Keep CALM  and Carry on Doing CLIL

Presentation slides 2015_11_10_Utrecht_Keep_CALM_for BLOG

This talk triggered some interesting feedback regarding the role of other languages in CLIL. Some participants were quite adament in insisting that the use of the target language (presumably through rich input only) was the sufficient condition for the learning of the CLIL content and hence there was no real place for code-switching or translanguaging (Translanguaging is a process by which students and teachers engage in complex discursive practices that include ALL the language practices of ALL students in the class in order to develop new language practices and sustain old ones, communicate and appropriate knowledge, and give voice to new sociopolitical realities by interrogating linguistic inequality, Garcia, O., & Wei, L. (Eds.). (2013). Translanguaging. Palsgrave Macmillan).

The major arguments brought forward were:

  • Our national/regional policies do not allow this.
  • Using the L1 (code-switching, etc) means
    • depriving students of L2 opportunities or space,
    • for CLIL learning students need to make an L2 effort and leave their L1  learning “comfort zone“,
  • We are NOT language specialists and therefore any explicit language teaching is not our domain/field of mediation/teaching

I think these are “grassroots” (real subject- teachers) arguments that have to be taken seriously and I wish this blog could generate some very open discussion on these issues, because without practitioners’ voices (and I still consider myself to be one of them) we are not going to move on in the field.

Therefore looking very much forward to your responses.

Activities for the workshop “Keep CALM and Carry on Doing CLIL”

Keyword analysis for subject texts

  1. Get together in small subjects groups and click on the text of your interest:

2. Read through the text and choose 5 words that you consider to be keywords.

3. Go to Merriam Webster Dictionary, look up the words and decide on the information that you will provide for your students (for example, in glossaries, vocabulary boxes, matching / multiple choice exercises, etc.).

4. Go to Keywords search and follow the instructions there (copy text and submit it). Discuss the results with respect to your own choices above.

5. Go Academic Word List Highlighter and submit your text. Taking this information into account, what words would you concentrate for explicit instructional intervention?

6. Use the Gap Maker to create gapfill exercises for explicit teaching.