Project background
User Guidelines
CLIL Milestones
Windows on CLIL

2nd Medium-term programme 2004 - 2007

CLIL Matrix
"Achieving good practice in
Content and Language
Integrated Learning/
bilingual education
Using appropriate materials which, apart from reflecting subject content, also mirror the culture underlying the target language and the content subject, lead students to a better understanding of their own and the target language culture.
In CLIL classrooms learners realise very quickly in what way different languages express the same content. The language registers for written communication are, for example, different in different cultures. An Italian historian describes historical processes in a way different from a German or an English historian.
The cultural relevance of teaching and learning through CLIL in a specific environment varies considerably. Cultural adaptability and intercultural communication have been cited as significant development outcomes which can be achieved through the approach. Individual cultural development can work well if experiential methodologies are used, and this is where CLIL can play a role in enabling this to be achieved.
Looking at cultures from different perspectives makes learners aware of cultural similarities and differences and thus fosters cultural understanding, but it also helps them to become more tolerant with respect to other cultures. In a way teaching through CLIL contributes to the general aim of peace education.
Interactional communication as opposed to transactional communication is highly important in content learning. Learning psychologists claim that by communicating with others we acquire more knowledge than by reading. Communicative exchanges are also necessary in order to better understand knowledge.
Ensuring maximum richness of language but at the same time adapting to the learner's linguistic level is a key feature of Stephen Krashen's theory of second language learning. This is expressed by his input hypothesis. If the teacher's input contains forms and structures just beyond the learner's level of competence (i + 1) than both comprehension and acquisition will take place.
LSP (Language for Specific Purposes) research has shown that the language used in content subject communication is characterised by subject-specific registers which go far beyond terminology. These registers are available for different content subjects and, on a more general level, also for describing activities which need to be put into language.
Communication skills in content subject classrooms comprise receptive and productive skills, transactional and interactional communication skills, presentation skills and many other techniques. They differ from more general communication skills as discussed in second language acquisition research.
CLIL research has shown that concept-building is much more successful in content and language integrated classrooms because learners - guided by their teachers - deal with highly complex academic content in another language.
Learning to understand scientific concepts should be an important part of CLIL methodology. Learners should constantly be made aware of the meaning a scientific concept carries and be able to compare scientific concepts with everyday concepts.
Independent of whether one or two teachers are responsible for CLIL teaching in the classroom great care should be taken not to neglect either the language or the cognitive component in the teaching process. Both language and content teachers should strive for the integration of language and content.
All learning is language learning. This quotation which comes from the language awareness movement underlines the importance of language in all learning processes. It tells us that content learning is more or less dependent on language learning and cannot be realised if a learner does not have the language capacities necessary.
The European/international dimension is very important in supporting a CLIL school. If the community in which the school is embedded is strongly oriented towards internationalism, the school and especially CLIL, will profit from this immensely.
CLIL teachers and CLIL schools should make use of all available opportunities to link classrooms to the wider world. Even if it is not possible to send students or teachers for visits to the target language country, the authentic wider world in which the language is used needs to be brought into the classroom.
CLIL schools can play a very important role in the multilingual and multicultural communities in which most of us live. A CLIL school can be an agent of integration in such a community if its professionalism in dealing with intercultural aspects of community life is recognised by the population.
As an educational  innovation CLIL challenges the status quo (the way things are) and invites substantial change in educational practice. Articulating and communicating the purpose of CLIL to a wide range of stakeholders (students, parents, staff, and administrators) is considered an important success factor.