Number one for English language teachers

Editorial: Focus on culture in CLIL

Type: Article

In November’s editorial, Keith Kelly looks at culture in CLIL and suggests resources to exploit this theme in the classroom.

Dear colleagues,

We’re all excited here at onestopenglish this month because the new site is now live, and we’re eager for all of you dear colleagues to love it as much as we do!

Culture and CLIL
This month’s editorial on the new-look onestopenglish website is dedicated to the theme of culture in CLIL.

There was a raging debate in the FACTWorld yahoogroup recently where opinion was very evenly divided among colleagues about exactly what role culture should have in CLIL. On top of that, you’ll find that Café CLIL 14 – Redefining CLIL has a strong focus on this issue.

In which case, you’ll be pleased to know that there is a vast array of onestop resources with a cultural dimension inherent in the content.

Content cultures
In our Economics section, you can work on economic systems to see how they work in practice and challenge students to find examples in their local culture of economic activity not based on the exchange of money.

In the Geography section, take a look at the integrated skills lesson based on recycling, water and waste. Much of this material is appropriate for intercultural exchange, as students can investigate their own use of resources with the data they collect making excellent reading and discussion material for a partner class in another city, country or continent.

With the rise of the Tea Party in America, protesters rallying against raising the retirement age in France and people taking to the streets the world over to protest about budget cuts, now is a great time to look at demonstrations, protests and revolutions. On this subject, and we have just what you need at onestop with our series on revolutions and conflicts: The American Revolution; The Russian Revolution; The Cold War. All of these resources lend themselves to an investigation into social unrest and the myriad of forms it takes in different countries.

In our Maths section, you can get learners investigating shapes and colours in their immediate surroundings to share with partner groups in another country and offer them insights into shapes and colour in different cultures. In Science and Nutrition getting students to research what they eat and drink is a perfect way to investigate their own culture from the point of view of nutrition.

Resources on history, culture and the arts on onestop offer many inroads into cultural comparison. Learners can investigate festivals, look at famous people and events in world history from different cultural perspectives and be introduced to amazing tales from world literature. While, younger students can learn about musical instruments and the sounds they make, which can open the way to investigating the origins of the instruments.

Methodology on culture
Peter Mehisto names ‘culture’ as an aim of all CLIL programmes in his article Exploring CLIL, where he explores the concept of CLIL by outlining what it is and what it is not.

The Basque government, like the European Commission, has culture as a key competence; you can read an example of this in terms of curriculum planning in the Basque country in the article CLIL and Competence-based learning a practical example: INEBI and BHINEBI by Lui García Gurrutxaga.

New content
There are plenty of new resources to check out on onestop too. Firstly, there is the second chapter of The Secret Garden with accompanying audio and worksheets to tuck into. We’ve also published a Business Spotlight lesson plan on whether women need quotas to get to the top in business. And to celebrate the fact that we’ve had a bit of nip and tuck on the site, the latest mini-play is all about plastic surgery.  

Here on onestopclil, we’ve got a secondary reading worksheet on Britain’s lottery and, in the Methodology section, Kay Bentley delivers the eleventh article in her TKT series, this month on performance assessment.

As usual, there’s plenty to get your teeth into. Enjoy the new culture of onestopenglish!

Best wishes

Keith

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