Anglia School Summer Exchange Programme
Anglia School Summer Exchange Programme

Anglia Summer School - Trashed!

We're planning a busy programme for the summer at Anglia School this year, June to September 2015.

Our Juniors will focus exclusively on DIY and Recycling and each week will create products for us to 'sell' in our charity shop to raise funds for our adopted local charity 'Parallel World', a charity helping disabled children in Plovdiv. 

The first 6 themes are:

01 - General waste:
We'll examine travel and nature around Bulgaria and learn about different types of waste and how they affect different parts of Bulgaria. The children will produce their own nature-rubbish landscapes and collages. 

02 - Photography-My home town:
The children will learn how to use a digital camera and will investigate their local environment taking pictures of evidence of waste pollution where they live and learn what can be done about it. The children will produce an exhibition of their photography. 

03 - DIY Paper-Rainforests:
The children will look at their own use of paper and card products, talk about deforestation and how paper can be recycled and reused. We will pulp used paper products and press them to make new paper and decorative cards. 

04 - Cosmetics-Science at home:
We'll investigate various cosmetics and cleaning materials we use at home. The children will make their own soap, shampoo and bath salts. 

05 - Papier mache-Showtime:
The children will learn about magic tricks, do their own performances and practice puppet shows. We'll make masks and puppets from papier mache and used fabric materials. 

06 - Flight-Space adventure: We investigate the science of various forms of flight including kites, planes, rockets. The children will make beautiful kites, high-flying rockets and long-range paper planes. 

Those of you who know the Science of the World programme will recognize some of the ideas at the heart of this summer programme.
We'd love to share some of our investigations into Bulgarian culture, life and products with partners around the world.

If you think your class or a colleague's might be interested please get in touch ( and we'll discuss summer exchange ideas. 

Best wishes

Article 01: The Inclusive Classroom: Teaching Mathematics and Science to English-Language Learners. It's Just Good Teaching.

1 The Inclusive Classroom: Teaching Mathematics and Science to English-Language Learners. It's Just Good Teaching.

Jarret, D (1999).
Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory, 101 SW Main Street, Suite 500, Portland.
Available in ERIC as of March 21st, 2010

This is dated 1999, but is still a good read today. The context is children in the US learning Science and Maths through English as a second language, but the messages about language in these subjects are applicable to CLIL and other FL-medium contexts.


Article 02: Bilingual Knowledge Maps (BiK-Maps) in Second-Language Vocabulary Learning.

2 Bilingual Knowledge Maps (BiK-Maps) in Second-Language Vocabulary Learning.

Bahr, G. S. and D. F. Dansereau The Journal of Experimental Education, 2001, 70 (1), 5-24.
ERIC has an abstract for this article, but not a free download.

The paper reports that in tests 'bilingual BiK map' learners of vocabulary outscore 'bilingual list' learners of vocabulary.
I'd go further to say that the maps present perfect structures for embedding the rest of the language of the content areas, verbs, prepositions, etc. This is hinted at with the coding system suggested, which is nice in itself, but the language outside the vocabulary is not explicitly expanded.




Bahr, G. S. and D. F. Dansereau 
Available from the first international conference proceedings on concept mapping.
(March 22nd 2010)

Those who know me know that I'm a big fan of concept mapping for foreign language content learning. This paper from conference proceedings presents findings on approaches to vocabulary learning using concept maps.


Article 04: Bilingual Geography

4 Bilingual Geography
What do German students think about geography lessons in English?

GEOGRAPHY, VOLUME 89 (3), 2004, PAGES 274-277

available from:
The Geographical Association 
(March 23rd 2010)

It's always good to read positive feedback about this approach, though it is a selective piece of research. I wonder what the survey would show if it were carried out among all the kids in the Asturias CLIL network of regular comprehensive schools!!! I suspect it would still be positive. The conclusions give a very positive opinion from the students about their studying Geography through the medium of English. This is put down to a number of possible factors, difference in group size, the novelty of learning through another language, native speaker teacher, the extra challenge of learning bilingually.
I found this link to Dr Meyer at the University of Trier Department of Geography.

Article 05: Using Halliday’s functional grammar to examine early years worded mathematics texts

5 Using Halliday’s functional grammar to examine early years worded mathematics texts
Keiran Abel & Beryl Exley
Queensland University of Technology
Australian Journal of Language and Literacy, Vol. 31, No. 3, 2008. pp. 227–241
There is an 'author version' of this article available as of March 24th, 2010, from:
The Department of Pre-School Education, Faculty of Education, Florina, University of Western Macedonia, cultural studies, semiotic structures and practices.

I'm working on a lot of Maths through English as a foreign language recently and so am collecting papers which discuss language and Maths. Will organize this page into headed sections as soon as I can get the time.

This is a significant article since it is written about mother tongue speakers of English learning Maths and the literacy issues which arise because of the aspects of language which appear in the Maths which aren't taught in the English curriculum.

The authors use very concrete examples with 6 Maths tasks which they analyze for language demands and then describe to what extent the language is covered in the English curriculum.

It's written in a very clear style and is straight to the point, which is 'Isn't it unfair to expect children to succeed in Maths if they haven't been taught the language they need to do the Maths?' This is my wording, not the authors'.

This article so impressed me that I got out and dusted off my copy of Functional English Grammar to follow up on the aspects of language which are described in the article. I think the 'system' used to describe and analyze language and then plot this against the language curriculum is very useful.

There isn't anything about how the language could be dealt with in the class, which would make a good follow up article though there is a broad reference to the need for 'scaffolding' in learning. This is what is particularly important for CLIL and bilingual education.

The bibliography is worth exploring further. Am now looking for Unsworth 1999.


'if students do not learn to differentiate between and work with the unique language attributes and structures of key learning area texts, then they will be disabled in their use of literacy across the curriculum in the future'. (from Unsworth 1997, page 231)

It is 'important that those who teach maths also explicitly prepare students with the essential skills necessary for carefully and appropriately dealing with the language demands of maths worded texts.' (page 237)

'Students require specific knowledge of () grammatical structures and their functions to successfully decode and make sense of this mathematical discourse.' (page 240)

Article 06: Developing critical understanding of the specialised language of school science and history texts

6 Developing critical understanding of the specialised language of school science and history texts: A functional grammatical perspective.

Len Unsworth (1999)
Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, 42: 7 April, pp 508-521
I couldn't find a free version of this, but there is a link in ERIC. and there is a related articles which is freely available from Unsworth on similar topics.
Changing dimensions of school literacies

In brief:
Unsworth explains that the language of curriculum subjects is lexically dense and that most people speak in a longer drawn out way with more clauses, and less content carrying words. He writes about moving from the 'grammar of talk' to the 'grammar of writing'.
His argument is clear and that is that students who have control over the formal written language of the subject do well in the subject. The inverse is equally true, those students who write as they talk will do less well.
Unsworth also describes how subject areas differ in their specific grammars and that Science and History each need their own specific approach based on these differences.
A further point Unsworth makes is that by having an understanding of how grammar is used in the subject, students develop a critical literacy which will serve them well as 'readers' of content texts.

At length:

The article takes two distinct curriculum areas, Science and History, and analyses specific language structures for each. Unsworth uses a functional grammar approach to describing this language, writing that such a description can be used across subjects while at the same time effectively show the distinct 'literacies' of different subjects.

As with other pieces on literacy in the curriculum, I found myself drawn to the bibliography highlighting other works that I will go and look for (literacy for Maths, Veel, R, which is given as 'in press' at the time of writing).

Unsworth argues for explicit teaching of the language specifics of different subjects to learners as part of the subject learning itself (music to the ears!).

Both Science and History languages are full of nominalisation - turning actions, processes, verb phrases, into 'things', noun phrases. This allows the writer to pack more content carrying words into sentences, use less words to say what they want (and a whole host of other reasons). Science does this for expressing the technical and scientific meanings in the subject, History does this for example for 'colouring' descriptions of events. This may be making a period of time into a noun phrase so that the period can be described as the actor in a chain of events, and make a period carry 'responsibility' for an outcome (and a whole host of other reasons). This is a technique a writer may use to express their own opinion about the events, or hide it. This language is very characteristic of written subject area texts, or the written language of learning.

page 514 'effective access to knowledge and understanding in curriculum areas entail access to the grammatical resources characteristic of the written mode'

One of the aspects of the article which I found particularly entertaining is what Unsworth calls 'talking out' texts. That is taking a chunk of text from a textbook and turning it into 'spoken language'. Spoken language we learn is usually full of many linked clauses, each clause with only a few content carrying messages, words. Written language carries less clauses to say the same thing, and with many more content carrying words in each clause. There is a message, which I don't think Unsworth makes completely explicit, and that is that you have to start with the language the learners use to express their ideas about a given content area and then show/teach them how to turn it into the formal language of the subject. Apologies to Mr Unsworth if I've mistaken his idea, but this does make a lot of sense and would show a way forward to implementing all of the important ideas and information in the article into classroom practice.

Subject teacher to students: How would you describe this? explain this? define that?

This is what it looks like in scientific language...

That classroom practice has explicit focus on subject specific grammar.

I'm going to go on now and seek out other papers referred to in Unsworth's piece.

Article 07: The complementary contributions of Halliday and Vygotsky to a 'Language-based Theory of Learning'.

7 The complementary contributions of Halliday and Vygotsky to a 'Language-based Theory of Learning'

Wells, G (1994)
Linguistics and Education, 6(1), 41-90
There is a link to this via the
Laboratory of Comparative Human Cognition (31.03.2010)

In brief:
I'm interested in Halliday's functional grammar and the language-based theory of learning, and use Vygotsky a lot when I refer to the Zone of Proximal Development which I believe Vygotsky was writing about CLIL before its time as CLIL language support instruments are structures to help learners move from their ZPD to beyond. I am interested in all of that, but it was only really the last section of this paper which brings together ideas from Halliday and Vygotsky to suggest an approach to learning based on the combined ideas of the two great minds, which are complementary ideas according to the Wells. The last section is about school learning contexts.

This combined approach is about the language of learning, and the design of the learning which embeds this language within it (my words).

At length:
It took me a while to read this article. I had to keep going back over sections to understand and I think that nowadays I'm just more drawn to writing which is directly about classroom practice, rather than theories, and this is about three theories, Halliday's 'Language-based theory of learning' (referred to as LTL), Vygotsky's 'activity-based theory of learning' and the third is the author's combination of the two to suggest a way forward to education which is

'A comprehensive language-based theory of learning should not only explain how language is learned and how cultural knowledge is learned through language. It should also show how this knowledge arises out of collaborative practical and intellectual activities and, in turn, mediates the actions and operations by means of which these activities are carried out.'

It is a powerful conclusion to the article, but there is a footnote which does sap my enthusiasm a little, and that is end note 7 which refers to Wertsch (1985) which states in short that we're still awaiting 'thorough investigation' of the relationship between grammar and the higher mental functions. So, in the space of ten years, 1985 to 1994, we have to assume that still no investigation had taken place. I wonder if it's now been done. Let me know if you find it. My feeling is that CLIL is in practice what Wells conclusion states is needed. The difference, of course, is that CLIL is about another language medium, not the mother tongue.

It was in fact the last section which interested me most in the article. Wells writes about the integration of Halliday and Vygotsky in the context of school learning.

(page 82) '... it is written texts - and talk about them - that provide the discursive means for the development of the 'higher mental functions' so we can plan a language programme for learning a subject based on an analysis of the formal written language of this subject (my words added).

(page 82) 'The reorganization of the grammar and the concomitant reconstrual of experience that is required in order to use written text as a tool for thinking and communicating does occur spontaneously for most children' so we have to teach it to them (my words added).

(page 82) 'children need to perceive (the language) as functional for them in relation to activities that they find both challenging and personally meaningful' so we have to make tasks challenging and meaningful and serving a clear purpose (my words added).

PS - (page 83) Wells refers to Halliday's distinction between 'meaning', 'doing', and 'saying'. It occurs to me that in CLIL, all of these factors have another language dimension, the foreign language dimension. See my article on onestopclil which takes Phil Ball's triad of procedural, conceptual and linguistic skills to create a 'cube' metaphor as an instrument for asking questions about learners to help plan learning.

Article 08 Mathematical Communication in the Classroom: A Teacher Makes a Difference

8 Mathematical Communication in the Classroom: A Teacher Makes a Difference

Bessie Davis Cooke and Dilek Buchholz (2005)
Early Childhood Education Journal, Vol. 32, No. 6, June 2005

Couldn't find a free version of this, but there is a link in ERIC. (31.03.2010)

On with my hunt for ideas on language and Maths...

This is a very readable account of observation of pre-school maths classes and description of techniques for interaction between the teacher and learners for developing learner oral skills in maths. Specifically, the conclusion is that the teacher acts as interface between the learner and the subject facilitating learner production in a number of ways:

- providing opportunities for informal self-expression

- acting as facilitator while learners are busy on task

- providing opportunities for students to connect new understandings to prior knowledge

- linking classroom management activities and routines with maths

- asking a variety of questions

- encouraging the use of appropriate terms

I enjoyed reading this, straightforward, immediately useable ideas and completely relevant to classroom practice.


Article 09 Learning Geography Bilingually

9 Learning Geography Bilingually
Journal of Geography in Higher Education, Vol. 28, No. 3, 411-424,
November 2004
Institute of Geography and Earth Sciences, University of Wales, Aberystwyth, UK
No free version found, but link to ERIC (02.04.2010)

Interesting piece about the issues around teaching university students Geography in Welsh bilingual context. The author describes many of the social and political aspects of this issue and in conclusion refers to the need for an approach which makes the language of the curriculum accessible to all students using the term 'citizens' to describe students in their relationship to their learning, asking:
page 422 'What linguistic provision and practices might have to be adopted to enable full citizenship for such students learning geography through their second language?'
Not very relevant for classroom practice, but puts the question of 'other' languages and cultures firmly on the table for debate and this is very relevant to CLIL as much as for bilingual contexts.


Article 10: Assessing Effects of Directive Complexity on Accuracy of Task Completion in English Language Learners

10 Assessing Effects of Directive Complexity on Accuracy of Task Completion in English Language Learners
School Psychology Review,
2006, Volume 35, No. 4, pp. 552-567

Chisato Komatsu and Joseph C. Witt
Louisiana State University
ERIC link

This study takes a group of 24 students, 5 to 11 years old, and 10 English-speaking Americans as a control group who were each given 5 tasks and instructions with increasing levels of complexity in both Spanish and English. In addition standard vocabulary tests were used to attempt to confirm L1 expectations and identify anomalies (e.g., students who are presented as L1 Spanish, but actually aren't). When I saw the title of this piece I admit I was expecting something which would tell me explicitly that there is a connection between more complex task instructions and success, or rather failure, in L2 content learners.

It turns out the conclusion is 'insufficient evidence', which was a little disappointing to say the least.
page 564 ''the results may be insufficient in determining whether it is the complexity of the directive or the language in which the directive is issued that result in the appropriate response'.



Educational Studies in Mathematics (2005) 64: 121–144
DOI: 10.1007/s10649-005-9005-1 C Springer 2005
There is a link to this article via the University of Arizona

- Suggests sociolinguistic studies more relevant than psycholinguistics for informing us about bilingual maths communication.
Describes perspectives of psycholinguistics (individual) and sociolinguistics (social)

- Stresses important trend of investigating bilingual competence without comparison to monolingual competence and explains the misunderstanding which is existent of bilingualism that if bilinguals are not equally fluent in both languages then they are not true, real or balanced bilinguals. Rejects the term ‘semilingual’.

- Explains code switching and language switching. Here language switching is used ‘to refer to the use of two languages during solitary and / or mental arithmetic computation.’ Page 5 and code switching is used to mean using two languages during conversations.

- This is where the article becomes interesting for me since the author is suggesting that language switching has a specific role in mathematics and she goes on to cite studies which look into the preferred language of bilinguals for computation, whether or not it’s the language of instruction.
There is a suggestion of a link between reaction time and preferred language which isn’t surprising but there is a message for classroom practice which is ‘allow bilingual students to choose the language they use for arithmetic computation in the classroom’. Page 7
The author does point out another important message from this study. It’s potentially a point which in my view would make a major focus given the numbers of children round the world now receiving their education (maths or other) through the medium of another language. That is to what extent may teachers be ascribing low achievement to lack of maths knowledge, when in actual fact it is down to language, or working through the ‘non-preferred’ language?

- Bilinguals do carry advantages according to the author, such as ‘selective attention’ which means that bilinguals are able to focus on relevant parts and ignore information which is not needed for solving a problem.

- There is debate in the piece around code switching in order to stress that it represents a formal characteristic of bilingual speech and shouldn’t be assessed as lack of knowledge. On the contrary code switching can be a reflection of any one of many complex aspects of interaction between two bilingual speakers in the same way that monolinguals ‘select’ language for the same reasons depending on why they are talking to, where, when etc.

The message to the maths teacher then is to examine specific contexts carefully where learners may be using two language simultaneously and not jump to oversimplified conclusions about student level.

Article 12: Speaking up - announcing a multilingual revolution

12 Speaking up - announcing a multilingual revolution
Matthias Krug article for Abode Magazine 

This article talks about Multilingual / Bilingual Education / CLIL in Spain and Qatar
Posted June 5th, 2010

I really enjoyed reading this article. It's says what's what, deals with the main issues and questions concerning bilingual and multilingual education, is positive about the future and celebrates the success stories it reports. Bravo!

attached below


Article 13: Content and language Integrated Learning (CLIL) Teaching Mathematics in English

13 Content and language Integrated Learning (CLIL) Teaching Mathematics in English
Nadja Wilhelmer (2008) VDM, Austria



I'm a bit disappointed. It cost a small fortune to get and there is little talk about CLIL Maths until page 68. All that comes up to that point is a foundation into what CLIL is and generally what learning involves.. There are plenty of books now that you can read for a more in depth introduction to CLIL. What information there is about Maths CLIL is in the form of quotes and statistics related to interviews with teachers. This is interesting in itself, but it doesn't live up to the claim on the cover to providing 'assistance and support' for others who want to introduce Maths CLIL. I found it very difficult to find evidence of 'insight into ... practices'. There aren't any suggestions about actual pedagogy and activity in the Maths classroom in English which I think is what the 'realisation' of Maths CLIL is all about.

Article 14: Multilingualism in Mathematics Classrooms: Global Perspectives

14 Multilingualism in Mathematics Classrooms: Global Perspectives
Richard Barwell (2009) Multilingual Matters


This is a buy from Amazon which is worth it. It came recommended from a colleague, and now having read it I can see why.
It's a very important book in many ways. Not least because of the rich collection of stories about language and maths from a variety of classroom contexts, so real stories about real practice in dealing with the language of maths. It also places language support at centre stage in teaching maths to learners of additional languages in the maths class.

Highly recommended read!

A clear, informative and erudite collection of articles from a number of diverse maths learning contexts placing the role of language in the maths classroom at the centre of the discussion.
Barwell identifies three 'tensions' in the multilingual maths classroom:
1) between maths and language
2) between formal and informal maths
3) between home languages and language of school and schooling
... and says that attention, thought and planning need to be given to all of these tensions.
Chapter 2 - Mapping the maths landscape was of particular interest to me as an amateur geek when it comes to language of the curriculum. I read with interest the data collection and analysis of the language of maths Monaghan reports. Would like to get my hands on this rich maths corpora.
Chapter 5 - Mathematical word problems and bilingual learners in England.
Getting students to write their own word problems helps them with understanding and dealing with word problems they meet in maths. Simple but true.
Chapter 6 - How language and graphs support conversation in a bilingual mathematics classroom.
Reminds me of the 'semi-script' from Geddes. Using diagrams (or diagrammatical representations of content) of any kind is a great for supporting and guiding learners in producing content language.
Chapter 9 - Bilingual Latino students, writing and mathematics
A case study in the US which describes creating a culture of communication in the maths classroom which brings below average (bilingual) achievers above average in a short space of time.
I know I'll carry this book around with me, to read again, and again. It will then sit on the shelf nearest my desk so I can easily access it when needed in the future.


Article 15 - Evaluation Report of the Bilingual Education Programme, Spain

15 - Evaluation Report of the Bilingual Education Programme, Spain


Spanish Ministry of Education website

I first came into contact with this amazing project in October 2004 when I was asked to provide training input to secondary teachers, content and English. At that stage the secondary teachers were being prepped to receive the cohort of primary graduates who had been receiving their education through the medium of English. This is report from Richard Johnstone and colleagues comes after that group of children graduated compulsory education and after a control group of students gained a 90% plus pass rate in their (English-medium) GCSEs.

Read on...


Article 16 - The Language of Chemistry: A New Challenge for Chemistry Education

16 -  The Language of Chemistry: A New Challenge for Chemistry Education 

This article can be accessed via the website of the International Union for Pure and Applied Chemistry in their journal Chemistry International.

(Feature article)

I'm not going to review this or give opinion on it, as I wrote it, but would invite any colleague interested in doing so, to write in with responses to me ( and I'll publish them here.
Suffice to say, it's a great result to get a piece on language in the Chemistry International journal, and I tip my hat to them for putting language on the chemistry agenda with this article.

Article 17: Developing Material for Physical Education Lessons in CLIL

17 - Developing Material for Physical Education Lessons in CLIL

Meike Machunsky 2007


A seminar paper from the University of Kassel, Germany, bought as an ebook through: 
GRIN Verlag fuer akademische texte.

In brief:
The paper offers: a definition of CLIL; a description of PE methodology and possibilities for CLIL; an outline of general CLIL materials development; and a description of materials development for PE in CLIL.
I have to agree with the author of this paper, PE is ‘more than suitable for CLIL’. The paper has a number of strengths and weaknesses. It’s a great piece for a clear and readable presentation of a technique for getting students reading about specific aspects of sport with a view to incorporating content knowledge into their sports performance, which I think is very innovative.
Disagree that CLIL is about culture, would like to have seen more suggestions for activities which represent the specific CLIL PE methodology the author cries out for.

At length:
The paper proposes four aims: a definition of CLIL; a description of PE methodology and possibilities for CLIL; an outline of general CLIL materials development; and a description of materials development for PE in CLIL.
I have to agree with the author of this paper, PE is ‘more than suitable for CLIL’. The paper has a number of strengths and weaknesses. It’s a great piece for a clear and readable presentation of a technique for getting students reading about specific aspects of sport with a view to incorporating content knowledge into their sports performance, which I think is very innovative.
Disagree that CLIL is about culture, would like to have seen more suggestions for activities which represent the specific CLIL PE methodology the author cries out for.
It carries a lot of enthusiasm for PE as a subject ideal for CLIL, in a European context where it’s not that common
((I’m aware as I write this sentence that there will be readers among you who will be saying ‘What evidence do you have for making that statement?’ and I admit that my statement is based only on PE teachers who have participated in my classes at NILE (over many years) and a particularly large group of PE teachers in northern Italy 2-3 years ago, and a small group of teacher trainers specialising in Sport in Austria this last year)).
I have to question the author’s stressing the cultural dimension so much. This is towing the EU policy line, but I don’t feel the paper argues very strongly FOR a cultural dimension to CLIL. It’s the ‘cultural scripts’ which make the CLIL (my paraphrasing). Is it really, I’d always believed that it was the language of the subject, and support and scaffolding for that language which made the CLIL. There are arguments for culture in PE CLIL based on comparions between terms ‘soccer’ and ‘football’ in the worst case, and sports nutrition and techniques in the best. I’ll come back to culture and CLIL in a moment.
The other issue I have with the piece is that there isn’t really much of a description of the specific methodology so passionately demanded and argued for in the article (and with which I couldn’t agree more).
In terms of culture then, surely a geographical skill is the ability to place an investigation in the ‘other’ cultural context, surely a history skill is the ability to examine ‘influences’ placed upon an interpretation of an event in the past. What about Maths? Yes, at a stretch, we can insert culture there too, but it is a stretch and that my point. CLIL is about the language and the maths, or here PE, culture isn’t generically involved (bear with me, I am playing devil’s advocate here on a background which places culture so strongly in CLIL methodology). Machunksy writes about the ‘target culture’ (p.7) in PE CLIL. Which culture is that? My best man has recently become manager of a volleyball team in Plovdiv, they played in Cyprus just the other day (sadly lost), but the language of communication, though English, can hardly be described as having any one single target culture (actually most international volleyball, though probably English-medium, is anything but representative of any one target culture – and the English whose culture we might be lauding, are surely not the volleyball role models we’d want our future volleyball starts to look up to!!!).
Machunsky uses other examples of terminology to argue for more culture in CLIL. Kristallnacht (Reichsprogromnacht) and its English ambivalent Night of (the) Broken Glasses: you can see that these terms for the same thing have totally different associations, which go back to the different history of the culture. The pupils have to be aware of this if they want to communicate in the foreign language like a native speaker. I think this is all part of the ‘stretching’ I mentioned earlier. I don’t think we’re talking specifically about cultural awareness here, we’re talking about history skills (there’s no space here for dealing with ‘talking like the natives’).
I appreciate Machunsky’s description of three approaches (pp.10-11) to bilingual education in Germany which (excuse my brevity) are a) immersive (content in language), b) parallel (content and language), and c) integrated (CLIL). Machunsky states that in Germany most bilingual teaching is immersive (again, my paraphrasing) and there is little CLIL. Bravo for shouting for more CLIL and for more collaboration between subject and language teachers (something other colleagues in Germany have appealed for)!
I really can’t understand why Machunsky argues for more CALP in CLIL PE (p. 13). Does this really mean that there may be more CALP in CLIL PE than in mother tongue PE????
There is one sentence which is very disappointing and that is:
‘To boost the vocabulary learning the teacher could create corssword puzzles or something like this as homework.’
In a paper which demands a specific methodology for PE in a foreign language (again, bravo for that), it’s a shame that vocabulary learning, and examples of it, is reduced to ‘or something like this’ when (for me) this is precisely what CLIL is all about, specifying what that ‘something’ is. Here, I would have liked the author to be explicit and offer examples of tasks tried and tested in the PE class in English for developing vocabulary. There aren’t any, apart from the worksheets.
I liked the ‘stations’ worksheets (pp. 17-25) offered as a prompt group discussion and leading on to action and practice in the sport itself, here volleyball. But having said that, I really can’t understand why this is the only example given as a structure for presenting language in PE in English. Surely of all subjects PE is begging for integration between the action and the language, between the moves and the language, rhythm even and language? (I place the question mark there for more expert colleagues who actually teach PE in English to comment)
Finally, I’m going to pick up on this:
‘And the content matter subject should never become a place for learning the language but to learn in the language.’
I think following this maxim would be close ones eyes to fantastic rich opportunities for teaching language while doing PE in English.

