-script’ as an invaluable tool for creating listening opportunities approaching authenticity. We spent time looking at what these semi-scripts might be in content subject materials. The theory of ‘ideational frameworks’ by John Burgess at Manchester University in the UK is also a useful place to look for more ideas for organising processing and production of language in the content curriculum.

You will be able to access some of the materials written based on the above discussion at the FACTWorld website in the ‘materials’ section (as soon as our web designer manages to upload them).
Investigating the language of Science

In the afternoon, participants worked through a webquiz to familiarise themselves with the Science Across the World website, sign up and browse the materials in the programme.
Lida explains   

Wednesday 06.07.05

Kees Zwaga head of the Socrates National Agency for Holland gave a presentation outlining plans for the future of educational initiatives in Europe. His talk described the ILLP - Integrated Lifelong Learning Programme for the periods 2007-8, 2013-14 and specifically on Comenius funding for school partnerships.

Kees informed us that reforms of the ILLP will include the offer for teaching assistantships through Grundtvig to include subjects other than languages!!! Kees suggests that the clever students and the clever teachers can make the most of the many opportunities for language learning in this initiative. The scenario was presented of an English-speaking Dutch student teacher of Geography applying for funding to go and do a teaching practice placement in France where the medium of instruction for Geography in the school is English.

I’m sure that this will be of interest to a lot of colleagues working in content and language integrated learning teacher education looking for ways to send their students abroad.

A significant number of the postings to the list focus on project partnerships and since the ILLP requirement is now for 4 partners, lists such as this (and ELTeCS, Global Gateway, European Schoolnet are one way for putting possible partners in touch with each other. Keep an eye open for ‘contact seminars’ organised for colleagues to find partners and bringing together people who are specifically looking for such a partnership.
Practical work
Kees was asked if there are any themes for partnerships which would more likely be approved? He answered that there isn’t, but that teachers on this course were fortunate because Science is a priority area and is likely to remain so for several years to come. Science Across the World, then can offer great opportunities as a focus for school partnership projects with EU funding.

Although most of the talk focused on school partnership, Kees added that there is a window within Comenius for teacher training colleges to get together to prepare partnership projects. Deadline is Feb 1st

Ulle gave a short presentation about her work in Denmark contextualising intercultural learning in a vocational training centre EUC MIDT entitled ‘international technology and culture’. At the same time, Ulle explained that although learners aren’t yet learning through the medium of English, the Danish system will require from August 2005 that there be integration between Sciences and English and she has the challenge of developing this area of her teaching.

Colleagues brainstormed ideas for setting up school partnership projects and identified a number of issues and challenges to be dealt with along the path to partnership creation. A number of colleagues identified participants in the group with similar interests to begin communication on a partnership project.

It was suggested that colleagues start off with a Science Across topic (or other) for email exchanges and e-twinning ( was also suggested as a possible place to start for finding partners.

A participant asked if it was possible to find a database of schools in order to find out about the profiles of schools and so make decisions about possible partners? I didn’t know of any such site, but perhaps colleagues out there can help?

The afternoon was taken up with two practical activities related to Science Across the World topics, Talking about Genetics and Chemistry in our Lives.

Firstly, colleagues had to construct a DNA model made of sweets, a very sticky practice indeed!

After that, Lida had colleagues design, mix and market their own line of cosmetics products.
The room soon stank sweetly of perfumes and detergents.
In the evening the participants had to present their products to the group in the form of a TV commercial during the International Dinner.
Danish Herring

They also brought lots of culinary goodies from their home country to share with the group.
Dutch Herring
Greek Salad   
Cosmetics Products

Thursday 07.07.05

After the international dinner everybody came for an early start the next morning. Thursday’s programme contained a review of the Science Across the World programme for developing language skills. Colleagues looked at identifying specific language within the topics; they considered the visuals for ‘guided listening’ practice; awareness raising activities were also presented based on the materials; opportunities for developing vocabulary through games using the materials were discussed; colleagues looked at areas where information gap activities could be created to develop speaking skills using the packs; we also considered how the materials could be exploited to get students to deliver presentations to the class; we shared ideas for developing reading skills using Science Across; and finally, we talked about the opportunities for investigating culture through the programme.
You will be able to take a look at some of these materials at the FACTWorld website.

We spent a lot of time carrying out information transfer activities using the data within the materials packs.
Each pack contains an information section and pages of statistics on various topics such as pregnancy in young women in Europe. The colleagues were a mixed ability group in terms of experience in using software such as Excel for creating visuals and so Lida and I produced a simple instructions sheet for the less experienced. Others had a great deal of knowledge and many wonderful visuals were created.

