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CLIL. Content and Language Integrated Learning. Common Questions. What is CLIL? How does CLIL benefit learners? What are the underlying principles of CLIL? What’s different about CLIL lessons? How do I become a CLIL teacher? Are there any available resources? Where can I find out more?.

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Content and Language Integrated Learning

Steve Darn

common questions
Common Questions
  • What is CLIL?
  • How does CLIL benefit learners?
  • What are the underlying principles of CLIL?
  • What’s different about CLIL lessons?
  • How do I become a CLIL teacher?
  • Are there any available resources?
  • Where can I find out more?

Steve Darn

what is clil
What is CLIL?
  • CLIL refers to any dual-focused educational context in which an additional language, thus not usually the first language of the learners involved, is used as a medium in the teaching and learning of non-language content. Derived from the notion of ‘Language Across the Curriculum’

Steve Darn

why clil
  • Successful language learning can be achieved when people have the opportunity to receive instruction, and at the same time experience real-life situations in which they can acquire the language.
  • What CLIL can offer to learners of any age, is a more natural situation for language development which builds on other forms of learning. This natural use of language can boost a learner’smotivation towards learning languages. It is this naturalness which appears to be one of the major platforms for CLIL’s importance and success in relation to both language and other subject learning.

Steve Darn

research foundations
Research Foundations
  • It takes 5-7 years for students in a quality bilingual program to become academically proficient in English.
  • Language acquisition is not a linear process; it is cyclical and recursive.
  • Learners acquire best when they create, discover and construct their own meanings.
  • Language is a means not an end, and when learners are interested in a topic, they will be motivated to acquire language to communicate.
  • Semantic fluency precedes grammatical accuracy and errors are a natural part of language learning.
  • Learners develop fluency in English by using English to communicate for a variety of purposes.
  • Reading is essential for developing academic English skills.

Steve Darn

clil dimensions
1. The Culture Dimension

A. Build intercultural knowledge & understanding

B. Develop intercultural communication skills

C. Learn about specific neighbouring countries/regions and/or minority groups

D. Introduce the wider cultural context

2. The Environment Dimension

A. Prepare for internationalisation, specifically EU integration

B. Access International Certification

C. Enhance school profile

3. The Language Dimension

CLIL Dimensions
  • A. Improve overall target language competence
  • B. Develop oral communication skills
  • C. Deepen awareness of both mother tongue

and target language

  • D. Develop plurilingual interests and attitudes
  • E. Introduce a target language

4. The Content Dimension

  • A. Provide opportunities to study content through

different perspectives

  • B. Access subject-specific target language terminology
  • C. Prepare for future studies and/or working life

5. The Learning Dimension

  • A. Complement individual learning strategies
  • B. Diversify methods & forms of classroom practice
  • C. Increase learner motivation

Steve Darn

clil principles
CLIL Principles
  • CONTENTProgression in knowledge, skills and understanding related to specific elements of a defined curriculum.
  • COMMUNICATIONUsing language to learn - whilst learning to use language.
  • COGNITIONDeveloping thinking skills which link concept formation, understanding and language
  • CULTUREExposure to alternative perspectives and shared understandings.

Steve Darn

a university perspective
A University Perspective
  • CLIL encourages students and faculty to view their studies in a global context and to venture beyond their own cultural and linguistic borders in order to gain additional perspectives and additional knowledge.
  • CLIL bridges existing curricular and disciplinary boundaries, creating a more integrated learning environment and energizing the disciplines in new ways.
  • By integrating the use of multiple languages into disciplines across the curriculum, CLIL reinforces the centrality of language study at all levels of education.
  • CLIL challenges faculty, students, and administrators to place a higher value on the language proficiency of bilingual students and faculty.
  • CLIL expands the number of graduates who are able to carry out work in their major area of study in more than one language and has the potential to create a larger workforce of bilingual and multilingual professionals.

Steve Darn


This is a/the …

That is a …

That’s the …

This is called a/the …

It comes from a …

It’s from a …

The … structure is called the …

The … … are called ….

At the top of the … there is a (adj) part called the ….

Together, the … and the … are called the ….

Describing appearance/structure

It looks like …

It’s got/hasn’t got …

It has/doesn’t have …

All … have …, a …, and ….

The … are the often highly (adj) parts which … (function verb).

They are (adj) and are attached to the ….

The … are arranged in a ring around the centre of the ...

They consist of a ..with a .. shape at the end.

… and is shaped rather like a ….

… and is divided into two parts.

The top of the … is called the ….

The .. is attached to the bottom of the .. by a

A long tube grows out of the …, this is the ..

Describing location

It is found in the … of the …

The … are found at the base of the ….

They are (adj.) and are attached to the ….

The … are arranged in a ring around the centre of the ….

The … is found in the centre of the …,

The .. is attached to the bottom of the .. by a

They are inside the ….

Describing function

The … is the part which …

The … is where … is carried out

The … is used for …-ing

The … has the role of …-ing

The carries out the function of …-ing

The … has a …-ing role

The … is a …

The …’s job is to …

It does … the …-ing

A CLIL Lesson – LanguageAim: to identify, locate and describe the functions of a range of plant and human organs

Steve Darn

clil teachers are bilingual plurilingual and know about
CLIL contexts around the world

Identifying the core language of a subject

The language of thinking

CLIL task design

Providing language support

Teaching vocabulary in CLIL

Developing listening in CLIL

Working with texts and words

Teaching subject-specific writing

Speaking and CLIL

Drama and music

Classroom language

Error correction

Peer observation – watching teachers teach CLIL

CLIL lesson planning

Assessment in CLIL


Project work

Classroom presentations

Learning strategies

School policy, administration and management in CLIL

Networks and resources

CLIL Teachersare bilingual / plurilingual and know about:

Steve Darn

tie clil project translanguage in europe
TIE-CLIL Project(Translanguage in Europe)
  • The TIE-CLIL project (funded through Socrates) promotes plurilingualism through the introduction of Content and Language Integrated Learning in five different EU languages (English, French, German, Italian, Spanish). The major aim of TIE-CLIL is to provide pre- and in-service development programmes in CLIL for language teachers and subject teachers through building on existing knowledge of this field, to provide state-of-the-art understanding of theory and practice.

Steve Darn


Visions is XXXXX’s newest four-level language development program that supports students from the newcomer level through transition into mainstream classrooms. By incorporating literature with content, students are taught, and have ample practice with, the skills they need to meet grade-level standards while being introduced to the academic language needed for school success!

Steve Darn

materials characteristics
Materials - Characteristics
  • Four levels: Newcomer (Basic), Beginning (A), Intermediate (B), Advanced/Transition (C)
  • Basic level for non-schooled and low-beginning students provides systematic language development as well as literacy instruction
  • Staff development video is designed for easy program access
  • High-interestliterature and content-based readings motivate students
  • Scaffolding throughout all four books. 3-pronged approach: Introduce, Practice, Assess
  • Writing activities reinforce and recycle strategic skills

Steve Darn

further information
Further Information
  • The CLIL Compendium

  • Euroclic

  • Translanguage in Europe

  • UK National Centre for languages

  • NILE

  • FACT

Steve Darn