CLIL - Content and Language Integrated Learning CLIL CLIL - Content and Language Integrated Learning
Literature on Pure CLIL
This page is for literature which has CLIL in the title. I realise that most of the literature in the section is related to CLIL, but a lot of it comes from immersion and bilingual education. It seems like a good idea to make this a separate archive as more research is being carried out, more articles written.
I started by listing things I'd read myself, but as before the invitation goes out to any of you who would like to contribute with links and comments about pieces you read and think should be shared. Send them in and I'll publish them here.
28 - The effects
of content and language integrated learning in European education:
Key findings from the Andalusian bilingual sections evaluation
Lorenzo, F., Casal, S., & Moore, P. (2010)
Applied Linguistics, 31, 391 — 417
The effects of content
and language integrated learning in European education: Key findings
from the Andalusian bilingual sections evaluation project.
I came across this article reading Jeremy Harmer's blog where colleagues were chewing the CLIL fat and Scott Thornbury offered the article as 'serious research' while a follow-up post trashes the piece:
'That research is pretty equivocal. In fact it says very little of substance and seems like a typical case of argument by prestigious jargon and hedging. I’m not sure if I should value such non-findings over good old fashioned opinion and reason.'
I thought I should read it with two such divergent reactions.
It's a good read, very clear and well-presented and fairly substantial in terms of scope (numbers) and depth (meaning). I can only imagine that the colleague who posted such a negative response had their own reasons (which they chose not to share).
The research involved 61 institutions, and groups of children from primary aged 9-10 and from secondary aged 13-14 and the foreign languages English, French and German. The aim of the study is very broad but a main focus is to look at foreign language achievement in comparison with a control group. Instruments used include standardized tests, questionnaires and oral interviews.
'CLIL learners were clearly outperforming their mainstream peers, Global average scores were 62.1 per cent for the bilingual groups in comparison with 38 per cent for the control groups.' (p. 426)
There is a lot in the article and there is a link to the English version of the Andalusia Plan at the heart of this project. I'm just going to highlight the three aspects which I found most interesting.
1) The authors specifically suggest that the 'embedding of target language in contextualised subject materials' is a key factor in the success presented in the research (p.427). It's a shame we don't have access to some of the resources where this language embedding is taking place. (note to self - try and get in touch with colleagues in the region and see if we can get hold of some language-embedded materials to look at.)
2) The three foreign languages researched are English, French and German. French and German are languages studied from early primary whereas English is offered at medium to late term and the results show English learners on a par with French and German learners (this is my interpretation of the results, in actual fact the results differ for different language skills, but for brevity's sake 'on a par' will do here). The interesting thing about this is the implications this has for implementation and strategy since 'early is best' is a widely accepted stance.
3) Three different profiles of teacher are referred to. We have the foreign language teacher, the FL content teacher and the language assistant. The research describes the collaboration which goes on among these teachers and the different contributions of each of these teachers in terms of language in the classroom and the rich linguistic environment that this creates for the learners. This is a major drawback of the research for me in that the article is written almost as if this situation is the norm and we all know that few schools implementing CLIL have collaboration between the language department and the content subject departments, nor do they have language assistants to the extent that I've seen in many schools in Spain and to the extent they clearly do in Andalusia. This isn't intended as a criticism. In fact, I'm a little jealous because it sounds like Andalusia is getting it right from the point of view of teacher collaboration but we can only dream of this provision of resources being exported to other contexts where I know subject teachers work in isolation.
In conclusion then, far from being 'non-findings' the article presents very encouraging and useful results. We learn for example that from questionnaires given when asked about the degree of change CLIL had on achievement of subject area objectives, primary institutes replied 53% that the change was 'better' and 8% 'much better'. In secondary the response was 66% 'better' and 5% 'much better'. The response for 'worse' and 'much worse' was 0% and 1% in both primary and secondary (p.434). As Scott pointed out, there is no 'test' data in the research specifically to do with content objectives. These are subjective responses in questionnaires, but they do come from the schools themselves so the opinion above is unfair to say the least.
There are a number of references to research which focuses on content achievement in CLIL in comparison to monolingual control groups which I'll try and find, read and comment on here at some point.