Article 18: Minumum Competence in Scientific English

18 - Minumum Competence in Scientific English

Sue Blattes, Veronique Jans, Jonathan Upjohn
EDP Sciences, Grenoble, 2003
There is a link in Amazon, but also to a number of sample pages at this link to the University of Grenoble.

It’s a gem. Why? Because this is essentially a grammar practice for Science and Technology through English based on a detailed analysis of these subjects. If you're a CLIL Science or Technology teacher - Buy it!

Who is aimed at?
University students of science and technology who want to go ‘from learners to users’ of the English language. It is suggested that the book can be used as part of a course, partly autonomously, or completely autonomously. I can see all three possibilities but it also acts as a template of sorts for teachers to create their own similar tasks which may be more suited to their own specific student needs.
What you do you get?
It’s a book which presents the language of science in 12 units based on ‘functions, structures and lexis’ for:
link words
time – present and past
cause and consequence
purpose and process
impresonal forms
compound nouns and adjectives
For each unit there is an entry and exit test and sub sections dealing with:
functions and grammar
checkpoints (consolidating what is being learnt with paraphrasing, contextualisation and relating it to what is known)
web search – word search tasks
There is a key of answers to the questions and tasks.
There are grammar notes.
There is a lexical index linked to relevant pages in the body of the book.
My opinion and comments
It’s a gem. Why? Because if you’re a student of science or technology what you have here is a collection of organised functions of the English language based on a detailed analysis of your subject accompanied by contextualised exercises to practice scientific ‘functions, structures and lexis’ through the medium of English.
The book comes from a programme at the University of Grenoble supporting innovative publications. Good for them, I say. I just wish we could get someone to write something like this for primary and secondary English-medium science too. Having said that, the book as it is will serve secondary English-medium science to some extent even though it’s targeted at University students.
It’s worth every penny, or rather Euro cent. If you teach Science or technology through the medium of English as a foreign language, buy it! You won’t regret it.

Article 19: Translanguaging in the Bilingual Classroom: A Pedagogy for Learning and Teaching?

19 - Translanguaging in the Bilingual Classroom: A Pedagogy for Learning and Teaching?

The Modern Language Journal 94 (2010) (pp 113-115)

Note – knowledge and skills are interdependent across languages

Article 20: Learning English and Other Languages in Multilingual Settings: Myths and Principles

Article 20 - Learning English and Other Languages in Multilingual Settings: Myths and Principles

Oct 2009
Hong Kong Institute of Education

Note – It’s a myth that ‘the best way to learn a second language is to use it as a medium of instruction’

Article 21 - Teaching for Cross-Language Transfer in Dual Language Education: Possibilities and Pitfalls

21 - Teaching for Cross-Language Transfer in Dual Language Education: Possibilities and Pitfalls
Jim Cummins

TESOL Symposium on Dual Language Education: Teaching and Learning Two Languages in the EFL Setting (Bogazici University, Istanbul, Turkey, Friday, September 23, 2005)

Note – dismisses the ‘two solitudes assumption’ This is the suggestion that languages, can be taught, and are learned in isolation, as if the brain has two separate compartments, one for each language.

Article 22 - Immersion and CLIL in English: more differences than similarities

22 - Immersion and CLIL in English: more differences than similarities

David Lasagabaster and Juan Manuel Sierra

ELT Journal Volume 64/4 October 2010;

Oxford University Press


Note – CLIL is not the same as immersion, the authors suggest that to group immersion and CLIL under the same banner confuses the issues and the teachers.


Rethinking Literacy Instruction in Multilingual Classrooms Jim Cummins | Vicki Bismilla | Sarah Cohen | Frances Giampapa | Lisa Leoni
o r b i t , V o l 3 6 , N o 1 , 2 0 0 5 (pp 22-26)


Note - Translation plays a central role for story writing drafted in any language of choice and rewritten in a second language with support. In my experience visiting bilingual lessons in many contexts, I occasionally see content teachers use two languages in this way. They may not have students writing stories, but they incorporate translation skills into their science writing, for example.


Article 24 - Collaborative interaction in turn-taking

24 - Collaborative interaction in turn-taking: a comparative study of European bilingual (CLIL) and mainstream (MS) foreign language learners in early secondary education

Moore, Pat (2011)
International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism
First published on: 06 January 2011 (iFirst) (article) Paid access via URL:

This article describes research carried out with secondary school CLIL learners (CLIL) and Mainstream learners (MS) in order to analyze effectiveness of interactive communication between students with 79 10-minute interviews (158 informants) at 15 state secondary schools in Andalusia, Spain. (p.6)

The researcher identifies four turn types: 1) Individual turns; 2) Cooperative turns – a cooperative turn is co-constructed (with or without overlapping), either between learners as in Extract 2, or between the interlocutor and learner, as in Extract 3, or even between all three. In a cooperative turn, speakers share responsibility. 3) Embedded turns – Embedded turns represent contributions to another speaker’s ongoing turn (interactive support; linguistic support; affective support). 4) Empty turns. (p.8 and 10)

 ‘Overall, the MS learners take more turns… MS contributions were shorter than CLIL contributions… the MS learners were also taking more individual turns while the CLIL learners were involved in more cooperative turns and were more frequently embedding…Interpreting Co-Ts and embTs as collaboration, we can see that the CLIL learners are, indeed, collaborating more.’ p.9

 ‘…not only were cooperative constructions more frequent in the CLIL data, they also tended to be more extended.’ p.14

 ‘… it emerged that CLIL learners were involved in almost four times more cooperative turns than their MS counterparts and that they were embedding nearly twice as often…’ p. 15

 ‘CLIL learners provide mutual interactive, linguistic and affective support through embedding and they demonstrated greater engagement through both more and more extended cooperative constructions.’ p.15

Asks a very important question about collaborative interaction in MS learners ‘…how can we account for the fact that MS learners are collaborating even less even when L1 use is factored into the equation?...’ p.15

 ‘…CLIL learners are becoming better communicators all-round – even in their L1…’ p.15

Moore closes with something I take issue with (which is heartening in an article I literally lapped up with enthusiasm). She suggests that there is no CLIL method, only an approach. For me Content Teaching plus Teaching via Foreign Language equals CLIL methodology otherwise it’s immersion or bilingual. Moore suggests that the CLIL advantage shown in the research is in part down to the increase in L2 provision, but then goes on to suggest other factors such as group-work, pair-work, team teaching also contribute. I find this confusing. Surely, the interaction in the classroom listed which is partly responsible for the success of the CLIL learners in interaction in the research is evidence of methodology at work as opposed to simply a different approach to teaching the subject?

Otherwise, many thanks to the researchers, the article is a great read, and very positive about CLIL.

Follow up:

Other references to follow up include other research which cites CLIL advantage. As Moore says, now is the time we are going to see more detailed and specific research, which will throw up more detailed aspects of successful classroom practice that we can discuss and share. I'll try and locate these articles, read them if possible and give them their own page and comments when I get round to it. It's good to have so much to follow up on.

L2 doesn’t negatively affect content learning:

Serra C 2007

Assessing CLIL in primary school: A longitudinal study. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism 10 no. 5: 582-602

Stohler U 2006

The acquisition of knowledge in bilingual learning: An empirical study on the role of content in language learning. ViewZ 15, no. 2: 295-8

Vollmer H 2008

Constructing tasks for content and language integrated assessment. In Research on task-based language learning and teaching. Theoretical, methodological and pedagogical perspectives, ed. J Eckerth and S Siekmann, 227-90. Frankfurt: Peter Lang

CLIL offers cognitive advantages:

Gassner, D., and D. Maillat. 2006.

Spoken competence in CLIL: A pragmatic take on recent Swiss data. ViewZ (Vienna English Working Papers) 15, no. 3: 15_22.

Jaeppinen, A.-K. 2005.

Thinking and content learning of mathematics and science as cognitional development in Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL): Teaching through a foreign language in Finland. Language and Education 19, no. 2: 148[1]69.

Van de Craen, P., E. Ceuleers, and K. Mondt. 2007.

Cognitive development and bilingualism in primary schools: Teaching maths in a CLIL environment. In Diverse contexts, converging goals. CLIL in Europe, ed. D. Marsh and D. Wolff, 185[1]200. Frankfurt: Peter Lang.

significant L2 gains:

Admiraal, W., G. Westhoff, and K. de Bot. 2006.

Evaluation of bilingual secondary education in the Netherlands: Students’ language proficiency in English. Educational Research and Evaluation 12, no. 1: 75[1]93.

DESI-Konsortium. 2006.

Unterricht und Kompetenzerwerb in Deutsch und Englisch. Zentrale Befunde der Studie Deutsch-Englisch-Schuelerleistungen-International [Education and skills acquisition in German and English. Key findings of the International German-English School Services Study]. Frankfurt/Main: Deutsches Institut fuer Internationale Paedagogische Forschung.

Lorenzo, F., S. Casal, and P. Moore. 2010.

The effects of Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) in European education: Key findings from the Andalusian Bilingual Sections evaluation project. Applied Linguistics 31, no. 3: 418-42.

a beneficial impact on L1 development:

Merisuo-Storm, T. 2007.

Pupils’ attitudes towards foreign-language learning and the development of literacy skills in bilingual education. Teaching and Teacher Education 23, no. 2: 226-35.

Nikolov, M., and J. Mihaljevic´ Djigunovic´. 2006.

Recent research on age, second language acquisition and early foreign language learning. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics 26: 234-60.

positive attitude:

Lasagabaster, D., and J.M. Sierra. 2009.

Language attitudes in CLIL and traditional FL classes. International Journal of CLIL Research 1, no. 2: 4-17.

Seikkula-Leino, J. 2007.

CLIL learning: Achievement levels and affective factors. Language and Education 21, no. 4: 328-41.

Article 25 - Thinking and Content Learning of Mathematics and Science

25 - Thinking and Content Learning of Mathematics and Science as Cognitional Development in Content and Language Integrated Learning
(CLIL): Teaching Through a Foreign Language in Finland.

Jaeppinen A K (2005) 
Language and Education (article)

ERIC link

I've been looking for the articles listed in the previous one in number 24 which refer to contexts of success in CLIL in a number of dimensions. This is one of them which according to the abstract  presents research which shows that studying through L2 does not affect cognitive development of learners.

NB - these notes are mine, and any paraphrasing is my own responsibility. Please pick up on anything you read here with me as although I try and interpret the article closely I may not representing the intended ideas of the author.
I enjoyed reading this piece because it taught me something fresh about learning and about describing learning achievement in terms which make sense when talking about learning in a foreign language. I now have the word cognitional in my vocabulary and I think I know what it means, at least in terms of how it is used in this paper.
I learned that English is a more common CLIL language in Finland even than Swedish, and that there is immersion Swedish and CLIL Swedish, that they are different (I’m glad to hear that) and that they are undertaken by different groups in Finnish society (CLIL being open to all, and some immersion Swedish being ‘restricted to a cultural or linguistic minority’ p.149).
Quote – ‘Cognitional’ is used here to refer to both thinking and content learning and to separate it from the established term ‘cognitive’ that covers according to the Encyclopedia Britannica ‘every metal process that can be described as an experience of knowing as distinguished from an experience of feeling or of willing’. p.151
Quote - ‘Cognitional development is assumed to manifest itself in understanding, using and applying concepts and conceptual structures of the contents taught through a foreign language in mathematics and science. Different conceptual structures when concepts are related to each other are here called meaning schemes.’ p.151
There are descriptions of differences between mother tongue and CLIL learning. The focuses are given here in short: 1) a large zone of proximal development; 2) specific socio-culture-psychological factors; 3) special discovery learning related settings; 4) informal and natural language learning and development.
1) means CLIL learners need extra explanations and help (in terms of special gesticulation, movement, features of spoken language, supportive materials). I think this bit is at the heart of what interests me most, designing CLIL materials
2) means that the use of a foreign language for learning leads to a very personal learner interpretation of other societies and cultures and a wider view of learning.
3) means learner makes use of connections between mother tongue and foreign language for meaning making.
4) means learners learn and acquire language in much the same way as they did with mother tongue.
Question at the heart of the study:
‘How can we study the effect of foreign language usage on CLIL learners’ thinking and content learning processes, that is, on their cognitional development?’ p.152
Jaeppinen lists a number of cognitions for describing achievement
Critical discovery learning areas (my paraphrasing):
1) awareness of concepts
2) awareness of meaning schemes
3) ability to exploit information
4) ability to solve problems
5) ability to exploit the flow of information
10 Thinking categories:
1) classifying
2) realizing the constancy of properties
3) realizing the similarity of a change
4) realizing the compensation or equivalence of a change
5) realizing the reciprocity or reversibility of a change
6) noticing and charting alternatives for action
7) thinking ahead the progress of a process
8) changing possibilities into hypotheses
9) becoming conscious of one’s own thought processes
10) thinking beyond conventional limits
12 Finnish mainstream comp schools
669 learners 7 to 15
presents four measurements
M1 starting level
Cognitional development, M2 autumn 2002, M3 spring 2003, M4, autumn 2003
Experimental group of 335 learners were taught through English, French, or Swedish, and control group of 334 learners taught through Finnish.
Maths and Science
Results showed
Age group 1
p. 157 No difference in cognitional developments in Maths in age group 1
‘some very abstract topics may not be very well suited for young CLIL learners’ p. 157
Age group 2
‘Teaching through a foreign language seemed to support or even promote the mathematical thinking and learning processes of the learners in this age group.’ p. 159
‘The findings suggest that teaching through a foreign language in science gives support to or even promotes the cognitional development of the CLIL learners in this age group.’ p.160
Age group 3
both groups were very equal, no statistical differences p. 160
According to this study, the Finnish CLIL environments in public mainstream L1 education have succeeded, in general, in offering favourable conditions for thinking and content learning in mathematics and science. In most cases, the cognitional development in the CLIL environments resembled the development in teaching through the mother tongue.’p.161-162
‘The positive outcomes from Finnish CLIL environments mean that teaching through a foreign language supports CLIL learners’ thinking and content learning’. p.162
Tthe Author's contact email is given -
It would be interesting to take a look at some test items!

Article 26 - Speaking English in Finnish content-based classrooms

Articles which are about CLIL

26 Speaking English in Finnish content-based classrooms


The author sets out not to analyze formal aspects of language use, but 'how English is used in Finnish biology and physics CLIL classrooms… social and interpersonal aspects of language use'.

  This study says some very good things about English language use in the groups under investigation ‘CLIL students claim ownership of English by the way they confidently use it as a resource for the construction of classroom activities.’ p.206

While not traditionally one of the languages of bilingual Fins, English is described as the first foreign language for all students. This is hardly surprising given the wide range of publications on English-medium CLIL which come out of Finland (see other articles on Finnish CLIL in this site for example).

It's also interesting to hear about the scale of CLIL in Finland and we can see this in this simple statement about how children get involved by choice or compulsorily: ‘In Finland student participation in CLIL is voluntary whenever a substantial part of instruction is given in a foreign language. Should a teacher decide to teach only limited part(s) of his/her subject through English, then all children may be required to participate.’ p.208

The author also contributes to our ongoing definition of CLIL when she offers us some characteristics typical of CLIL instruction: 'in Europe and Finland students are usually non-native speakers of the language of instruction and share the native language’ … ‘they contain aims relating both to language learning and to content learning.’ p.208 - I agree wholeheartedly with this last part, aims in CLIL methodology focus on BOTH language and content development.

The focus moves us from the bricks and mortar (words, concepts and skills) of learning through a foreign language to the decor and furnishings (social interaction through the foreign language) ‘The approach of the project can be described as discourse-pragmatic as it is informed by pragmatics and discourse analysis in particular when exploring the interpersonal and social aspects of language use in classrooms. This means that instead of focusing on formal aspects of the English Used by the students and teacher, i.e. how they master vocabulary, grammar, or pronunciation, attention is paid to social and interpersonal aspects of language use, e.g. how roles and relationships, speaker rights and obligations are negotiated in interaction.’ p.209

Observations on use of English

‘One of the contexts where students’ persistence in using English is somewhat unexpected in the light of earlier studies is in situations where they are working in small groups or as pairs without the teacher present.’p.210 - This is an aspect of interaction which has frequently come up in the Cafe CLIL discussions and the general conclusion has always been that L1 is acceptable in small group work where students need to return to it to communicate and deal with concepts in discussion. Here the suggestion is that these Finnish students tend to choose the L2 - English.

‘…they produce their turns in a very rapid succession, partly echoing each other’s suggestions, which implies a certain naturalness and ease in their use of English: it is clearly not something they have to stop and think about before speaking, but can produce ‘online’ as they go on with the activity.’ p.211

There is reference to talk in situations which are generally considered as not being officially part of the lesson, and that in these situations language of choice is L1, in this data, using English in such situations is common. p.211

‘ …English in CLIL lessons is certainly not forced upon the students.’ p.213

The findings show that there are Finnish teenagers who are perfectly capable of carrying out meaningful, goal-oriented interaction in English. p.213

Code switching

‘When everybody shares an L1, it would seem likely that students would easily resort to their mother tongue when their L2 knowledge fails them. Contrary to such expectations, the students’ code switching in the present data seems to be mainly motivated by factors other than lack of knowledge in English.’ p.214 - Switching to English is a choice, a positive one which reflects aspects of the interactions other than just language knowledge.

‘The present data suggest that switches into Finnish fall, broadly speaking and defined, into two main categories: those in which the switch is in itself meaningful and motivated by interactional or social reasons, and those where the co-occurrence and concurrent use of two languages is meaningful, rather than particular switches serving specific interactional functions.’ p.214

‘… language choice thus seems to have the function of demarcating peer talk from teacher-student talk.’ p.215

‘Switches into Finnish also occasionally seem to have affective functions, i.e. they signal some changes in speakers’ affective stance.’ p.215

‘… it is possible to talk about emerging bilingualism among the students.’ p.220

‘These present findings suggest that CLIL Instruction could well serve as an arena for students to the put their skills into practice and act as active participants in classroom interaction. Moreover, the findings give reason to believe that when there is no explicit focus on students’ language skills, they seem to use English quite willingly.’ p.221

All of the above just go further to add to the stereotype I have of education in Finland being first class. We're not just talking about an elite system, we're talking about CLIL as a system which is accessible to all students, some by choice, some compulsory. Perhaps one pre-requisite for CLIL is actually that, get the educational system right first in order to guarantee success in CLIL.


This is a a reference list, there are links to the comments and it's offered with latest read first.

27 - Learning while using an additional language

A letter I wrote in to reply to an article in the School Science Review, which was exploring the supporting of language in classes where students include students for whom English is not their mother tongue. I won't put comments here, just to say that I respond to a couple of important points in the article and refer to CLIL by way of solution.

SSR March 2018, 99(368) 9-10
26 - Speaking English in Finnish content-based classrooms
One of the most well-known countries not just for integrating content and language but also for quality education on the whole, anything from Finland has to be worth a read.

 World Englishes, Vol. 26, No. 2, pp. 206–223 (article) Wiley link

Comments and summary are offered here
25 - Thinking and Content Learning of Mathematics and Science as Cognitional Development in Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL): Teaching Through a Foreign Language in Finland.

Jaeppinen A K (2005) Language and Education (article)
ERIC link

Comments and summary are offered here.
24 - Collaborative interaction in turn-taking: a comparative study of European bilingual (CLIL) and mainstream (MS) foreign language learners in early secondary education

Moore, Pat (2011)
International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism
First published on: 06 January 2011 (iFirst)

I've written up a page with quotes, comments, conclusions, and follow up here.
23 - TIMELINES AND LIFELINES: Rethinking Literacy Instruction in Multilingual Classrooms

Jim Cummins | Vicki Bismilla | Sarah Cohen | Frances Giampapa | Lisa Leoni
o r b i t , V o l 3 6 , N o 1 , 2 0 0 5 (pp 22-26)

Link and notes
22 - Immersion and CLIL in English: more differences than similarities

David Lasagabaster and Juan Manuel Sierra
ELT Journal Volume 64/4 October 2010; Oxford University Press

Link and notes
21 - Teaching for Cross-Language Transfer in Dual Language Education: Possibilities and Pitfalls

Jim Cummins
TESOL Symposium on Dual Language Education: Teaching and Learning Two Languages in the EFL Setting (Bogazici University, Istanbul, Turkey, Friday, September 23, 2005)

Link and notes
20 - Learning English and Other Languages in Multilingual Settings: Myths and Principles

Hong Kong Institute of Education
Oct 2009

Link and notes
19 - Translanguaging in the Bilingual Classroom: A Pedagogy for Learning and Teaching?

The Modern Language Journal 94 (2010) (pp 113-115)

Link and notes
18 - Minumum Competence in Scientific English
Sue Blattes, Veronique Jans, Jonathan Upjohn
EDP Sciences, Grenoble, 2003
Link and notes
17 - Developing Material for Physical Education Lessons in CLIL

Meike Machunsky 2007

Link and notes
16 -  The Language of Chemistry: A New Challenge for Chemistry Education 

Chemistry International Journal of IUPAC
(Feature article)

Link and notes
15 Evaluation Report of the Bilingual Education Programme, Spain

Spanish Ministry of Education website

Link and notes
14 Multilingualism in Mathematics Classrooms: Global Perspectives
Richard Barwell (2009) Multilingual Matters

Link and notes
13 Content and language Integrated Learning (CLIL) Teaching Mathematics in English

Nadja Wilhelmer (2008) VDM, Austria

Link and notes
12 Speaking up - announcing a multilingual revolution

Matthias Krug article for Abode Magazine 

Link and notes

Educational Studies in Mathematics (2005) 64: 121–144
DOI: 10.1007/s10649-005-9005-1 C Springer 2005

Link and notes
10 Assessing Effects of Directive Complexity on Accuracy of Task Completion in English Language Learners

Chisato Komatsu and Joseph C. Witt Louisiana State University
 School Psychology Review, 2006, Volume 35, No. 4, pp. 552-567

Link and notes
9 Learning Geography Bilingually

Journal of Geography in Higher Education, Vol. 28, No. 3, 411-424,
November 2004

Link and notes
8 Mathematical Communication in the Classroom: A Teacher Makes a Difference
Bessie Davis Cooke and Dilek Buchholz (2005)
Early Childhood Education Journal, Vol. 32, No. 6, June 2005

Link and notes
7 The complementary contributions of Halliday and Vygotsky to a 'Language-based Theory of Learning'.

Wells, G (1994)
Linguistics and Education, 6(1), 41-90
Link and notes
6 Developing critical understanding of the specialised language of school science and history texts: A functional grammatical perspective.

Len Unsworth (1999)
Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, 42: 7 April, pp 508-521

Link and notes
5 Using Halliday’s functional grammar to examine early years worded mathematics texts

Keiran Abel & Beryl Exley
Queensland University of Technology
Australian Journal of Language and Literacy, Vol. 31, No. 3, 2008. pp. 227–241
Link and notes
4 Bilingual Geography

What do German students think about geography lessons in English?
GEOGRAPHY, VOLUME 89 (3), 2004, PAGES 274-277

Link and notes

Bahr, G. S. and D. F. Dansereau 
Available from the first international conference proceedings on concept mapping.

Link and notes
2 Bilingual Knowledge Maps (BiK-Maps) in Second-Language Vocabulary Learning.

Bahr, G. S. and D. F. Dansereau
The Journal of Experimental Education, 2001, 70 (1), 5-24.

Link and notes
1 The Inclusive Classroom: Teaching Mathematics and Science to English-Language Learners. It's Just Good Teaching.

