There are many ways how to learn foreign languages. Our way of teaching is known as CLIL method. Do you want to know more about this method. Read more.
What is CLIL?
CLIL is an approach or method which integrates the teaching of content from a curriculum subject with the teaching of a non-native language. It’s considered increasing important in our global society because knowledge of another language helps learners to develop skills in their first language and also help them to develop skills to communicate ideas about science, arts and technologies to people around the world. In a CLIL classroom, the curricular subject and new language skills are taught together; thinking and learning skills are integrated too. CLIL teachers can be subject teachers, language teachers or classroom assistants. Different teachers have different goals that can be achieved through a high degree of cooperation among them: language teachers need to learn more about subject content and subject teachers need to learn about the language needed for their subjects.
The four Cs
CLIL has four basic components, usually called ‘4Cs’ . Every CLIL lesson should consist of a set of activities based on each of the following four guidelines:
• Content: it refers to the subject aims.
• Communication: learners have to produce subject language in both oral and written form.
• Culture: understanding ourselves and other cultures makes the process of communication with foreign people more effective.
• Cognition: CLIL promote cognitive of thinking skills which challenge learners.
Core features of CLIL methodology
The following features are considered the most effective to achieve CLIL aims.
• Multiple focus approach
A high degree of integration is pursued between language and content classes and among different subjects.
• Safe and enriching learning environment
CLIL teachers encourages students to experiment with language and content providing guided access to authentic materials and learning environments.
Connections between learning and students’ lives is made regularly in CLIL activities as well as connections with other speakers of the CLIL language. Current materials from media or other sources are used as often as possible.
• Active learning
Students have a central role in CLIL lessons: their activities are based on a peer cooperative work and they help set content, language and learning skills outcomes. Finally they communicate more than the teacher who acts as a facilitator.
One of the teacher’s roles is to support student’s language needs building on their existing knowledge, repackaging information in user-friendly ways and responding to different learning styles.
A high degree of cooperation among different teachers is recommended when planning lessons and it’s often considered useful involving parents and/ or the local community.
A CLIL lesson is based on material directly related to a content-based subject, it includes exploration of language and is delivered by a teacher versed in CLIL methodology. Both content and language are explored in a CLIL lesson by teaching techniques for exploiting reading or listening texts and structures for supporting spoken or written language. A CLIL lesson looks at content and language in equal measure, and often follows a four-stage framework.
• Processing the text
The best texts are those accompanied by illustrations so that learners can visualise what they are reading. When working in a foreign language, learners need structural markers in texts to help them find their way through the content. These markers may be linguistic (headings, sub-headings) and/or diagrammatic. Once a 'core knowledge' has been identified, the organisation of the text can be analysed.
• Identification and organisation of knowledge
Texts are often represented diagrammatically. These structures are used to help learners categorise the ideas and information in a text. Diagram types include tree diagrams for classification, groups, hierarchies, flow diagrams and timelines for sequenced thinking such as instructions and historical information, tabular diagrams describing people and places, and combinations of these. The structure of the text is used to facilitate learning and the creation of activities which focus on both language development and core content knowledge.
• Language identification
Learners are expected to be able to reproduce the core of the text in their own words. Since learners will need to use both simple and more complex language, there is no grading of language involved, but it is a good idea for the teacher to highlight useful language in the text and to categorise it according to function. Learners may need the language of comparison and contrast, location or describing a process, but may also need certain discourse markers, adverb phrases or prepositional phrases. Collocations, semi-fixed expressions and set phrases may also be given attention as well as subject-specific and academic vocabulary
Is this the way you want to learn foreign languages? Join us!
Vzdělávací a kulturní centrum Svět Chomutov, z.s.