The importance of this activity for our learners, of course, is that you can ‘see’ the information in the visuals much more easily than you can in a table of numbers. This, in turn, lends itself well to presenting language structures based on the visual materials.

The results produced a good bullet points list of advice for creating visuals using Excel.

Key points for EXCEL visuals

make your table with labels
choose the appropriate chart
2 columns – pie chart/bar chart
3 columns – barchart
keep it relevant, explaining, numbers clear (not too big, small)
try not to use superfluous numbers, text
keep all labels visible
make use of legends
After such an intensive day it was delightful to be taken on a boat trip in the summer sunshine around the canals of Amsterdam followed by a group dinner in one of the city’s many Indonesian restaurants.

Friday 08.07.05

Lida commented on the redrafts of the Excel visuals.

As a follow up colleagues were presented with links to websites for resources and networks.

Daniel informed us of an interesting website at
We carried out a cluster debate in order informally to evaluate the course.

Colleagues were asked to list things they liked best and things to change. Comments highlighted the need for more pre-course information and pre-course tasks to save time during the course itself. The mix of work and culture was praised as well as the spirit of sharing resources and techniques in the course.

Personal action plans in the group included:

Investigate Comenius link with Education Faculty Amsterdam

Materials Development
Secondary links to SAW, ASE CDs
INSETT for Secondary on SAW
Develop Spain – Lithuania link
Research SAW exchange Spain-Lithuania
Researching funding

Seminar wrap-up and evaluation
We were joined by the Director of the Summer University Joanneke Lootsma to present participants with their certificates and say our farewells.

This is the first year of this course. It’s been a wonderful experience and very much a learning experience for both participants and tutors. I’ve no doubt that this course will run again next year. There is a great deal of enthusiasm in the University for hosting a repeat event and this report should go some way to publicising the event to future interested colleagues.

Hope to see you there next year!

Netherlands - Science Across the World: Using the Internet for Inter-school Communication III
Netherlands - Science Across the World: Using the Internet for Inter-school Communication III

Science Across the World: Using the Internet for Inter-school Communication
29th June – 06th July 2008 

Dear Colleague,

We are pleased to announce that it is possible from now on to apply for the 2008 edition of the course:

Science Across the World: Using the Internet for Inter-school Communication
to be held at the The Hogeschool van Amsterdam, in Amsterdam the Netherlands (29/06 to 06/07 2008)

Please find below the extended programme and further information.
We would like to highlight that this course is supported by the Comenius 2.2/Grundtvig 3 in-service training grant of the European Union. If you wish to participate in this course with the support of these grant schemes please consult the Lifelong Learning National Agency of your country to know about their procedures and deadlines
The list of National Agencies across Europe can be found at:  
The Science Across the World Science Across the World grant code is NL-2007-144-002.

Please note that the various Lifelong Learning National Agencies deadlines will expire quite early (most but not all on the 15th of March 2008) so we encourage applicants to gather information from the Lifelong Learning National Agency and request a pre-registration form to us ( as soon as possible.

Should you be unable to participate in one of our courses, we would greatly appreciate the forwarding of this information to colleagues and others, interested in taking advantage of the opportunity.

With best regards,
Ruggero Lala
Mr. Ruggero Lala
The Amsterdam-Maastricht Summer University
P.O. Box 53066
NL-1007 RB Amsterdam. The Netherlands
Tel. +31.20.6200225;
Fax. +31.20.6249368;

_ _ _

Amsterdam Summer University
Science Across the World: Using the Internet for Inter-school Communication
29th June – 06th July 2008

In this course we will stress on (collaborative) learning instead of teaching. Apart from the programme outlined below, the course offers opportunities to learn how to start school partnerships with Comenius funding and to find partners among the course participants. After the course participants can go on collaborating via the Electronic Learning Environment.
Sunday June 29, 2008
12.00-17.00     arrival and registration
17.00                 Welcome drinks
Monday June 30, 2008
09.30-11.00     Welcome and getting to know the teachers, participants and course location Introduction to the Science Across the World programme
11.00-13.00     Exploring content and possible use
13.00-14.00     Lunch
14.00-14.30     School and country presentations: good practices, country initiatives (I)
14.30-15.30     Getting to know the Science Across the World web pages + sources of information: web quiz
15.30-16.00     More possibilities with the Science Across the World programme: Climate change with Flashmeeting and Making The News (MTN)
16.00- 17.00    Practical implementation of Science Across the World in your school or teacher training college
17.00                 Summary of today's session
18.00                 Walk
Tuesday July 1, 2008
09.30-10.00     Review on Monday

