We would like to draw your attention to recent academic publications related to CLIL. Click on the read more button to read the abstracts.


Bulon, A., Hendrikx, I., Meunier, F., & Van Goethem, K. (2017). Using global complexity measures to assess second language proficiency: Comparing CLIL and non-CLIL learners of English and Dutch in French-speaking Belgium. Travaux du CBL, 11, 1, 1-25.

  • This study falls within the framework of an interdisciplinary project on Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) in French-speaking Belgium. One of the project’s aims is to compare the L2 language proficiency of CLIL and non-CLIL French-speaking learners of English and Dutch. In the present paper we focus on learners’ global proficiency and use of different types of metrics to assess syntactic and lexical complexity in the learners’ written productions. Using various computational tools, we extracted lexical and syntactic complexity scores for texts written by CLIL and non-CLIL pupils in their L2 (English or Dutch) and their L1 (French). These scores were then compared to investigate the potential influence of CLIL education on the pupils’ language proficiency as CLIL programs provide more target language input than non-CLIL programs. We therefore hypothesized that CLIL pupils would display a more native-like competence in the target language, i.e. a more native-like level of syntactic and lexical complexity in their writing. As for the influence of CLIL programs on the L1, we did not expect any difference between the two groups. Our results show that our first hypothesis is only partly confirmed as the effect of CLIL on L2 complexity varies according to the language: while the Dutch texts written by CLIL pupils turn out to be more complex for nearly all measures, this was only the case for half of the measures in the English texts. As initially expected for our second hypothesis, we found no influence of CLIL on the complexity of the pupils’ L1.

Della Ventura, M. (2017). Technology-Enhanced CLIL: Quality Indicators for the Analysis of an on-Line CLIL Course. In: Uskov V., Howlett R., Jain L. (eds). Smart Education and e-Learning 2017. SEEL 2017. Smart Innovation, Systems and Technologies, vol 75. Cham: Springer.

  • This article is aimed at identifying a set of quality indicators to analyze an on-line learning process referred to one of the methodologies that is currently considered among the most effective to promote language learning in formal contexts, i.e. the CLIL (Content and Language Integrated Learning). This methodology calls for various activities (speaking, listening, reading and writing) supported by the ICT (Information and Communication Technologies). The main objective of this study is to evaluate the quality of a CLIL practical activity (task) carried out in e-learning mode, using Technologies to support the teacher’s/tutor’s activity and boost students’ learning of the basic aspects of a certain subject matter and their competence in discussing and debating. The indicators are used to analyze cognitive, meta-cognitive and relational aspects, drawing on a content analysis methodology. The model appears to have a wide range of possible applications in other online courses.

García Mayo, M.P. & Hidalgo, M. A.  (2017). L1 use among young EFL mainstream and CLIL learners in task-supported interaction. System, 67,  135-145.

  • A growing body of research suggests that a balanced use of the first language (L1) in the foreign language classroom yields beneficial effects for second language (L2) learning. Still, the extent to which young learners in foreign language contexts actually make use of their L1 while completing tasks is in need of further research, especially in an approach that has become prevalent in Europe: Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL). The current longitudinal study analyzes the oral interactions of 32 young Spanish learners (ages 8–10) when performing a communicative task twice in two consecutive academic years. We have analyzed the learners’ L1 use and the functions it serves, the differences between two foreign language instructional settings (mainstream foreign language lessons and CLIL) and the changes over a year. Our findings confirmed the facilitative role of the L1 which mainly served to assist learners as they coped with unknown vocabulary. CLIL learners used their L1 significantly less than mainstream learners, and, interestingly, the L1 was more frequently used the second time the learners carried out the task. The findings shed light on the facilitative role of the L1 for task completion by young learners in foreign language settings.

Merino, J. A., & Lasagabaster, D. (2017). The effect of content and language integrated learning programmes’ intensity on English proficiency: A longitudinal study. International Journal of Applied Linguistics.

  • Content and language integrated learning (CLIL) is becoming a very popular approach in Europe and many other parts of the world. However, due to the novelty of its implementation the number of longitudinal studies is scant. With this in mind, the overall aim of this study was to examine the effect of CLIL sessions and their intensity on the learning of English as a foreign language. Two test rounds were conducted in a longitudinal study spanning one year. The participants were 393 secondary education students enrolled in both bilingual and monolingual regions in Spain. Our findings revealed a significant impact of the number of CLIL sessions on students’ proficiency in English.

Nikula, T. (2017). ‘What’s the Moment Thingy?’–On the Emergence of Subject-Specific Knowledge in CLIL Classroom Interaction. In Discourse Analytic Perspectives on STEM Education (pp. 11-29). Basel: Springer International Publishing.

  • Situated in the European CLIL context where mainstream schools may opt for teaching content subjects through the medium of a foreign or second language, this paper explores secondary school physics classrooms, taught through English in Finland. The focus is on the role of classroom interaction in the emergence of subject-specific knowledge during six consecutive lessons, with particular attention to how one key concept in physics, ‘moment’, is handled. This micro-longitudinal approach shows that while the students are struggling between the everyday and the academic meanings of the word ‘moment’ throughout, there are also clear signs of progression. These signs show, for example, in students moving from the initial stages of confusion relating to the meaning and subject-relevant use of the term ‘moment’, via teacher-scaffolded practice, towards appropriating its subject-specific usages.

Pérez Cañado, M. L., & Lancaster, N. K. (2017). The effects of CLIL on oral comprehension and production: a longitudinal case study. Language, Culture and Curriculum, 1-17.

  • This article reports on the outcomes of a longitudinal case study to gauge the impact of content and language integrated learning (CLIL) on two of the least researched language skills: oral comprehension and production. It worked with 24 students in the fourth grade of Compulsory Secondary Education in a public school in Andalusia (southern Spain) over the course of a year and a half in order to measure the impact of CLIL on oral comprehension and production skills after a one-year intervention programme (post-test) and to determine whether its effects pervade after a six-month period (second post-test), when these same students are in Baccalaureate. The results reveal that, contrary to what has traditionally been sustained in bilingual education, it was productive, as opposed to receptive, oral skills which were more positively affected by CLIL in the medium- and long term. The outcomes also provide interesting data on what aspects of oral competence are particularly amenable to being taught through CLIL (e.g. more cognitively complex listening activities) and which need to de developed over a longer time span in order to be significantly improved (e.g. pronunciation and fluency).