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Workshop Session:

Content and Language Integrated Learning

Content and language integrated learning (CLIL) is a term created in 1994 by David Marsh as a methodology similar to but distinct from language immersion and content-based instruction. It is an approach for learning content through an additional language (foreign or second), thus teaching both the subject and the language. The idea of its proponents was to create an "umbrella term" which encompasses different forms of using language as the medium of instruction.
CLIL is fundamentally based on methodological principles established by research on "language immersion". This kind of approach has been identified as very important by the European Commission because: "It can provide effective opportunities for pupils to use their new language skills now, rather than learn them now for use later. It opens doors on languages for a broader range of learners, nurturing self-confidence in young learners and those who have not responded well to formal language instruction in general education. It provides exposure to the language without requiring extra time in the curriculum, which can be of particular interest in vocational settings." This approach involves learning subjects such as history, geography or others, through an additional language. It can be very successful in enhancing the learning of languages and other subjects, and helping children develop a positive attitude towards themselves as language learners.
The European Commission has therefore decided to promote the training of teachers to "...enhancing the language competences in general, in order to promote the teaching of non-linguistic subjects in foreign languages".

Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) has become the umbrella term describing both learning another (content) subject such as physics or geography through the medium of a foreign language and learning a foreign language by studying a content-based subject.

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