Do Coyle is an expert on CLIL (Content and Language Integrated Learning) and defines it as “an umbrella term to talk about a methodology which uses a foreign language as a tool in the learning of a non-language subject in which both language and the subject have a joint role”
CLIL for me is using an L2 (non-native language, in this situation we will use English) to transmit knowledge to our students in a subject not related to language class and offer them the opportunity to learn English at the same time.
The idea of CLIL goes beyond learning new vocabulary in a foreign language. It is not an additional subject teaching and nor is it used in a less important learning unit.
Some teachers try to apply this in schools teaching a random subject in English, they put the learning of their students at risk, as some may not have a high enough level of the language to follow the instructions and they will lose important pieces of their information. It is important then, that the teacher first knows the students well in order to assist them during the whole process and to be able to offer a really useful scaffolding to make use of this methodology a great success.
Before starting, the teacher must be aware of the difficulty of the creation of these kinds of units. Have a look at this extract of the first activity in our CLIL project:
“The teacher will arrive after the lunch break and will say “Oh my God! I’m starving, I’ve completely forgotten about having lunch today, so I’ve thought that it would be amazing if we could prepare a nice dish in class”. Then the teacher will include: “I love Indian food, my favourite dish is Chicken Tikka Massala”.
Now that we have introduced the structure to the class, we will ask for their favourite dishes:
“What’s your favourite dish?” we expect the children to answer “I love...” or “My favourite dish is...” depending on if they want to use scaffolding or directly answer the question.
“Where do you usually eat it?” if they say “in a restaurant” we will ask “what kind of restaurant do you go to?” and if they say “at home” we will ask “who prepares it at home?”
Once we have this answer we will ask for the ingredients of each dish. The teacher will write on left side of the blackboard “INGREDIENTS”. The teacher will have to take into account that we will need to separate the blackboard in three big columns. Under the ingredients the teacher will write the words the students say. We expect the students to know some words in English but not all of them. If they say a word in Spanish or Catalan, ex: “arroz” we will say “Oh, rice, of course we need to write down rice” or something similar that will give them the name in English.”
It is titled “Experimental cooking” and integrates the teaching of mathematics and English language, and this is just the introduction of the subject. Hopefully I can edit this once we finish the Unit and show you it entirely.