Number one for English language teachers

Can you describe ways in which CLIL could further improve your professional work in ELT?

A selection of quotes from the CLIL debate survey.

"As a CLIL teacher (English/biology) my training in EFL has helped me think in different, alternative ways that have not only helped my English skills (that's a given), but also be more eloquent, understanding and expressive when teaching a scientific subject....a sort of mental flexibility not normally associated with people like me from a scientific background..."

"It is yet another tool in our kit, another method teachers can choose to use sparingly or more liberally. However, this is not the golden goose of EFL. "

"As a learner of L2 first and further on as a TEFL teacher I have always found that the more you are exposed and use L2 the more you make substantial progress in acquiring it. In order to learn, MAINTAIN and KEEP IMPROVING my or somebody else's knowledge of a foreign language I need to speak, write, read and listen to it as much as I can. CLIL pushes me to do just that both for my own benefit and for my students'."

"I'm not sure CLIL is a step forward. I think it is something advanced 'instead of' proper language learning - usually needing expert language teachers - native or non native. There is just so much teachers need to know about language learning without adding in a need for content knowledge. By trying to do both there is a real danger we will fall short in one or both."

"By using content, classes become more interesting, more engaging, and more meaningful."

"It brings more variety to the way we do things, but I don't especially agree with it. I believe it would only work in certain (reduced) contexts."

"I think CLIL can really improve teachers´ professional work in ELT in various ways. It offers teachers new challenges in their professional every day activity providing them with opportunities to learn new content as well as ways to apply them in ELT classes. It also offers a means to motivate students more effectively providing them with authentic tasks and content to work with."

"Knowing about CLIL and CLIL approaches could help enrich the ways we work, but we should be wary of jumping onto this 'new' bandwagon without first understanding more of what can go right (or wrong)"

"CLIL has already provided me with numerous work opportunities and I fully expect it will provide more in the future. I find that it is a concept that is readily welcomed and understood by parents, and in fact has enabled me to set up on my own as a freelance teacher as there are few schools in my region that teach in this way (North of Barcelona, Catalunya, Spain). As most children do not have CLIL available to them at their own schools, there is much interest in after-school and holiday classes."

"I am afraid I am too old to get used to new methods."

"More interesting - learning new content. Finding aims and objectives for students to develop understanding of content and critical thinking as well as language aims. Investigating different modes of discourse in different fields."

"As I mostly work in ESP, CLIL seems to be ESP "adapted" for secondary schools. It should definitely be more motivating for ELT teachers to care more about "non-linguistic " content of the course, i.e. about the subject. It does add more meaning to teaching - ELT is very general and sometimes promotes artificial discussions about nothing."

"It'll bring teacher's of different and perhaps very diverse disciplines together for one common cause. This will obviously create problems which should be interesting to solve."

"I'm afraid in the Spanish Education System they are not asking English teachers to get into CLIL which is weird - in my humble opinion. I can see no way of improving my work career by means of CLIL"

"CLIL offers an interdisciplinary approach which is lacking in the Italian school system. I think CLIL works best in the presence of two teachers, each an expert in her/his own field. This allows for a model of collaboration/pair-work which Italian students rarely witness."

"It could make ELT more interesting as we would be working in a new environment (subject courses), using new approaches (we would have to adapt ELT methodology to the subject class). It would lead to more integrated teaching environments, as language teachers would work in close cooperation with subject teachers, inside and/or outside the classroom."

"Increase my motivation."

"It is interesting to help subject teachers become aware of the language used in their subject areas and in academic English in general. However, it is still perfectly possible to teach ELT without reference to CLIL."

"CLIL will help me to explore areas of language I don't usually deal with, furthermore it can give me the chance to deepen the insight in the way the language is learnt."

"I already teach French via geography as well as more traditional foreign language teaching and I must say that the CLIL approach is more meaningful. However, it is crucial to keep the traditional type lessons too!! There is a fine balance to be found here."

"It might force the government to review basic EFL teaching. After 10 years of English learning, most French students can barely utter a simple sentence! Having basic lessons reviewed and re-thought, will make my role more enjoyable as I will be able to take students further on reflexion and dialogue rather than simply re-explaining the rules."

What do you think? Do you share any of these views? Do you disagree with them? Have your say in the discussion forum.

  • Is there a risk that CLIL will erode the quality of English language education?
  • Is CLIL a passing fad which will probably have disappeared within 10 years?

CLIL: Complementing or Compromising English Language Teaching?
What did onestopclil and onestopenglish users think? Here are the CLIL debate survey results!  

What did the audience at the CLIL debate at IATEFL in Cardiff think? Here are the CLIL debate audience response results!

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