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CLIL Concepts
From: Dalia-Ona Pinkevičienė
Loreta Zavadskienė
What is CLIL?
An umbrella term covering a dozen of
educational approaches (immersion, bilingual
education, multilingual education, language
showers, bains linguistiques...)
A continuum of educational approaches devoted
to two main components – language and content
CLIL lessons have a dual focus: one related to
particular subject or topic and one linked to
language. (The British Council page)
Neither translation of first language teaching into
another language, nor disguised systematic
CLIL-Classroom principles
Language is used to learn as well as to
It is the subject matter which determines the
language needed to learn
Subject is taught in simple easily
comprehensible ways, using diagrams,
illustrations, graphs, highlighted terms
Language – subject based vocabulary, texts
and discussions. If needed, L1 can be used
CLIL: Conceptual map (Coyle)
A successful CLIL lesson combines
elements of the following 4Cs
Content - Progression in knowledge, skills and
understanding related to specific elements of a
defined curriculum. (It should not repeat the content
learnt in other lessons!)
Communication – Using language to learn and
learning to use language. Language does not follow
the grammatical progression found in languagelearning settings
Cognition-Developing thinking skills which link
concept formation (abstract and concrete),
understanding and language
Culture- understanding of otherness and self,
deepened feelings of community and global
Language Triangle
Three interrelated types of
Language of learning – content obligatory
language related to the subject theme or
Language for learning – language needed to
operate in foreign language environment (for
pair/ group work, asking questions, debating,
Language through learning- new language
that cannot be planned. This emerging
language needs to be captured, recycled
and developed so that it becomes a part of
a learner’s repertoire
Lexical rather than
grammatical approach
 Language
that has real purpose and is
dictated by the context of the subject
 Attention to collocations, semi-fixed
expressions, set phrases and subject
specific and academic vocabulary
 Chunks of language that can be picked
up and used immediately
Benefits of CLIL
The whole that is greater than the sum of the parts
(synergy effect)
Accelerates learning
Is authentic
Nurtures a feel good (fun!) and can do attitude
Fires the brain up, fires the neurons, rejuvenates
Serves as a platform for ultimate students’ interest
in other languages and cultures
Gives feelings of professional satisfaction and
cooperation to teachers
Parents are for it
Beneficial for the school
Discouraging factors/
CLIL is complex
There is no single model for CLIL – the context is to
be taken into account
Who is to teach CLIL (language or subject
teachers), and how to combine both?
New concepts are always difficult to accept
Threat to the native language, if any? Do
academic language and terminology develop?
Insufficient understanding of content through the
medium of foreign language
CLIL methodology and assessment are not clear –
teachers have to be supported
Teacher overload, shortage of materials
Topics to be Covered
Pollution of oceans
Stabilization of sand dunes
Rising sea levels
Seaside littering
Recession of beaches
Coastal erosion
Pollution of rivers
Surface water quality
List of References
Coyle, D., Hood, P. and D. Marsh 2010. CLIL: content
and language integrated learning. Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press

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