1. Teaching Teachers for CLIL

Posted on August 9, 2010


| 1. Teaching Teachers for CLIL | 2. Managing CLIL Classrooms |

| 3. Enriching Learning through CLIL | 4. Sustaining CLIL |

| 5. Building an Evidence Base | 6. Primary CLIL |

| 7. Creating CLIL resources |


  • after the conference

CLIL Café – Teaching teachers for CLIL @ CLIL 2010, In pursuit of excellence

I.    Meeting, mixing and exchanging

Following on the blog, the main objective of the Café was to allow trainers and practitioners the opportunity to exchange views and make contact with colleagues sharing the same concerns. There were no ground-shaking outcomes concerning CLIL teacher training, but the discussion was intense and extensive. The Café seems to answer a need for trainers to exchange, compare and learn from each other on common needs, whatever the form of CLIL they are involved in.

II.    Methodology and integration

The pre-conference blog turned mainly around language issues, but the feedback from the discussion groups shows that while questions of language and content continue to be fundamental preoccupations, there is a growing focus on the methodology of integration.

III.    Spreading horizontally and vertically

The numerous participants in the Café (over 50 people) represented the whole range of CLIL teaching, from pre-primary to higher education, including vocational training. There were also representatives from different administrative levels and social organisations. The majority of those present were however from the field of secondary education, no doubt because the implementation of CLIL at this level is rapidly spreading in Europe. There was also a significant number of people working in higher education: more and more universities are setting up courses in English, partly to cater for European student mobility, but mainly to attract students from abroad. The “simple” transposition of courses into the foreign language has lead to certain difficulties – for both local and foreign students, as well as for the teachers – and solutions are being sought, in particular with regard to CLIL methodology.

Topics discussed during the Café

The following points are drawn from the feedback sheets used in the Café discussion groups:
– We’ve got to teach teachers text strategies and tools for note-taking, paraphrasing, skimming-scanning, etc.

– Involve the language teachers, to help them understand the principles of CLIL- Content teachers need to be trained as language teachers, too

– The content teacher should be aware of language issues: how do you learn a language, what is the process of language learning

– There is debate in some countries about who should teach CLIL, whether to qualify content teachers or language teachers

– Co-teaching is sometimes the chosen solution

– An interdisciplinary approach to planning lessons is essential

– How fluent do content teachers need to be?

– CLIL teachers do not necessarily have to be on a near-native language level

– There needs to be a cultural awareness of L1 and L2: the type of language used in class and the cultural content of language

– The cultures of content: subjects have different cultural expectations in L1 and different communicative expectations in L2

– As more time is needed, less content is taught: the teacher has to decide what it is important to include

– There is pressure from parents for content not to be compromised

– Research in Holland shows that bilingual pupils rate higher

– Help students to develop their own strategies for learning the language while learning

– Students must receive understandable content (from a linguistic point of view)

– Students need to reflect on their learning strategies

– Teach teachers to develop scaffolding with whatever materials they have

– We need to put students in a situation of negotiating meaning


  • before the conference

1. Teaching Teachers for CLIL:

In this café discussions will focus on teacher professional development.

Possible areas for discussion are:

– Key Competences

– Providing Support

– Language upskilling

– Teaching Resources

– Multimedia


Hello everyone! Txema Díaz-Torrent and I will be following the teacher training theme on the blog for the CCN café in Eichstätt, but the blog is open to all readers, and not just people who will attend the CLIL 2010 conference. It is not just for teacher trainers – the whole CLIL community has an interest in training.

Our aim in this blog is the sharing of ideas across the professional community. The informal medium means we can enjoy exchanging ideas in a relaxed way. So, whatever your position, whatever form of CLIL you are involved in, we are interested in your thoughts. You may be able to tell us of your experience as a trainer or a trainee; you may feel that not enough attention is paid to a particular aspect of CLIL in the training available in your part of the world (see suggested themes at the top of the page); you may have an anecdote to share with us…

So imagine this is Speakers’ Corner in Hyde Park, and stand on your soap-box – your audience is waiting! Looking forward to hearing from you… as we did from Maria Rosaria and BethAnn – thanks for these first contributions!

Pat Bertaux