Jaeppinen A K 2005 Thinking and Content Learning of Mathematics and Science as Cognitional Development in Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL): Teaching Through a Foreign Language in Finland, Language and Education Vol. 19, No. 2, 2005
Seikkula-Leino J 2007 'CLIL learning: achievement levels and affective factors.' Language and Education 21/4: 328-41
Van de Craen et al.
2007 'Cognitive development and bilingualism in primary schools:
teaching maths in a CLIL environment' in D Marsh and D Wolff (eds):
Diverse Contexts - Converging Goals, CLIL in
Social Sciences -
Lamsfuss-Schenk S 2002 'Geschichte und Sprache - ist der bilinguale Geschichtsunterricht der Koenigsweg zum Geschichtswusstsein?' in S Breidbach et al (eds): Bilingualer Sachfachunterricht Didaktik, Lehrer-/Lernerforschung und Bildungspolitik zwischen Theorie und Empirie. Peter Lang, pp. 191-206
Stohler U 2006 'The acquisition of knowledge in bilingual learning: an empirical study on the role of content in language learning,' ViewZ 15/3: 41-6 (url http://www.univie.ac.at/Anglistik/views15_3_clilspecial.pdf)
Vollmer H 2008
'Constructing tasks for content and language integrated assessment'
in J Eckerth and
26 - Speaking English in Finnish content-based classrooms
NIKULA TARJA (2007)
World Englishes, Vol. 26, No. 2, pp. 206–223
Speaking English in Finnish content-based classrooms
The author sets out not to analyze formal aspects of language use, but 'how English is used in Finnish biology and physics CLIL classrooms… social and interpersonal aspects of language use'.
This study says some very good things about English language use in the groups under investigation ‘CLIL students claim ownership of English by the way they confidently use it as a resource for the construction of classroom activities.’ p.206
traditionally one of the languages of bilingual Fins, English is
described as the first foreign language for all students. This
is hardly surprising given the wide range of publications on
English-medium CLIL which come out of Finland (see other articles on
Finnish CLIL in this site for example).
This is hardly surprising given the wide range of publications on English-medium CLIL which come out of Finland (see other articles on Finnish CLIL in this site for example).
It's also interesting to hear about the scale of CLIL in Finland and we can see this in this simple statement about how children get involved by choice or compulsorily: ‘In Finland student participation in CLIL is voluntary whenever a substantial part of instruction is given in a foreign language. Should a teacher decide to teach only limited part(s) of his/her subject through English, then all children may be required to participate.’ p.208
The author also
contributes to our ongoing definition of CLIL when she offers us
some characteristics typical of CLIL instruction: 'in Europe and
Finland students are usually non-native speakers of the language of
instruction and share the native language’ … ‘they
contain aims relating both to language learning and to content
learning.’ p.208 - I agree wholeheartedly with this last
part, aims in CLIL methodology focus on BOTH language and content
- I agree wholeheartedly with this last part, aims in CLIL methodology focus on BOTH language and content development.
The focus moves us from the bricks and mortar (words, concepts and skills) of learning through a foreign language to the decor and furnishings (social interaction through the foreign language) ‘The approach of the project can be described as discourse-pragmatic as it is informed by pragmatics and discourse analysis in particular when exploring the interpersonal and social aspects of language use in classrooms. This means that instead of focusing on formal aspects of the English Used by the students and teacher, i.e. how they master vocabulary, grammar, or pronunciation, attention is paid to social and interpersonal aspects of language use, e.g. how roles and relationships, speaker rights and obligations are negotiated in interaction.’ p.209
Observations on use of English
‘One of the
contexts where students’ persistence in using
English is somewhat unexpected in the light of earlier studies is in
situations where they are working in small groups or as pairs
without the teacher present.’p.210 - This is an aspect of
interaction which has frequently come up in the
Cafe CLIL discussions and
the general conclusion has always been that L1 is acceptable in
small group work where students need to return to it to communicate
and deal with concepts in discussion. Here the suggestion is that
these Finnish students tend to choose the L2 - English.
- This is an aspect of interaction which has frequently come up in the Cafe CLIL discussions and the general conclusion has always been that L1 is acceptable in small group work where students need to return to it to communicate and deal with concepts in discussion. Here the suggestion is that these Finnish students tend to choose the L2 - English.
