A Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) Project: Opportunities and Challenges in the Context of Heritage Language Education


The Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) approach is gaining momentum in the field of language education. Though the benefits of the approach have been widely acknowledged, its implementation is not a straightforward task. Further, to our knowledge, such an approach has not been as of yet applied in the context of a community-based or supplementary school. Such an attempt involves a number of challenges, an important one being how to cater for the different types of heritage language learners. This paper reports on a research in progress, carried out in the Greek supplementary school of Leicester, UK, that employed a cross-curricular/CLIL approach to explore the science of climate change with Greek as the vehicular language. The project aimed at teaching students aged 11 to 17 scientific concepts (e.g. greenhouse effect, carbon cycle, climate change) while at the same time advancing language acquisition. It included various in-class activities and a visit to the Science Museum in London. Data collection included questionnaires, interviews, worksheets, notes and observations to investigate the impact of the project on heritage language learning and to examine what supported or hindered its implementation. The paper describes preliminary findings and makes recommendations for the design of such programmes in order to meet the needs of this diverse cohort of students. It places emphasis on methods to support language learning and hopes to contribute to the body of research on language learning in the context of supplementary education, by providing effective guidelines for implementing the CLIL approach.

Author Information
Marina Charalampidi, University of Warwick | Cyprus Educational Mission, United Kingdom
Michael Hammond, University of Warwick, United Kingdom
Nicoletta Hadjipavlou, Cyprus Educational Mission, United Kingdom
Neophytos Lophitis, Coventry University, United Kingdom

Paper Information
Conference: ECLL2017
Stream: Innovative language teaching and learning methodologies

This paper is part of the ECLL2017 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon