What is CLIL?

Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) refers to educational approaches that allow for improved foreign language learning in combination with content learning in a variety of (non-language) subjects, e.g. Geography, History, Sports, Maths or, on the tertiary level, business, law or IT. CLIL has started as a European undertaking, but has found supporters on other continents as well. CLIL strongly relates to other contextualized language teaching approaches such as immersion education or content-based language teaching.


What is the CLIL ReN?

Content and Language Integrated Learning has not only been a highly popular educational innovation in Europe and elsewhere, but it has also attracted a wide range of research interests and undertakings. The Research Network on Content and Language Integrated Learning and Immersion Classrooms (CLIL ReN) aims at joining expertise of CLIL researchers in language acquisition, language use, language pedagogy and subject pedagogy. This Research Network is supported by the International Association of Applied Linguistics (AILA) has been going strong since 2006. We hope that those of you engaged in research into CLIL will find issues of special interest to you and will also add your ideas and contributions, thus bringing the site to life.


What does the CLIL ReN do?

The CLIL ReN is involved in the following activities:

  • Sending out News Letters on CLIL-research related news and activities

  • Organizing annual research meetings

  • Editing thematic issues of publications related to these research meetings.

The annual meetings have provided an increasing number of members with the opportunity to engage in international exchange, disseminating their applied linguistic insights about classrooms where the teaching and learning of curricular content happens in and through foreign or second languages.

What do we want to do in the coming years?

For the period 2012-2014, the CLIL ReN aims at ‘building bridges’ with respect to the following topics:

  • Conceptualization:
    • How is CLIL conceptualized from different theoretical frameworks, and how does this relate to learner-teacher interaction and to learner achievement in content and language?
  • Contextualization:
    • How is CLIL operationalized in different national and cultural contexts, and how does this relate to learner-teacher interaction and to learner achievement in content and language?
    • What are the parallel and specific processes and outcomes of CLIL in multilingual settings: trilingual CLIL, CLIL in multi-ethnic classrooms?
    • How do CLIL processes and outcomes differentiate between primary, secondary, vocational and higher education?
  • Co-occurrence
    • How do language development and subject-specific cognitive development co-occur in CLIL settings?