Jarret, D (1999).
Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory, 101 SW Main Street, Suite 500, Portland.
Link and notes

Assessment in CLIL
Assessment in CLIL

Assessment in CLIL

Examples of assessment instruments uploaded as a result of discussion in Younglearners @ yahoogroups, April 20th - 24th, 2009

On the Basque website you will find a number of interesting instruments for gathering information about achievement, both for peer assessment and teacher assessment.  Note that the objectives state both language and content targets.You'll find four files for download from the Basque project at the foot of this page:

- Objectives
- Peer assessment
- Teacher assessment 1
- Teacher assessment 2

I've worked with a lot of colleagues in this area, and am linking two instruments at the foot of the page that they have shared with me, just for your information.  They serve only as examples of attempts at creating CLIL assessment instruments:
- CLIL 1 - CEF model
- CLIL 2 - integrated descriptor model

Overview of assessment risks (J Clegg) (linked in Word doc below)

Take a look at Geri Smyth
Helping Bilingual Pupils to Access the Curriculum, Fulton, 2003

Language is mapped onto the curriculum ...

... this feeds into assessment ...

Send us your test instruments, sample tests, I'll upload them here.

Bulgaria - FACT Journals Issue 19
Bulgaria - FACT Journals Issue 19


Soft Skills – a bridge between language CLIL and content CLIL...............................3
Keith Kelly
Two CLIL lessons:
Topic: Fake news! Historic photography real and manipulated.................................13
Thomas Ziegelwagner
Pressemitteilung zur internationalen Lehrertagung 1.-5.10. in Innsbruck.....................20
Sabine Wallinger
La Scora Ladina - Die ladinische Schule – La scuola ladina – The Ladin school...............22
Heinrich Videsott
Lyubov Dombeva
Интегриране на дейности в класната стая - път за успешно обучение в XXI век................ 35
Веска Петрова, Рая Данон, Пламен Христов, Мирела Славова
Oscar Wilde and the paradoxes of ecological education.......................................39
Stefka Kitanova, Vasil Chakarov

Bulgaria - FACT Journals Issue 20
Bulgaria - FACT Journals Issue 20

A Bulgarian once said to me that good things take time, and the best could take forever. Well, Issue 20 of the FACTWorld Journal has been a long time coming, so it must be really good!

The theme is waste and sustainability and celebrates the 20th anniversary of the FACTWorld network with proceedings from the Pre-Conference day at the Bulgarian English Teachers Assocation conference.

Here's to 20 more years of CLIL collaboration, support and networking.


Introduction - FACTWorld at 20 by Keith Kelly

From SAW to TrashedWorld by Lida Schoen

Natural Materials in my Classroom by Lora Atanasova

Microbeads around us by Egbert Weisheit

Adopt the Adata – interactive environmental education on Maritsa river and Adata River Island by Stanimir Navushtanov, Ventzislav Vassilev and Keith Kelly

Picker Pals “We have Picker Power!” by Patrick Jackson

TrashedWorld – New Draft Module by Keith Kelly

Future in the past – years went by – by Stefka Kitanova, Vasil Chakarov, Maria Dobcheva
Download pdf of Journal 20

Bulgaria - FACT Journals Issue 21
Bulgaria - FACT Journals Issue 21

Who would have thought what would come when we were celebrating our 20th anniversary just a few months ago!

Our 21st journal has a wonderful 'coming of age' ring to it despite the quarantine lockdown circumstances!
We have items from all over the place, in many languages.
Soft CLIL CPD from Georgia,
History lesson ‘Deconstructing/Debunking a historical personality’ from Austria.
A lesson on Bulgarian kings as well as a lesson on paper plane construction and testing from Bulgaria.
History continues from Italy with an examination of the mediaeval Italian book ‘The City of the Sun’.
We have a chemistry and different ‘Laws of Physics’, both from Bulgaria.
We have an Erasmus+ project report from Bulgarian, English, Hungarian, Italian, Latvian and Polish contributors on ‘Urban Science’.
We have a second Erasmus+ project report taking us into ‘Art and Inclusion’ from the Spanish Grammar School, Sofia in Bulgaria.
We have some fabulous artwork from our amazing students (many thanks!)

Stay safe and healthy, and keep sending us your contributions, and we’ll keep publishing them in FACT!

Download pdf of Journal 21


Café CLIL - A place to come and talk about (and listen to) the issues.

The recordings you will find here are all from volunteers interested in the area of foreign language medium education.  The Café CLIL discussions began in December 2008 simply as a way of promoting sharing and discussion of the issues related to work in the area of Content and Language Integrated Learning in a relaxed atmosphere.  Hence the name, Café CLIL.  So, get yourself a cuppa, tea, coffee, or whatever you prefer, and join us.

Discussion 18: Moving to English-medium Education

Recent developments around the world in terms of English-medium education, the question of 'legality' when young people are taught through another language, and tips and advice for anyone (read any school systems) thinking of going English-mediu.

Discussion 17: English in the Wider World

This discussion has come from suggestions from colleagues that English is no longer a school subject but is a life skill that people employ around the world in their everyday lives beyond the classroom walls.

Discussion 16: Hard and Soft CLIL Teacher Skills

This discussion revolves around the issue of dealing with more than one language in the CLIL classroom. It's a theme which is chosen specifically to contrast with a total immersion approach.

Discussion 15: Two Languages in the CLIL Classroom

This discussion revolves around the issue of dealing with more than one language in the CLIL classroom. It's a theme which is chosen specifically to contrast with a total immersion approach.

Discussion 14: Re-defining CLIL (Defining CLIL again)

This discussion is a revisit to CLIL terminology, methodology and contexts based on developments over the last two years of Café CLIL discussion.

Discussion 13: Content and Language Integrated Learning and Young Learners

An important theme which focuses entirely on issues related to integrating the curriculum and foreign languages with young learners. Am sure there will be a lot of debate with this theme.

Discussion 12: The language of content - Mathematics Topic (Averages: Data Handling)

Reporting back on conferences and meetings; discussion on the language of the Mathematics topic Averages: Data Handling, demands on learners, strategies and techniques for dealing with this language in the CLIL classroom.

Discussion 11: The language of content - Chemistry Topic (Acid rain)

(Reporting back on conferences and meetings; discussion on the language of the chemistry topic acid rain, demands on learners, strategies and techniques for dealing with this language in the CLIL classroom.)

Discussion 10: CLIL suggests an integration of subject and language - How can we get teachers collaborating?

(Reporting back on conferences and meetings; discussion on strategies and techniques for encouraging collaboration and integration in teaching and learning.)

Discussion 09: Supporting Talk in Content Subjects

(Reporting back on conferences and meetings; discussion on strategies and techniques for supporting talk in the CLIL classroom)

Discussion 08: Skills for CLIL: Reading

(Reporting back on conferences and meetings; discussion on strategies and techniques for developing reading skills in the CLIL classroom)

Discussion 07: Use of L1 in the CLIL Classroom

(Reporting back on conferences and meetings; discussion on use of the mother tongue in the CLIL classroom)

Discussion 06: Assessment in CLIL

(Reporting back on conferences and meetings; discussion on assessment and testing in CLIL)

Discussion 05: Dialogue between language and content

(Reporting back on conferences; Question forms in the classroom; CLIL teacher training)

Discussion 04: The CLIL Debate

CLIL: Complementing or Compromising English Language Teaching? 

Discussion 03: CLIL TT

What goes into a training course for content CLIL teachers?

Discussion 02: The Ideal CLIL Teacher

What is the ideal CLIL teacher? Does it exist? What are the skills a CLIL teacher needs by default?

Discussion 01: Getting started

A discussion on the ways and means of getting started in integrating the teaching of a content subject with a foreign language.


Cafe CLIL Discussion 01 - Getting started in CLIL
Cafe CLIL Discussion 01 - Getting started in CLIL

Discussion_01: Getting started
Dec 19th, 2009

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

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

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


The topics we covered in brief were:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

- Competences for subject teachers

- Materials

- Methodology and tasks

- Testing for subject teachers

- Assessment for students

- Communication and networking for teachers


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


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

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

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

Cafe CLIL Discussion 02: The ideal CLIL teacher profile
Cafe CLIL Discussion 02: The ideal CLIL teacher profile

Discussion_02: The ideal CLIL teacher profile
Jan 22nd, 2009

You can listen to the entire recording of our discussion here at this YouTube link
The colleagues who joined me for discussion are Bernd Morlock, Lauretta D'Angelo and Peach Richmond.
Introductory text from colleagues new to the discussion follows here as well as a contact email.

My name is Mr Peach Richmond and I live and work as an English teacher and teacher trainer in Switzerland. I have taught English at lower secondary level for 17 years and at commercial college for 10 years. I hold a masters degree in ELT from Exeter University. I am currently working 50% as the Project Manager for the introduction of English at primary schools in Canton Lucerne and 50% teaching English methodology at the Pädagogische Hochschule Zentralschweiz in Lucerne. I do not work in CLIL (yet) but CLIL will be an important part at primary and secondary levels and my special area of interest is content-based teaching and learning. (

There was some discussion beforehand that we could usefully discuss what the ideal CLIL teacher is, what would a profile be for the CLIL teacher, what skills do they need, should they have?  Also, what would a training course be like which would try to offer the skills and knowledge teachers need to reach the profile being described?
Based on this suggestion, Lauretta and I prepared texts with ideas on this topic.  Lauretta sent in the document below - subject teacher competencies.  It describes what kind of training the CLIL approach should offer.  I sent in a document with the table of ideal CLIL teacher descriptors and then themes for training to meet the profile descriptors.
In actual fact, in discussion, we only dealt with the issue of language levels of teachers.  That's perfectly fine as it gives us a lot more to discuss at later dates!!!!

The topics we covered in brief were:
1 First of all you can hear a brief introduction from Peach as well as an outline of the needs as he sees it of his trainee teachers, and also the perspective of the teachers themselves.
2 There is consensus that CLIL teaching should start with the content rather than the language and that the language should come from the content.
3 There are some interesting comments about multilingualism in Switzerland and how this relates to (and if it actually influences) CLIL.
4 A lot of the discussion revolves around the issue of what the minimum level of English should be for CLIL teachers.
5 A conclusion to this discussion suggests that CLIL training should ideally be modular for the very reason that there is such a great diversity of context and teacher in the CLIL world and a modular appraoch would not only respect that, but also be more realistic given the circumstances teachers have to live and work in.  It may be that CLIL training needs a portfolio approach where teachers can collect evidence of achievement as and when they can get it during their professional lives.
6 There was some discussion about where teachers can actually get language proficiency from while working full time, living, raising families and that the best way may be living for a period in the country of the target language.
Suggestions for further discussion included:
- How are subject CLIL teachers (i.e., Biology, Maths) trained?
- What actually is hard CLIL, what actually is soft CLIL?
- Bring in a subject teachers' perspective.

So, if you're a subject specialist teaching students through English as a foreign language, why not join us for the next discussion.  Send me an email if interested
1) There was a reference to levels of language exams and the CEF and this site compares exams and levels.
2) There was a question as to whether Swiss teachers can apply for EU funding?
I did some considerable searching, but couldn't find any evidence that teachers are receiving EU funding for training.  If you know different, let us know.

I'm using a piece of software called 'Call Burner' which enables me to record the audio input of all participants into one audio file.  This is much tidier than the first attempt!

It looks like we are moving towards choosing Fri 27th at 1 or 2pm (Central European time) for our next discussion as two colleagues have already said that it's convenient.
The other times and dates are included here, do get in touch if you'd like to join us.  I claimed that we'd be flexible about time and dates, and offered to do repeat discussions, but this is proving difficult!  All I can say is that the earlier we sort out dates and times the better.
Cafe CLIL 03 - One day of Wed to Thurs 25-27 Feb (13.00 - 18.00 Bulgarian time for up to one hour)
Cafe CLIL 04 - One day of Wed to Thurs 15-17 Apr (13.00 - 18.00 Bulgarian time for up to one hour)
If you'd like to get involved in these discussions, just drop me a line ( with an indication of preferred date, time and topic(s) in order of preference.  Please also include a short text about your work background and interest in CLIL to be published on this site.  Please note also that all discussion will be recorded and published here after the meeting.  Skype offers a maximum conference number of 24, so there's room for more, though I'm not sure we'll practically manage so many colleagues talking at once!


Cafe CLIL Discussion 03: CLIL TT
Cafe CLIL Discussion 03: CLIL TT

Discussion 03_Content_TT
What goes into a training course for content CLIL teachers?

We were joined by Peach Richmond, Lauretta D'Angelo, Lida Schoen and Egbert Weisheit.  Introductory text from colleagues new to the discussion follows here as well as a contact email.

The recording of the discussion can be found at this YouTube link.

New visitors to Café CLIL:

Dr. Lida Schoen received a doctorate in (analytical) Chemistry from the University of Amsterdam in 1972. Since then she has been involved in education in chemistry and Teacher Training (Amsterdam).  In 1996 she started her own educational consultancy, with mainly governmental commissions. Examples are experimental materials for a new chemistry curriculum (A-level), e.g on spectrometry and biochemistry and for general science on the male pill. A last commission came from the Social Security to write a curriculum and teaching materials to reintegrate unemployed people by means of computer work.  Lida is co-creator with Keith Kelly of the YAC (Young Ambassadors for Chemistry) project and is an active team member and promoter of Science Across the World programme.  In 2007, Lida was made a Knight of the Order of Orange Nassau by her Majesty the Queen for her contributions to Science education in and raising public understanding of chemistry. (

Egbert Weisheit teaches Biology and Chemistry in Kassel, Germany and is a teacher trainer offering in-service teacher development in the region. His foreign languages include English and French and he is particularly interested in communication in Science and developing cross-curricular activities in his teaching and training.  Egbert focuses his work on practical activities, experiments and outdoor work in Science.  An area Egbert specialises in is teaching Science in English.  Egbert has been a team member of Science Across the World for a number of years and is the programme's representative in Germany. ( 

The topic for this discussion has grown out of a previous discussion on what the ideal CLIL teacher is.  Here we talk about the contents of training programmes for Content teachers of CLIL subjects.  The stress on content teachers is deliberate.  In preparation for discussion I put together the contents or a number of courses I know personally for CLIL teachers.  This document can be downloaded from the link below.

There is also mention of the European Portfolio for new teachers as a starting point for discussion about competences for CLIL teachers and that can be found here: or from the link below.

Topics discussed:
As usual we had some teething problems with the technology, but the participants got on and introduced themselves and the recording starts with Egbert talking about who he is and what he does.

- There is a summary of pre-service training for subject teachers in each of the participant country.  There is no pre-service training for CLIL.  Only in Switzerland is there any CLIL component in pre-service teacher training.  Luzerne is given as the example of Swiss pre-service CLIL training where at Primary teachers do a module on CLIL.

- Holland has no formal requirements for bilingual schools regarding content and language integration.  In Germany, schools use CLIL to promote themselves, and there is still a lack of official recognition for teachers, and a lack of CLIL teachers generally.  In Italy, language teachers are trained in post-graduate courses to prepare CLIL modules.  There is a recent law which stipulates that within two years all students will have some subject teaching through the medium of a foreign language.

- Peach suggests that the push for more collaboration between language and content teaching in secondary may actually come from primary (where it is more common) into lower secondary and then secondary and it may come from the children themselves as they progress through the years bringing their own CLIL needs with them.  Peach also explains that Luzerne CLIL has developed out of a need for new ideas for teaching language at an early age and CLIL was one of those ideas.

- We touch on what the contents of a programme of training should be for CLIL teachers, and Lauretta highlights the need in training for 'strategies' such as 'scaffolding' - what it is, and how to provide it - as key to training for CLIL teachers and also the function of questioning in the classroom, higher order questioning.  Egbert suggests that what his teachers need are more ideas for teaching communication through Science, more interactive tasks.  Egbert and Lida, both Scientists, both stress the need for developing school curriculum links to give a foundation for language and content integration in the school.  There is agreement that teachers need to develop an awareness of the language of their subjects and techniques and skills for making this language accessible to students in their classrooms.

- There is also interesting discussion about how in some contexts L1 policies are driving discussion about language across the curriculum.  In Switzerland this is the case where High German in the classroom versus Swiss German has brought about guidelines for use of language across the curriculum.  EAL (English as an Additional Language) policy in the UK is mentioned, this is a policy for language throughout the whole of the curriculum in the UK.

- We also discuss the IATEFL CLIL debate question - CLIL: Is it compromising or complementing English language teaching?  The whole group was in agreement that CLIL only compromises language teaching where the language teaching is old fashioned otherwise it can only complement it.  Lauretta states that it's a chance to reinforce the language.


Café CLIL Discussion 04: The CLIL Debate CLIL: Complementing or Compromising English Language Teaching?
Café CLIL Discussion 04: The CLIL Debate CLIL: Complementing or Compromising English Language Teaching?

Discussion 04: The CLIL Debate
CLIL: Complementing or Compromising English Language Teaching? 

You can listen to the entire recording of our discussion in this YouTube link

We were joined by John Clegg, Lyubov Dombeva, and Egbert Weisheit.  Introductory text from colleagues new to the discussion follows here as well as a contact email.

The topic comes directly from the debate on the same theme at IATEFL Cardiff.  You can catch up on that debate at the IATEFL Website, or the onestopclil website.  

There is an article from Lyubov Dombeva at onestopclil with a subject teacher's perspective on the debate.  There is an English teacher's perspective at the onestopenglish website.

You can also give your opinions at the discussion forum at onestopclil after the debate at the conference is over.  The debate will go on!
There is also a PPT of questions related to CLIL attached below. It is from a meeting I had with trainers in Milan and the issues may be of interest to those listening to this discussion. 

Topics discussed:

I started out by setting the scene for the discussion.  The panel discussion in Cardiff at the IATEFL conference was the same morning of our discussion.
I said that I thought it would be interesting to hear the opinions from subject teachers about this theme as it comes from the ELT event.  I also thought it would be interesting to hear what the subject teachers thought about why the debate was going on.  Why this anxiety from the ELT world?  
Egbert says that in Germany there is little collaboration between the subject teachers and the language teachers and Lyubov says the same that in Bulgaria it's rare to find cross department collaboration.
John suggested that EU directives may be the source of some of the anxiety as the demand for more subjects taught through foreign languages will mean changes for language teachers.  This could be the source of the worry.
I always think that for language teachers CLIL should be an opportunity for enriching your teaching repertoire, about having more ideas for things to do in class.
Lyubov reminds us that content is actually there to stay in the language classroom and in textbooks you won't be able find a course that doesn't have chapters on some content area: environment, health, diet, etc.
Egbert points out that in Germany there is a tradition for 'pure' language teaching and there is a gap between the 'ideal' science learner and the ideal language learner, a gap built by the system which is hard to overcome.
Lyubov points out that in her experience students who are strong in language tend to be good at the science and the opposite is also true.

John states that there is a great need for more training for teachers.  There is a discussion about the role of universities and that there is still little initiative to coordinate pre- and even in-service training for teachers in Germany.  CLIL training does happen but it tends to be from individual institutions without supervising coordination from regional organizations.  Though there is a growing interest in English-medium education at University level, there is little provision for this to trickle down the system in the form of training for school teachers.
John mentioned that there is disquiet in the UK about English-medium education being shipped abroad to countries like Holland and Germany which will mean losses for UK universities.
In reality in Germany schools compromise and accept teachers who can teach their subjects through English, but who aren't certified to do so. Frankfurt University has a project for in-service training to offer certification for practising teachers.

I wanted to make sure we get in some discussion on the motivation of learners about studying their content through the medium of English.  In my experience, students flourish and it should be said that this is so.
Lyubov says that motivation comes from both parents, and students.  Some students will never be enthusiastic, but others find it fun and generally speaking their motivation comes from the development the learning will have for their English language and the access this will give them to study abroad.
Egbert states that there is usually some initial 'irritation' from the students when they have to do their science in English, but that in fact the motivation of the students motivate him to go on and do more each year.
John concludes for us that actually it's telling that the debate about CLIL is going on in the ELT world, where the caution is on the part of the language teachers, when it's actually the subject teachers who are doing the work.  There is a need for more training for subject teachers, and more investment in CLIL for content teachers, and there is a risk that the investment in the EFL world CLIL draws away necessary funding for Content CLIL.

Lyubov mentions a trip to the European parliament, you can find out more about it here:
Eurscola day at the EU parliament

Cafe CLIL Discussion 05_dialogue between language and content
Cafe CLIL Discussion 05_dialogue between language and content

Discussion 05_dialogue between language and content

(Reporting back on conferences; Question forms in the classroom; CLIL teacher training)

06.05.09 (17.00 central EU time)

You can listen to the entire recording of our discussion at this YouTube link.

We were joined by two new colleagues to Café CLIL. Introductory text from colleagues new to the discussion follows here as well as a contact email.

New visitors to Café CLIL:
Sabine Sauerwein is working as teacher for Biology and Religion in a secondary School in Wiesbaden / Hessen / Germany. She is working with Prof. Dr. Wodzinski in a pilot-scheme to encourage women in science and technology at the University Kassel. She is co-operation partner from the ADALOVELACE - Project (encouragement for women in sciences) at the University Mainz. She is also co-operation partner at the University Kassel CINSaT (Center for Interdisciplinary Nanostructure Science and Technology), that project is supporting young men and woman. She is a member of the MNU (mathematical – natural scientific– education) and is working with teachers as instructor. At the education authority in Wiesbaden she is Set- Coordinator and works with teachers as instructor for SiNUS Science. 
She is interested in school biology-projects by teaching pupils in English language because most of the original literature is written in English. Therefore pupils will need this during their study and later at work. She heard from the CLIL (content and language integrated learning) and is interested getting involved in that project. The globalization of markets fits to Sabines Slogan: “bring people closer together!” (
Cristiana Ziraldo: I am a teacher of English in a secondary school and I am a teacher trainer at university (I teach future teachers of English). I have a degree in foreign languages (English and German) and a MA of arts (University of Guelph, Canada). I have been responsible for the CLIL project in my school for more than five years (a liceo).  Before then, I was responsible for the CLIL project in the former school I used to teach at (a vocational school). My present school is “scuola polo” which means so to say head school of all other schools linked to CLIL in my province (Pordenone, which is near Udine, where you came!).  My school is the scuola polo (headquarters of CLIL in Friuli Venezia Giulia) because one of my colleagues (a teacher of English too), is the head of CLIL in our region. (

There were two documents uploaded prior to the discussion, both from John Clegg and both of relevance to the discussion point to do with question forms: Language for classroom management; Supportive teacher talk.

Reports on events attended
IATEFL Cardiff CLIL Panel
David Graddol while initially sceptical on CLIL, is now positive and suggests that parents need support also. Graddol stressed the need for time not dictated by a political cycle or agenda. Hugo Baetens-Beardsmore stated that 'perfect CLIL like perfect monolinguals doesn't exist'. There was agreement that the role of language teacher will change.
YLST SIG fielded discussion
We got stuck on assessment and there were very few subject teachers in the discussion. The write-up of the discussion will be published on onestopclil next month.
Tri-CLIL Barcelona
There was a significant group of subject teachers at the event and there was and is a growing focus on the subject teachers in terms of their importance in CLIL. 
CLIL across Contexts: A scaffolding framework for CLIL teacher education
This was a socrates / comenius project meeting offering a model for teacher education. Here assessment is high on the agenda (relationship between subject knowledge and language ability). The suggestions are an interaction between language and content similar ideas to those in John Clegg's documents uploaded to Cafe CLIL. Other key ideas were multimodal teaching and supporting language. The final report on definitive materials is expected in September.

Discussion points
Question forms in the classroom
Lauretta gave us the idea for discussing questions initially, as she believes that how questions are used affects the way you run a lesson.  It affects newly trained teachers and how they run a lesson. Display questions are the most common, and the question is asked if CLIL is to be as interactive, communicative and inclusive do we need to change the questions we use in the classroom to give more opportunities to learners?
Christiane Dalton-Puffer 'Discourse in Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) Classrooms' surveys over 500 minutes of classroom time and one of the conclusions is that display questions make up over 90% of all questions.
Peach describes his training context which stresses community language teaching, and discourages display Qs, tries to encourage more genuine, more real questions, as more real Qs  shows more interest in the pupil. We may need to operate more with concept questions rather definitions, more real questions.
Keith raises the point that there may be a need for more 'modelling' of structures through other forms than questions, or at least using questions which represent structures which occur in output language. Peach stresses here that CLIL in this very way delivers immediate reward, immediate achievement.
Lauretta then stresses that we may need to develop a more task-based approach generally, enrich the lesson with a mixture of different of activities
Sabine in her Science and Religious Studies classes gets students to carry out projects and then feedback, take the focus away from the teacher and give it to the students.
Training teachers and questions
Peach emphasizes that questions are dealt with on a purely abstract level with trainees in his courses, but that during observations he makes notes and is then able to make reference to concrete examples. In this way there is a look at question forms in practice and then reference to that back in training in theoretical sessions.
Keith suggests that one way ahead may be to produce scripts, lists of questions followed by subject-related language in the same way John Clegg lays out in his documents on classroom language (link). We may need something more detailed and expanded for specific subjects.
Lauretta stresses that the CLIL teacher is not a new type of teacher but it is one which integrates many skills and class management and questions is one of them as it is for other teachers.

Cafe CLIL Discussion 06: Assessment in CLIL
Cafe CLIL Discussion 06: Assessment in CLIL

Discussion 06: Assessment in CLIL
(Reporting back on conferences and meetings; discussion on assessment and testing in CLIL)
10.06.09 (18.00-19.00 Central EU time)

You can hear a full recording of the discussion at this YouTube link.

