June 4th 2021

Content and Language Integrated Learning in the Online Classroom

What is Content and Language Integrated Learning?

Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) is a pedagogy that teaches students a second language whilst learning a subject. This teaching method allows for students to learn a language within a context and apply it directly to real life situations. It is a method that is commonly practised with education providers such as National Geographic and The United Nations.

How does Bumiku Education use Content and Language Integrated Learning?

This method lies at the very heart of all of our courses. Our courses base themselves on a global topic that is inline with the United Nations Global Goals. Through each topic students progressively learn more language skills and build on their fluency.

Our courses are structured in the following way.

  • Context based vocabulary – Students are introduced to important keywords that will be featured in the course.
  • Scaffolding – We discuss the course topic on a local, regional and global scale and build upon previous knowledge of the student.
  • Language feature – Students learn an important language feature in each course. This feature is introduced at the beginning and runs throughout the course. Our language features include expressing opinions, questioning, discussing different perspectives and comparative text.
  • Text features – The topic is taught through various text features including articles, interviews, infographics, poems and stories. Through these features students learn about the topic whilst¬† learning about different writing styles. Further vocabulary is introduced contextually throughout.
  • Research – Solutions to the chosen global problem are researched and discussed. By this stage in the course students know about the topic and know how to discuss it effectively in English. It is at this stage that we also teach students how to work independently and how to use the internet effectively.¬†
  • Creative Response Project – The topic is reviewed at the end through a creative response to the learning. Students can choose to either design a product, create a piece of artwork or write a short story or poem. This allows them to take a part of the topic that inspires them the most and apply their learning to it in a way that is personal to them.

What are the benefits of using Content and Language Integrated Learning?

Throughout my teaching experience, I have found this method of teaching to be not only the most effective but also the most enjoyable. I have noticed an increase of student engagement. When discussing a topic that is interesting to them, students display extra effort to reach for the words they know to communicate their ideas and thoughts on the subject. I have found that this effort resembles the same effort that would be used when using the language in the country spoken. Additionally, this real life application extends beyond learning a real life and current topic but allows the student to share their own experiences and have colloquial conversation. Through topic based learning students gain a deeper understanding of the subject.

Coyle’s 4C’s Curriculum outlines four important elements that every content and language integrated class should have.
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