‘…they produce their turns in a very rapid succession, partly echoing each other’s suggestions, which implies a certain naturalness and ease in their use of English: it is clearly not something they have to stop and think about before speaking, but can produce ‘online’ as they go on with the activity.’ p.211
There is reference to talk in situations which are generally considered as not being officially part of the lesson, and that in these situations language of choice is L1, in this data, using English in such situations is common. p.211
‘ …English in CLIL lessons is certainly not forced upon the students.’ p.213
The findings show that there are Finnish teenagers who are perfectly capable of carrying out meaningful, goal-oriented interaction in English. p.213
shares an L1, it would seem likely that students would easily resort
to their mother tongue when their L2 knowledge fails them. Contrary
to such expectations, the students’ code
switching in the present data seems to be mainly motivated by
factors other than lack of knowledge in English.’ p.214
- Switching to English is a choice, a positive one which reflects
aspects of the interactions other than just language knowledge.
- Switching to English is a choice, a positive one which reflects aspects of the interactions other than just language knowledge.
‘The present data suggest that switches into Finnish fall, broadly speaking and defined, into two main categories: those in which the switch is in itself meaningful and motivated by interactional or social reasons, and those where the co-occurrence and concurrent use of two languages is meaningful, rather than particular switches serving specific interactional functions.’ p.214
‘… language choice thus seems to have the function of demarcating peer talk from teacher-student talk.’ p.215
‘Switches into Finnish also occasionally seem to have affective functions, i.e. they signal some changes in speakers’ affective stance.’ p.215
‘… it is possible to talk about emerging bilingualism among the students.’ p.220
‘These present findings suggest that CLIL Instruction could well serve as an arena for students to the put their skills into practice and act as active participants in classroom interaction. Moreover, the findings give reason to believe that when there is no explicit focus on students’ language skills, they seem to use English quite willingly.’ p.221
All of the above just go further to add to the stereotype I have of education in Finland being first class. We're not just talking about an elite system, we're talking about CLIL as a system which is accessible to all students, some by choice, some compulsory. Perhaps one pre-requisite for CLIL is actually that, get the educational system right first in order to guarantee success in CLIL.
25 - Thinking and Content Learning of Mathematics and Science as
Cognitional Development in Content and Language Integrated Learning
(CLIL): Teaching Through a Foreign Language in Finland.
Jaeppinen A K (2005)
Institution for Educational Research, University of Jyvaskula, Finland
Vol. 19, No. 2, 2005
Language and Education
NB - these notes are mine, and any paraphrasing is my own responsibility. Please pick up on anything you read here with me as although I try and interpret the article closely I may not representing the intended ideas of the author.
I enjoyed reading this piece because it taught me something fresh about learning and about describing learning achievement in terms which make sense when talking about learning in a foreign language. I now have the word cognitional in my vocabulary and I think I know what it means, at least in terms of how it is used in this paper.
I learned that English is a more common CLIL language in Finland even than Swedish, and that there is immersion Swedish and CLIL Swedish, that they are different (I’m glad to hear that) and that they are undertaken by different groups in Finnish society (CLIL being open to all, and some immersion Swedish being ‘restricted to a cultural or linguistic minority’ p.149).
Quote – ‘Cognitional’ is used here to refer to both thinking and content learning and to separate it from the established term ‘cognitive’ that covers according to the Encyclopedia Britannica ‘every metal process that can be described as an experience of knowing as distinguished from an experience of feeling or of willing’. p.151
Quote - ‘Cognitional development is assumed to manifest itself in understanding, using and applying concepts and conceptual structures of the contents taught through a foreign language in mathematics and science. Different conceptual structures when concepts are related to each other are here called meaning schemes.’ p.151
There are descriptions of differences between mother tongue and CLIL learning. The focuses are given here in short: 1) a large zone of proximal development; 2) specific socio-culture-psychological factors; 3) special discovery learning related settings; 4) informal and natural language learning and development.
