Welcome to ELAPSE. This online course aims to develop awareness of CLIL and soft CLIL for primary and secondary teachers both of languages and of subject content.
1.1 Successful learning: The teachers’ perspective
What do we want our classrooms to be like?
What sort of attitudes towards learning are we trying to encourage?
What are your first reactions to these questions?
We asked a Primary teacher and a Secondary teacher from different countries what their thoughts were:
Primary teacher perspective
Secondary teacher perspective
The following classroom example comes from a Primary school in Spain. What features mentioned above do you observe? Use your Learning Log to make notes.
You might have noted exploration, curiosity, spontaneous talking, active learning … and more!
1.2 Successful learning: The pupils’ perspective
Let’s now listen to some pupils talking about what makes a good lesson.
Do their thoughts match yours?
How are they different?
Now that you have heard both points of view, think about your own teaching context.
Reflection / Discussion –
Which of the features you have noted are particularly relevant in your own context?
If you were to develop one aspect of your classroom practice, what might it be? Why?
Make notes in your Learning Log.
1.3 Some features of the CLIL approach
This approach is widely used by teachers across Europe, and increasingly across the world, where an additional language is used to deliver subject content.
A CLIL approach can provide all of these features:
- Enjoyable and challenging content that is appropriate to the age of the learners, stimulates curiosity about content and builds confidence in using the language.
- A culture of highly interactive learner-centred activity, supporting autonomy and spontaneous talk.
- Access to different sorts of resource, authentic and culturally relevant content and a wide variety of activity.
- Cognitive development through links to prior and wider knowledge.
Would you prioritise any of these features in your own context? Which ones?
Did you know?
CLIL approaches are mentioned in official documentation in some countries. For more details click here.
In this section you will explore CLIL in more detail. To start with, what does CLIL actually stand for?
2.1 Before you begin...
Task 1: Let’s see if you can beat the Hangman…
Now that you know what CLIL stands for, watch the following video to learn more about it. You can also have a look at a PowerPoint presentation which recaps the main points of the video, or read along in the video script.
2.2 Exploring CLIL
Task 2: In your learning Log, make notes of the main characteristics of CLIL.
3.2 Planning a CLIL lesson
This video introduces the principles behind the 4 Cs – Content, Cognition, Communication and Culture – which make a CLIL lesson distinctive.
Don’t be worried about these specialised words! The video clips aim to demystify this terminology for you.
The full video is available at the end of the lesson (see Resources).
This section highlights the strategies teachers use to support their learners in understanding the content and the language used in a lesson, what CLIL teachers call ‘Scaffolding’.
4.1 Before you begin...
Watch this introductory video on scaffolding in order to get an idea about its main principles.
4.2 Take the Scaffolding challenge
Now that you have watched the introductory video, take the Scaffolding challenge!
Challenge; after watching the video, can you…
Name some of the strategies that you remember?
Reflect on which strategies you have been using in your class (knowingly or not)? Are there similarities?
Let’s have a look at how we might assess learners progress: remember we have to think about assessing potentially both language and content.
5.1 Before you begin...
In this video a teacher discusses the various forms of assessment. How could you use these forms to assess the impact of a CLIL lesson? See the full script in Resources.
5.2 Assessment in practice
Observe how the teacher assesses pupils´ understanding of the different concepts (content and language) that he has taught.
5.3 Reviewing assessment in practice
After you have reflected on the video in 5.2 have a look at some suggestions that the teacher himself made in the blue screens in this video.
You will find the script for the assessment video here.
This PowerPoint allows you to develop your understanding of assessment and CLIL more deeply and recaps the main points linked to assessment.
You might find this a useful checklist when planning a CLIL lesson, or planning assessment of a lesson. It covers aims, Content, Culture, Cognition, Communication (the 4Cs) as well as assessment.
This is the document the teacher used when planning his lesson on floatability. It includes his own notes on assessment.
Here you will find an example of a summative test to assess content from that lesson.
Reflection on examples of assessments linked to the Floatability experiment.
Assessment across Europe
Assessment in a CLIL classroom clearly has two aspects: Content and Language; depending on the teacher’s objectives, the emphasis on language or content might vary throughout the unit of work. This will be reflected within the assessment tools teachers select and adjust to give learners feedback about their progress. Formative assessment is part of the usual process of teaching and learning in which teachers are skilled,and you will identify your own favourite approaches for giving feedback to learners about their progress.
Teachers will follow guidance and recommendations from their own countries/individual institutions regarding summative assessment. The ELAPSE team cannot list all of these, and so the lesson plans in these resources limit themselves to indicating the competences and success criteria learners should demonstrate in the lesson, without prescribing the specific tools to be used. The ELAPSE lesson plans will also guide teachers in the preparation of their assessments, including assessment of learning.
Here you will meet four European colleagues describing their experiences of using CLIL. You can use these to aid your reflection on various aspects of CLIL. Answer the questions below in your learning log.
In this video a Spanish teacher discusses the practicalities of delivering a CLIL lesson. Could you use her ideas in your own planning?
Culture can be an exciting and rewarding aspect in CLIL lessons. Here we can see how a teacher embeds culture in a cross-curricular project. Can you think of an example of an aspect of culture which you could plan into a lesson to enhance learning?
The same teacher talks about a very important aspect of a CLIL lesson, the role of student participation. How might a general CLIL approach help you motivate your learners in your context?
A French teacher talks about what aspects of a CLIL lesson her pupils enjoy the most. What aspects of your lessons do you think your learners have enjoyed most?