The language teaching methodology is always in search of new methods which will reinforce the learning process, involve students more in the context, make the learning more meaningful and content based. It seems that all these areas may be covered due to the integration of CLIL which is still in infancy in terms of its principles, strategies, teaching techniques and the actual working material but is of wide appeal. The main idea of CLIL is the study of a certain subject through language which is not a mother tongue for the learners. Hence the importance of both the content and the language serving as a learning medium. In CLIL-based lesson, a language teacher becomes also a subject teacher. As a result, we have a lesson which is neither a language lesson nor a subject lesson but the combination of both. However, the main role is assigned to the subject. Each CLIL lesson should combine the elements of the following:

  • Content — Progression in knowledge, skills, and understanding of the subject under investigation. Subjects may include maths, information technologies, geography, history, music, arts, culinary classes, etc.
  • Communication — Using language to learn at the same time learning by using the language. The communication process is organized through pair/group discussions, pre-task, post-task discussions, brainstorming, debates, etc.
  • Cognition — Developing thinking skills which link concept formation by focusing (abstract thinking, critical thinking, uating, etc. )
  • Culture — Exposure to alternative perspectives and shared understandings, a wider range of cultural contexts and a better attitude towards international and local citizenship.

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Read more about the components of CLIL in this article . In a CLIL lesson, all four language skills are exercised through their extent and nature are changed a little bit.

  • Listening is a normal input activity, vital for language learning.
  • Reading, using meaningful and context-based material, is the major source of input.
  • Speaking focuses on fluency. Accuracy is seen as subordinate.
  • Writing is a series of lexical activities through which grammar is recycled.

ESL teachers must be ready for the transformation of the main principles applied during an ordinary ELT lesson. In a common CLIL lesson, the teacher must implement both receptive and productive skills, base the lesson on listening or reading texts/passages. The main learning material is studied lexically rather than grammatically with the focus on fluency. Have you ever thought of implement the CLIL method in adult learner classroom? While teaching ESP (English for specific purposes) you already apply CLIL techniques to your lessons as a course of ESP focuses on one occupation or profession, such as Technical English, Scientific English, English for medical professionals, English for waiters, English for tourism, etc. If you teach General English you can organize CLIL lessons from time to time (if you don’t have anything like this in your course books or to satisfy students’ motivation to learn about something specific). While students are learning about the subject matter, they’re also learning a new language alongside it. Here is a list of some tasks which can be applied in the framework of CLIL lesson while dealing with adult learners:

  • Presentations

Students are assigned to introduce to the rest of the class a theme related to the subject they have been discussing (any subject your students might be interested in — philosophy, art, science, geography, etc. ). They are encouraged to use graphics, images and multimedia material, and board the keywords so that their classmates can follow the track of the presentation and are more involved in it. Peers can be provided with worksheets where they need to label a based on the presentation. diagram/picture/map/graph/chart. They can be asked to focus on some dates, figures, times, reorder the information, fill in the gaps, etc.

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  • Culinary shows

Food is one of the topics which may connect teachers and learners. Therefore, this topic can be widely used within the framework of the CLIL class. Learners can come up with scientific research on some food groups, share their results, come up with a classroom presentation of the balanced diet basing their results on classroom investigation. Each student can be given a case study of a person who suffers from some eating problem and students need to come up with a recommendation letter for them.

  • Classroom surveys

While dealing with a wealth of many scientific topics, teachers may provide learners with pre-research surveys to get to know to what extent the learners are aware of the given topic. Later on, after examining the topic with the help of individual work, classroom reading sessions, students compare their initial knowledge with what they have learned.

  • Reading or listening lessons

Any CLIL material with reading or listening follows the same pre-reading/listening, while-reading/listening and after-reading/listening stages of the lesson. As CLIL first focuses on content and then the language, after reading/listening activities will be language based. Let’s have a look at language-sensitive activities which develop learners’ decoding skills (lexical aspects at word level, grammatical aspects, sentences). Activity 1 — Gap-fill and ‘cloze’ Gap-fill activities are a good way to focus on the aspect of language that teachers wish to make salient, highlighting words and phrases for a specific purpose. These activities can allow students to use the vocabulary in a variety of context. And reinforce vocabulary that has already been encountered elsewhere. CLIL Activity 2 — Matching terms and definitions Activity 3 — Matching ‘heads and tails” CLIL Activity 4 — Matching headings to paragraphs and visuals Activity 5 — Joining two lists CLIL Activity 6 — Reading/listening to a text and labelling a diagram/map or filling a chart/table Activity 7 — Reading/listening and making notes In CLIL lessons, provide tools for scaffolding language support, such as:

  • full scripts;
  • models;
  • brief pre-activity language practice;
  • word lists;
  • sentence starters;
  • substitution tables;
  • annotated visuals;
  • speaking frames;
  • notes to speak from.

Tasks designed for production need to be subject-orientated so that both content and language are recycled. Since content is to be focused on, more language support than usual in an ELT lesson may be required. All the given activities are mainly designed for reinforcing and helping to digest the subject-related information. Each teacher who is delivering a CLIL lesson must bear in mind that his/her number one priority is the instruction of the subject material through a language which is not a mother tongue for learners. Despite the lack of well-designed learning principles, strategies, and techniques, CLIL has still got a wide appeal and will get more and more significance in the course of time.

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