Number one for English language teachers

Editorial: Focus on going back to school

Type: Article

In September's editorial, Keith Kelly highlights key areas and resources on the site that will best prepare you for the academic year ahead.

It's back to school, colleagues!

As you might expect, we have a ‘back-to-school’ focus in this month’s issue of onestopclil in the run up to a new term. It’s the perfect opportunity for me to highlight the fact that onestopclil has everything you might possibly need for the new school year, whether it’s biology, geography, history or any other subject. Let me say straight from the start that there is a subscriber draw with the chance to win a £200 shopping spree on Amazon! That should help get the new school year started.

Now, let’s take a look at how we can help you get back into the school year!

Defining CLIL
It’s a privilege to be a part of a process of defining CLIL that onestopclil has offered and still offers. The onestop site brings together two groups of teachers, many for the first time. English teachers with an interest in content are connected with subject teachers working through the medium of English as a foreign language. These two groups do have a lot in common but, in terms of actual classroom curriculum practice, they have very different needs. The onestop site is providing for both audiences while at the same time, building communication between the two groups. This is a very healthy initiative and one I’m glad to be a part of.

There are a number of ways you can participate in this process of defining CLIL. Firstly, you can read what the experts have to say in the Methodology section. Secondly, you can read the featured articles in the CLIL teacher magazine. Thirdly, you can get involved in the discussion forum. Write and tell us your experiences in CLIL whether it’s to have a rant or to pick up on something you have read on the site. I promise I’ll chip in myself if you write in to the forum. I always love a debate. A good example of the organic nature of onestop, developing with user input, is the debate between Adrian Tennant and myself. Adrian has argued the need for a more inductive methodology for CLIL teachers and my response is also available on the site: The language dimension of CLIL.

Phil Ball builds a strong theoretical foundation for CLIL with five articles defining it, including this latest one titled ‘Defining CLIL parameters’, which argues that CLIL should be seen as a specialist methodological practice rather than a simple 'umbrella term'. Jean Brewster has contributed state-of-the-art pieces on study skills for CLIL. If you add to this John Clegg’s articles on teacher collaboration, lesson planning and key skills, you can see why we claim to have everything you need on methodology right here on onestopclil.

Young learners resources
I frequently find myself drawn immediately to new uploads for young CLIL learners. There are a number of reasons for this. My own daughter is growing up bilingually and I find lots of fun educational and thoroughly well-supported resources in this section that I can pinch and use with her – one favourite is the wild animals and body parts cut-outs. Carol Read’s Amazing World of Animals has been a fantastic addition to the site this past year too. This series is introduced and structured in such a user-friendly accessible way. If you haven’t seen it yet, go take a look!

Tools and instruments
I see onestopclil providing essential materials for teachers who specifically need templates of resources which they can easily author if necessary. The vocabulary lists and worksheets are part of this important provision as are the wonderful animations and PowerPoint presentations and the gallery of images, all of which can be downloaded and edited quickly to suit local contexts and learning needs. The various archives of resources and templates are accompanied by useful teaching tips and articles which take examples from the archives themselves. One example is my piece on vocabulary: Working with words. This month, look out for the new geography animation on river action.

Regional perspectives
There are now many interviews with and regional perspectives from colleagues all over the world on the site. If you teach in a bilingual context you will find the piece from Laura Renart on the relationship between CLIL and Bilingual Education in Argentina particularly interesting.

Links with news updates
You might remember that Icelandic volcano? The onestop site follows news and current events closely to be sure to offer colleagues resources which are thematically linked with news reports their students might be familiar with. This month we have a newsy worksheet on Mount Teide, a volcano we are told is due to erupt in the Canary Islands.

Partnerships
The Science Museum experiments are part of onestop’s effort to develop educational partnerships for the benefit of our subscribers. Kay Bentley’s ongoing contributions on TKT-CLIL terminology are updated this month with her article on activating prior knowledge. Keep an eye on these sections, as there will be other new resources in collaboration with our partners this year …

So, you can see the multiple fronts onestop is working on to provide for your teaching and learning needs this year, as every year. If that wasn’t enough, we’ve introduced the Learning Calendar to help you organize your favourites on the site and keep track of treasures you find.

I’d like to wish you all a smooth and enjoyable start to the new school year!

Best wishes,

Keith

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