Number one for English language teachers

Editorial: The Ingredients for a Happy CLIL Marriage

Keith Kelly introduces this month's theme - marriage - and takes us through the highlights of this winter edition of CLIL Teacher magazine.

Photo of Keith Kelly, CLIL teacher and education consultant

Dear colleagues,

I've been thinking a lot about subject teachers recently and I think our theme for this month is the marriage – happy or otherwise – between content and language teachers in CLIL. 

Personally, I'm up to my eyebrows in maths and science for a project I’m working on, training teachers of these subjects through the medium of English. Believe me, my A level Maths is rusty! I'm lucky to have an expert to consult with who can help me.

I interviewed Egbert Weissheit from Kassel in Germany just the other day. He’s a chemistry and biology teacher who teaches through the medium of English and he told me that his students get their communication skills from his science lessons and not from the English language classes. Read my interview with Egbert here.

I spoke at a conference for a mixture of subject teachers from the Canton of Zurich last week. There weren't any English teachers there, but there were 80 English-medium subject teachers and their group is growing. As a language teacher myself, I get much of my motivation for work with English-medium subject teachers for the very simple reason that they can and do many of the fundamental things I try to do in my language lessons. The difference is that they do it and they teach physics, or maths, or history. 80 subject teachers looking for language partners!

To tell us all about some of the successes and challenges of marrying content with English, this month we have a Q and A session with Rima Morkuniene who is the International Baccalaureate Programme Coordinator at a school in Lithuania. A language teacher herself, you will see from her words how enthusiastic she is for English-medium subject teaching.

Our review this month is on an online interactive decision-making forum 'Decide' and is from a chemistry teacher, Stefka Kitanova. This will be of interest to all teachers looking to create debate among their students on issues relevant to them.

Lastly, but certainly not least, Phil Ball's fourth piece on the ingredients of a good CLIL marriage takes us further into the practical implications of tasks and task design making the relationship work in real life!

Best wishes,

Keith

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