Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) in Bilingual and Multi-lingual Education


Content and language integrated learning is different from traditional learning and can be more motivating and interesting. It provides opportunities to use a new language for learning new knowledge. Thus, it makes good use of time since both content and language are learned together. It enables learner to transfer knowledge and skills across subjects thereby building their confidence and widening their skill base. Whenever CLIL is integrated with a range of technologies, it links classes with other learners on a global scale. It contributes to personal and cultural development and prepares learners for international citizenship. Teachers also find CLIL significant as it supports teamwork, refreshers classroom practice and gives creative opportunities to address the curriculum according to the individual needs of the school and the students.

Knowing about the languages of the students is necessary for an interactive classroom. It also makes provisions for bilingual pupils and to develop strategies for their learning. Bilingual and multi-lingual children face to dual task- that of coming to turns with the content and with the language. So by acknowledging their wider resources in language, teacher will be better able to help them need the challenges within the subject. It may be that for such children certain activities have to be designed differently or modified. But it is equally necessary that they keep in touch with the central meaning in the classroom. Some ways of doing this are as follows-

Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) in Bilingual and Multi-lingual Education

a. Anticipate the demand made by the curriculum.

b. Suggest particular roles for pupils that will help them in their discussions and group work. 

c. Offer concrete formats for your students to work cooperatively.

d. Anticipate difficulties and demands in the reading materials provided.

e. Categories the large tasks into smaller steps or stages in order to reduce complexities. 

Multilingual education tripically refres to “First Language First” education. In other words, it begins with the mother tongue and them transfer to additional languages. It is now proved that children whose early education is in the language of their tones, tend to do better in the language of their education. The stages of an multi-lingual education programme are as follows:- 

Stage-1. Learning takes place entirely in the child’s first language (L1)

Stage-2. Building fluency in the mother tongue and introduction of second language (L2)

Stage-3. Building oral fluency in L2 and introduction of literacy in L2.

Stage-4. Using both L1 and L2 for life-long learning.

Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) in Bilingual and Multi-lingual Education

It is necessary to provide space to children to recovery their culture through their language. Multilingual education emphasizes the L1 of the children, thereby taking the socio-cultural curriculum into the classroom and then bridging to L2. It is equally necessary to involve the community to creating their own curriculum and minimizing the theoretical leadership and creating students who believe in the ethics of creating and sharing knowledge for the society tend to limit it to the theoreticians.

Curriculum Approaches in Language Teaching

Forward, Central and backward Design

The development and implementation of language teaching programs can be approached in several different ways, each of which has different indications for curriculum design. Three curriculum approaches are o be found, each differing with respect to input, process and output. The linguistic content part of a course is related to input which can also be called as the syllabus. Process is the stage where teaching is conducted and is known as methodology. The output is the learning outcomes.

The three approaches are as follows-

1. Forward Design:- Starts with syllabus planning, moves to methodology and is followed by assessment of learning outcomes.

2. Central Design:- Begins with classroom processes and methodology and the syllabus and learning outcomes are addressed as the curriculum is implemented.

3. Backward Design:- Starts with specification of learning outcomes and decisions regarding syllabus and methodology are developed from the learning outcomes. 

Basically, these approaches differ in the emphasis they put on the implementation of curricular content, methodology, role of teachers and students and that of educational materials. Curriculum is something that is very complex and also important in terms of planning and language teaching. It is an attempt to plan the teaching-learning process besides it is somehow related with the writers’ own point of view about language learning and it forms the basis for material selection and for improvement in the learning process. 

A critical evaluation of these three approaches shows that the materials used and designed in today’s schools are along the lines of forward design. Central design which is supposed to be the most innovative design, is often neglected due to the amount of time that is required for careful planning of learning processes and then designing appropriate materials. The power of the curriculum ends when it comes to prescribing often complex and highly versatile and individual approaches to teaching and learning. This is where teachers are empowered and can develop their full potential as teacher’s making informed decisions about the learning processes in order to not only facilitate excellent learning outcomes but also the positive development of each individual learners. Therefore, the central design approach is to be addressed. 

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