Tuesday, 18 December 2012


In our last seminar session we were talking about spoken interaction and we analyzed several practical speaking activities for our classroom purposes.  Today we will focus on assessing spoken interaction and, above all, we will suggest the use of some tools to assess peer work.
Peer assessment can be a useful tool in evaluating learning and is particularly important in CLIL  because  it involves asking learners to use assessment criteria to assess each other’s work. As for teachers,  it also changes the way they work since it leads them to spend more time on defining clear assessment criteria, and less time on marking work that is not up to standard.
Therefore, we will focus our seminar session today on peer assessment tools that can be helpful in our CLIL classes.

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Task design in CLIL

Phil Ball developed this presentation on Designing materials for CLIL, which is worth watching and listening to

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Focusing on speaking in CLIL contexts

Today we are going to focus on how to develop spoken interaction in CLIL contexts and we will analyse several practical activities for the classroom. The following presentation includes some basic features of speaking in English and a typology of activities for a CLIL classroom as well as some practical suggestions for different  levels.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Learning to use google forms to create listening activities

Here we are this video from you tube on Climate and Weather and an activity to help students understand it:

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Supporting speaking and spoken interaction

Click this logo whenever you see it to return to this page.

In CLIL lessons students' talking time should be increased and teacher's talking time reduced but the question is: How can we succeed at doing this? By providing students with a speaking framework that enables them to take part  throughout the lesson. This site offers a good choice of different language patterns students will need to succeed at being effective communicators in the target language.

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Mind mapping

Tony Buzan explains his proposal to create mind maps:

Other than that, here you a site where different mindmapping tools are described.

These mind maps have been created with  MAPMyself and bubbl.us

Monday, 23 April 2012

Revision and Assessment

What can we do to help students review + assess content and language?
Here is this document where lots of activities are described to help students review content in alternative ways. . Some of them may already be well known but others may be quite inspiring and very easy to prepare.
Other than that, here are different assessment  procedures we may use to evaluate students' work.

Rubistar offers us the possibility to create our own rubrics! Well-worth trying!

Thursday, 19 April 2012


Here is a very nice glog sample. Do you use digital posters? Would like to learn about glogs? We could learn to create a digital poster with:
  • texts
  • pictures
  • links
  • podcast
  • video
The aim would be to learn how this application works so that we can help students create their own glogs as final products for their projects.

Thursday, 15 March 2012

A world of words

Researchers over more than seven decades have found a strong correlation between vocabulary  knowledge and academic performance. Although they have used different definitions and different assessment methods, they have achieved wide agreement on the issue: the more words students know, the higher their level of reading comprehension; and the higher their level of reading comprehension, the higher their level of academic achievement.

Which words are important?

When students start learning a foreign language, they need to learn the most high-frequency words in order to begin communicating.
Most high-frequency words in English are Anglo-Saxon in origin: for example, big, little, boy, girl, book, mother, father, see, look, go, jump, sleep, in, on, a, the, then. Even the earliest children's  picture books assume an oral understanding of these words. Teachers also use these words to explain academic terms that may be new to all the students in the class. This is a good approach as long as all students understand the basic vocabulary that the teacher is using  to give definitions and explanations.

For success in school, students also need to learn many thousands of low-frequency words. These  words, mostly derived from Latin, are found in books and in more formal oral discourse,
such as lectures and presentations, teacher talk and documentary video.
They can be classified as follows:

-  General academic words – mostly Latin-based words such as observe or accurate. Abstract
nouns such as observation or accuracy become increasingly important.

- Subject-specific words – in common use in a specific subject (e.g., diameter, integer or  denominator in Mathematics). These words need to be taught as they arise within the  context of the subject. Some subject-specific words are common words that have a special  meaning in the subject area (e.g., mass, power, product or volume). Even the word and can have a special meaning in Mathematics (plus).

-  Highly specialized, technical or literary vocabulary – almost always explained in context, and
may never be encountered again in a lifetime, depending on the subjects the student  chooses to study in the senior grades or in postsecondary education

Now the next  question would be: what can teachers in a CLIL context do? Fortunately, direct vocabulary instruction has been proved to strengthen students’ skills in learning words in an impressive way. This should encourage every teacher to develop intentional, direct vocabulary instruction because by doing so he/she will sharpen students’ skills in learning words on their own, increase  reading comprehension levels and, consequently, improve their writing skills.

Therefore, on March 27th we will focus our seminar session on some Word-Learning Strategies which will help students become independent  word learners.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

CLIL materials


The following files which have been published by The University of  Cambridge (ESOL Examinations)  are designed to help CLIL teachers practically and effectively to teach different areas through the medium of English. Written by experienced CLIL teachers, they provide useful tips and guidelines on how to plan lessons and develop activities and resources in support of a CLIL approach.

Click on the area you are teaching to access the file:

- Science

- Maths
- Geography

- History

Monday, 27 February 2012

Lesson plans by Jamie Keddie

Jamie Keddie is a European-based teacher, teacher trainer, writer and presenter. He is the founder of Lessonstream, the site that was formerly known as TEFLclips, winner of a British Council ELTons award.

