Number one for English language teachers

Editorial: A new beginning

In his inaugural address at onestopclil's new home, Keith Kelly celebrates the integration of onestopclil with onestopenglish.

Dear colleagues,

This month's editorial is about integration and the simple reason is onestopenglish and onestopclil have come together in 2010 to give us a fantastic opportunity to share and communicate with a much larger group of colleagues. This integration, though, is much more significant than just two groups of teachers coming together. CLIL actually includes the term 'integration' in its name and we can examine this integration on many levels. For a quick perspective on what this integration means on the website, take a look at CLIL extra, where Adrian Tennant uncovers some hidden gems from onestopenglish that are suitable for subject teachers to use.

Integrated content and language

We can also look at what happens when the content and the language are integrated. In many contexts this integration goes no further than simply switching the teaching from the mother tongue to teaching through the foreign language. A Science teacher, say, who teaches in Arabic in Egypt but who is fluent in English and who finds a job teaching the subject in English in a school in Qatar is immediately faced with vast challenges to teaching Science. The secret to the success of the career move made by this fictional colleague is found in the integration of Science with the English language and what this means for what happens in the classroom. Ideas and materials for finding a way through this challenge are available in the onestopclil section of onestopenglish, where visitors find materials which have been written specifically for children learning their curriculum content through the medium of English as a foreign language. The materials which embody this are too many to mention here, but the first anniversary editorial of onestopclil highlights my favourites. Content teaching colleagues often tell me that they need ideas for developing language in their classrooms. They need quick ideas because language learning tends not to be part of their training and onestopenglish offers a vast range of ideas on all manner of language learning techniques. See, for example, Paul Charles' article on Encouraging students to speak.

Integrated methodology

We can also think about integration in terms of method. A colleague in Café CLIL 09 suggests that teachers behave differently in the subject classroom and in the language classroom, even when it is the same teacher who teaches the subject and the language! Part of the integration in CLIL is about bringing best practice together from one classroom into another classroom and from one subject into another subject. Phil Ball gives us an outline of what this integrated CLIL methodology could be in his series of articles.

Integrated teachers

The joining of the two groups of teachers is also a reflection of what I'd like to see happen in teaching and learning contexts all over the world. We can think about integration in terms of how teachers work together in the school. In some contexts, e.g. schools in northern Italy, subject teachers and content teachers can be seen working together in the same classroom. They prepare, they co-teach and they share the responsibility of the learning experiences in their classrooms. Elsewhere, colleagues often complain to me that they are isolated in their classrooms despite their energy and enthusiasm for CLIL. The integration at onestop is, I hope, a step in bringing subject teachers and language teachers together in a way that I would like to see reflected in schools globally. Lyubov Dombeva sums it up eloquently in the CLIL Debate when she describes language teachers and content teachers sharing responsibility for the curriculum, its concepts, its skills, its language. The icing on our cake to celebrate our integration is a piece from John Clegg this month which offers a clear and systematic approach to integration between content teachers and language teachers.

So, it's another bumper issue full of fun and thrills this month AND you now get two sites in one go!

Looking forward to welcoming you all here.

Best wishes,

Keith

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