1) means CLIL
learners need extra explanations and help (in terms of special
gesticulation, movement, features of spoken language,
supportive materials). I think this
bit is at the heart of what interests me most,
designing CLIL materials
I think this bit is at the heart of what interests me most, designing CLIL materials
2) means that the use of a foreign language for learning leads to a very personal learner interpretation of other societies and cultures and a wider view of learning.
3) means learner makes use of connections between mother tongue and foreign language for meaning making.
4) means learners learn and acquire language in much the same way as they did with mother tongue.
Question at the heart of the study:
‘How can we study the effect of foreign language usage on CLIL learners’ thinking and content learning processes, that is, on their cognitional development?’ p.152
Jaeppinen lists a number of cognitions for describing achievement
Critical discovery learning areas (my paraphrasing):
1) awareness of concepts
2) awareness of meaning schemes
3) ability to exploit information
4) ability to solve problems
5) ability to exploit the flow of information
10 Thinking categories:
2) realizing the constancy of properties
3) realizing the similarity of a change
4) realizing the compensation or equivalence of a change
5) realizing the reciprocity or reversibility of a change
6) noticing and charting alternatives for action
7) thinking ahead the progress of a process
8) changing possibilities into hypotheses
9) becoming conscious of one’s own thought processes
10) thinking beyond conventional limits
12 Finnish mainstream comp schools
669 learners 7 to 15
presents four measurements
M1 starting level
Cognitional development, M2 autumn 2002, M3 spring 2003, M4, autumn 2003
Experimental group of 335 learners were taught through English, French, or Swedish, and control group of 334 learners taught through Finnish.
Maths and Science
Age group 1
p. 157 No difference in cognitional developments in Maths in age group 1
‘some very abstract topics may not be very well suited for young CLIL learners’ p. 157
Age group 2
‘Teaching through a foreign language seemed to support or even promote the mathematical thinking and learning processes of the learners in this age group.’ p. 159
‘The findings suggest that teaching through a foreign language in science gives support to or even promotes the cognitional development of the CLIL learners in this age group.’ p.160
Age group 3
both groups were very equal, no statistical differences p. 160
According to this study, the Finnish CLIL environments in public mainstream L1 education have succeeded, in general, in offering favourable conditions for thinking and content learning in mathematics and science. In most cases, the cognitional development in the CLIL environments resembled the development in teaching through the mother tongue.’p.161-162
‘The positive outcomes from Finnish CLIL environments mean that teaching through a foreign language supports CLIL learners’ thinking and content learning’. p.162
Tthe Author's contact email is given - firstname.lastname@example.org
It would be
interesting to take a look at some test items !
-Collaborative interaction in turn-taking: a comparative study of European bilingual (CLIL) and mainstream (MS) foreign language learners in early secondary education
Moore, Pat (2011)
International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism
First published on: 06 January 2011 (iFirst)
Paid access via informaworld.com
This article describes research carried out with secondary school CLIL learners (CLIL) and Mainstream learners (MS) in order to analyze effectiveness of interactive communication between students with 79 10-minute interviews (158 informants) at 15 state secondary schools in Andalusia, Spain. (p.6)
The researcher identifies four turn types: 1) Individual turns; 2) Cooperative turns – a cooperative turn is co-constructed (with or without overlapping), either between learners as in Extract 2, or between the interlocutor and learner, as in Extract 3, or even between all three. In a cooperative turn, speakers share responsibility. 3) Embedded turns – Embedded turns represent contributions to another speaker’s ongoing turn (interactive support; linguistic support; affective support). 4) Empty turns. (p.8 and 10)
‘Overall, the MS learners take more turns… MS contributions were shorter than CLIL contributions… the MS learners were also taking more individual turns while the CLIL learners were involved in more cooperative turns and were more frequently embedding…Interpreting Co-Ts and embTs as collaboration, we can see that the CLIL learners are, indeed, collaborating more.’ p.9
‘…not only were cooperative constructions more frequent in the CLIL data, they also tended to be more extended.’ p.14
‘… it emerged that CLIL learners were involved in almost four times more cooperative turns than their MS counterparts and that they were embedding nearly twice as often…’ p. 15
‘CLIL learners provide mutual interactive, linguistic and affective support through embedding and they demonstrated greater engagement through both more and more extended cooperative constructions.’ p.15
Asks a very important question about collaborative interaction in MS learners ‘…how can we account for the fact that MS learners are collaborating even less even when L1 use is factored into the equation?...’ p.15
‘…CLIL learners are becoming better communicators all-round – even in their L1…’ p.15
Moore closes with something I take issue with (which is heartening in an article I literally lapped up with enthusiasm). She suggests that there is no CLIL method, only an approach. For me Content Teaching plus Teaching via Foreign Language equals CLIL methodology otherwise it’s immersion or bilingual. Moore suggests that the CLIL advantage shown in the research is in part down to the increase in L2 provision, but then goes on to suggest other factors such as group-work, pair-work, team teaching also contribute. I find this confusing. Surely, the interaction in the classroom listed which is partly responsible for the success of the CLIL learners in interaction in the research is evidence of methodology at work as opposed to simply a different approach to teaching the subject?