New visitors to Café CLIL:Adrian Tennant is a teacher, trainer and writer who writes 'soft CLIL' materials for Adrian does many things, so many that it's impossible to list them all here, so I won't try. What you can do is take a look at his author bio at Macmillan's website in order to find our more about him. It's great to have him join us.(

Summary of discussion points: 
What about weak language learners?
Adrian asked is language an obstacle for students who know the content but don't know enough English for expressing their understanding of the content.
Lyubov said that it is sometimes an issue for some students but that these students do get extra help and she said that there is an element of parent choice in that the school is well known as a language school, so they know what they are getting their children into.
Sabine said that both languages are accepted in her context in Germany.
In some cases language is an issue for students in that they may know the content but can't express it in English. Here, the approaches are to offer extra help, and also to accept L1 answers.
What about students having the option to switch between languages when they get stuck in the L2? This was found to be an option in Austria.
Sabine agreed that this was acceptable in Germany.

Language or content, or both?
Peach described the case in Switzerland where the tasks are driven by the language and that there is a growing feeling that the content should also be tested.
Their is a growing feeling that in language CLIL classes content should be assessed.
In Switzerland language teachers are encouraged to assess content, but not grade it.
Lauretta - describes situation in Italy where subject teacher and language teacher both assess and give both a subject grade and a language grade for the achievement of the student.
Peach suggests that CLIL should be seen as an opportunity for collaboration between teachers of subjects and languages and CLIL assessment is one clear area where they could both play a role.
Adrian raises the issue again of what happens with the student who is weak in the language but knows the content. The opportunity to do the test in L1 is an option, but where content is needed in L1 for this purpose this may mean that the content is covered twice.
Sabine describes 'work stations' in her context where the students are working in small groups, and the language teacher is free to work with a certain group on language issues, and the content teacher on content issues.

What is the role of L1?
Lyubov stresses that the focus for her is and should be the content and that with her essentially monolingual groups there is a role for the L1 in learning.
Lauretta supports the idea of L1 use and code switching where possible and effective, but that this may not be possible in international classrooms where there are many languages.
((Keith's note - you might like to follow up this link to the Brazilian Bilingual Conference where the focus was multilingualism not monolingual view of bilingualism which is relevant here))
Peach describes central Swiss context where there are hardly any monolingual classes now. From one quarter to one third of students are from migrant families.

Time is an issue
Adrian raises the issue that more time is needed.
Lyubov supports this.
There is also an issue of teacher awareness
Adrian gives personal example of daughter moving to the UK and not coming from an EL context, and there being a lack of awareness among teachers about what to do with his daughter in the UK, bright but still needing language help.
Peach described the same situation with his children studying in the UK.
Keith - EAL CPD is getting better in the UK if literature and information available is anything to go by.
((Keith's note - you might be interested in looking at the eal-bilingual mailing list to find out what colleagues are talking about concerning children moving to live in the UK and needing language help in the content curriculum
Lyubov certain areas of language are particularly difficult in assessment such as 'instruction' language / command terms.

Can we differentiate in content assessment according to language level?
Keith asks is it actually possible to produce an exam which is differentiated on linguistic levels, which is differentiated in order to make the content more accessible to lower level language learners?
Lyubov mentions use of drawings in tests rather than writing in a lab report for example.
Sabine - texts may lead to misunderstanding, suggests to send to Keith samples of visual tests.
This is a good point to invite all readers to send us their test materials to post here, especially if you feel that they deal with language in a way which respects learner levels, if there is any attention to differentiation in terms of language.
It was a very interesting discussion and one which I think we'll come back to again, and again.

Below you will find all the information, documents and links which were provided here prior to discussion in order to feed in and help guide us while debating.It might be useful to think about two areas:
1) ongoing assessment
2) testing
I've just fielded a discussion for the IATEFL Young Learners and Teenagers group where there was a lot of feeling that a) teaching and testing a subject in a foreign language carries risk of unfairness where there isn't respect paid to language, and b) there isn't enough if any CLIL literature on how this testing can be done with respect paid to differences in language level.
My own feeling is that CLIL may need to have a wide collection of ongoing assessment materials and instrument so that the information about learner level and achievement can feed back into teaching. I also think that it's difficult, if not impossible, to respect difference in language level to any meaningful and fair way with testing materials. So, if you have any of the two, please do send them along, talk about them when we meet, and any other areas you feel relevant.

On the Basque website (, you will find a number of interesting instruments for gathering information about achievement, both for peer assessment and teacher assessment.  Note that the objectives state both language and content targets. There are 4 documents: Objectives, Peer assessment, Teacher assessment 1, Teacher assessment 2 zipped togther into a folder - Basque docs.

I've worked with a lot of colleagues in this area, and am posting two instruments they have shared with me, just for you information.  They serve only as examples of attempts at creating CLIL assessment instruments: CLIL 1 - CEF model, CLIL 2 - integrated descriptor model. I've zipped them together to save space into the folder called 'Assessment instruments'.

John Clegg provided a summary of risks in CLIL assessment:

Also, Take a look at Geri Smyth: Helping Bilingual Pupils to Access the Curriculum, Fulton, 2003
Language is mapped onto the curriculum ...
... this feeds into assessment ...

I also received a test 'pack' from a colleague in Italy on the theme of water which I'm including here. Again, it is only intended to offer examples to our discussion. We are talking about a CLIL module on water, class 1 Middle School, Ss age 10/11
The relevant papers given here are zipped into a folder below called: 'Italy example'.

  • an observation form used during the lessons in the laboratory
  • a pre-test activity game
  • a written test
  • a CLIL journal Ss fill at the end of each step and by the end of the year as a form of self assessment . The teachers observe and change the planned activities and strategies if necessary.
  • a final test
  • a copy of the final certificate we give to the Ss after oral and written final reports

Most of the activities in class are made in cooperative learning, pair work and group work, the assessment as well but only in the preparatory phase then they are able to face individual tests.

I'm also uploading here two other examples. The first one is a multiple choice test for Physics. It's offered simply as an example of how tests can feed into language development as here we have possible models of (linguistically) correct statements. The document is attached below and is called: 'multichoice_model'.
The other sample I wanted to share is this PPT which takes Maths test materials and attempts to analyse them from the point of view of linguistic challenge. My point with this is that attention to 'risk' as I've called it here is minimal in mother tongue test instruments and perhaps there is a job to do for exams service providers to ensure materials carry minimum linguistic risk for the FL test candidates among their customers. The PPT is attached below and is called: 'maths_exams_what_they_test'. 

Send us your test instruments, sample tests, if you have any, and I'll upload them here.

Cafe CLIL Discussion 07: Use of L1 in the Classroom
Cafe CLIL Discussion 07: Use of L1 in the Classroom

Discussion 07: Use of L1 in the Classroom
(Reporting back on conferences and meetings; discussion on using the mother tongue in the classroom)
16.09.09 (17.00-18.00 Central EU time)

You can hear a full recording of the discussion at this YouTube link.

Visitors to Café CLIL:
Keith Kelly (Host)
Bernd Morlock
Lauretta D'Angelo
John Clegg

Summary of discussion points:
News and conferences
- Keith reports back briefly on Kassel's 4th Bilingual Science Teachers conference where 140 bilingual Science teachers came together for a conference with very varied themes. Use of L1 essentially ignored as an issue as teachers simply switch into English, but teach as they would in L1.
- Bernd reports back on a conference on intercultural learning, draws parallels between CLIL and intercultural learning where the focus essentially is on an area other than language.
- Lauretta reports back on a training course for CLIL teachers in Sardinia using a blended approach of ICT and face-to-face meetings. Also gives outline of research she is carrying out on CLIL teacher profiles.
- John reports back on a project in Qatar on a project where Maths and Science are taught through English, and the project has come to the end of its first year.
- Keith mentions the Swiss English teachers' conference in Basel where one of the themes of the SIG day was CLIL and his talk on embedding language in tasks.

The agenda
Each speaker to give their standpoint on this issue and then end with collection of principles.

Key issues
John suggests that teachers and learners may need to use L1 and suggests that there is an issue with pair and group work where some 'private' time may be necessary in L1 for dealing with complex concepts, for clarifying understanding.
Lauretta's research shows that 'the use of L1 decreases with the L2 competence of the teacher and that the more competent the teacher is in L2, the more they expect L2 from the students'.
Bernd describes L1 as a possible 'communicative lubricant' for the classroom.
Keith suggests that it is a question of strategy and that teachers can plan to support L2 language in the same way that they plan to teach their curriculum.
Lauretta quotation - 'The decision to use more or less of the first language should not depend on the competence of the teacher but on the vision he or she has of the lesson to be carried out'.
John reminds us how complex the issue is and suggests that we have to be clear about what we mean by first language use, quick translation, long explanation, using the L1 for oral work, using L2 for reading and writing. We need to break it down. It's very contextual.

Keith describes CLIL lesson plans (attached below) where teachers can ask relevant questions about predicted language use and needs in the classroom.
John suggests that it is a question of what the teacher wants to achieve. If the focus is on concepts L1 may be needed.
The aims of the lesson should lead the language use (L1 and L2).

Principles identified
- Some L1 preparation in pair and group work may be necessary for follow-up L2 work in plenary. L1 can make it easier to use L2 later on;
- The teacher's purpose is paramount for deciding on which language to use;
- Teachers who are not confident in L2 may have to code switch. Language ability is an important variable;
- Complexity and emotion may give good reason / priority for using L1. CLIL lessons have affective components as much as any other form of education;
- It is important what Ts do with Ss outside the main content of the lesson. All teachers need to have personal interaction with learners and working in L2 can remove some of the social gelling that is important. This may give need for L1;
- Signposting and routine is important. L1 use has to be clear and random code-switching should be avoided. Use of L1 has to be principled and planned;
- There has to be some explicit ground rules early on, 'This is how we will use the L1, this is how we will use the L2';
- The CLIL approach offers both the encouragement and the support, offers the content tasks and the language embedded with the task, the language is there. You have to provide the language that learners may need to function within the L2.

Here is all the information and links provided before the discussion:The time and date have been set for Cafe CLIL 07. It will be Wed 16th between 5 and 6pm central EU time. Our theme will be 'L1 use in the classroom'. If any of you have ideas on this topic, please do post them here, to me or to any of the group. If you can join us for a later discussion let me know and we'll see what we can do to include you. I'm about to go off to Germany and returning via Switzerland on projects so won't be around much before we meet for this discussion. Just to whet your appetites here are some ideas pre-discussion and I'll post this and any other links and ideas you have to our Cafe CLIL page at factworld:

If you have a copy of 'Immersion Education: International Perspectives' editors Robert Keith Johnson and Merrill Swain, Cambridge Applied Linguistics, 1997, you'll find a lot of reference to use of L1, not only from the editors who also wrote the introductory chapter 'Immersion education: A category within bilingual education' on the Canadian context, but also reference throughout the book from case studies where code-switching is presented as a huge problem to immersion education in general (particularly Hong Kong).
You can preview some of this book in Google books:

Using L.1 in the classroom
secondary and adult
In Defense of L1 in the Classroom
Lindsay Clanfield and Duncan Foord

There is also a MA dissertation online with the title:

Personally speaking, in short I think there is a clear role for L1 in the L2 classroom. It's one which both supports L1 acquisition and encourages dual language development. I saw Jim Cummins talk this year in Brazil, the role of L1 in the classroom was one of his fundamental pillars for the L2 classroom. It plays an important part in young people developing their own identity through learning and so should be part of an educational approach which places it at the centre of learning (or words to that effect). At the same conference Ofelia Garcia from CUNY attacked US naming of bilingual learners as English Language Learners giving the very reason that the term ELLs removes some of the focus from the home language of the learners and places it solely on the L2 when what is needed is a considered approach which involves both languages. I think what the two were also getting at is that 'we' are out-of-date if we are only thinking about bilingual language development from a monolingual perspective, i.e. from the perspective of the English language. They were promoting the development of methodologies which respect all the languages of the classroom. 

Cafe CLIL Discussion 08: Skills for CLIL: Reading
Cafe CLIL Discussion 08: Skills for CLIL: Reading

Discussion 08: Skills for CLIL: Reading
(Reporting back on conferences and meetings; discussion on strategies and techniques for developing reading skills in the CLIL classroom)
28.10.09 (17.00-18.00 Central EU time)

You will be able to listen to the recording of the discussion at this YouTube link.

Visitors to Café CLIL 8:
BM - Bernd Morlock (Germany
KK - Keith Kelly (Host, Bulgaria)
JC - John Clegg (UK)
LD'A - Lauretta D'Angelo (Italy)
LS - Lida Schoen (Holland)
LD - Lyubov Dombeva (Bulgaria)
PR - Peach Richmond (Switzerland)

Summary of discussion points:
I gave a short introduction of 'Things to think about' to guide our initial discussion, but as usual we go off in the most interesting direction. My suggestions were:
- When faced with reading in a textbook what works best for students working in a content subject through the medium of English as a foreign language?
- What do teachers and students usually do when faced with text?
- What could we produce which may be of use / help to teachers and learners who have a lot of reading to do in their (FL-medium) content textbooks?
            - We can produce steps / guidelines for dealing with text.
            this can be procedures, systems, from warm up to productive task
            - We can give list of suggestions for tasks.
            - We can suggest places to look for further ideas and resources.
What works best / what do colleagues and students do?
LD - The word went first to Lyubov as she has actually used the material given here below in her Biology class and Lyubov described what she last did with this content text. She offered a table at the board for the students to read as a class and then fill in together.
PR - Told of an experiment he tried with an 11th class in English where the students were presented with the text and Peach observed how they managed with it. Their approach was bottom-up discussing unknown words together to get an understanding of the meanings of whole sentences.
LD'A - Compared the texts with the same level and content in an Italian Biology textbook and it is practically the same.
LS - Pointed out the high content density, the level of abstract information in the texts and asked LD if this was a problem.
KK - Described the lesson from LD where the material originated. LD had presented students with a diagram of the core content in the table on the board. There is agreement that this organization is very important for students working through a foreign language (and in MT).
JC - Pointed out that it is rare to find teachers who use diagrams to guide reading. It is very rare to find tasks that guide you through the organization of ideas in the text in most subject textbooks in the first language. We all agreed.
JC Quotation:
'If you get students to learn these skills, these study skills, like the study skills of reading when they approach the subject in the second language, your job is huge isn't it. Whereas if the school has taught these skills in the first language, they transfer very easily to working in the second language and teaching through the medium of the second language is so much easier if the students approach it with these study skills already there in the first language.'
KK - There is an invitation to publishers and exams and course service providers like IB to actually do something about this problem and begin to provide attention to language and support for dealing with text in their materials and exams.
LD - Materials are mentioned where there is already attention given to language in content.
JC - There is a lot publishers can do but it's possibly a question of markets.
KK - Asks if there are other ways of dealing with text like this.
LD - Described paired reading with the same text and students talk about the texts and fill in the diagrams together and then they report back to the class.
KK - Suggested that students could be asked to deal with just one part of the text and then feed back to the class so that as a whole class the table or other diagram is filled in as a whole class.
LS - Questioned the abstract nature of the material and the lack of relation with the real lives of students having to read it.
KK - Mentioned the Science and Technology in Society (SATIS) in the UK where the focus is on linking Science and Technology with the lives of young people.
JC - Suggested a focus on a productive skill, a productive skill for a future discussion in Café CLIL.
BM - We need to encourage students to use top-down strategies.
JC - Asked how many teachers are using these strategies.
LS - Played Devil's advocate and suggested 90% of teachers only use what's in the textbook, and so around only 10% of teachers are producing supplementary materials to support learning.
PR - Suggested that teachers working with migrant children are more aware of language needs in the curriculum. There is agreement that this is the same in all countries participating in this discussion.
- Danson C (undated) Supporting students' reading skills in Science: Language and Science, Leicester Section XI Service
This is a photocopy resource which is probably not available through bookshops, but is exactly a resource aimed at supporting reading in Science classrooms. Though it may not be available to buy, it is an example of what local authority support services produce in the UK. Some of these services do sell their DIY resources.
Hounslow is one of them:
- There is an entire series of Science resource books aimed at providing language support in Science available at the Association for Science Education website (
An example is given here:
Philips K (1999) Supporting Secondary Science series, Living Things, ASE UK
- Wellington and Osborne are well known for their DARTS (directed activities related to text) aimed at supporting learners needing language support in Science:
Wellington J & J Osborne (2001) Language and Literacy in Science Education
Open University Press
- I contributed to a multiple language publication in Lithuania which has a section on reading in CLIL:
Language Support - Reading
Kelly K et al (2006) Content and Language Integrated Learning, Lietuvos Respublikos Svietimo Ir Mokslo Ministerija
(book available as pdf download here below) 
 - Books written for prep classes in Bulgaria Grammar Schools
Geography Supplementary Book for the Preparatory 8th Class Lilyana Grozdanova, Lettera, Bulgaria, 1999, ISBN: 9545162341
Biology Supplementary Book for the Preparatory 8th Class Maria Georgieva, Lettera, Bulgaria, 1999, ISBN: 954516235X
 - Richmond / Santillana materials published for Spanish schools
 - SATIS, Science and Technology in Society, UK


Cafe CLIL Discussion 09: Supporting Talk in Content Subjects

Discussion 09: Supporting Talk in Content Subjects
(Reporting back on conferences and meetings; discussion on strategies and techniques for supporting talk in the CLIL classroom)
11.12.09 (17.00-18.00 Central EU time)

You can listen to the recording of the discussion at this YouTube link.

Participants in Café CLIL 09:EW - Egbert Weisheit (Germany)
KK - Keith Kelly (Host, Bulgaria)
AZ - Alexandra Zaparucha (Poland)
LS - Lida Schoen (Holland)

Minutes from Café CLIL 09

We were glad to be joined by Ola Zaparucha from Poland not just because she's a good friend and colleague, but also because she teaches Geography in English and she teaches English. All this among the many other things Ola does means that she was a welcome contributor to the discussion.The theme for this Café CLIL was on 'talking' and we took a number of pages from a Geography textbook, see below, to focus our discussion.The 50 minutes seemed to be over before we could get started and we covered a lot of ground. Main issues which arose were:
- Textbooks don't encourage talking in the classroom. Ola made the good point that textbooks themselves rarely 'force' speaking through their activities. If this is the case, then it means that the teacher will have to introduce the talk element themselves.
- Teachers don't encourage talking in the classroom. The group was in broad agreement that there is a tendency for teachers to 'lead from the front'. Learners will only learn how to talk by talking.
- We talked about use of the mother tongue. Lida made the point that sometimes MT talk is necessary so that learners can deal with the concepts in their 'easiest' language.
- There is an issue in much CLIL that is teacher themselves often lack confidence in their own language abilities.
- Egbert described how some of his trainee teachers who have a subject specialism as well as a foreign language 'behave' differently in the content classroom and in the language classroom.
- Lida stressed that all teachers are language teachers whatever their subject and I mentioned the Bullock report from the UK in the 1970s famous for this message (complete text)
- It may need training for teachers to become aware of what it means to 'talk', to communicate in their subject. Even among our small group, there was debate on this issue, to what extent the subject teacher working in English is also a language teacher. This is a big issue and one I think we will come back to in another discussion.
- There are simple ways of creating talk in the classroom.
- There was agreement that publishers don't produce materials for the content CLIL market and this means that teachers largely import native speaker books. Egbert suggested that much of the content doesn't 'translate' into the local language and there was discussion about whether the content in one country is exportable to another.
- The discussion ended with Lida's suggestion that a website for 'communication in the curriculum' would be a good focus for an EU project. So, watch this space!
- I mention Exploratory Talk in Science at the ASE conference in the UK from Stuary Scott and colleagues ( this is a good sign of things to come, namely language as a focus in a subject teachers' conference.

Creating talk in the classroom - ideas with links to examples were:  - info searches (example template for making your own is attached below)  - looped questions (example)  - paired talking (info gap images, texts, diagrams - example)  - supported presentation work (Ss using PPT templates with embedded    language - example)  - 'find someone who', survey work in the classroom (Peter Watcyn-Jones)  - supporting Ss' talking in Q and A sessions (using model phrases, phrase posters, sentence starters...)

The discussion took a set of specific content materials from Geography as a focus and context for our discussion. Climate Change is a good topic since our discussion was at the same time as the Copenhagen Meeting on Climate Change.










Cafe CLIL Discussion 10: How can we get teachers collaborating?

Discussion 10: CLIL suggests an integration of subject and language - How can we get teachers collaborating?

(Reporting back on conferences and meetings; discussion on strategies and techniques for encouraging collaboration and integration in teaching and learning.)

10.03.10 (17.00-18.00 Central EU time)

You can listen to the recording of this discussion at this YouTube link.

There has been a discussion on the topic 'To what extent subject teachers are also language teachers' but I'm afraid we had a problem with the technology and lost most the recording. This theme is also aimed at offering the chance to cover some of the ideas which were raised during the 'lost' discussion.

Participants in Café CLIL 10:EW - Egbert Weisheit (Germany)
KK - Keith Kelly (Host, Bulgaria)
LS - Lida Schoen (Holland)
LD'A - Lauretta D'Angelo (Italy)
PR - Peach Richmond (Switzerland)
LS - Luis Strasser (Austria)

Profile of Luis Strasser ( :
Teacher (geography and PE) for 33 Years at Akademisches Gymnasium Innsbruck (AGI). Bilingual Teacher (geography through English) for 12 years at AGI. Several specific education programmes (CLIL) with Do Coyle (Nottingham), Janet Streeter (Carlisle) et al. Developing and establishing the BICEPS (Bilingual Class for Economics, Personal skills and Subject-specific language) concept at AGI (together with colleague Michael Puritscher). Developing and introducing the Certificate Bilingual Geography and Economics at the geography department of the University of Innsbruck (together with colleague Lars Keller)

- CLIL in Italy is predominantly collaboration between subject and language teachers. Teachers in Lauretta D'Angelo's experience were given two hours every week free from teaching. The money for this came from educational funding for ‘innovation’. Sadly, Lauretta reports that this collaboration is now almost extinct in Northern Italy. Reasons being that language teachers see it today as an obstacle to their careers (as language teachers) and subject teachers won't get involved without language teachers!
- Luis Strasser at the Akademisches Gym in Innsbruck offers the example where the language teachers and the subject teachers meet in a CLIL Group on a regular basis.
- Egbert Weisheit reports that in Germany CLIL is the domain of the humanities teachers where colleagues with either Geography or History and who have language rule the 'bilinguale' territory. Nevertheless, there is a large group of Science and Language teachers, numbering over 100 meeting every two years at a conference in this field in Kassel.
- Lida Schoen shares her experience in project work as a stimulus for collaboration between teachers, but she is quick to stress that this kind of collaboration rarely lives beyond the project.
- Peach Richmond describes the situation in Switzerland as being similar to that in Germany where Humanities and Languages tend to be combined. There is no funding for collaborative initiatives like those described in Italy.

There was a comment in the group that I want to share:
'It's a characteristic of CLIL that the language of subject teachers is regularly made a focus for criticism, while language teachers are encouraged to teach subject material even though it is taught at a low level'.
Any opinions on this?
The overall impression of the discussion and feeling of the group is this: CLIL based on collaboration between language teachers and subject teachers is doomed to failure, or at best a short life span.
My own feeling is that Luis' school offers a real hope for colleagues. Where teachers can find a collective voice, as in the Akademisches Gymnasium in Innsbruck, they can put forward requests to school management, for example, time for meeting and discussing CLIL work. It is certainly the kind of structural phenomenon which is essential for CLIL to work and be sustainable over the long term.
PS - there are plenty of examples of 'structures' which work towards the sustainability of CLIL projects. Basque, Asturian, Spanish projects, for example tend to have local education authority sponsorship and support, ongoing in-service training. The Dutch OTT schools, have an embedded training and recognition system which I feel works in favour of CLIL project development. Go to the flags for any of these areas for more information.

The notes and prompts the group were sent were as follows:
CLIL by definition is about integration, yet why is it that there are so few stories of successful collaboration between subject and language teachers?
John Clegg's recent article on onestopclil lays out issues to do with collaboration between language and subject teachers.
My editorial for February 2010 on onestcopclil discusses collaboration as part and parcel of CLIL:
Science Across the World
Translation - often projects are carried out in the mother tongue and then the English teacher and lessons take over where the material for exchange is prepare in the English language, or other language of exchange.
Young Ambassadors for Chemistry - a report on a project bringing teachers together to collaborate on curriculum projects is attached below - final_report_yac.
Though the title of this programme of events was clearly 'Chemistry' in focus, the work, activities, ideas all involved a mixture of teachers, of both Science and language. The subjects and language were also integrated.
Are there tricks and secrets to getting teachers working together? Where it does happen and is successful, what are the ingredients to this success? This discussion will look at this and other similar questions in an attempt to offer steps to follow for colleagues looking for ways and means to successful collaboration in their work.


Cafe CLIL Discussion 11: The language of content - Chemistry Topic (Acid rain)

Discussion 11: The language of content - Chemistry Topic (Acid rain)

Reporting back on conferences and meetings; discussion on the language of the chemistry topic acid rain, demands on learners, strategies and techniques for dealing with this language in the CLIL classroom.

18.05.10 (17.00-18.00 Central EU time)

You can listen to a recording of this discussion at this YouTube link.

Profiles of newcomers to Cafe CLIL are given here.