10.00-11.30     Language issues in Content and Language Integrated Learning, key issues in teaching science through English as a second language
11.30-13.00     Practical group work from 'Talking about genetics' (for science and language teachers) with presentations
13.00-14.00     Lunch
14.00-14.30     School and country presentations: good practices, country initiatives (II)
14.30-15-30     What to do with an exchange form?
15.30-16.30     Start of a discussion or evaluation in the classroom
17.00                 Summary of today's session
18.00                 Free evening
Wednesday July 2, 2008
09.30-10.00     Review on Monday
10.00-10.30     Overview of the European Life Long Learning programme
10.30-11.30     Comparison of available European and global exchange programmes (contributions are welcome)
11.30-12.30     Good practices: Comenius 1 school partnerships based on a SAW topic
12.30-13.00     Discussion: what is needed for a successful European project?
13.00-14.00     Lunch
14.00-17.00     Practical group work from 'Chemistry in our lives' (for science and language teachers)
18.00               International dinner with European food and drinks (brought by participants)
Thursday July 3, 2008
09.30-10.00     Review on Wednesday
10.00-11.00     The Science Across the World programme for improving literacy and language skills
11.00-12.00     Group work: how to create school partnerships: action plans
12.00-13.00     Analysing the discourse of content subjects
13.00-14.30     Lunch
14.00-14.30     School and country presentations: good practices, country initiatives (IV)
15.00                Summary of today's session
16.00                Boat trip
19.00                Course dinner
Friday July 4, 2008
09.30-10.00     Review on Thursday
10.00-11.00     Information about networks, how to find international partners
11.00- 12.00    School partnership action plan for preparatory meeting (where, when, deadlines)
13.00-14.00     Lunch
14.00-16.00     Seminar wrap-up and evaluation
16.00                Closing ceremony

Saturday July 5, 2008
10.00               Visit to NEMO museum
14.00               Visit to Amsterdam Historical Museum

Sunday July 6 2008
12.00               departure


Language of Instruction: English.
Location: This course will be held in of the building of the The Hogeschool van Amsterdam, Amsterdam the Netherlands.
Computers: For this course, only the use of Windows computers is supported, there will be no facilities available for Mac users.
Fee: € 750,- (including course materials, welcome drink, access to the cultural evening programme on the AMSU, coffee/tea breaks on Monday to Friday). Meals and accommodation are not included in the course fee but can be supported with the Comenius 2.2?Grundtvig 3 in service training grants.
Grant: COMENIUS 2.2/GRUNDTVIG 3 In-Service Training Grant of the European Union.
Comenius/Grundtvig catalogue code: NL-2008-144-002.
Registration: Confirmed participants are expected to register between 15.00 PM and 17.00 PM on Sunday, June 29, 2008 at the building Felix Meritis, located at Keizersgracht 324 in Amsterdam. Registration will be followed by a welcome drink.

Netherlands - ​Science Across the World:  Using the Internet for Inter-school Communication II
Netherlands - ​Science Across the World: Using the Internet for Inter-school Communication II

Science Across the World:  Using the Internet for Inter-school Communication

Amsterdam, 2-9th July, 2006

The Amsterdam-Maastricht Summer University hosted a Comenius Course for teachers on setting up and developing schools links through projects like Science Across the World.  This is the second time the course has been delivered and the group had almost tripled in size this year to 31 participants.
The participants from all over Europe, and beyond, arrived in Amsterdam for the registration and welcome meeting at the beautiful Felix Metris building, Amsterdam.  The weather was terrific outside and we met and got to know each other over a drink inside.
The colleagues came from many places including Greece, Poland, Cyprus, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Slovakia, Turkey and Saudi Arabia, from Biology, Physics, Chemistry, IT, Maths, Teacher Training, and English as a Foreign Language.


We had to do a getting to know you activity with the teachers and it will be a challenge to remember them all, well, you have to start somewhere.  ‘Think of a word that begins with the same letter as your first name’.  Kissing Keith, Lady Lida…
The large group, 31 teachers, made the course the most popular in the Summer University programme of Comenius funded courses and the teachers brought with them a range of subjects, age ranges, and levels of education as well as their languages and cultural backgrounds.

We started the week-long programme with an introduction to Science Across the World and gave colleagues the opportunity to browse the website and get to know the materials in the project.  Colleagues also had the chance to sign up free to the programme which normally costs €30 for a life subscription.  As part of the agreement with the course organisers Science Across the World waved this fee!
In the afternoon, we also began the presentations from each of the individual participants on their home contexts and schools and started a tour around the world… there were many invitations to come and visit!

