Number one for English language teachers

CLIL extra (for EFL teachers)

Type: Article

In the second of two ‘CLIL extra’ articles, Adrian Tennant takes us through a treasure trove of resources from onestopclil that are suitable for EFL teachers to use.

CLIL (Content and Language Integrated Learning) is one of the buzz words from the noughties (2000-2009) in education. With books, websites, courses and conferences dedicated to CLIL, the demand for materials has been incredible. There have been various approaches to the area, and terms such as CLIL-lite, soft CLIL and hard CLIL have been coined to cover some of these approaches. Sometimes subject teachers are required to teach their subject in English; while at other times English teachers are asked to teach content, or subject matter, in their English classes.

In this, the second part of 'CLIL extra', we look at some resources on onestopclil which are useful for EFL teachers. In the first part of CLIL extra, we look at material on onestopenglish which is suitable for subject teachers who are teaching through the medium of English.

One more thing before we take a look at the materials. As this article is for EFL teachers, it is worth mentioning two things. The first is that EFL teachers often have a tendency to focus a lot on language. However, it is important to remember that in CLIL the language needs to ‘emerge’ from the content. Therefore, although there may well be an activity or two which has a language focus, this should be part of the lesson and not the main focus. Secondly, when EFL teachers are confronted with subjects such as maths or science, their initial reaction is often one of horror: “I can’t teach that! I’m hopeless at science!” But the key thing is that you don’t need to know everything about the subject you teach and, if you keep an open mind, you’ll learn new and interesting things yourself. So, here we go …

This article looks at materials from the following sections of onestopclil, all accessible to onestopenglish subscribers:

CLIL Teacher Magazine | Methodology | Young Learners | Secondary | Lesson Share | Animations | Conclusion

Anchor Point:1CLIL Teacher Magazine

Perspectives on CLIL
Probably the best place to start would be by looking at definitions of CLIL. To start with we could look at this article called What is CLIL?, where there is a list of methodology types. You’ll notice that the list includes Teaching Content through English and Teaching English through content. These are certainly two things that English Language teachers find themselves being asked to do. There’s also a link to another article about CLIL which is well worth a read.

There are lots of other informative articles in the CLIL Teacher Magazine, such as Skills for CLIL which takes a look at the skills needed by learners, this article on activity types and one on assessment, which is of particular concern to many teachers.

There’s also a section in the magazine called Your perspectives with interesting articles from Finland, Germany, Switzerland and many other countries. If you’re worried it’s all too Eurocentric, why not take a look at this interesting article that looks at CLIL in Thailand?

It’s also worth checking out Keith Kelly’s informative and lively editorials, as these really help you get to grips with what’s new on onestopclil each month. This editorial particularly grabbed me as it was full of ‘hands on’ ideas and mentioned learning styles which most English Language teachers know about.

Anchor Point:2More tips
In the CLIL Teacher Magazine there’s a whole selection of tips, including some focusing on the TKT CLIL Glossary.

There are also some great tips to be found in the onestopclil Methodology section. For example, here’s an article about vocabulary and another one on activities for the primary classroom.

Anchor Point:3Young Learners

In many ways CLIL is a natural thing for most primary classes, even ones that are designed for ELT. If you look at primary ELT coursebooks (and many secondary ones as well) they already contain a lot of content. Lessons on the natural world, animals, places, sports, historical figures and so on are commonplace for this age group. Onestopclil has a dedicated area packed with resources for Young Learners. Take a look at these examples I’ve handpicked for you:

As you can see, there’s so much material that can be used in English classes and this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Talking about icebergs, one set of worksheets that you might want to take a look at are the Science Experiments, which are based on ideas from the Science Museum with targeted worksheets written by some of the onestopclil authors. These worksheets include detailed teacher’s notes and really are a lot of fun.

Anchor Point:4Secondary

The Secondary resources section on onestopclil is currently split into five sections: English across the curriculum, Science, Geography, History and Economics. So, if you’d like to include some materials with a geography or a science perspective, for example, you know where to look. However, it’s also worth looking in the section called English across the curriculum as there is some lovely material here:

  • Time for tea
    A webquest all about tea. I’ve always been a fan of webquests – they are perfect for getting students to use the resources on the internet in a guided way. Students seem to love them, and completing a webquest certainly helps them think about how the internet can be used to help them find things out and not simply as a tool for keeping in touch with friends.
  • Where were you when …?
    A history lesson with a difference as it includes the students in the lesson and discussion.
  • Animals – Feet Talk!
    A lesson all about the feet of different birds! Quite a peculiar topic, but one that has gone down a (bird)song with my students (excuse the pun!).
  • Environment – The food chain
    A fascinating lesson all about the food chain.

The last two lessons include listening and are accompanied by an MP3 file, which you can find on the main Topic-based listening lessons page.

Anchor Point:5Lesson Share

There’s a dedicated CLIL section in the onestopenglish Lesson Share archive with lessons sent in by CLIL teachers across the globe. You’ll find some great ideas here that are easy to use and really motivating for the students. Here are a couple I’ve picked out for you:

Why not send in your own lesson ideas to share with your colleagues around the world? Email with your lesson.

Anchor Point:6Animations

Images and pictures are a great way to help students understand concepts, so why not make use of some of the great resources on onestopclil that include imagery?

There are some great resources in the Animations section that are so easy to use and exploit. You could try this animation about the water cycle, or this one about the greenhouse effect.

Anchor Point:7Conclusion

So, as you can see, there is a lot of material here that can be used in ELT classes. In most cases there’s no need to be an expert on the subject, a little bit of reading (usually the teacher’s notes is enough) will get you through and you can always ask a colleague to help you if you really do become stuck.

So, why not take a look around onestopclil and see what else you can find?

Happy reading.

Adrian Tennant

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