Lessonstream was launched in 2011: It is a place where Jamie Keddie shares his lesson plans and teaching ideas. Most activities that are posted make use of visual material, especially online video. Content is published with a creative commons license which means that teachers are free to remix and republish the materials for non-profit purposes.

Have a look at some examples:

1) "The blue whale"

(Elementary - Upper-Intermediate. Topic: Science)

Are you interested in developing this topic with your students? See  Jamie Keddie's  engaging  lesson plan:

Would you like  your students to reconstruct the text in an entertaining way? Click here to get  your   Blue-whale-word-clouds.

How about generating word clouds yourself? Create the ones that  you need for your purposes in an easy way  with  Wordle

2) "The Venus of Willendorf"

(Elementary and Pre-Intermediate. Topic: Art)

This is  the lesson plan Jamie keddie suggests. 

3) "Say that gramatically"

(Intermediate level. Language related to insurance and compensation. Grammatical variation. Dialects)

Interesting, isn't it? Click here to see the lesson plan. 

Thursday, 23 February 2012

An interview with David Marsh

"CLIL (Content and Language Integrated Learning)" (Cambridge University Press, 2010) was wrritten by Do Coyle, Philip Hood and David Marsh. Drawing on their experience of CLIL in Secondary schools, Primary schools and English language schools across Europe, this book gives a comprehensive overview of CLIL. It summarises the theory which underpins the teaching of a content subject through another language and discusses its practical application, outlining the key directions for the development of research and practice. This book acknowledges the uncertainty many teachers feel about CLIL, because of the requirement for both language and subject knowledge, while providing theoretical and practical routes towards successful practice for all. Listen to this interview with David Marsh and you will get a clear insight into CLIL. 

Friday, 10 February 2012

CALP in the classroom. Academic vocabulary

Source: Boaz Yiftach http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=1408

Enhancing  students’ Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency is a fascinating  task though not an easy one. Although it is supposed that students at  Secondary Education  have been exposed to this type of language for many years, it comes as a surprise that they return written assignments using poor and basic vocabulary. It is time to expand their vocabulary and help them build up appropriate discourse.

This  site will help you to  expand your  students' academic vocabulary using the Academic Word List (AWL). All students need to learn general academic vocabulary, words such as: feature, illustrate, regulate, strategy.  By learning this core academic vocabulary,  they will improve their  comprehension of academic texts. It will also help them to write assignments in an academic style.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Current issues for teenagers on CNN Student News

Click here to learn about CNN Student News
CNNStudentNews.com is a ten-minute, commercial-free, daily news program for middle and high school students produced by the journalists and educators at CNN. This award-winning show and its companion website are available free of charge throughout the school year.
At CNNStudentNews.com, you'll find a wealth of teacher materials presented free of charge, including Daily Transcripts for each show, Daily Discussion questions, the Media Literacy Question of the Day, downloadable Maps and additional support materials to help students understand the news.

Some suggested teaching strategies:

- After viewing CNN Student News, use the Daily Discussion to help students discuss and understand the stories covered in the program. The questions are designed to promote critical thinking and are written for middle and high school students
- Distribute copies of the Daily Transcript and have students read the stories. Then, have students write their individual responses to that day's Daily Discussion questions or the weekly Newsquiz. This approach can be used to promote reading comprehension as well as in ELL classes.

Thursday, 26 January 2012

January Seminar contents

Just a few words to review main issues we dealt with last seminar:
Useful sites:
  • wordia: a powerful search engine tying together words, games and videos.
  • gooru: you can click on the Classplan Library to find a comlete taxonmy of lessons by clicking the link. The areas you will find are Math and Science.
Remember to register. Those sites are free and that way you may access to everything.

Strategies and techinques:

Dictoglos: Learners work in cooperative groups to recreate a text that has either been read aloud to the class by the teacher or presented as an audio recording. More info on it:

ICT skills:

Geo-location: learning how to use google maps to map up students' projects.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

CLIL resources from our colleagues

Here you are two wikis where you may get information, resources and ideas for Music and European Culture for DBH Students:

From here I would like to thank the teachers at Uribarri High School who have created these sites for sharing their work with all of us. They are using these wikis with their students following a CLIL methodology so their experience may be very very useful for all of us interested in CLIL.

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Using geolocation in CLIL

Geolocation, also called geotagging, is the practice of associat­ing a digital resource with a physical location.
The Earth's surface has been mapped using a longitude and latitude coordinate for every location and technologies such as Google Maps allow for quick access to a geolocation.

Educational Applications 

  • Alternative way of accessing geolocation data rather than textbook pictures
  • Opportunities for cross curricular activities to build knowledge beyond subject specific area
  • Address K-12 curricular outcomes in Science, Math, Social and Physical Education, Languages...
  • ...

We think that developing geolocation tasks with Google Maps may be very useful in CLIL learning-teaching processes as  students will have the opportunity to carry out tasks for different purposes while linking them to the real world. In addition to that, these activities may be very engaging for learners.

Here is a simple Google Maps tutorial:

and another sample map:

Ver Meñaka en un mapa más grande

Monday, 16 January 2012

New Year and soon a new seminar!

Here you have a wonderful site, Interactive Websites for Student Engagement .
I hope you'll be able to find something interesting to match your students' needs.