What makes CLIL successful'

What makes CLIL successful? 

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According to some studies carried out in the Universitat de Barcelona by Teresa Navés, successful Content and Language Integrated Learning programmes, with a long tradition both in Europe and America and which usually involve Bilingual and Immersion programmes designed to teach both a SL (Second Language) as well as academic content, share some basic characteristics.

What are the four reasons for the integration of language and content?

  1. Firstly, language is acquired most effectively when it is learned for communication in meaningful and significant social situations.
  2. Secondly, the integration of content and second language instruction provides substantive basis and exposure for language learning.
  3. Thirdly language acquisition naturally goes hand in hand with cognitive development
  4. Finally, knowing how to use language in one context does not necessarily mean knowing how to use it in another. The integration of second language instruction with content instruction respects the specificity of functional language use
    1. They not only acknowledge and support learners’ home language and culture by allowing learners to use their L1 at early stages but also provide some academic instruction in learners L1. Language arts (reading, writing...) are introduced in L1 and at different stages content subject matter are taught in L1 as well
    2. Most teachers are bilingual although in IM programmes they only speak in the Target Language while showing understanding of learners L1 by responding appropriately and rephrasing learners’ remarks made in their L1. Learners are requested to use L2 only from primary school
    3. Target Language instruction is not structured or of a pull-out nature but rather contextualized, integrated.  
    4. They are optional, not imposed
    5. Parental involvement is pivotal
    6. They require the joint effort of all parties involved: educational authorities, parents and teachers at both district and school level are actively involved in planning the policy to implement such programmes and the means by which they are sustained. One of the key factors to the success of these programmes is longevity which includes not only the continuity of the program but also the stability of teaching teams. Also the presence of the program across the entire school curriculum is guaranteed when all educational authorities support the programme
    7. Teacher training must be tailored to meet the specific needs of CLIL instruction which involve as well as teaching strategies (see last feature) curriculum development and reform
    8. Finally they all show a wide variety of teaching strategies

Successful CLIL Programmes SCLILP display eight basic characteristics: