On CLIL: A Sociocultural Perspective

I’ve been researching on CLIL for the lasts few months in order to develop my Final Work on my Degree (How to properly CLIL), and now and then I’ve found several works from Josephine Moate. The one that we’re talking about today is part of a general research on a pedagogical model for CLIL. As my last post on MARILLE did, this one talks about social and multicultural learning in school through languages, but it goes a little far away.

As some of you may know, CLIL stands for content and language integrated learning. This is learning new content through a Second Language (L2) as the same time as you learn this L2 too. This kind of teaching can be found in Catalan schools since late 1990’s, but it is now that there’s been appearing some improvement on the teaching-learning model.

As we implied when talking about MARILLE, knowing more than one language and working with them provides the students with both a wider range of contents and a wider view and understanding of cultures and societies. This happens when a L2 is used as both too and content in school since children start to attend Primary Education.

The article talks about many things that can be found in many works on CLIL. There are two concepts though that are quiet significant and it should be mandatory for everyone to reflect on them: Social talk and Exploratory talk (ET).

Social talk is the process of talking with partners, peers and co-workers in order to know each other and gain trust. It’s using the language for more than knowing and understanding cultures and societies, to know a person and learn to care about him/her. This concept applied to a group of people is the first step in “community building” – and communities are united and work as one in order to progress faster and more efficiently.

ET is the group or individual dialogical method of learning by exploring language and content. It means that knowledge shouldn’t be constructed from whatever possibilities and contexts a 00teachers brings to class, but by the own expectations of the student. Don’t tell them what amphibians are, just create the environment for them to ask you. Exploring content using the L2 allows the pupils to look for and learn the language more significantly.

These methods worked in group create a collaborative learning experience that lead to a better understanding of both content and language, and are just a couple of strategies that can be found in order to success when applying CLIL.

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