CLIL – quo vadis?

Based on my personal experiences with CLIL (talks, reading, observation, teching, etc) I would like to propose some food for thought,  Denkanstösse, estimulo about CLIL. Most of the quotes (of course, minus  mine :)) can be found in: Dwight Atkinson (ed); Alternative Approaches to Second Language Acquisition, Routledge, 2011.

  • Practice rules. Vygotsky
  • CLIL is a grass-root phenomenon. Dalton-Puffer; Gierlinger
  • There’s nothing more theoretically rich than a good practice. Atkinson
  • CLIL practice is in the eye of the beholder. Gierlinger
  • SLA is complex, situated and likely multivariate. Larsen-Freeman
  • There’s no end and there’s no state. Larsen-Freeman
  • An investment in the target language is also an investment in a learner’s own identity, an identitiy that is constantly changing across time and space. Norton
  • Human cognition is first and foremost adaptive intelligence – it exists primarily to help us survive and prosper in our ecosocial worlds. Atkinson
  • Everything is connected to everything. Atkinson
  • L2 users are not deficient users. Ortega

So how does that help or disturb us in our understanding of CLIL? Sadly, I have to admit that the argumentative leaning is focussing (too) much on the language side of CLIL. However, somehow I do think language plays a huge role in cognition. Especially when you are like me biased towards a socio-cognitive/cultural/interactional way of learning and follow L. Ortega

“… view learning as a social accomplishment and posit that knowledge and learning are socially distributed, have social histories, and are only possible through sociality”

But then the really interesting point is, how does that affect one’s (yours) actual teaching? Looking forward to hearing from you.


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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