Otherwise, many thanks to the researchers, the article is a great read, and very positive about CLIL.
to follow up include other research which cites CLIL advantage. As
Moore says, now is the time we are going to see more detailed and
specific research, which will throw up more detailed aspects of
successful classroom practice that we can discuss and share.
I'll try and locate these articles, read them if possible and give
them their own page and comments when I get round to it. It's good
to have so much to follow up on.
I'll try and locate these articles, read them if possible and give them their own page and comments when I get round to it. It's good to have so much to follow up on.
L2 doesn’t negatively affect content learning:
Serra C 2007
Assessing CLIL in primary school: A longitudinal study. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism 10 no. 5: 582-602
Stohler U 2006
The acquisition of knowledge in bilingual learning: An empirical study on the role of content in language learning. ViewZ 15, no. 2: 295-8
Vollmer H 2008
Constructing tasks for content and language integrated assessment. In Research on task-based language learning and teaching. Theoretical, methodological and pedagogical perspectives, ed. J Eckerth and S Siekmann, 227-90. Frankfurt: Peter Lang
CLIL offers cognitive advantages:
Gassner, D., and D. Maillat. 2006.
Spoken competence in CLIL: A pragmatic take on recent Swiss data. ViewZ (Vienna English Working Papers) 15, no. 3: 15_22.
Jaeppinen, A.-K. 2005.
Thinking and content learning of mathematics and science as cognitional development in Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL): Teaching through a foreign language in Finland. Language and Education 19, no. 2: 14869.
Van de Craen, P., E. Ceuleers, and K. Mondt. 2007.
Cognitive development and bilingualism in primary schools: Teaching maths in a CLIL environment. In Diverse contexts, converging goals. CLIL in Europe, ed. D. Marsh and D. Wolff, 185200. Frankfurt: Peter Lang.
significant L2 gains:
Admiraal, W., G. Westhoff, and K. de Bot. 2006.
Evaluation of bilingual secondary education in the Netherlands: Students’ language proficiency in English. Educational Research and Evaluation 12, no. 1: 7593.
Unterricht und Kompetenzerwerb in Deutsch und Englisch. Zentrale Befunde der Studie Deutsch-Englisch-Schuelerleistungen-International [Education and skills acquisition in German and English. Key findings of the International German-English School Services Study]. Frankfurt/Main: Deutsches Institut fuer Internationale Paedagogische Forschung.
Lorenzo, F., S. Casal, and P. Moore. 2010.
The effects of Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) in European education: Key findings from the Andalusian Bilingual Sections evaluation project. Applied Linguistics 31, no. 3: 418-42.
a beneficial impact on L1 development:
Merisuo-Storm, T. 2007.
Pupils’ attitudes towards foreign-language learning and the development of literacy skills in bilingual education. Teaching and Teacher Education 23, no. 2: 226-35.
Nikolov, M., and J. Mihaljevic´ Djigunovic´. 2006.
Recent research on age, second language acquisition and early foreign language learning. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics 26: 234-60.
Lasagabaster, D., and J.M. Sierra. 2009.
Language attitudes in CLIL and traditional FL classes. International Journal of CLIL Research 1, no. 2: 4-17.
Seikkula-Leino, J. 2007.
CLIL learning: Achievement levels and affective factors. Language and Education 21, no. 4: 328-41.