We would like to draw your attention to recent academic publications related to CLIL.

Click on ‘read more’ for the abstracts. Breeze, R., & Dafouz, E. (2017). Constructing complex Cognitive Discourse Functions in higher education: An exploratory study of exam answers in Spanish-and English-medium instruction settings. System, 70, 81-91.

  • The present paper applies the recently developed construct of the Cognitive Discourse Function (CDF) in the context of student writing at tertiary level, using it to explore differences in exam performance between high and low-level answers, and between L1 (Spanish) and L2 (English) classrooms. We analyse the exam answers from two Business Administration cohorts (n = 30) at a large Spanish university who had taken the same content course with the same teacher in one of the two languages. Results suggest that the high-level exams, whether in Spanish (L1) or in English (EMI), succeeded in providing explicit responses to the combination of DESCRIBE-CLASSIFY and DESCRIBE-EXPLAIN CDFs requested in the exam questions. In contrast, the low-level exams usually failed to make meaningful and overt connections between the CDFs activated and their linguistic realisations, irrespective of the language used. These findings suggest that while academic literacy may be less developed in students’ L2, it should be systematically addressed in both learning contexts. In our conclusions, we evaluate how the CDF construct sheds light on language demands in specific content areas, we argue for its utility in EMI settings, and we make some concrete pedagogical recommendations to scaffold student writing and increase content specialists’ language awareness.

Cammarata, L., & Haley, C. (2017). Integrated content, language, and literacy instruction in a Canadian French immersion context: a professional development journey. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 1-17.

  • Although immersion programs are very popular in Canada, they are complex to implement and not as successful as we would hope them to be when it comes to the development of students’ language skills. This article reports on the findings of a case study conducted within the context of an ongoing five-year grant funded project in Western Canada whose overarching goal was increased student achievement through targeted professional development (PD) intervention. The specific intervention, a year and a half-long PD program based on an adapted integrated framework for curricular development (Cammarata, Laurent. 2016. “Foreign Language Education and the Development of Inquiry-driven Language programs: Key Challenges and Curricular Planning Strategies.” In Content-based Foreign Language Teaching: Curriculum and Pedagogy for Developing Advanced Thinking and Literacy Skills, edited by Laurent Cammarata, 123–143. New York: Routledge/Taylor Francis) and a Lesson Study model, was designed for 15 participating grades 6–12 French immersion teachers. It aimed at increasing their ability to craft and implement well-integrated instructional modules in order to better support students’ linguistic and literacy skills development during subject-matter instruction. Data collected for this study exploring teachers’ experience of appropriating and implementing the integrated approach included co-constructed lesson plans, classroom observations, focus-group debriefing sessions, and surveys. Findings indicate that long-term and sustained PD interventions organized around collaborative work can have a positive effect on teachers’ ability to counterbalance content and language/literacy instruction. Important variables to ensure success are discussed and implications for immersion PD are shared.

Ceallaigh, T. O. (2018). Making the Invisible Visible: Exploring Immersion Teacher Perceptions of Online Content and Language Integrated Learning Professional Development Experiences. World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology, International Journal of Cognitive and Language Sciences, 5(8).