Profile of Steve Watts ( :
My name is Steve Watts and I have been teaching English for around 8 years in a variety of locations. In 2005 I established a language school (Wattsenglish Ltd.) which specialises in the teaching of English to young children in the Czech Republic.  I have worked with a number of national institutions to identify and promote good practice where possible and have assisted in the continual training of Czech teachers. CLIL is becoming an increasingly hot topic in the Czech Republic.  And I hope to assist in successfully implementing this approach to the education system if possible.

Profile for Andreas Bärnthaler ( Institutions: HTBLA (Höhere Technische Bundeslehranstalt) Leonding in Leonding/Austria; CEBS (Center für berufsbezogene Sprachen). I'm a teacher; CLIL Coach, Practitioner and Consultant and I started my teaching career as a language trainer in adult education, mainly for employees in the chemical industries and the transport business. I have been teaching for 20 years: English, History & Civics Education and Public Communications, i.e. communications in electronic networks, at upper secondary technical and vocational colleges for automotive engineering, electronics and informatics. I am in charge of the CLIL department of CEBS. CEBS is a think tank within the vocational sector of the Austrian Federal Ministry for Education, Arts and Culture. I work as a CLIL coach for teachers of Science and Engineering and support colleges on their way from initial planning to actual implementation of CLIL policies.

Participants in Café CLIL 11:KK - Keith Kelly (Host, Bulgaria)
LS1 - Lida Schoen (Holland)
SW - Steve Watts (Czech Republic)
EW - Egbert Weisheit (Germany)
AB - Andreas Baernthaler (Austria)
LS2 - Luis Strasser (Austria)

Discussion notes

There were apologies from KK for PC problems, still unresolved which caused a delay in Cafe CLIL discussions. Temporary measures are in place which mean we can continue.

Newcomers - There was a warm welcome to newcomers Adreas Baernthaeler and Stephen Watts who introduced themselves to the group.

Native or non native - Luis made the first comment asking where the materials came from and if they were written by native speakers. This is clearly important given the different culture which goes hand in hand with mother tongue written learning materials and those written for children working through a foreign language. As it is, the materials come from Science Across the World ( and all of the resources are written centrally in English by a team which includes many non native speakers and which are then translated into other languages.Lida suggested that another discussion might take another Science Across topic which has more of a language focus.

Visual content presentation - Egbert pointed out that the visual nature of the content is attractive and highlights the principle of using diagrams for content language learning.Andreas suggested that all of the diagrams in the materials lend themselves to presenting 'linking phrases' and gives the example of a task where students are given a table with two columns mixed and they have to match the two halves of sentences around a linking phrase.

New terminology - Luis suggested that the material is potentially heavy in new terminology for learners and so a task such as 'odd one out' which has learners identify the wrong word among others which appear in the material is a good idea.

Identify specific language needs - Keith suggests that we might look at evaluating the language of the materials in terms of the linguistic functions we can identify there:1) we can see stages and degrees of acidification in the table on students' page 1;2) there is the function of 'cause and effect' in the reading text;3) in the diagram of 'how acid rain is formed' on students' page 2 there are sequences and potentially sequencing phrases in the process of acid rain formation;4) there is the language needed for expressing chemical formulae in full.There was then a short discussion about whether or not chemistry teachers ask learners to express formulae in full and Lida and Egbert, both Chemistry teachers, disagreed on this point.

Other subjects - The discussion goes on to suggest other areas of possible use and interest for a similar investigation and discussion. Mathematics is suggested and colleagues were invited to bring maths teachers to the group to join us next time.

Original and latest Science Across the World materials are available here at the Acid Rain topic page on the site.
- Hayes Jacobs, H (2006) Active Literacy Across the Curriculum, Eye on Education


The group were provided with the following materials and notes for the discussion:

The topic which seems most popular is 'The Language of Content'
I've copied the relevant pages from the Science Across the World topic on Acid Rain and made a link to the entire topic file. I don't want to describe too much what my own thoughts are about this chemistry and language as that may influence your thoughts. I'd like to leave that to the discussion itself!
What I suggest we do is look at the curriculum descriptors and the resources and i) describe the language we find there (the language of the chemistry content) ii) talk about the demands this language may place on learners and iii) make suggestions about how we might deal with the language, make it accessible to learners in a CLIL approach.
This is quite a lot, and it may be that we just stick to the first target and talk about our analysis of the discourse in the chemistry. That's fine, let's see how we get on.
I have easy access to curriculum standards for Qatar and the UK so I refer to those, though the UK standard I used is already out of date.
1) Qatar science standards | Grade 9 | Page 174 (14 year olds) © Education Institute 2005
Describe the processes that lead to acid rainfall and list the consequences of it.
- Make a study of the consequences of acid rainfall in some other parts of the world (e.g.northern Europe).
2) UK National Curriculum, Science, 1999, Key Stage 3 (11 to 14 year olds)
Chemical Reactions
i) about possible effects of burning fossil fuels on the environment [for example, production of acid rain, carbon dioxide and solid particles] and how these effects can be minimised.
3) Science Across the World ( (13 to 16 year olds)
Acid Rain (1999)
Students Pages 1 to 3; 5 to 8, maps 1 and 2
Working through this topic will help you to:

  • understand the acid rain as an issue in science and technology and its effects on our society and our environment;
  • appreciate the impact of acid rain locally, nationally and globally;
  • distinguish between matters of principle and matters of fact;
  • become more aware of the perspectives of people from different countries;
  • grow in confidence in using a variety of languages and in the use of ICT.

Cafe CLIL Discussion 12: The language of content - Mathematics Topic (Averages: Data Handling)

Discussion 12: The language of content - Mathematics Topic (Averages: Data Handling)

Reporting back on conferences and meetings; discussion on the language of the Mathematics topic Averages: Data Handling, demands on learners, strategies and techniques for dealing with this language in the CLIL classroom.

18.05.10 (17.00-18.00 Central EU time)

You can listen to a recording of this discussion at this YouTube link.

Welcome to Mathematics teacher and newcomer to Cafe CLIL, Sandra Losbichler from Austria. We couldn't really have had such a good discussion without Sandra.
Also in Cafe CLIL 12 were:
K - Keith Kelly (Host, Bulgaria)
JC - John Clegg (UK)
LD'A - Lauretta D'Angelo (Italy)
PR - Peach Richmond (Switzlerand)

This follows on from the discussion on the language of Chemistry, and the feeling that revolving discussion around specific subjects, topics from a subject and specific content materials and tasks would be of most use to teachers as they would have concrete examples of approaches to work with.

The procedure was the same as the last discussion:
1) analyze the language of the subject materials
2) suggest demands this language makes on learners working through an additional language (this term was given to me by Itziar in the Basque country, thanks Itziar!) now to be referred to AL learners.
3) suggest techniques for dealing with language demands and methods for providing language support and designing language-appropriate tasks.

Discussion Notes
(Fuller minutes are available for download below)

1 - The language of Maths is invisible
One of the problems with Maths is that a lot of the language is not visible on the page in the way that it is with other subjects, Sciences or Geography for example.
2 - What can we do with very abstract concepts?
There is general agreement that the textbook pages used were dense with content, and there is a need for more contextualization of the content.
3 - There is a need for high quality teacher talk
Students need to hear and to tell Maths stories
It is suggested to use everyday stories to contextualize the Maths concepts.
4 - Students need time to translate
There are books available which describe the processes of giving students time and support to interpret the language of Maths and then translate it into the specialized language of the subject.
- Active Literacy Across the Curriculum by Heidi Hayes Jacobs

5 - Interaction in the subject can create opportunities for language practice
It's useful to get students to explain the Maths to each other in their own words.

6 - We need to be aware of the many levels of language
a) Learners talking informally about Maths
b) Learners talking formally
c) Learners talking in L1
There is the suggestion that working in L2 must slow the learner down in the Maths, there is a reference to an article on this very topic by Judit Moschkovich. (USING TWO LANGUAGES WHEN LEARNING MATHEMATICS, JUDIT MOSCHKOVICH, Educational Studies in Mathematics (2005) 64: 121–144, DOI: 10.1007/s10649-005-9005-1 C Springer 2005)

7 - Is it harder for the teacher or the students?
Our Maths participant suggested that it's often harder for the teacher than it is for the students as there is a demand on the teacher to produce a lot of the language as input in the classroom. YouTube Maths clips are suggested as a good place to find examples of good Maths language.
Ref: - Teaching Mathematics to English Language Learners, Kersaint et al

8 - Exams and Maths language
We ask if Maths exams demand longer L2 utterances and the example of Qatar is given of a country where the exams are predominantly number focused. ( have of Maths exams which demand longer written full answers!)

The following pages were provided to focus discussion on concrete maths materials:
350-358 AQA Maths Higher, 2006 (Payne et al) Heinemann










Cafe CLIL Discussion 13: Content and Language Integrated Learning and Young Learners

Discussion 13: Content and Language Integrated Learning and Young Learners

An important theme which focuses entirely on issues related to integrating the curriculum and foreign languages with young learners. Am sure there will be a lot of debate with this theme.

16.09.10 (18.00-19.00 Central EU time)

You can listen to the full recording of this discussion at this YouTube link.

Welcome to Patti Trimborn from Spain.
Patti Trimborn has a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary and Special Education from Boston University.  In addition, she completed a master’s in Learning Disabilities in Spain.  Patti has taught in several bilingual and international schools, helping teachers and students to integrate language and content in the English-medium classroom. She has developed and taught teacher training courses in English and CLIL methodology in teacher resource centers around Spain, and at the Univeristy of Chichester, in the UK. Patti's email is:

KK - Keith Kelly (Host, Bulgaria)
JC - John Clegg (UK)
PT - Patti Trimborn (Spain)
PR - Peach Richmond (Switzerland)
LD'A - Lauretta D'Angelo (Italy)

After the summer break we thought we'd get our teeth into a big topic and that is CLIL and young learners. Prompt questions given to participants follow but as usual we plan to let discussion go where it goes, as this always gives much better input:
- Is there an ideal age for 'additional language' CLIL?
- Are there ideal subjects for young learners CLIL?
- Are certain subjects taboo for CLIL at a very young age?
- What are key aspects of young learner CLIL methodology? (if we can list some, I think that would be one useful outcome of discussion)
- Any success / horror stories to share? (but let's try and keep both clear
and concrete saying why and giving examples in either case) 

This follows on from the many discussions we've had so far concentrating on secondary education CLIL. It's a good time to discuss issues related to young learners with so many projects offering earlier language learning opportunities and implementation of CLIL at younger ages in a number of countries. 

Café CLIL 13: CLIL for Young Learners
Discussion summary (also attached below in Word format)
As usual the discussion is rich and stimulating, and also following past trends, we only managed to cover a small proportion of the agenda. There are references to a number of links and they are given in the body of the text as well as at the end.
What does a young learners CLIL teacher ‘look’ like?
CLIL teacher profile data is presented which suggests that though there is an initial high in numbers of CLIL teachers of young learners, this drops dramatically at two stages suggesting that there may be a feeling of a lack of readiness for teachers at the transition points between the age groups. There follows some discussion about teacher preparation and there are no clear guidelines for teacher qualifications in Italy and the requirements differ in the different regions of Spain. In Switzerland, CLIL is still seen as the domain of the language teachers with little uptake in the content teaching population.
What languages are taken up at young ages?
In Bulgaria most children start learning English as a foreign language from grade 2, and this can see children opting for a different language at secondary school. In Italy the trend is for children to stick with the language chosen in primary. Switzerland because of its diverse language make-up has varying options for children but English has supplanted French as 1st foreign language in the German speaking regions. There is now a struggle going on between English and the official languages and this same issue can be seen in the autonomous regions of Spain where English can cause pressure on the local languages.
What is a CLIL methodology for young learners?
It is a good idea to get L1 teachers in the training room with CLIL teachers. This does occur in Italy, but less so in Switzerland. Basque country is mentioned where there are initiatives to bring together L1 subject teachers with language teachers and CLIL teachers to share ideas about supporting language in the curriculum.
There is a suggestion that primary teachers are more curriculum language aware than secondary teachers. In Spain, this doesn’t tend to carry over into the classroom practice and teachers need a lot of help with identifying language demands in their primary curriculum.
Curriculum mapping is offered as a step in the direction of identifying language specifically for young learner CLIL classrooms. Hayes Jacobs (2006) writes about curriculum mapping as a means for developing effective literacy programmes in schools. The NALDIC Quarterly is also mentioned as it contains an article on mapping the primary curriculum for supporting EAL learners in UK schools.
What about vocabulary learning?
There is reference to the recent TTED SIG discussion (link to discussion group) on vocabulary learning where Paul Nation reports research suggesting that isolated vocabulary learning is important for language development and it is suggested that the older the learner the more acceptable isolated vocabulary learning can be. There are mixed responses to this from the group.
Paul Nation says:
“You probably won't like this answer, but I am very much in favour of decontextualised learning. There is tons of research evidence for it and recent research has shown that results in the kind of implicit knowledge which is needed for normal language use. An article by Elgort will appear in language learning in 2011 showing the evidence for implicit knowledge. I would thus encourage learners I guess from 13 years old onwards to do deliberate learning using word cards. It is important however that this is only one part of one strand of their course, the language focused learning strand. They need to also meet vocabulary through meeting focused input, meaning focused output, and fluency development.”
There is also a link given by Martin McMorrow, Discussion List Moderator to a slideshow on this issue
A visual classroom environment
There is a reference to the YLS CLIL discussion (link to summary of discussion) which took place in April 2009 and the suggestion that a Young Learner CLIL classroom has to be a visual learning environment. An example is given of the Spanish Bilingual Programme where classrooms are full of visuals and accessible language prompts. You can read an evaluation of this project here.
We need to be selective about vocabulary and in Spain the E-M textbooks tend to be translations of the L1 books and so are dense in vocabulary. It is important to differentiate between different types of vocabulary: subject specific, general academic, conversational. Teachers need to provide clear models and accept simultaneous talking opportunities in the classroom, offer prompt phrases and alternatives. Hayes Jacobs outlines three areas for vocabulary in the attempt to support literacy development in learners: High frequency words, specialized words, embellishments and suggests that each of these types of vocabulary demand a specific methodology. Other techniques offered in the discussion include the example of word walls where learners tick words as they are heard/read in context. A number of links to ideas for visual learning and word walls are given in the references below.
In closing…
Many contexts are introducing the curriculum in another language to younger and younger learners, it’s important that they get it right. CLIL methodology for young learners is already highly bilingual in practice.
For more on curriculum mapping see:
Heidi Hayes Jacobs (2006) Active Literacy Across the Curriculum, Eye on Education;
Andy Harvey (2010) NALDIC Quarterly. Using the knowledge framework for planning for language in the primary curriculum, 22-26, Vol. 7 No. 4 (usable practical example from subject topics mapped onto an adaptation of Mohan’s Knowledge Framework as a means for identifying language);
Also see Geri Smyth David Foulton Publishers Helping Bilingual Pupils to Access the Curriculum, 2003 (useful tips on identifying language in the curriculum to support learning content);
Carol Reed Amazing World of Animals, on Macmillan’s offers a topic map with embedded language planned into it;
Academic clip art:;
Graphic organizers to be used by the teacher or students:;
How to set up a word wall, and some activities:;
This article includes lots of pictures of words walls:


Cafe CLIL Discussion 14: Redefining CLIL

Discussion 14: Re-defining CLIL (Defining CLIL again)

This discussion is a revisit to CLIL terminology, methodology and contexts based on developments over the last two years of Café CLIL discussion.

17.11.10 (17.00-18.00 Central EU time)

You can listen to the recording of this discussion at this YouTube link.

Participants in Café CLIL 14: Egbert Weisheit (Germandy), Peach Richmond (Switzerland), John Clegg (UK), Lauretta D'Angelo (Italy), Keith Kelly (Bulgaria)

There has been a growth in the area of CLIL over the last two years in many respects (publications, methodologies, blogs, events, interpretations of CLIL). This discussion brings a redefining of CLIL back to the table. Unlike previous discussions on defining CLIL, this discussion has very specific questions which come below. Colleagues were given the prompts below for this discussion. The decision to table this discussion is from conference discussions, e-group discussions, blog postings describing CLIL methodology in a variety of forms. The Café CLIL discussion group will attempt to clarify some of that description in the one hour's recording to be posted above.

Prompt discussion points given to colleagues were:

1) What is CLIL? I’ve kept this deliberately broad so that we can
differentiate between what language CLIL teachers and content CLIL teachers are looking for and need and what is being described as CLIL for them in the CLIL literature.

‘The more we talk, the more diverse CLIL becomes’: ‘CLIL is organic’: ‘There is a clear differentiation between ELT CLIL and Content CLIL’
Reference to Eichstatt – give link to OSC
‘It’s the C and L that define CLIL’: ‘CLIL has become everything to everyone’: ‘To insist that CLIL is an umbrella term is not correct anymore’
and to IES Sanchez Lastra: It’s the ‘through’ not the ‘in’ that is CLIL: ‘With this definition, we exclude a lot of subject teaching in English.’

2) How important is culture in CLIL methodology?
Following on from current FACTWorld group discussion.

‘Some subjects force you to focus more on culture than others’. There was balanced opinion with slightly more weight for culture not being a fundamental pillar of CLIL methodology, but rather an useful awareness in teachers working through FL.

3) What are the main / key dimensions of a CLIL methodology?
This point was dealt with among all the issues raised during the whole discussion.

4) What resources have come out in the last 2 years since the Cardiff debate, since Café CLIL started which we might call ‘real’ CLIL stuff.
Here, I could scan some published CLIL resources with a view to constructive discussion of them as CLIL resources.

Two articles are mentioned which are useful for understanding the implications of integrating content and language.
(i) Linguistic Knowledge and Subject Knowledge: How Does Bilingualism Contribute to Subject Development? Laurent Gajoa, Université de Genève, Genève, Switzerland
(ii) Integrating Language and Content - Teaching through Collaborative Tasks, Merrill Swain
(iii) TKT CLIL has been useful for clarifying concepts in CLIL and TKT CLIL vocab is highlighted in onestopclil each month:
(iv) More researched based literature has appeared such as:
Content and Language Integrated Learning, Evidence from Research in Europe, Ed. Yolande Ruiz de Zarobe and Rosa Maria Jimenez Catalan. Multilingual Matters, 2009
(v) The Oxford Content and Language Support, Geography and Science, 2010, OUP series is mentioned, focuses on grammar in content, issue with productive skills.
(vi) The Vocabulary Practice Series for Geography and Science, Macmillan, 2008-2009 is also mentioned.

Here, discussion returned to definitions:
A subject teacher who was fluent in English teaching to students fluent in English who made no reference to language, would this be CLIL? No.
There is a suggestion that CLIL methodology by default is more visual.
Total immersion isn’t CLIL, because identifying language demands and making decisions about what to do about that language, what tasks to build in to support that language is what defines CLIL.
Eichstatt CLIL Conference 2010, presented colleagues who speak of CLIL as immersion, and colleagues who speak of CLIL as language focused.
In conclusion, there is a suggestion that like a doctor diagnosing a patient we need a check list for identifying a methodology as CLIL.

I’d also invited Phil Ball to join us but he couldn't make it sadly, we'll get him another time! He has written extensively in educational media about the need for a clear definition. You can read a lot of what he says at

I'm also posting here a summary of a recent discussion in the FACTWorld yahoogroups list, and while I hope I've provided a broad spread of opinion and comment the cutting of the texts is completely my responsibility.

What is the role of culture in CLIL Methodology?

I posted a review of a paper - Developing Material for Physical Education Lessons in CLIL, Meike Machunsky 2007 and I questioned the central role in it given to culture in CLIL methodology, which has also been proposed by a number of important texts, books and articles (CLIL - Hood, Marsh and Doyle) and the official EU line as well.

I disagree that culture has a central role in CLIL, or even shares an equal role to the other pillars of CLIL, namely language and content.  It may be an extra, but isn’t generic CLIL methodology. Some argued that as a part of language education, CLIL cannot be without a culture dimension, others argued that culture shouldn’t be there by default:‘Why should CLIL be founded on 'themes in language education' since it's actually about PE in English, or Physics in English, so it's about the subject rather than the history of the language methodology?’‘Culture can not be apart from education or teaching, and I don't think CLIL must be something neutral or inert.’‘Physics is Physics, Maths is Maths whether it's in a mother tongue or in a foreign language.’‘CLIL, as one suspected might happen, is suddenly everything to everyone, when all it really is is a subject-based methodology that attempts to teach efficiently through another language, other than the mother tongue.’‘CLIL is not some sort of mysterious life-force. If you have to teach photosynthesis, there seems to be no overriding requirement to bring in 'culture'. Content is content. The curriculum is what it is. If cultural aspects are brought along in CLIL's wake, either directly or indirectly, then fine. But what we need to avoid is the *reductio ad absurdum* of 'culture', where absolutely anything in classroom practice could be defined as such. Has there been a class since the dawn of mankind that has *not*contained some content, some culture, some communication and some cognition? These things occur by default in an educational context. The quality of their occurence is the concern of curriculum planners and materials writers, but not exclusively of those of us who work in CLIL.’

Culture defining CLIL methodology:
It’s a mistake to want to get culture into a CLIL lesson by hook or by crook. CLIL is mainly subject teaching in L2: the teacher’s business is to teach the subject – make sure their kids get grades in maths or geography or whatever it is. That’s crude but it’s the truth. And I hope not too many teachers are anxious about somehow squeezing culture into a maths lesson when what they need to be doing is maths. It may be, as Do Coyle suggests, that culture, in some shape or form, must be present in any didactic unit or sequence, but that doesn't make it CLIL.A single definition of CLIL is pretty much impossible once we begin to take the dimension of Context into account. I assume that this dimension was included in Do's model, precisely because of the variety of CLIL/ content-based teaching models that exist, thus reflecting the context-dependent nature of what we do ( even if the aspiration is to create common and shared parameters).... Similarly, by promoting the inclusion of plurilingualism / culturalism in content, we pass on skills and positive attitudes for the business of living in a diverse and dynamic world. In this way, 'we do culture' (as opposed to teaching culture as one would teach/objectify content) and we ensure that this 'baffling word' is not just a token element of a CLIL programme, simply because it has to appear in any educational context.

There was a warning:
Are we prescriptivists in determining what CLIL must be?‘A cultural aspect in every lesson makes that harder to juggle and doesn't necessarily help teach the subject either.’‘I think that Culture is somewhat "forced" into the CLIL curriculum. Many teachers struggle to find a cultural point in anything (as photosynthesis), and it doesn't have any sense to do it.’

Culture and language and the curriculum:I think Culture is part of CLIL, either we wish it or not. In my opinion when we use a different language we are not doing something "neutral", as we are introducing a "new" or "different "culture in our lesson. It is not only a question of being semanticists (we can't avoid it anyway), but culture is dynamically crystalized in the way a language "builds" a concept, transforms it, presents it.… and …The discussion on culture doesn't come from the Biology curriculum, it has come from somewhere else, I suspect from colleagues with language learning in mind. Hard CLIL is about the subject first, language second, culture perhaps, but not essentially.

Specific references to culture and language:‘English is linked to many cultures (British, North American, Australian, Indian, Maltese...), we must not forget that, but language shouldn´t be treated as mathematical language it DOES have a cultural dimension. Not having a deep knowledge of a language should not be an excuse for us teachers to use the language exclusively as a code, we must make an effort to deepen our knowledge of the cultural aspects of the language we use for CLIL and bring them up when useful or as curiosities which can enliven our lesson.’‘When you teach a content in a different language, and you use a material tha has been produced - let me say - for an English kid, you are guiding him/her towards a different way of elaborating knowledge.’

An invitation to visit: the ConBaT+ website at the ECML - The aims of this project are about integrating the plurilingual and pluricultural dimensions into content to promote positive attitudes to languages and their speakers, including teachers' attitudes.’ 

There were opinions about publishing:The publishers are taking CLIL and 'softening' it, because they can't make any money out of 'hard' CLIL.

There were attempts at defining:There are four types of content: *Conceptual, procedural, linguistic* and * attitudinal*. Culture can be a transversal component of any of these, but it cannot define CLIL.

It was a great discussion, and if you’d like to read any of the discussion in full, you’ll need to join or and I’ll add you to the group.

Documents used to prompt discussion:



Cafe CLIL Discussion 15: Two Languages in the CLIL Classroom

Discussion 15: Two languages in the classroom

This discussion revolves around the issue of dealing with more than one language in the CLIL classroom. It's a theme which is chosen specifically to contrast with a total immersion approach.

12.01.11 (17.00-18.00 Central EU time)

You can listen to the recording of this discussion at this YouTube link.

Latest visitors to Café CLIL :

KK - Keith Kelly (Bulgaria - Host)
PT - Patti Trimborn (Spain)
WA - Wendy Arnold (UK)
Liz McMahon - (Qatar)
John McMahon - (Qatar)
Phil Brabbs - (Qatar)
Egbert Weisheit - (Germany)
Noreen Caplen-Spence - (Qatar)
Phil Ball - (Spain)

Pre-conference prompts given to participants:
- Monolingual-cultural versus multilingual-cultural classrooms (similarities and differences)
- Ideals and realities (it will be interesting to hear some of your experiences, stories, about multiple languages in your classroom histories)
- Time and space for the two languages in the classroom (questions of management and prioritizing)
- Student profiling and monitoring (feeding back learner information into teaching and how this is influenced by levels of two languages)
- Published materials for two language approaches (I think there is very little available which goes beyond vocabulary lists and MT -mother tongue- explanations but would be pleased to see any materials you have which offers more to two language development than translating words and gives instructions in MT.
- Differentiation - It might be fruitful for us to explore differentiation since there are likely to be many languages levels in any one CLIL classroom.

