CLIL and FLT: Two uneasy bedfellows?

In a recent discussion on ONE- Stop English ( the question was asked if there was a risk that CLIL would erode the quality of English language education? One of the teachers replied, “Yes, I believe so. I can’t see how some CLIL training of subject teachers can ever make language teachers out of them. If English is only taught through CLIL in the future, there is a serious risk that the level of knowledge of English will begin to slide”.

Compare this to what an Austrian school inspector said to me recently, “If this CLIL works out nicely we do not need EFL classes anymore and could maybe shift resources to team-teaching CLIL classes, killing two birds with one stone, so-to-speak”. (Telling me that was strictly off the record or the English teachers would kill himJ).

So, where do you stand?


About erwingierlinger

I am a senior teacher educator for English as a foreign language at the University of Education of Upper-Austria in Austria
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3 Responses to CLIL and FLT: Two uneasy bedfellows?

  1. Neil Stainthorpe says:

    Congraulations, Erwin on this site!
    I thought CLIL had already been introduced at primary level I in Austria as a cost cutting exercise?

  2. flordejara says:

    Definitely not an issue in Spain, where the coordinator of the Clil program is always the FL teacher.

    • Firstly, sorry for the late reply. Lousy excuses include too much work etc :). Being a little familiar with the Spanish situation – in particular the Andalusian situation – my immediate reaction is, “Yes isn’t this wonderful?” However, this is not the case throughout Europe. For example, i’m working on a research project where non-FL teachers implement CLIL in their classes and their is no support at all by the FL teachers! However deploring you and i may find this, these teachers see it actually as an independent issue and as something that adds another quality to this teaching. Such as one of them said, “I’m on a similiar language learning level with my students. Of course, i am a lot more knowledgeable as far as the content goes but regarding English I can ask them, so what is the right word for this and this puts us on the same level”. At least an interesting perspective, wouldn’t you agree?

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