There is no CLIL without communication

There is no CLIL without communication

To many, communication is perhaps the most important aspect in CLIL-based instruction. Why? Because it’s the part of the lesson that students learn how to use language by using language to learn. In plain English, learners don’t parrot the teacher or their peers; they produce authentic language patterns in L2 taking the stage, while teachers become guides on the side. This is described as “language through learning” through maximum interaction. 

Putting it briefly, EFL teachers won’t spend an entire hour lecturing their students in L2 because it’s not them who need to practice their English; T-led instructions cover just 20% of the lesson; the remaining 80% is the context of communication among students themselves, within and beyond the classroom.

“Language of learning” is the kind of language students will need to carry out planned tasks. If we wanted them to hypothesize on a scientific theory, for example or discuss the irreversible of a science experiment, we would need to scaffold learning by teaching them conditionals, modal verbs or future tenses for making predictions. “Language for learning” stands for meta-cognition. It’s thinking about thinking and embedded brain-based learning followed by good meta-cognitive strategies. CLIL teachers tell children where to look but let them decide what to see first.

Iphigeneia Mariou

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