Summary of the discussion and comments on the main points.
(NB - While I do my best to be loyal to what is in the recording, I do paraphrase for brevity.)

The theme ‘Two languages in the classroom’ came from a message in the FACTWorld discussion list in yahoogroups, from Teresa Ting, who refers to among other things an article from Lasagabaster and Sierra where CLIL is placed alongside Immersion in order to show the similarities and differences.
- Immersion has never been CLIL… while the Canadian model has become a standard, the article is right to draw the distinctions it does.
- What we have to do in our training is to set out some ground rules, … it’s not whether you can or can’t work with two languages, it’s more about the best way to manage the two languages.
- If you’re resorting to L1, it’s not necessarily a coherent policy. There have to be ground rules. There has to be classroom management behind ‘resorting to’.
- The important thing is awareness of learning and of language, knowing when the L1 is being used, when, and how and why.
- We need to discriminate between learner use of L1 and teacher use of L2. We use a diagram with concentric circles. English for interaction (BICS) on the outside of the circle, moving into the heart of the circle (CALP), we encourage using L2 for low-risk language, but when they get into the heart of the circle where it is more high-risk, teachers are encouraged to work in L1 when necessary. It’s to do with teacher perceptions of when learning is taking place.
- You have to group students strategically. It’s not necessarily a bad thing for students to work through an L2 task in the L1, as long as the product is in the L2. They’ll be using the L1 to get to the L2.
- It depends what you want the students to know, and what you want them to do. If you have a clear view of this, then it’s easier to have a coherent policy on translanguaging.
- The problem in Germany mirrors this discussion. In Germany we have mostly language teachers entering CLIL teaching with their second subject. Language teachers are the greatest number, subject teachers are in the minority. The language is the minor aspect of the lesson for the content bilingual teacher.
- According to the literature on multiple literacies, it’s ok for example for group work to be carried out in the L1, but I’m not sure I agree completely as a large part of what we want is students to be using the L2 for learning, and that’s what is going to be going on in the group work.
- We have to bear in mind the age at which CLIL is introduced. In very early primary, there is no need to focus on vocabulary in L1 because there is no significance in the L1 with early learners, as all their word meanings are there in English.
- If the assessment of the students is in the target language, then the teaching has to be in the L2, but if it’s in the L1, then compromising on the L1 can be problematic.
- There is no evidence (here in the Basque Country) to suggest that beginning concepts in the foreign language has a negative effect on learner understanding in the L1.    ROSA MARÍA JIMÉNEZ CATALÁN reviews research which backs this.
- Andy Kirkpatrick’s article states ‘it is a myth that the best way to learn a foreign language is to use it as a medium of instruction’. The article also says ‘Students have to develop their L1, before they can do anything in L2’. There is mixed reaction to these statements, but the consensus was that this may be applicable to Hong Kong but shouldn’t be generalized for other contexts.
- I agree that it depends a lot on the educational culture. In places where they have adopted group work, graphic organizers, etc, it has worked. Yes, there is a concern from parents, that Ss won’t learn the language in Spanish, but a recommendation there is to integrate the two languages more. The culture and attitude towards language and learning exert a huge influence.

Links and references for multiple languages in the classroom

- Translanguaging in the Bilingual Classroom: A Pedagogy for Learning and Teaching?
The Modern Language Journal 94 (2010) (pp 113-115)
Note – knowledge and skills are interdependent across languages

- Learning English and Other Languages in Multilingual Settings: Myths and Principles
Oct 2009
Hong Kong Institute of Education
Note – It’s a myth that ‘the best way to learn a second language is to use it as a medium of instruction’

- Teaching for Cross-Language Transfer in Dual Language Education: Possibilities and Pitfalls
Jim Cummins
TESOL Symposium on Dual Language Education: Teaching and Learning Two Languages in the EFL Setting (Bogazici University, Istanbul, Turkey, Friday, September 23, 2005)
Note – dismisses the ‘two solitudes assumption’

- Immersion and CLIL in English: more differences than similarities
David Lasagabaster and Juan Manuel Sierra
ELT Journal Volume 64/4 October 2010;
Oxford University Press
Note – CLIL is not the same as immersion

- TIMELINES AND LIFELINES: Rethinking Literacy Instruction in Multilingual Classrooms
Jim Cummins | Vicki Bismilla | Sarah Cohen | Frances Giampapa | Lisa Leoni
o r b i t , V o l 3 6 , N o 1 , 2 0 0 5 (pp 22-26)
Note - Translation plays a central role for story writing drafted in any language of choice and rewritten in a second language with support.

Cafe CLIL Discussion 16: Hard and Soft CLIL Teacher Skills

Discussion 16: Hard and Soft CLIL Teacher Skills

This discussion revolves around the issue of dealing with more than one language in the CLIL classroom. It's a theme which is chosen specifically to contrast with a total immersion approach.

16.02.11 (17.00-18.00 Central EU time)

You can listen to the recording of this discussion at this YouTube link.

Participants in Cafe CLIL DIscussion 16:
KK - Keith Kelly (Host - Bulgaria)
JC - John Clegg (UK)
AB - Andreas Baernthaler (Austria)
WA - Wendy Arnold (UK)
N C-S - Noreen Caplen-Spence - (Qatar)
EW - Egbert Weisheit (Germany)
PB - Phil Ball (Spain)

Pre-conference prompts given to participants:
There has been some interest in us looking at hard CLIL and soft CLIL, as well as our discussing key skills v teacher language.
Is it possible for us to combine these two under one heading? While looking at the balance between key skills and teacher language, we might go some way about differentiating between hard and soft CLIL?

We might go with the following simplistic but provocative question:In CLIL, Is it more important to be good at English or to be good at teaching? (please feel free to alter this, but I think you get the idea)
While we discuss and share thoughts on this question, let's see if we can differentiate between soft and hard CLIL teacher skills.
- What are the main / defining characteristics / skills which differentiate soft from hard CLIL?- What are those skills?
- How much language is enough / too little?

There was recently a posting about Jeremy Harmer's blog where he writes a few things we might pick up on related to this theme:
Among other things Jeremy defines soft and hard CLIL:'... You can have soft CLIL (that's a bit of teaching physics and English together) and hard CLIL (delivering a lot of the physics curriculum in English and vice-versa)
Plus, Jeremy makes an important statement about teacher skills:
'And yet….here’s what someone said to me the other day, and it is the reason for this post: “I hear lots of people talking about the advantages for English that CLIL offers, but I haven’t heard anyone saying it’s a great way to teach physics (or geography or maths etc).'

One relevant point, I'd like to make about Jeremy's quote above is that I think CLIL does contribute to better Physics teaching and learning when an expectation of the Physics is that learners can communicate about the subject. For me CLIL is about developing Physics learning through communication in a foreign language. So, if there isn't any communication in the learning of Physics in the mother tongue, I think the opposite to the reader who wrote in those words to Jeremy's blog. CLIL specifically does improve Physics teaching in these contexts.

Notes and summary from the discussion:

‘Teacher Language’ or ‘Teacher Skills’

There is broad agreement that ‘it’s more important to be good at teaching rather than language’ Technical subject teachers in Austria need a wider range of methods, whereas the language comes quite naturally. There is some discussion about the amount of teaching happening which is very traditional and where teachers are getting by with their language skills without much of a focus on method.

‘that’s why I think there has got to be a lot more work done on methodology’

Students are still successful anyway despite the immersion approach, though this has been changing in recent years as teachers undergo more training. Andreas mentions research by Dalton-Puffer which suggests this, where students as graduates are asked - ‘Do you think you profited anything from CLIL?’ Most of them agree from the language perspective but it is not so clear when it comes to profits concerning the subject itself. This does not mean that they learned less, the question is did they learn  more.

Finnish research is referred to (link) where the results suggest CLIL teaches as well as and sometimes better, and similar research is described in the Basque country where research results show general cognitive levels, language levels (Basque, Spanish, and English), and Social Science skills (Basque curriculum in English) where CLIL students were tested against native speaker control groups and show that the experimental group got better results, not only that they had to do the exam in Basque and control groups performed better in basic skills, but the experimental group ‘got massively better’ results.

Austria, Spain, Finland then give success stories, and so what are those teacher skills which lead to this success?

‘it’s more about the student than the teacher’

This are changing in Austria, many of us had not really realized what CLIL was really about, we focused on English as a working language, and the focus was on language, and not so much on methodology, the approach has changed:

‘it’s not only language development, it’s development in methodology’

In Jaeppinen’s research, she describes 4 key differences, between CLIL and MT learning, one is ‘a large zone of proximal development’ and one result of this in the classroom given is ‘the need for more language supportive materials’ and this is a key to CLIL methodology.

‘this is different from teacher level of language, it’s about awareness of target language more than teacher language skills’

There is no point in providing support until you know what you are providing support for, teachers are not trained to do it, and subject teachers may feel that it requires a lot of them, and it is important, it’s basic, it’s crucial.

An extreme example is given of a teacher who had very low levels of English who learned the lesson (including the language of the lesson) prior to teaching it. The ETEMS (English for Teaching Maths and Science) project in Malaysia is mentioned where scripting was done on a large scale and where teachers were given whole texts to support their lesson preparation and teaching. There is an example script attached below for a Form 1 Science lesson on matter and mass from the ETEMs project.


The idea has already been offered of lessons which follow subject lessons, so that language teachers can consolidate what goes on in the subject lesson. This can be defined as Soft CLIL, a CLIL which involves language teachers working as facilitators to the content curriculum. This is very different from the idea of Soft CLIL being where language teachers bring in some content (Jeremy Harmer) opens door to criticism of just repackaging task-based language learning.

The Italian model of CLIL is mentioned where language and subject teachers work together, everybody likes it but it isn’t important for their subject learning, it’s more about the language development. 

There is a concern that English teachers who are being paid to teach language, start to dabble with content, using it as a vehicle to teach language and unless you’re very skillful you end of trivializing the content. There is mention of  Coyle’s 4 Cs, if your body of content falls into one of the four Cs, then it becomes CLIL.

How much language is enough?

Dutch TTOs (Dutch schools with bilingual streams) use C1 as the benchmark for recognition as a bilingual school. In Austria if you want to become a CLIL teacher, you don’t need any formal CLIL-related qualifications at all, it’s the management and the teachers who decide. Teachers self assess to find out their own language skills, most of them define themselves as B1-2. 
‘Personally, I’d rather have a teacher who was weak in language but with very good CLIL methodology than a teacher with strong language and weak method’.
There was a suggestion that there may be a need for a probationary period before teachers go on alone to teach full-blown CLIL. Schools differentiate in the Basque country as to the point of entry to CLIL, if they’ve come into the project with children at an early age, they can use this very fact to plan long term and put into place instruments which help the approach long term, secondary teachers can be prepared in terms of language and methods when they know the young children are already doing CLIL.

Cafe CLIL Discussion 17: English in the Wider World

Discussion 17: English in the Wider World

This discussion has come from suggestions from colleagues that English is now more than just a school subject. For many people around the world it is a life skill which they employ daily in their normal routine, beyond the walls of the classroom.

18.05.11 (5 to 6 pm Central EU time)

You can listen to a recording of this discussion at this YouTube link.

Cafe CLIL Participants:

KK - Keith Kelly (Host - Bulgaria)
JC - John Clegg (UK)
DN - Dennis Newson (Germany)
LS - Lida Schoen (Holland)
N C-S - Noreen Caplen-Spence - (Qatar)
EW - Egbert Weisheit (Germany)

The agenda is set:

- English in the world where are we going – for a quick view on numbers: 

- Language opportunities for children today - mobility in Europe, European legislation, regions with ‘natural’ multilingual groups (Malaysia), Middle East (Sri Lanka)

- Multilingualism, lessons from everyday life (taxi drivers are the best language learners)

- Supporting parents in their language choices for their children (Multilingual Mania in FB)

- Working towards English for International Communication / English as a Lingua Franca (does English have a role in international communication for debate, emergency, unrest – Facebook and North Africa?)

- Implications for education (teaching and learning additional language skills), rising numbers (32,000 International Passenger Survey in 2006 – EAL-bilingual, national achievement initiatives-Impacts and Experiences of Migrant Children in UK Schools

Problem with access to internet and technology

The question is asked about the technology not being freely accessible to everyone around the world, including the social media, which is a problem in creating means for communication. Security seems to be the problem.

There is a suggestion that we should take the opportunity to get learning outside of school, not necessarily to access internet outside school so much as access language outside school and encourage learners to investigate the language they see outside the classroom - the term offered for this is ‘capturing English’.  Using mobile phones to document student life is mentioned, and so is qik software ( as a medium for live broadcasting

The role of English for international communication

English and its role for international communication – you can only be on top of the latest discussions if you speak English, you have to use the English language to learn about opinions and to contribute to discussion. The European Day of Languages are mentioned and activities to 'celebrate' language through whole school language days as an approach.

English as an additional language

There was some agreement on the inclusive nature of this term, which allows the learner to make the language their own and also comments about the inclusive nature of the EAL methodology. If you're interested in literature on EAL, look for Pauline Gibbons, Geri Smyth, Haslam, Wilkin and Kellet.

Conclusions and implications for education

If CLIL is to succeed further as an approach for offering more learning support, it needs to go beyond individual teachers to include top-down measures of support for more teachers. There was pessimism about CLIL in Germany, optimism about CLIL in Holland (where 136 / 600 secondary schools are said to be bilingual now and the jury is still out on the UK.

Second Life, thanks Dennis!

Colleagues were offered a number of prompts in advance of the discussion. We didn't cover everything, but we had a very good debate.

'English in the wider world' (read this as the role of English in the global context, English for international communication). It's a very broad topic, but also an interesting one we haven't touched on. There is the Graddol work we can refer to (Future of English 1997 and English Next 2006), pick up on and talk about where we're going since his pieces were written, and there are tendencies (English as a medium in the Middle East, in Africa) which are significant in many aspects.

Other links on the question - What is the future of language?

Should we promote a common global language, should that be English?

Sarkozy said that Arabic is the language of the future addressing the French National Assembly in 2008 at a conference on Arabic language and culture teaching (Brussels Journal

What about the technology? Software to listen, translate and write what we say into another language   Babelfish

 Multilingualism is becoming / is already the norm. The future of language, in Science by Graddol 2004 

Graddol in English Today, English won’t be the sole language of the future, but rather will people switch between 2 or more languages during the course of their day 


 Panglish – the global English of the future    

Cafe CLIL Discussion 18: Moving to English-medium Education

Discussion 18: Moving to English-medium Education

Recent developments around the world in terms of English-medium education, the question of 'legality' when young people are taught through another language, and tips and advice for anyone (read any school systems) thinking of going English-mediu.

06.12.11 (17.30-18.00 Central EU time)

You can listen to a recording of this discussion at this YouTube link.


 KK - Keith Kelly (Host - Bulgaria)
 PT - Patti Trimborn (Spain)
 PB - Phil Ball (Basque Country)
 LD - Lyubov Dombeva (Bulgaria)
 LS - Lida Schoen (Holland)
 N C-S - Noreen Caplen-Spence - (UK)
 DN - Dennis Newson (Germany)

There were three points on the agenda:

1) Recent developments and events and issues arising (Austria,  Holland, Switzerland)
2) Africa,  Rwanda (general questions and issues)
3) Advice, tips for systems undertaking EMI

1) Recent developments
Austria, Holland,  Switzerland are mentioned and a reaction from subject teachers to CLIL is described from experiences in each of these coutries. 

'I don't really see what this CLIL thing is all about'

The group talked about where this reaction has come from and what the possible background to it in these counties may be. It is stressed that CLIL can get 'personalised' by a national agenda and this agenda will differ from country to country.

Q - 'Would you say that there is a level of language, beyond which CLIL does become redundant?'
A - In terms of CALP, no, in terms of BICS, yes.

(BICS - Basic Interpersonal Communication and CALP - Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency)

On one hand, teachers do complain about language aspects of their students performance (How can I get them talking more?) so rejecting CLIL, which is about finding a way 'to get students talking more', is rejecting an approach which solves the problem. 

There is a question about the delivery of CLIL training which may result in rejection of CLIL. CLIL has become an umbrella term and so if training offers an all-encompassing curriculum, it will by default cover areas which teachers may already be aware of and therefore have a tendency to reject.  

There is a suggestion that CLIL training should focus on 'language awareness' and 'task design'. 

With reference to  Holland - The Dutch speak English well, and they don't see the benefits of CLIL, for these teachers the talking isn't a problem, but talking about the subject is the problem.

With reference to Bulgaria - CLIL is about methodology, if you have the right sequence, it doesn't matter what language you are teaching in. Lots of teachers feel that teaching through English is absolutely different, they don't see the point. Some students feel that teaching through English doesn't provide good quality education, they don't get good education when learning through English.

The question of teacher confidence for dealing with CLIL is discussed. Confidence is related to awareness of language and awareness of task.

With reference to Spain - You could call it a CLIL success story in Spain, the rest of the system is a catastrophe. CLIL has been a way of sneaking things into the classroom, but we don't know what will happen now with cutbacks and cuts in teacher training.

Roles and relationships between the content and english teachers is discussed with respect to the Basque project. The average English teacher isn't trained to cope with CLIL and though there are some places where coordination happens, and when it works it works well, but it is a logistical nightmare.

There is mention of a school in Spain which bases its language curriculum on what goes on in the content classrooms. (This is the  IES Sanchez Lastra School, in Asturias)

An example is given from the Basque country which is resource led. This means that the textbooks for the language classroom are based on what is going on in the subject curriculum. Books are produced for language teachers alongside the social science curriculum that the english teachers can take into their classrooms, and they will be looking at the skills and procedures from the content classroom. 

The Bulgarian English Teachers' Association Conference is mentioned, where the pre-conference event will produce a booklet of ideas for language teachers, following content procedures (BETA Conference Information here).

2) Africa example

An example is given of a move to English-medium education in Rwanda, and the question is raised about the resources needed, the preparation and the planning for this kind of move and discussion comes back to Europe.

3) Advice and direction

A warning is given for systems moving to EM eduaction not to get stuck in a lexical - grammatical hierarchy in a CLIL course, which collleagues can get dissatisfied with for this very reason because they don't see the competences mentioned above.

There are resources claiming to be CLIL, but they are led by the language.

'The most important part of CALP is the general academic language that students need.'

So, one suggestion is find a role for the language teachers based on the same concepts and procedures as the content teachers. You have to identify the sort of things subject teachers do well. The  Teaching Other Subjects Through English book is mentioned, 

- 30 years of EFL practice and not one page says 'this is what subject teachers do well'

There is a danger that what subject teachers do is not great, when it is reading text and comprehension questions again and again, if it is just getting textbooks in English and just doing as it would be done in the mother tongue. There is a danger in importing mother tongue textbooks which does happen in a lot of contexts, because 'Native speaker textbooks tend not to be second-language learner friendly or concept-learning friendly'.

Suggestion - publishers providing teachers with all the raw source material that the teachers can edit, Word, PPT, audio, video along with a textbook. This would enable teachers to adapt more easily what they buy ready-made in textbooks.

(There is mention of a resource bank in Andalucia -

The agenda is set:

 The theme – Moving to English Medium Education (E-M Education)

 1) I’m just back from three training events in Austria, where the government has legislated for all technical high schools (eventually, 3 years from now if I remember correctly) to offer compulsory E-M subject teaching and learning, 2 lessons per week for Year 3 onwards.

 One interesting question, among many, from one of the teachers being asked to do this concerned the legality of this move to compulsory EM subject learning. Specifically, the teacher was concerned that her own level of English may not be adequate to give an appropriate evaluation of her learners, and her point hence was that students may not essentially be getting their legal right to an education.

 2) Am also at the end of a significant self-study resource writing project for Rwanda where teachers are now being asked to learn the language of their subjects in English, in order to be able to teach it through English.

 I think the broad theme is useful as it will allow us to discuss all manner of useful issues including:
 - why do it (CLIL as opposed to MT)?
 - what about resources (materials, teachers, time)?
- are there good examples where it has been introduced painlessly and what lessons do they offer (personally, think of Spain – though hardly painless – Holland, moving from TTOs to wider audience)?

 3) Advice for systems considering moving to English-medium education
 I think this is such a good suggestion, we can usefully brainstorm tips and advice for school systems considering going down this route. Practical ideas, broad general principles, a ‘don’t do it’ list, any suggestions and ideas of good and bad practice which might make things easier, and more effective in the long run. 

CLIL Projects for ELT
CLIL Projects for ELT

CLIL projects for English lessons

There's a page on this site which has an outline of a workshop on this topic as well as a video walk through of the slides and also a book of ideas on CLIL for English Lessons: 

Lots of language teachers are always looking for meaningful contexts to place their language learning. Head for the content curriculum and see what you can pinch. It's full of glorious content, skills and language!

A great way to bring content into the language classroom is to get students, much as ethnographers do, to investigate their own lives and the world around them. Do this with themes and topics from the content curriculum, then find a partner to exchange with and you are on to a winner!
Science Across the World ( is a fabulous resource to help you get started. In brief, SAW was set up in the 1990s to get classrooms investigating science in their daily lives in order to exchange results with classrooms in other countries in a common language.

Ideas in the curriculum for doing an exchange - Project topics
Get ideas from the project work of others - Sample exchange forms
Get ideas for working with project topics - Project books Ethical English and Share Your World are in 'publications' and given as links below.
Get ideas from a working exchange from beginning to end - Diary of a school exchange.
Students look at an aspect of their lives locally, for example they look at what food they consume in their family. The students collect information about the same theme nationally. Then the students work with a partner school to exchange data internationally and globally. This allows students to look at their lives (and the scientific issue) in a world context while at the same time gives them an audience for their work in a foreign language.
Don't just stick to SAW, use the model to apply to any area of your curriculum. Investigate History locally, Economics too and exchange data with a partner globally.
You can do as much, or as little as you like. Find a spot in your calendar, curriculum and get started.
You can find partners in many places.
FACTWorld is one good place to look (Factworld @ Yahoogroups)
eTwinning is another even though it is a European portal, there are lots of contacts and ideas here.
Remember! - Investigate Locally, Exchange Globally

CLIL Teacher Training
CLIL Teacher Training


I've spent much of the period of my freelance consultancy working with teachers who have been told either by their school or their ministry of education to teach their subject through English, or other foreign language. Personally, I have a passion for learning foreign languages and know from experience that the best way to learn a foreign language is to be immersed in a topic of interest with people fluent in that language. It's the reason I learned to say 'I like spicy food' very quickly in Chinese while working in China, for example. It's also the reason that the Austrian Ministry of Education has legislated for young Austrians to learn part of their curriculum through English. I've been designing, writing and delivering CLIL inservice training for teachers all over the world since the year 2000. In any curriculum subject taught in any foreign language the challenges will be any one or more of the following: conceptual challenges, procedural challenges, linguistic challenges. These three dimensions make up the three dimensions of 3D CLIL. All the professional development I do focuses on a discussion and exploration of these three dimensions with teachers. Some learners may need more support with understanding a concept, other learners may need more support in speaking in the foreign language. All of these considerations in these three dimensions raise organizational questions for teachers. CLIL Training has to be about examining classroom practice and making decisions about future progression of learning based on that initial examination. Teachers learn how to see what support (conceptual, procedural, linguistic) their learners need, and devise future lessons accordingly. It's an ongoing, cyclical process which takes some skill to perfect.

This training is also based on the belief that young people learn the curriculum in a foreign language best when:
- teachers are skilled in providing language support where needed and removing it where it's not needed
- learners are asked to do something meaningful in the foreign language
- what learners are asked to do is challenging
- learners are given a lot of opportunity to speak
- learning moves from 'private talk' time to 'public talk'

I'm convinced that all young people can learn the curriculum through a foreign language. In Europe there are many examples of this already happening. Holland is a famous such country. My belief goes to the extent that I opened a school in my home town of Plovdiv, Bulgaria. The school is a CLIL school and is called Anglia School ( Anglia School opened in 2012 offering an immersive education curriculum in English to children from 2 to 7 years. At the time of writing, March 2015, we now have a hundred children up to the age of 10 and we are planning to double the number of classes we offer in 2016 including offering CLIL classes to adults (Photography English).

10 CLIL Courses offered

All of these courses are available as Erasmus Plus courses which are offered at Anglia School in Plovdiv, European Captial of Culture 2019. Come and do CLIL and soak in the history and culture around you!

- Subject–specific CLIL – Hard CLIL for subject teachers (Geography, History, Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Maths others)
​- Secondary CLIL (13 to 18) - Soft CLIL for Language Teachers
- Team CLIL – CLIL Training designed for pairs of one subject and one language teacher from the same school
- Managing CLIL – CLIL Training designed for department heads, deputy heads and school heads with an interest in implementing CLIL effectively and sustainably.
- Intercultural CLIL – Developing Intercultural Communicative Skills through the School Curriculum
- International School Projects – Prepare your school for a curriculum based international project AND meet potential partners with similar interests
- English for very young learners (2 to 4) – Developing Language with Child Development
- Pre-school CLIL (4 to 6) – Learning by Doing (Science, Maths, Art, Action games, Story, Music, Drama Activities in English)
- Juniors CLIL (7 to 12) – Linking Language Learning with the Junior School Curriculum
- Writing CLIL Materials - from worksheets, through listening materials, writing, presentation activities to writing textbooks and curriculum designing.

I also do inservice training in 'pure' foreign language teaching and learning, but you may have guessed that I'm particularly inspired by contexts where school education is happening in a second or foreign language. If I can offer your school, faculty, ministry or other institution some advice in implementing a CLIL approach, please don't hesitate to get in touch ( I'd be glad to help. 

Putting CLIL into Practice - Flipped Training

This is an innovative in-school professional development in CLIL for practising teachers where the focus is directly on teacher needs.

General overview
- short informative and comprehensive theoretical input in plenary bursts
- one-to-one intensive collaborative work on specific subject needs
- closely facilitated research work (and/or assignment work if demanded by local training)
- classroom (joint) peer observations and feedback
- ongoing up-to-date theoretical input with online archived content for reference

Putting CLIL into Practice - CLIL for English Teachers

I've done a number of trainings for English teachers in different countries with a focus on CLIL. The focus of the meetings depends on local expectations and needs. I put together this flier on CLIL for ELTs summarising the details.
FACTWorld Journal 15 is dedicated to CLIL for ELTs and represents the minutes of the Pre BETA Conference SIG day on CLIL for 2015.
Cooperation between English teachers and content teachers is at the heart of teacher development meetings in Austria and the focus of an article I wrote for the TeachingEnglish website.


Computer - CLIL Materials for Computer
Computer - CLIL Materials for Computer

Computer - CLIL Materials for Computer

Using computers to work with text for learning language.
(each of the items is in a zipped folder at the foot of this page)

What follows is a series of suggestions for creating tasks using simple software and which manipulate text in a way that only computer technology allows!  Many, many thanks to dear friend Martin Belianov in Bulgaria.  When I talked about the kinds of things computers could do with text for language learning purposes and asked him if he thought he could programme something similar, he said 'let me think about it' and a few weeks later he had created some of these wonderful jewels of language software in his spare time as a student of Computer Science and then as a Communications engineer.  Thanks Martin!

Adding subtitles to video using Movie Maker

There is a short clip here showing how to do this.  You can read the tip at Macmillan's onestopclil online Teacher Magazine in the tips section.

Hidden Text

Another reading activity which offers intense interaction with the computer is the complete cloze activity.  This is where you have a text that is known to the teacher, but on the computer all of the letters are replaced by a symbol.  The student has to guess what the words are from his or her own knowledge of the subject and of language.

Click the file entitled ‘Hidden Text’ and start the software.

The text you type in should be bordered with the phrases and .  You can type this but you can also click the symbols on the menu bar to do this.

You can type any text in the window but if you type XXX where XXX is the word or words you want to remove, this section will appear as *** in the version of the text that the students will see.

There is a song in English – Octopus’s Garden, by the Beatles.  Click the right button on the mouse to open the window where you type your word guesses.

Now try to make your own text, save it and then try it out by opening the file from within the software.


This is very good for revision of material.  Students already have knowledge of some information, say Soil Systems in 9th Class Geography and the teacher types a text into the software and students must retell the text from what they know of the topic and the logic of language.

Imagine if you have a whole library of texts in a content area you can use for revision of language and grammar.  For example, the texts from Chavdar Zdravchev’s Test Preparation book for the Prep Class in Bulgaria has a large number of texts at the beginning of each test.  These texts reflect the development of the learner’s knowledge over the prep year.  There is a file here a text about 'English Weather'.  Try it out.


Questionnaire – multiple choice software allows you to create a 'test' with a series of questions accompanied by a number of answers from which students must choose the correct one.  They get a score and can go back and try again if they are not happy with their score.

Sentence Linking

Sentence Linking is a very simple free software for jumbling up sentences for matching activities. 

Searching for Words in Files

This is my favourite - SWF.  I think Martin excelled himself with this lovely toy for working with text.  It's a kind of concordancer which allows you to search through archives of text files, identify sentences with examples of phrases you're interested in, and them copy them all within their entire sentence into a new document.

Zipped folders of each of the software can be downloaed here:


Exchange Projects
Exchange Projects

I carried out an exchange project between my school and three other partners in Brazil, Italy and Spain. I've met many colleagues express an interest in starting a project themselves, but say that they aren't sure where to start.

It occurred to me that a section with simple steps of the procedure in practice would be useful to set up.
So, what we have here is a diary of our exchange stage by stage.

There are links to products, resources, materials, news and events as and when they arose.

In order to keep the page tidy, I'll make the messages available in Word documents for download.

If you have any questions, just ask (

Message 1 - discussing the details (27.01.2011)
Message 2 - announcing first lesson with students (04.02.2011)
Message 3 - outcomes of lesson 1 (09.02.2011)
Message 4 - first meeting and first homework (14.02.2011)
Message 5 - ideas for working with Exchange Forms (20.02.2011)
Message 6 - second meeting update on data collection (21.02.2011)
Message 7 - using file archiving (24.02.2011)
Message 8 - collaborating and publishing (02.03.11)

German School Exchange

I also supported a colleague in the German department at my school with an exchange in the German language.

Here are some of the materials and products. All of the products listed are archived in a folder here.

If you have any questions, just ask (
1 Austauschformular_1.pdf
General Austauschformular Feb11, 2011
Egbert Weissheit
2 Schulspeiseplan_1.pdf
07.03.11 bis 13.03.2011
Schulspeiseplan KHS
3 Schulspeiseplan_2.pdf
14.03.11 bis 17.03.2011
Friedrich-Wilhem-Schule speiseplan
4a dradio-dossier.mp3
Radio Dossier mp3 file
4b dradio-dossier1.pdf
4c dradio-dossier-text.pdf
Darf's ein bisschen weniger sein?, Essensretter gegen Zusatzstoffe und Kalorienbomben, Von Agnes Steinbauer, Marz 18 2011 (
Was hast du gegessen Klasse 5 - 5 Austauschformulare
Was hast du gegessen Klasse 11 – 6 Austauschformular (2 nur zwei Seite)

FACTWorld group

FACTWorld Yahoogroup discussions 

This is an email group which was set up in 2001. The Forum for Across the Curriculum Teaching is a network of teachers interested in cross-curricular issues and working to develop and support the teaching of content and language integrated subjects.

If you want to read discussions in original complete form, you will need to be a member of the factworld group at 
You can join easily by going to the group page, clicking 'join this group' and filling in the form.

Or, and I'll add you to the group.


FACTWorld Journal 15
FACTWorld Journal 15

FACTWorld Relaunched

The Bulgarian English Teachers' Association (BETA) Conference at the University of World and National Economy, June 5-7, 2015, was the venue for a very important event for FACTWorld.
We held a 'workshop' on the theme of CLIL for ELT and relaunched the FACTWorld Journal and teachers' meetings to be held in Bulgaria twice a year.
This is a quick run through slides from the 'CLIL for ELTs' workshop: 

There is a one-hundred page book of ideas on CLIL for ELT which we published as FACTWorld Journal 15. The book is available as a download pdf here below.
If you're interested in joining our teachers' meetings in Bulgaria and/or contributing to the journal with your news, lessons, resources, We'll be glad to share your ideas and work.


FACTWorld Journal 16
FACTWorld Journal 16

This is issue 16 of the FACTWorld Journal, Winter 2015.
We took the focus for this journal as teaching science to young and very young learners of English.
This is an attempt to engage more with primary teachers and pre-school teachers bringing content into their classrooms.
There will be other journals with a younger learner focus. Just let us know what you are interested in and we'll create a journal for you.
A link to the pdf of the Journal is given at the foot of this page.


One of the projects we have underway at Anglia School is a series of science investigations. The investigations follow our themed curriculum and take place in our juniors groups. Mark Bowering has been preparing and delivering the investigations and writes up one of the investigations in Journal 16.
Implementing Science investigations is linked with use of the wonderful website. We've been making use of the videos on the site and developing the investigations from the film concepts and themes.

It seemed only natural to include an investigation from Science Across the World in this journal for young learners and 'Plants in our lives' is a very enganging Science project to carry out with children. You'll find the entire pack of resources here. Don't forget, though, to take a look at ASE website for more resources from this programme.


Nina Tsvetkova reports on a project to do with use of technology in education, clearly an important issue in all education, not least education for young learners. Stoyan Faldjiyski with 'Tales from the invisible web of life' describes a project which places science education for young learners firmly in the world around them.

Stefka Kitanova gives a lesson on feathers, explored in all their splendid glory, for the science classroom and an essay on the need for adopting a cyclical relationship to life, consumption, rubbish and recycling brings the Journal to a close.

As always, we're extremely grateful to contributing sponsors and partners who help us bring out these materials for teachers, namely the British Council in Bulgaria and TigTag.


FACTWorld Journal 17
FACTWorld Journal 17

This is issue 17 of the FACTWorld Journal, Spring 2017.

First of all, many thanks to ELICIT-PLUS who kindly agreed to sponsor this 17th issue of the FACTWorld Journal. Without this support the journal and your work could not be published!
Thank you also to Hristiyana Blagoeva for her fabulous cover page art!
You can download the entire pdf version of Journal 17 at the foot of this page.


In this 17th Journal you'll find reports on training meetings run by ELICIT-PLUS on European Literacy, intercultural approaches and inclusive school development.

There is a section dedicated to TrashedWorld a brand new schools' exchange programme on the topic of Waste. TrashedWorld was nominated for an ELTons Award and though it didn't win, did extremely well to get to the finals in London early in June 2017.
It's evidence of sustainability getting onto the language curriculum agenda. Get involved in TrashedWorld and get your class pairing up with classes around the world to investigate a world without waste.
Next you'll find a report on a project 'Why eat responsibly?' another initiative based on sustainable development education and involving eco-schools in 9 countries. It's a wonderful example of focusing on Sustainable Development Goal 12 on responsible and sustainable consumption.
Much more info at:

Following on with sustainability education, we have an article from Hristina Bancheva and Dilyanka Bezlova from the University of Forestry, Sofia, Bulgaria entitled 'EDUCATION FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT – THE MODERN FACE OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION. THE TRANSITION IN HISTORICAL PLAN' presenting Education for sustainable development as the next generation of environmental education.

Lyubov Dombeva offers a perspective on practical skills in science with 'DEVELOPMENT OF PRACTICAL SKILLS IN SCIENCE USING REFLECTIVE TECHNIQUES' a first hand report on essential skills for science over IGCSE and IB programmes.

Next, we have a commentary on meetings with working with Bulgarian students from Rod Holmes after visits to classes in Bulgaria. This is followed by feedback from the students themselves on their reactions to Rod's visits and interaction with him.
To close the journal we have some wonderful poetry and song on the theme of protecting the environment. Tatyana Yotova gives us a rap song for nature and a lovely piece of art work from Elena Todorova 'little steps to big goals'.
Lastly, we have publicity pages from TigTagCLIL ( and Anglia School (
Please do keep sending us your ideas and work.
The FACTWorld Journal lives on (nearly 20 years now!) thanks precisely to your contributions, so keep them coming!

FACTWorld Journals
FACTWorld Journals

The FACTWorld Journals section will host issues of the journal from number 15.
We'll try and back-date the archive with the journals from the previous site, time willing.

It's a new journal, resurrected, refurbished, with a new home. We welcome contributions!
Send your ideas, articles, lesson plans, reports on events and any other CLIL writing you like to or

FACTWorld Journal 18, Autumn 2018
FACTWorld Journal 17, Spring 2017
FACTWorld Journal 16, Winter, 2015
FACTWorld Journal 15, Spring, 2015


Language Support
Language Support

Providing Language Support

I decided to put some resources on the site to exemplify supporting learners working in the curriculum in a foreign language.

I'll use this page to structure the sections which will be arranged in terms of 1 - Guiding Input and 2 - Supporting Output.
In 1 - Guiding Input, the section presents processing activities which include activities for dealing with reading texts and activities for dealing with listening / watching. In 2 - Supporting Output, the section gives ideas for supporting learners in their speaking and in their writing.

Guiding Input
- Reading
- Listening / watching

Supporting Output
- Speaking
- Writing

This is very much a work in progress, but you are very welcome to offer your own ideas and resources and I promise I'll try and upload them here to share with interested colleagues.

The point of these resources is to offer ideas to colleagues for producing their own CLIL activities for their own classes.

Language Support - Writing

Supporting Writing in CLIL

There are many ways to help learners in their writing in a foreign language in a curriculum subject such as Geography or Physics.
This section of FACTWorld aims to offers a range of ideas for providing this support.
This page will be updated as the section grows, so keep coming back to see what's been added.
Feel free to send us your own materials and we'll upload them here to share.

Ways of providing Writing Support:

- Writing frames
- Substitution tables
- Sentence starters
- Vocabulary lists
- Outlining / making structure explicit

Language Support - Writing - Frames

Supporting writing with writing frames

A writing frame is an overall structure of a piece of writing in the form of a template for students to use to help them produce their own longer piece of writing in a formal style in line with the standard for a given subject. In other words, a piece of writing in Geography or Physics has a structure which is acceptable and expected for these (and other) subjects. The writing frame will respect this 'standard structure'.

This template for writing also carries useful phrases for a particular genre of writing. These phrases are also of a specific style and genre for our chosen subject. Geography descriptions of population change exploit language which is a standard form of Geography language. The writing frame will respect this demand for subject-standard language.

Now, there are many types of writing in the many subjects of the school curriculum. This section presents writing frames which represent some of these types of writing. Feel free to send us your ideas and writing frames and we will add them here.

Writing frames

- Writing a comparison
- Writing about cause-effect
- Writing about advantages and disadvantages

Language Support - Writing - Frames - Comparison
Language Support - Writing - Frames - Comparison

Writing frames - Writing a comparison

Comparisons tend to place two or more things side by side, next to each other, overlapping each other, or in any other imaginable way that they 'fit' in a diagrammatical structure which best lets you see them and compares them. A Venn diagram, for example, shows you the characteristics which are shared, you can see these characteristics.
Writing frames for writing about comparisons incorporate this diagrammatical structure into their own arrangement on the page. The other ingredient is the necessary language learners are required to produce. The job for the teacher, then, is to embed this language within the structure they've decided to exploit to represent the piece of content they want their learners to write about.

A handout writing frame for writing comparisons (linked to pdf)

The image above shows an example of a writing frame for supporting writing comparisons. You can see plenty of examples of standard subject language embedded within the overall structure.

Exploiting diagrams for producing writing frames (linked to Word)

Visuals of many kinds exist throughout the curriculum. They usefully lend themselves to organizing a writing frame. The image above shows a Venn diagram, a table, and a pair of cells. There is a language box in each to exemplify embedding language within the structure of the diagram.

Both of these pages are available at the foot of this page in Word and pdf.


This page brings together a number of resources I've written on CLIL.

Macmillan CLIL

I write regularly on Macmillan's website. If you visit the CLIL section of the site, you will find a lot of resources and articles on CLIL.

Your CLIL is a curriculum language audit for Geography and Science. My idea here is to map out the key general academic language of these subjects and make it available in reference lists for the teacher. This produced a range of language and thinking functions from Geography and Science (hypothesis, cause-effect, etc) Most of the lists are accompanied by a context lesson for download.

Keith’s Corner
I opened Anglia School in Plovdiv, Bulgaria in 2012. This is the diary of my CLIL school. It's not just our story, it's also a rich resource of ideas for working with very young children in English.


Ingredients for Successful CLIL
I wrote an article on Ingredients for Successful CLIL as part of a visit to Uzbekhistan to give a plenary talk at a conference to teachers who were being encouraged to teach through English.
This article has been published on along with a webinar on the topic and a survey questionnaire which you may want to download and fill in. If you do, send it to me so I can add it to the results.

Content and Language Integrated Learning: The Basque Country
An article describing the success of CLIL in The Basque Country which appeared in Humanising language teaching -
Plurilingualism in Spain
An article based on an interview I did about people learning multiple languages which appeared in EL CORREO, Sábado 04.09.10
The Language of Chemistry
An article on the language challenges of learning Chemistry which appeared in Chemistry International the Journal of IUPAC (The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry)

Communicating Chemistry
an article on communicating chemistry to young people which appeared in Chemistry International the Journal of IUPAC (The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry)


I co-wrote a series of coursebooks - Voices English Language Coursebooks – for Zurich State Publishing House. The books have a 'soft CLIL' character and are aimed at secondary language classes learning content through English.
Geog 1 EAL Workbook
Along with John Clegg I wrote Geog 1 EAL Workbook, for Oxford University Press. This is a book for Additional Language learners studying Geography in the UK. The book accompanies the Geog 1 coursebook.

Lithuanian CLIL
I wrote the English CLIL section of this book for the Lithuanian ministry of education as part of a project of ongoing training for CLIL teachers in Lithuania. It’s a handbook on CLIL. The pdf of the book is attached at one of the links below entitled 'Lithuania CLIL book' (Integruotas-mokymas_internetui.pdf)
Speak up on Climate
I wrote CLIL resources for this publication for the British Council Poland in collaboration with the Field Studies Council, UK. The resource is aimed at Matura students of English in Poland and is made up entirely of materials on climate change.
The resources are quite a size and are available at this link.
Vocabulary Practice Series Science, Macmillan

I wrote this vocabulary book and self-study resource for Macmillan. It is a collection of secondary science topics from two years of the science curriculum (14 to 16 year olds). There is a sample unit attached at the link below entitled Science-vocab.
Vocabulary Practice Series Geography, Macmillan
I wrote this vocabulary book and self-study resource for Macmillan. It is a collection of secondary Geography topics from two years of the science curriculum (14 to 16 year olds). There is a sample unit attached at the link below entitled Geog-vocab.
Science Across the World

I wrote a number of resources for the Science Across the World project.

There is a section on this site dedicated to Science Across the World. (Note - you don't need to search for the topics at this link, they are directly connect to each topic, however you will need to create a STEM account first!)

Ethical English is a book I edited and which came as a result of a teachers' summer school in Varna, Bulgaria. It is a book of materials, lessons and projects from a range of Science Across the World topics and it is available at the link below.

Share your World is a book I edited and which came as a result of a teachers' summer school in Varna, Bulgaria. It is a book of materials, lessons and projects from Talking about Genetics from Science Across the World and it is available at the link below.


Putting CLIL into Practice
Putting CLIL into Practice

A CLIL book from OUP.

It feels like it has taken years to get this book together, but actually, it's about two years. OUP have provided us with a publicity flier which I'm posting here so that any interested colleagues can see what to expect.

In terms of content, one of the main things I think we offer in the book is a clear description of a framework for describing and implementing CLIL practice. The framework offers three dimensions of CLIL: language, concepts, procedures. We frequently make use of the term '3D CLIL' for this reason. You might say that these dimensions appear in all classes, no matter what language of country we're examining. But, the point about CLIL is that the foreign language is crucial to all planning and practice and it is the concepts and the procedures that dictate what this language will be. Hence, the CLIL teacher will know what concepts they are teaching and what procedures to use in their class (and this applies to the mother tongue content classroom) but it is the foreign language dimension that most obviously sets CLIL practice apart from any mother tongue context. Planning in any context for teaching any subject through the medium of any foreign language, then, will identify concepts and procedures first and then consider any foreign language demands and needs and make allowances. 

'Making allowances' is what this book is all about.

What does a teacher need to think about when learners are reading/listening/writing/speaking about their subject in a foreign language? You'll find suggestions and much more in 'Putting CLIL into Practice'.

Personally, I'd like to thank Phil for giving us the push we needed to get it all down on paper. Thanks Phil. I'd like to thank John for keeping things logical and meaningful. Me, I just bring some teaching ideas and many of you who know me professionally who buy and read this book will no doubt recognize where I've contributed. 

Incidentally, Phil has a video in YouTube where he talks about designing materials for CLIL. It's a useful clip as Phil talks through the three dimensions so you get an understanding of 3D CLIL, which is a flag we fly wherever we go. 

Phil previously referred to the three dimensions as 'the holy trinity of CLIL', but that since evolved into the safer 3 dimensions!

This site and are good places to participate in any discussion which comes about from the appearance of the book in your local bookshops!

The OUP flyer is linked below.

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CLIL, English teachers and the three dimensions of content

This is a very readable article from Phil Ball on the English teacher perspective of 3D CLIL.
The people at Modern English Teacher very kindly gave us permission to reproduce the article in full and you can download from here.

There is a review of the book in Estudios sobre Educación from the University of Navarra from Ruth Breeze:
At last the 3Ds of CLIL get some independent recognition (pdf below).

Putting CLIL into Practice - Thoughts

Putting CLIL into Practice - Thoughts...

The aim of this page is simply to draw together articles and ideas which focus on Putting CLIL into Practice.
I'll arrange it so that there is a running list of titles below which will link directly to either a file to download as an article, or a link to another page with something to see and read there, or a link to an external link for something a colleague has produced.
The articles and ideas you read here are at the heart of the teacher development courses I lead at Anglia School Summer Courses programme
( so if you are interested in what you read and would like to find out more, come and join us! The courses are listed in the School Education Gateway as Putting Primary CLIL into Practice and Putting Secondary CLIL into Practice:

Happy reading!

191205 Thinking Skills for Successful CLIL - 2) Data Handling
In a recent article I wrote about Thinking Skills for Successful CLIL – 1) Brainstorming Ideas and ‘Seeing’ Language. It occurred to me writing this piece that what is needed is a skills audit. With this reference of the range of skills existant in the school curriculum, we can then go on to produce examples and approaches to the individual skills. These examples can them form a ‘bridge’ between the language curriculum and the content curriculum for sucessful CLIL implementation. I ran a half day of CLIL workshops for students, and faculty at Tallinn University and two questions from the group stuck with me. Firstly, I stress how useful it is for language teachers to explore curriculum skills (e.g., data gathering, graphing data, interpreting data) in order to implement CLIL in their classrooms. A question which arose from this focus was: Does this mean that we will do less BICS? Secondly, a colleague asked: What do we do if we don’t feel comfortable with the concepts? 
This paper takes one curriculum skill - data handling and shows how it can be used in the Language 'soft' CLIL classroom so that the academic language is practiced and so ready-to-go in the Content 'hard' CLIL Classroom.

191205_Thinking skills for successful CLIL - 2 Data Handling

190524 Thinking Skills for Successful CLIL - 1) Brainstorming
Imagine a theme in your curriculum subject that has a number of related factors. You may get your students brainstorming the theme in order to come up with these factors, and / or any others that they can think of. This article takes an example task from a Geography context and walks through how CLIL teachers can easily embed academic language in a brainstorming task where students map out the factors they identify and within this 'map' language support can be provided to the students. In this way, CLIL teachers can successfully support development of academic thinking AND academic language in-task.

190524 Thinking Skills for Successful CLIL - 1 Brainstorming

190410 Classifying Animals
This powerpoint was the focus for a presentation - discussion I gave at Plovdiv University Faculty of Education to a group of year 2 students of education (with English as an option). I spoke about the link between 'thinking' and 'language' and the importance of having a strong focus on academic language in the content curriculum, while at the same time having a strong focus on 'thinking skills' in the language curriculum. Hey Presto! CLIL offers just this for both camps, Soft CLIL and Hard CLIL. Here, a lesson from Anglia School was presented for classifyig animals making use of the excellent tigtagworld CLIL resources for Grades 1 and 2 children.
I've written up my observations on the lesson in an article, some thoughts on 'structuring ideas' for classification, and thoughts on general academic language for classification, also with a summary of the talk you'll find in the slides linked above.

190413_Classification - Thinking Skills and Language in CLIL

190131 Drama as CLIL Instrument
An exploration of approaches to role
play and drama with a focus on 'performance' and 'audience'. The key idea in this discussion is that teachers know the 'script' of their subject and they can set up situations where their learners take on a role in order to practice this script, this standard language of the subject. There is a hint at 'semi-scripts' from Marion Geddes (1978), after all, the oldies are the best! There is a short clip of some wonderful Austrian teenagers in the role as chemists analysing soil samples in the lab - fabulous!
(link to YouTube video)
PS - there is mention of 'Socratic Questions' used by doctors during patient interview. A task is attached on this theme at the foot of this page and linked here.


190121 The Treaty of Versailles – Explaining Opposition among the German Population
An exploration of the language demands of a secondary history test item asking learners to explain the German opposition to the terms of the Treaty of Versailles. The test item is in written form, but the discussion goes through presentation input, reading input, speaking output practice and finally arrives at supported writing output.


PS - there is also a PPT related to this piece archived at the foot of this page and entitled 'Analyzing_History_Language'.

190114 Language in content subjects from curriculum to test
A discussion on the role of general academic language, its relative invisibility but importance for passing exams and reaching the expected 'standards' of fluency and eloquence in the subject. An example of a curriculum area is taken (hearts - biology) and the cognitive-academic language is explored in this subject topic with reference to curriculum objectives, textbook pages, test items and language support tasks.


Science Across the World
Science Across the World

Science Across the World is a curriculum-based exchange programme for schools around the world.

It has an archive of science topic resources for classes to use for their exchange.

The topics are translated into several languages (6 main EU languages including English, French, German, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese) and others.

The programme has developed a lot over the years since its creation in the 1990s.

