Multilingual call 2021-2022 has just been published and this means that there will be new schools joining us in implementing subjects through English. Yesterday I received some telephone calls from teachers who are concerned about the most adequate materials for CLIL lessons. If I had to describe the key to effective CLIL materials, I would say something like this: choose those materials that allow students to develop real-world tasks in the target language.
Going deeper into the features of CLIL materials without breaking the scope of a blog entry, we could say that the following ingredients are a must:
· Each unit should include explicit correlation between content and language objectives .
· Input- output scaffolding tools (On the one hand, key language support to enable students reach the content objectives. On the othe hand, visual support such as illustrations with labels and captions that are closely related to subject-specific vocabulary and objectives)
· Content-area text types which are carefully chosen and always accompanied by content-area literacy strategies.
· Graphic organisers like Venn diagrams, tables, and flow charts which help all learners to support both active reading and written or oral presentation of content by students.
· ICT applications which result in a virtual ‘hands on’ format that increase motivation among students through active engagement in the learning process.
· Integration of all language skills throughout the CLIL unit.
· Cognition skills are gradually developed
· Formative assessment tasks are included.
· Teachers' notes include everything the teacher needs for a good CLIL approach.
In my view, the aforementioned features can be put into practice in any content area at Primary and Secondary levels. I am looking forward to letting you know about the "How-To-Do-It" after the Easter break. During March we will chiefly devote our energy to planting the seeds of multilingual projects for the next academic years at our schools.
However, I will not wait till April to provide you with some more food-for-thought on the topic by recommending an inspiring book on CLIL materials by Amanda McLouglin, CLIL materials writer and teacher trainer : “How to write CLIL materials”, published on February 25th 2021. You can read about it here.
From these lines, I would like to express my congratulations to Amanda on this book for her clear and accurate insight into CLIL materials.