Activities · What's new

L6 CLIL: Act 1-7

  1. What is “Content and Language Integrated learning” (CLIL)?

In our opinion, CLIL is teaching English through other subjects, in order to learn not only English but also content of science, maths, literature, etc.

CLIL is a dual-focused educational approach in which an additional language is used for the learning and teaching of both content and language with the objective of promoting both content and language mastery to pre-defined levels. (“VIU – What is CLIL? A definition” VIU Published 10 Apr. 2013)

  1. Is there any difference between immersion and CLIL teaching?

We think that there are some considerable differences despite the fact that they share some objectives.

  1. If so, what are the main differences?

The differences between CLIL teaching and immersion are that quite significant. Unlike immersion programmes, which are carried out in languages present in the students’ context (be it home, society at large, or both home and society), the languages of instruction for CLIL programmes are foreign languages and many of the students only have contact with them in formal instruction contexts

Considering teachers, immersion teachers are mostly native speakers, whereas CLIL teachers are usually not

As far as materials are concerned, the ones used in immersion programmes are aimed at native speakers, whereas CLIL teachers often use abridged materials.

Linguistic objective:

The goal of immersion programmes is to reach an L2 proficiency similar to that of native speakers, whereas CLIL programmes cannot have such a far reaching objective. In CLIL you don’t teach language directly but we have to use some strategies to make sure the students know the necessary vocabulary to deal with the subject.

Also, immigrant students are enrolled in immersion programmes in all Spanish communities but they rarely take part in CLIL programmes. The language competence is not assessed in CLIL.

Other parameters are:

Starting age (earlier for immersion) and

Research (CLIL is still more experimental)


In your opinion

  • What is the aim of (CLIL) in relation to the teaching of L2/FL?

The main objective of CLIL is not to teach the L2 but it is a positive result of it.

  • Should CLIL become a substitute for general language teaching, and be used as the sole method for teaching L2/FL as its the trend in “Vocational Training”?

In Spain it is voluntary for teachers that know English, to teach their subjects in English. It is almost impossible to teach everything in English but they can try to adapt part of the contents to the CLIL methodology. In our opinion, there are not enough teachers qualified Enough to teach technical English subjects, so they should not do it.

3- Should there be some coordination between the teaching of FL in general and CLIL courses?

We believe that teachers of content subjects need the help of English teachers in terms of language because although they have the necessary qualifications, they might benefit from support. For example, in my high school, I studied History in English, which I realized later is called CLIL, and the teacher sometimes asked the English teacher to translate the complex specific words because she didn’t know them. Definitely, in order for the teacher to prepare good lessons, they should not be afraid of asking for help.


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