We are starting our CLIL seminar in Getxo 2013-2014 with an essential feature of education: the development of skills that will enable our students to apply the knowledge they have learnt to solve problems, investigate the world and make judgements. This is just one of the many definitions of "cognitive" or "thinking" skills.
Unfortunately, I must admit I agree with John Clegg that " the truth is that schools don't often teach these skills explicitly. Instead, teachers hope that their learners will pick them up". In my view, this is specially true regarding HOTS (Higher Order Thinking Skills).
Therefore, my aim is to help pave the way for developing thinking skills in different subjects by providing teachers with activities that focus on the thinking skills that should be worked on with students and the language support that is undoubtedly a must when we are implementing a subject through English or another language which is not the students' mother tongue. For instance, students cannot synthesize a text on deforestation if they lack the strategies that should be used to summarize a text as well as the linking devices that connect different ideas and the vocabulary related to the topic ( not the words that appear in the text they have been given but synonyms and expressions that enable them to paraphrase without copying from the original text).
The session on October 15th will focus on describing what thinking skills are, considering a possible classification of thinking skills and starting to discuss some simple activities that teachers often use to develop thinking skills in the classroom.
Next session will take place on November 19th and we will analyze some activities that can be used in different content areas to facilitate the acquisition of cognitive skills by students. I will place special emphasis on the language support that students will need to carry out the proposed tasks. Above all, I will provide teachers attending the session with examples on classifying and synthesizing.