Today the resources are hosted by the Association for Science Education in the UK.
Many colleagues use other platforms such as E-Twinning and FACTWorld to carry out schools linking activities.

This space is dedicated to sharing ideas, resources and information about schools link using Science Across resources and other topics from the curriculum.

Links to topics and comments
(the links take you to the STEM archive)
For each of the topics, there is a collection of sample exchange forms on this site. It's a good idea to see what other schools have done.

Acid Rain 
This topic looks at fossil fuel burning (sulphur production), weather patterns and pollution migration between countries. It's a great topic to get students looking at how 'clean' their country is in terms of fossil fuel burning.

Biodiversity Around Us 
This is one of my favourite topics, purely and simply because although it's a science topic, it's a dream for examining culture. Biodiversity is a global topic but its representation in different parts of the world lies behind much of our culture heritage and values.

Chemistry in our Lives 
If you want to get your class working on simple chemistry, how their lives are drenched in chemistry, get them creating chemical products like cosmetics, shampoos, gels, etc, then this is the topic for you. Get your students to market their products, and 'sell' them to their partners in other countries. 

Climate Change
Get your students working with a variety of sources, including the internet, to gather the information about Climate Change. In particular you can explore how climate change might affect your own country. You might also find out something about the way the media reports the issues.

Domestic Waste (easily adaptable to younger learners)
I use this topic a lot in teacher training workshops, because it's something anyone and everyone can talk about, rubbish. Imagine 7 bags of rubbish, all from different sources, and asking your students to examine the rubbish, and make predictions about the person / people who made the rubbish.

Drinking Water 
This is a very relevant topic recently to celebrate the International Year of  Chemistry and one of the initiatives of the celebration was World Water investigations. Do your students drink from the tap? Do they have clean water at home, what are the visible particles in their drinking water if any?

Global Solar Partners 
A new project in a very up-to-date topic of solar energy. 

How Plants Grow 
A very common topic in primary and secondary science.

Keeping Healthy 
Another popular topic where students look at their lifestyles, look at exercise habits and survey the amount of time they spend exercising to share with partners in other countries.

Plants in our Lives 
What plants do your students eat? What plants are used in their cooking, medicine, cleaning, decorating, beauty products?

Talking about Food
Variation of What did you Eat?

Talking about Genetics 
This topic was written around the time of the 50th anniversary of the discovery of the helical structure of DNA, carries many ethical questions in it, and is perfect for debates.

What did you Eat? 
Another favourite of mine. I've done this topic many times and one of my students' reports is attached in a link below as 'WDYE Newsletter'. Simply put, kids love food, and talking about it and finding out what others eat too!

and for younger learners...

Eating and Drinking 
This topic is based on the topic above What did you Eat? and is specially designed for younger learners.

Food Glorious Food (a variant of Eating and Drinking)
A variation of Eating and Drinking

Plants and Me 
A version of the topics above on plants for older learners designed for the young learner classroom.


Science Across the World exchanges
Science Across the World exchanges

Science Across the World exchanges have been going on for many years and there has been a lot of productive work between schools to look to for ideas and inspiration!

This is a collection of sample exchange forms from a range of topics in the programme.

Follow the links in the headings to find the exchange forms for the schools listed on

Send us your work please if/when you do an exchange so that we can add it here for others to see!

Acid Rain
Engelsburg School, Germany (E)
Ursuline Secondary School, Ireland (E)
Colégio Dante Alighieri, Brazil (E)

Biodiversity Around Us
Colegio Latino Cordillera, Chile (E)
School No 1129, Russia (E)
Colégio Dante Alighieri, Brazil (E)
Gymnasium Edertalschule, Germany (E)
Scuola-Vigezzo, Italy (F) 

Chemistry as a Cultural Enterprise (CCE)
On-going project in preparation, news to come ...

Chemistry In Our Lives (CIOL)
Colaiste Choilm, Ireland (E)
Glanmire Community College, Ireland (E)
BRG 14, Austria (E)
Swanmore College of Technology, UK (E)
Peraugymnasium, Austria (E)

Domestic Waste (DomW)
Himeji Nishi High School, Japan (E)
Copernicus College, Netherlands (E)
Gimnazjum W.Gilowicach, Poland (E)
Colégio Dante Alighieri, Brazil (E)
DomW__Malaysia_221110.pdf (E)

Drinking water (DW)
Marmara Private High School, Turkey (E)
Ashton School, Ireland (E)
Roerich School, Bulgaria (E)
ITIS Grassi, Italy (E)
Mirage team, Egypt (E)
DW_Malaysia_221110.pdf (E)
DW-Global_Maths_Project_Malaysia_221110.pdf (E)
SAWinICT_Malaysia_251110.doc (E)
SEAMEO_ICT-Integration-Education2010.pdf (E)

Eating and Drinking (for younger pupils) (EandD)
Lviv Secondary School 53, Ukraine (E)
Szkola Podstawowa, Poland (E)
Roerich School, Bulgaria (E)
Farelcollege, Netherlands (E)

The Greenhouse Effect / Global Warming (GW)
Colégio Dante Alighieri, Brazil.
Gymnasium #4, Ukraine.
Christ the King Girls Secondary School, Ireland.
164 Spanish Language Secondary School, Bulgaria.
GW_Malaysia_221011.pdf (E)

International Year of Chemistry 2011 Stamp Competition (IYCstamp)
Description of the competition

Keeping Healthy (KH)
Faculty of Education, The Netherlands (E)
Kherson Lyceum, Ukraine (E)
School No 1129, Russia (E)
Scuola Magistrale "Don Carlo Gnocchi", Italy (E)
Gimnazija Čakovec, Croatia (E)

Migration of species (MoS)
Description of project

Plants Topics (PT) (plants and me / plants in our lives)
Description of topic
Plants and me (10-13)
Holy Family Primary School, Ireland (E)
Roerich School, Bulgaria (E)
Plants in our lives (12-16)
Enka Schools, Turkey (E)
Colégio Dante Alighieri, Brazil (E)
Talking about Food, Nutrition and Health (12-16)
School No 4, Russia (E)
Colaiste Chriost Ri, Ireland (E)

Renewable Energy (RE)Cotswold School, UK.Bernard Nieuwentyt College, Netherlands.Catagtaguen High School, Philippines.The Hong Kong Institute of Education, Hong Kong.Konrad-Duden-Gymnasium, Germany.RE_Malaysia_221110.pdf (E)
Talking About Genetics (TAG)
Xavier College, Australia 
HS-Riegersburg, Austria
English German School, Bulgaria
St Patriarch Evtimii Secondary School, Bulgaria
Roerich School, Bulgaria
Friedrichsgymnasium, Germany
Martineum, Germany
Liceo Scientifico e Scientifico Tecnologia "N.Rosa", Italy
Himeji Nishi High School, Japan
School Number 30, Russia
Palmiye College, Turkey
Cove School, UK
Gumley House Convent School, UK

What Did You Eat? (WDYE)
Collège Ste Ursule, France (E)
Robert Blake Science College, UK (E)
Loreto Secondary School, Ireland (E)
The "Horea, Closca si Crisan" National College, Romania (E)
The English-German School, Bulgaria (E)
Istituto Comprensivo Sant'Antonino di Susa, Italy (E)
Himeji Nishi High School, Japan (E)
Ashton Secondary School, Ireland (E)
Prienai "Revuona" High School, Lithuania (E)
Sakuragaoka Secondary School, Japan (E)
Sacred Heart Secondary School, Ireland (E)
WDYE_Malaysia_221110.doc (E)
WDYE_Malaysia_251110.doc (E)



tigtag - tigtag jr - twig 
Video-based education and CLIL


tigtag - - I was invited to work on this wonderful website recently as the developers wanted to create a CLIL version of the resources.
I've been working busily on a section of the site to create CLIL templates for other authors to work with.
The plan eventually is to roll out the entire site in a CLIL version.
Excited? I am!

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 
Important notice - 16.02.08

Dear colleagues, am posting this announcement on behalf of colleagues at the wonderful site Tigtag  
They are looking for primary science teachers to give feedback on the new CLIL version of the site.
Get in touch at the email in the text,
you won't regret it!
Best wishes

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Are you teaching CLIL science to kids aged between 7 and 12? 
Do you have a Skype account and a couple of hours to spare? 
Would you like some vouchers to spend online? 
If the answer to the above is yes, Tigtag needs you! 

What is Tigtag (

Tigtag is an award-winning film-based teaching resource. It covers science and geography for kids aged 7-12, with a bank of over 800 short, accurate, and engaging videos. 

Why do we need YOU? We're making a special version of Tigtag just for CLIL teachers.
To make sure we meet your needs exactly, we need feedback from teachers like you on our designs, our ideas and our content. 

Do I need to be really technical/experienced in teaching CLIL? Definitely not!

All we ask is that you are a practising teacher of science or geography in a CLIL/English Medium Instruction context.

If you're new to CLIL, or not confident about using technology, even better – we want to make sure our resources are easy to use for everyone. 

What's in it for me?

In exchange for a couple of hours of your time (online, you don't need to travel) we'll give you some shopping vouchers and a chance to help shape an exciting new CLIL resource.

We can also arrange free access to our resources for a limited time so you and your colleagues can try them out in school. 

How do I get involved? Please email with a note of your name, school and location, the age of kids you teach and what subjects you teach, and how long you've been involved with CLIL.  

IN BRAZIL? If you're teaching CLIL in Brazilian schools, we especially want to hear from you – so please get in touch!  

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At the site you'll find links to both a 'junior' site (for ages 4 to 6) - - which offers a free month's trial at the moment, and a 'secondary' site -
All being well, we'll work on the entire content for a CLIL audience.

The great news today is that the original has just been updated and relaunched to offer an enhanced user-friendly online interface.

You'll have to watch this space for news of the CLIL resources. As we do more, I'll post updates here.

Behind the scenes the tigtag developer team is working on a wide range of adaptations and additions to the site. There are so many CLIL extras being produced that it's much easier to show you some examples.

CLIL Objectives
You'll find that the CLIL lesson objectives are written with language outcomes in mind.

Concept map
Each CLIL unit also comes with a tidy concept map summarising the key content and language. This map is also offered as a communicative activity for learners to engage in to recap what they've learned.

General academic language
I've examined the language of the units very closely to be able to offer a review of the main cross-curricular language functions I found.

Language-supported investigation sheets
In the science units you'll find experiments and investigations for the learners to do. The CLIL version offers the same investigation sheets with language support embedded within the sheets, on the page.

Unit glossary
Every unit has been trawled to give a comprehensive accessible glossary for both learner and teacher to use. The words and definitions are all accompanied with well-pronounced recordings to help with understanding and pronunciation.

Communicative activities
The glossaries feed into information gap activities for learners to do to practise words they meet.

AND, there is so much more. I'm fidgeting about in my seat waiting for it all to go live. Keep watching this space!



14th February, 2018
New TrashedWorld Litterati Unit
To celebrate our partnership with Litterati ( we're launching a new unit of investigation using the Litterati App and we're inviting all schools to try it out. Our only request please is that you send us the results of your students' investigations so that we can publish them on the website and encourage more schools to get involved and grow our community! Thanks
TrashedWorld-Litterati Unit Students' Pages
TrashedWorld-Litterati Unit Teachers' Pages

19th October, 2015

A New Schools Exchange Programme

I'm very happy to announce a brand new schools' exchange programme on the topic of Waste, Rubbish, Trash or whatever the terms is where you live.

As you probably are aware, the world is sinking and being buried simultaneously in trash. In response to this phenomenon, Blenheim Films produced the documentary movie 'Trashed' narrated by Jeremy Irons and now the film is being used to create learning materials with a view to getting schools working together on this important theme with their students.
I'm helping produce these resources.

You can watch an introduction to the TrashedWorld project in this YouTube clip:

Our first Unit will be called 'Me, Trash and the World' and will introduce learners to the theme, present global facts, and get them to place themselves within this challenging problem we all face. In exploring the theme and how it relates to their daily lives, students consider what is happening around the world and what they themselves can do. Classes all over the world are then offered opportunities to communicate with each other to exchange their local research, share ideas and find common solutions.

We need you!

We're looking for a small group of schools to work with us in the initial units to help us gather feedback and improve the experience and resources for other schools. In exchange, the first 'volunteers' will be given free registration to the programme for the initial units.

Would you like to be involved?

Are you interested in how we might get young people to care about the rubbish they create, and raise their awareness about what happens to it?
Ideally, we can help prepare our young people to become adults who 'reuse, recycle and reduce' in the future rather than throw away.


We're looking at starting work on the first trial units and class work in January of 2016. This is with a view to our trial group exchanging with each other with their research data and products over the following two months.


This would mean doing 4 to 6 lessons on the first unit, and then one or two follow-up lessons once the exchange has been carried out.


You'll notice that I haven't mentioned the phrase CLIL yet. That's because there is already a lot of information to take in above. Rest assured, all of the resources will be written to be used by native speaker and non-native speaker classes with activities produced using a CLIL approach. 

Get in touch -


Along with the many investigation tasks and resources, and the study materials examining trash and our lives, there are many opportunities for improving your English. TrashedWorld is a CLIL project ideal for learners working through English as a foreign language.






Space Race


Before you go on and look through the links, please take a little time to look at this cause:

►ME Research UK


Useful links, resources and networks


School Sites

►Anglia School is a language school specialising in immersive education for young chldren based in Plovdiv, Bulgaria.
►Very practical advice from a teacher at the Frankfurt International School on how to work with students learning the curriculum through the English language.
►IES Sanchez Lastra School Site, Spain
 I met a colleague from this school who presented about their innovative and collaborative cross-curricular approach to teaching and learning. A lot of their resources are available here.

Country Sites

►The website for the Basque multilingual curriculum project.  The site has free access to six years of English-medium curriculum materials from primary through secondary.  This site gets a FACTWorld smiley!
►The website for the Austrian network of vocational schools.
 This is a quiet but very significant organization with a large conference  dedicated to ESP, Bilingual Education and CLIL. The organization has had a CLIL section since 2007. Andreas Baernthaler is the CLIL coordinator.
►The Website describes a CLIL Project originating from Lombardia, Northern Italy gives outline for teacher training module for CLIL:
►There are many German perspectives on CLIL and the links I have had on this site seem to be short-lived, so I'm posting a link to a bilingual forum where you can find information 'from the horses mouth', so to speak.
►Dutch site for international education
►Dutch site for network of bilingual schools

Sites related to literacy and CLIL

►ELIAS - Early language and intercultural acquisition studies
►NALDIC - The (UK) National Association for Language Development in the Curriculum
Look at the events page (
Look at the links page ( there are links to language service providers around the UK and some of them have catalogues of resources for sale (e.g., Hounslow have some very good resources like the Bilingual Learners and Secondary History which is available through their catalogue
BLEN is the Bilingualism and languages/literacies education network 
The Languages Company Organization set up to support the delivery of the UK National Languages Strategy. They have a statement referring to CLIL on their website.
The Collaborative Learning Project
'We develop and disseminate accessible talk-for-learning activities in all subject areas and for all ages.'
Project resources:
Goldsmiths University Multilingual Learning website

Global sites on education

Trends in International Maths and Science Survey (TIMMS)
I've been following this survey for the last decade to see how the countries I work are doing in education compared to others. It's a useful snap shot site to go to to find out how your country is doing in not just Maths and Science, but other subjects. You can even get your students to compare themselves with the survey results for the US and rest of the world in some subjects by going to the Dare to Compare link.
Jim Cummins website
Bilingual education guru
UNESCO periodically produce reports on the state of education around the world. Thought-provoking reading.
Link to YouTube clips of Dr Ofelia Garcia on translanguaging
NALDIC is releasing an edited version of Prof Ofelia Garcia of City University New York's talk given at the recent NALDIC conference on YouTube.
Entitled 'Reimagining bilingualism in education for the 21st century' she introduces the notion of 'translanguaging', which offers a radical re-conceptualisation of bilingualism with major implications for classroom practice.
There will be five parts in all and they will be released on a (roughly) weekly basis.
The first part is now available:
History of Education in England
I came across this site while looking for a complete copy of the Bullock report which I found here. It's a treasure chest of documents on education in the UK. A Language for Life, The Bullock Report (1975)
The Laboratory of Comparative Human Cognition.
I came across this site when looking for an article on language and learning and it was available here. Feels like I should keep my eye on organizations working on thinking and learning like this one. 

Resource sites - General

Part of Annenberg Media ( - Teacher professional development and teacher resources across the curriculum. I came to look at the interactive animations, but there is much more that that to this huge resource.
You might also be interested in the archives of teacher learning modules with video resources on teaching different subjects.
The example I looked briefly was to do with Chemical Reactions, is not CLIL specifically, but highly usable:
A resource centre for teachers of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths
I went here to look at the SMILE Maths Cards which in themselves are an outstanding resource.
Video conferences for schools
What a wonderful idea! I've come across video conferencing for Science Across the World with Flashmeeting but haven't come across a system for schools which offers curriculum focused video conferencing - here Maths. There are sessions which links Maths with the rest of the curriculum including a couple on Maths and languages.

Resource sites - Science

Science in Schools.
Project hub for schools interested in science projects and is in multiple languages.
Getting Practical.
Site aimed at improving practical work in school science. I found it because it had a sample to a book called 'Language of Measurement' which is on sale at the Association for Science Education Booksales section of the association website
Science Across the World
A number of things.  It's a community of schools and potential partners (over 8000 of them at last count).  It's a bank of 20 topic resources in general Science areas such as Health, Diet, Environment.  It's a place to find exchange project resources and partners working in multiple languages.  Many of the topics have language teaching notes.  It's the bees knees and a good place to start if you're new to integrating content and language and would like ready-made materials to work with. 
This site gets a FACTWorld smiley!
The British Biotechnology and Biological research council has great resources free in the ‘downloads’ section.  Gene Kelly was born here in the section on Genetics for kids.
he Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council.  Go to ‘public and schools’ and ‘free publications’ for wonderful wall posters on Space with teachers’ notes.
The Association for Science Education in the UK has some wonderful resources on it.  Go to for 6 Science Year CDs with links to thousands of pages of materials, software, drama, video and more and also go to the UPD8 link for science lessons based on the latest news stories.  This site gets a FACTWorld smiley!
Kassel Seminar
Page of resources based on a seminar in Kassel focused on science and ethical questions.
There is a good collection of links to video clips of representatives from all sides giving their opinion on ethical issues / religion / science.
Educational software for Science was pointed by Egbert in Kassel, thanks Egbert!
I've just been informed that illuminated-ed are looking to set up a network of international debates on ethical issues in science. Get in touch with them if you are interested!
Chemical and Engineering News
The Royal Society of Chemistry
I went here looking for information about numbers of students learning chemistry.
Here it is:

Resource sites - Maths

The National Library for Virtual Mathematics. Nice applets for visualising concepts in Maths.
The Freudenthal Institute website has many applets suitable for use in a range of maths topics.
+Plus magazine ... living mathematics
I like this site as it's all about Maths in everyday life, which is always going to be useful when working with young people, i.e., getting them to relate their Maths to the world around them.
►Emaths - I came across this site from a discussion about subject-specific word lists. English-Arabic maths vocabulary, for example.
Specialists in rich mathematics
The curriculum maps are very useful on this site, matching maths areas with thinking and processes. It's a relatively small step to add language onto maps like these. If you teach Maths through English as a foreign language and think these maps are useful for you but need some language indicators and feel like giving it a go and need some help, I'd be happy to lend a hand.
I found this link to the National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics from the emaths website and am putting a link here simply because it makes sense to have it advertised here.  This is the national network for teachers of Maths in the UK, lots of information about events, and there is also a discussion forum.  Some discussion on EAL students.
Topic-based mathsResources turn up like this one which is a recipe book for teaching maths through a topic-based approach which is also a great way to develop language in the subject.
Maths Site from Christophe Derambure in France
There are a number of items including a collection of sample courses in Maths and a collection of YouTube videos on Maths topics, plus some tasks to accompany the clips.
Live Maths UK
Paid website, with numerous free samples of animation and audio recordings of Maths tuition.
Paper Models of Polyhedra
I came across this site by chance, but had to stick the link here as what it provides (shapes and shapes and shapes) is a great free resource.
TISME (The Targeted Initiative on Science and Mathematics Education)
TISME aims to find new ways to encourage children and young people to greater participation, engagement, achievement and understanding of Science and Mathematics. Interesting looking initiative I came across in February 2011. Can't see any focus on the language of these subjects but one of the research projects does highlight concept development as a focus for research, possibly promising.
Mr Barton Maths
Described by Maths teachers as the Maths teachers' website

Resource sites - Geography

Came across this while searching for data about young people and health. Didn't find what I wanted here, but I know this site will come in handy for other statistics.
Just about the clearing house for Geography topics, resources and ideas.  The place to go for Geography related stuff of all kinds.
Tool for promoting geography called Geocube and is available free. Geocube is based on the Rubic cube, i.e. on its 6 sides it has 9 topics each.
This site isn't just Geography, but it's based on maps so I put it here. I found this site when looking for maps of Vespucci's journeys. I like the history maps of Europe from year 1 to 2000.

US pronunciation
Has both GB and US pronunciation
US Pronunciation
GB pronunciation
Eckart Klein, Bilinguales Wцrterbuch Biologie (Deutsch-Englisch,
Englisch-Deutsch, mit phonetischer Transkription)
Hrg. Verband deutscher Biologen

Papers and articles related to CLIL

The Guardian
The Guardian ran a debate in 2005 at the IATEFL Conference in Cardiff on the future of language education and more generally about Content and Language Integrated Learning which can still be followed here (NB - if the link doesn't work, try doing a search from the Guardian weekly site):
►The OneStopEnglish site offers a short outline of what CLIL is
►Interesting Blog personal opinion on CLIL
►A Slovak paper on CLIL Teacher Training provision
►Content of MA diploma at Nottingham University where CLIL TT is offered
►Research on CLIL from Finland
►The National Clearinghouse for English Language Acquisition and Language Instruction USA.
►The Latin American Journal for Content and Language Integrated Learning

Forum for Across the Curriculum Teaching – a group of 3500 (as of Nov 2014) colleagues to share with, materials, information.  Teachers of all subjects all over the world working in many languages.
The English Language Teaching Contacts Scheme).  This is the biggest electronic network of teachers that I know of with around 20,000 teachers globally.  It's quick and easy to join the lists from this site.
The Association Europeenne D'Enseignants (European Association of Teachers)
The European Network of Language Teacher Associations
This site was set up to support the work of CLIL teachers, networking, information, development, you name it, it claims to be here somewhere and it's free to join:
The CLIL Matrix
An audit of what is going on in CLIL around Europe and offers the visitor a real-time self CLIL test which provides descriptors so you know who and what you are in the CLIL world:

Other useful sites

has a very useful section called 'Learning' which has links to a vast range of curriculum-related and educational websites and resources.  This site gets a FACTWorld smiley! ☻
I came to this website looking for mini projects for the language classroom and building paper bridges was just the thing I was after.
Paper airplanes
Very useful simple site with all you need to build 24 paper planes. You get instructions, video clips and ideas. Perfect for carrying out short projects on testing a group of planes, observation, modification and presentation in the classroom.
DLTK's Sites
I came looking for stuff that I could entertain my two-year old with on a long trip. A good find!
The Colouring Book
It says what it is.
Making the News
An online forum for publishing students' work.  At the moment, Oct 2006, the focus is on Climate Change and there are a number of student articles available.
ESP World
A web-based journal on English for Specific purposes with many articles on a wide range of issues in this field.  Good place to look for research work and discussion on ESP.
►International Children's Digital Library
Not CLIL but great nevertheless. Am looking for materials to use with my daughter. This is a great archive of stories for children. Many thanks to ICDL for setting this up!
Enchanted Learning
For those of you interested in a website where you can find just about every visual you can imagine for a learning purpose in different subjects, contribution to pay for access to materials.  Very simple, but so very useful.  Worth every penny!.   This site gets a FACTWorld smiley! ☻
CmapTools from The Institute for Human and Machine Cognition is a lovely tool for creating concept maps, but with the added attraction that you can embed language along the branches as well, and not just put words in the cells. Mmm, I can see diagrams of sentences here... This site gets a
FACTWorld smiley! ☻
An open software social networking site where you can build your own mind maps and then share them with the community in XMind.
World of Teaching
A website archive for PowerPoint presentations. There are hundreds and hundreds of them. It's run voluntarily and on a non-profit basis, though you can buy CDs with the PPTs and / or make a contribution.
BC Kids
My daughter loves this site. She asks to go back to Anansi and Intsy Wintsy quite a lot, stories and songs, am sure that soon she'll be into the games too.
There are many reasons to visit the NASA website, but one particular reason for me is the image gallery there. All things space and much more, and very useful for producing your own lesson materials.
Website has nothing to do with CLIL but is a fun way of creating word clouds of any text you like. Word size is related to frequency. I sometimes present clouds of words in Wordles to my students and get them to work in small groups to recreate the context the words come from based on what they see in the cloud. Good way of putting related words in one place in a random order.
Wonder How To
This site has just about every instructional video you can imagine. I found it looking for English materials to do with arts and crafts for a colleague in Austria. The video recordings have very useful process language, step-by-step, sequenced ideas etc.
Primary Resources UK
EAL-Bilingual list in the UK throws up some good resources. This one is an archive of school to home letters in multiple languages.