  • Subject matter driven programs such as immersion programs are increasingly popular across the world. These programs have allowed for extensive experimentation in the realm of second language teaching and learning and have been at the centre of many research agendas since their inception. Even though immersion programs are successful, especially in terms of second language development, they remain complex to implement and not always as successful as what we would hope them to be. Among all the challenges these varied programs face, research indicates that the primary issue lies in the difficulty to create well-balanced programs where both content instruction and language/literacy instruction can be targeted simultaneously. Initial teacher education and professional development experiences are key drivers of successful language immersion education globally. They are critical to the supply of teachers with the mandatory linguistic and cultural competencies as well as associated pedagogical practices required to ensure learners’ success. However, there is a significant dearth of research on professional development experiences of immersion teachers. We lack an understanding of the nature of their expertise and their needs in terms of professional development as well as their perceptions of the primary challenges they face as they attempt to formulate a coherent pedagogy of integrated language and content instruction. Such an understanding is essential if their specific needs are to be addressed appropriately and thus improve the overall quality of immersion programs. This paper reports on immersion teacher perceptions of online professional development experiences that have a positive impact on their ability to facilitate language and content connections in instruction. Twenty Irish-medium immersion teachers engaged in the instructional integration of language and content in a systematic and developmental way during a year-long online professional development program. Data were collected from a variety of sources e.g., an extensive online questionnaire, individual interviews, reflections, assignments and focus groups. This study provides compelling evidence of the potential of online professional development experiences as a pedagogical framework for understanding the complex and interconnected knowledge demands that arise in content and language integration in immersion. Findings illustrate several points of access to classroom research and pedagogy and uncover core aspects of high impact online experiences. Teachers identified aspects such as experimentation and risk-taking, authenticity and relevance, collegiality and collaboration, motivation and challenge and teacher empowerment. The potential of the online experiences to foster teacher language awareness was also identified as a contributory factor to success. The paper will conclude with implications for designing meaningful and effective online CLIL professional development experiences.

Dalton-Puffer, C. (2017). Postscriptum: research pathways in CLIL/Immersion instructional practices and teacher development. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 1-4.

  • no abstract available.

de Zarobe, Y. R. (Ed.). (2017). Content and Language Integrated Learning: Language Policy and Pedagogical Practice. Abingdon: Routledge.

  • This bookexplores some of the recent research undertaken on Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL). It offers an overview of several European contexts, describing experiences that could be extrapolated to many other communities worldwide.

    Contributions focus on issues related to language policy, moving from high-level policymaking to grassroots decisions, but all of them encompassing the major changes that can be recognized in education, which also evidence the shifts in society and economic life that have taken place in Europe in the last decades. These changes in language policy issues are coupled with changes in CLIL practice in the classroom. These national initiatives are displayed across a wide range of educational perspectives, portraying the diversity that is a distinctive feature of CLIL in the European educational mosaic. By providing new insights into pedagogic, methodological, and language policy issues in CLIL, and by covering some areas which have been insufficiently addressed in the literature, such as the implementation of CLIL in ‘less successful’ contexts, or learner-teacher collaboration in the classroom, this book will be of great value to researchers, stakeholders and professionals interested in CLIL and language education. This book was originally published as a special issue of the International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism.

Maley, A., & Kiss, T. (2018). Creativity and Methodology. In Creativity and English Language Teaching (pp. 93-124). London, Palgrave Macmillan.

  • The chapter first reviews major shifts in thinking about methodology—from the Communicative Approach, through corpus influences, the impact of discourse analysis and lexicology, extensive reading, humanistic currents, Prabhu’s procedural syllabus and task-based learning—and to more recent developments in Dogme and CLIL. We consider the questionable creative contributions of testing, technology and materials on the domain of methodology. The designer methods of the 1970s are also discussed. We consider why such highly creative methods have so little impact. We then present some more personal contributions, including Graham’s jazz chants, drama, positive psychology and so on. Finally we relate the factors of person, process, product and press to creative methodology.

Roussel, S., Joulia, D., Tricot, A., & Sweller, J. (2017). Learning subject content through a foreign language should not ignore human cognitive architecture: A cognitive load theory approach. Learning and Instruction, 52, 69-79.

  • Several widely implemented educational approaches aim to provide academic content in a foreign language. While Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) works because it focuses both on content and on foreign language learning, approaches aiming at transmitting academic content through a foreign language should not be implemented without explicit foreign language instructional support. Based on cognitive load theory, there are theoretical reasons to hypothesize that exposure to new content in a foreign language without any foreign language instructional support may interfere with rather than facilitate learning compared to learning language and content separately. In three experiments conducted in higher education, a text was presented to 294 students in three different conditions: native language, foreign language, and foreign language with a translation into the native language. We varied the foreign language (English, German) and the domain (Law, Computer Science). Our results indicated that reading in the foreign language was never the best condition to learn either language or academic content. We concluded that considerable care should be taken when transmitting academic content in a foreign language, without explicit foreign language instructional support.