Tuesday, December 4, 2012

CLIL I

I am aware that we, teachers, are always on the look of new ideas and experiences that can enhance our teaching practice. Being a teacher means long working hours, increasing demands and it is always good to access resources that can be used right away in your classroom. I remember a workshop with Pedro Navarro and some of the teachers taking part in it just exclaimed: "this is great, I am going to use this idea this week in my Spanish class". This situation, unfortunately, does not happen to us so often.
It is also essential a solid knowledge of the "theory" and keep updated with the new research and the new technological advances. Yes, and still we need to complete our report cards, help students every day, read lots of assignments and enjoy evenings in the schools to offer tours to the new students and their families. And we have to integrate language and content in a entertaining way in our bilingual programs. The challenge has monstrous dimensions.
Where can we get some information about content and language integrated teaching, read about international experiences, download papers that can enlighten our knowledge in CLIL? A very interesting place is The European Centre for Modern Languages in Granz website.




In this website there is a lot of information about language policies in Europe, the situation of endangered languages etc. What I think it is very useful for us, teachers working in bilingual programs, is all the information on CLIL, the European Language Framework of Reference and the Portfolio of Languages. There are a numerous amount of down loadable pdfs on these topics and the only requirement to access most of them is to register for free.
I highly recommend European Framework for CLIL Teacher Education by professors Wolff, Frigols, Marsh and Mehisto. In this 39 pages pdf we can get the foundations to the CLIL approach of teaching languages. Even if we don't call it like this, it is very close to the way teachers have been working on the Spanish bilingual programs in Alberta therefore the article can bring some light to the job we have been doing in the last years.




This is not the only available resource, there are videos explaining different aspect of CLIL education and presentations in the last conference celebrated in 2011, papers by  different researches and an overview of the ongoing projects on CLIL in Europe.




    

 I believe this website is a useful tool, even if it doesn't provide resources to be used right away and even when teachers don't have much time to spend on researching new teaching methods.