Colleagues also looked at the practicalities of implementation of Science across the World in their school or teacher training college, and the Science Across topic used as an example was What did you eat? the most popular of the Science Across topics. 
Colleagues carried out the food diary survey and then had to collate information in groups looking at staple foods, drinks, snacks, activities, breakfast.

We offered a session entitled ‘Key issues in communicating science through English as a second language’ as there is always interest in the language questions of carrying out interschool exchanges and links.

One of the activities from Talking about genetics around the world looks at heredity
... and the participants surveyed the group according to hair, eye, mid finger hair, tongue rolling, height, supertasters, and shoe size.
In the afternoon the colleagues got a chance to get to know the Science Across the World topics (16 available) in more detail in groups and the participants were given the immediate challenge to try to identify topics of potential interest to them in the Science Across programme and then identify the colleagues in the group with similar interests as part of the preparation for planning a Comenius project for school partnerships.

We also had a presentation on ‘Using graphics to represent data’ and colleagues were given an introduction to Excel and then worked in small groups to represent their presentation from this morning’s survey in electronic form of some kind using Excel.  This produced a great many wonderful presentations.
Taste Survey

The programme offered an introduction on how to create Action 1 school partner-ships with Comenius funding.
...and after more school presentations Lida presented an example of a very successful award winning Comenius 1 Project on Biodiversity across Europe as a model for colleagues to follow.    
The initial groups then divided to work on creating Action 1 school partnerships and finding other partners where necessary and then to discuss and plan for their own project proposals.

The afternoon brought the most fun part of the programme with Lida’s cosmetics workshop where groups have to work together to produce their own line of branded cosmetics, shampoo, hair gel and bath salts.
They carried out the chemistry in mixing and testing these products
...and there were more school presentations along the way...
    ...they had to think not only of the science but also of the language and their one minute TV commercial to ‘sell’ their products to the group and this presentation was to take place at Lida’s lovely house on Groenburgwal on the canal side...
With so many people we had to plan the cooking rota! 
When the presentations started on the canal side, the tourist traffic stopped to take a look!

This is in trueYoung Ambassadors of Chemistry style!  Performing Science in a public place to draw attention to Science.
The Acqua de Gracht won the first prize of Old Dutch cheese and much food and drink was consumed on a perfect Amsterdam summer’s evening.


We began with the Science across the World programme and literacy and language skills

Feedback from last year’s group led us to believe that this session wasn’t popular and so we cut it to this one hour session for this year.  It turns out that there are many colleagues in this group who are already working in English medium education or are planning to get involved in the near future.  So, despite this being the first session after the international dinner where much wonderful food and drink from participant countries was consumed, this was a popular session.

Colleagues looked at issues such as ‘listening in Science classes’, ‘creating speaking with Science’ as well as ‘dealing with vocabulary’
The next Science Across activity the colleagues did was ‘Domestic detectives’, exploring identity through a bag of rubbish, and this was followed by a discussion on what the language support could be for FL students doing this activity.

The group explored the web for useful materials and information, useful websites for CLIL and they had an invitation to join Factworld to make the most of the 2500 teachers in the group for schools linking projects.
Blackboard learning environment was also used for the purposes of communication and sharing materials and information.

Group work: a Science across the World topic as a start for a Comenius school partnership: action plan.  Groups discuss again their project proposals, identify themes, think specifically about their ‘needs’.

The social event this evening was a boat trip (starting from Felix Meritis building) around beautiful Amsterdam and to land participants at Kantjil & de Tijger Indonesian restaurant and Course dinner.


Colleagues finalised their action plans and preparatory visits and sources of potential partners.  Colleagues reading this who may be interested in working with this group can contact them through the FACTWorld yahoogroups network at or you can write to me and I'll put you in touch with them.  There focus themes are Drinking Water, Talking About Genetics Around the World, Eating and Drinking, Climate Change and CLIL Teacher Training.

The seminar wrap-up and evaluation took the form of an informal post its session on the ‘best’ and ‘what to change’ in the course for future years.
Ton Koet of the AMSU formally closed the course with presentation of certificates of attendance for the participants.  There was much kissing and hugging as is normal with Lida on such courses!


We already have some concrete projects in the pipeline to watch out for in the near future and that is a great result.  The aim of the course is exactly that.  And if all of the invitations to come and visit are taken up by the group, we’ll need a London double-decker bus to transport everyone around Europe on a tour or participants’ home towns.
There’ll be news of their success in the FACTWorld group.