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CLIL at University: Research, Didactics, Teacher Training



L'articolo mira a: • definire e valutare il valore aggiunto del CLIL; • identificare le strategie più efficaci per promuovere il CLIL a livello universitario; • individuare azioni di politica linguistica atte ad intercettare finanziamenti ministeriali per l'Ateneo; • determinare il ruolo delle università nella formazione dei docenti CLIL che opereranno nella scuola secondaria. Sulla base di dati raccolti dal 2006 al 2014, nell'ambito di una ricerca condotta all'Università degli Studi di Urbino Carlo Bo su alcuni aspetti della metodologia CLIL, il presente studio conferma l'efficacia dell'applicazione del CLIL alla didattica universitaria, suggerisce azioni per promuovere questa introduzione avvalendosi di fondi ministeriali, e propone di utilizzare le competenze maturate in ambito accademico per attivare corsi di formazione CLIL per docenti della scuola superiore.
Via Pellipario n.50
61010 Urbino
Flora Sisti
Università degli Studi di Urbino Carlo Bo
L’articolo mira a:
definire e valutare il valore aggiunto del
identificare le strategie più efficaci per promuovere il
a livello universitario;
individuare azioni di politica linguistica atte ad intercettare finanziamenti ministeriali per
determinare il ruolo delle università nella formazione dei docenti
che opereranno nella
scuola secondaria.
Sulla base di dati raccolti dal 2006 al 2014, nell’ambito di una ricerca condotta all’Università
degli Studi di Urbino Carlo Bo su alcuni aspetti della metodologia
, il presente studio conferma
l’efficacia dell’applicazione del
alla didattica universitaria, suggerisce azioni per promuovere
questa introduzione avvalendosi di fondi ministeriali, e propone di utilizzare le competenze
maturate in ambito accademico per attivare corsi di formazione
per docenti della scuola
1. Research: the value added component of
is a learning environment
in which the teacher aims to promote learning of content, abilities
and skills pertinent to a non-linguistic discipline through the use of a language that is not
necessarily familiar to his/her students. This environment produces an immediate and extremely
positive effect. It forces teachers to reflect on their own teaching strategies so as to make the lesson
as accessible as possible to the learners. This shift of attention from the transmission of content to
the learning process, which is always useful, becomes indispensable in a
course since a
teacher cannot avoid considering the quality of the teaching strategies applied in the classroom.
This seems to be the most important value added component of the
From this fundamental point, our research aimed at verifying the advantages of
in a university
level course. In 2006 our team of professors at the University of Urbino received national funding
for a research project (
) precisely to verify the applicability of
teaching methods in a
three-year degree course in Applied Computer Science. The project
for Computer Science:
Using a Foreign Language in Online Higher Education specifically analysed:
1. the effectiveness of
in content learning;
2. the effectiveness of
learning (reading & writing);
We define CLIL (Content and Language Integrated Learning) in terms of an ‘environment’ because it cannot be
considered to be strictly a method or an approach, although the terms ‘method’ and ‘approach’ are used in this article.
PRIN stands for Progetto di Rilevanza Internazionale, that is to say International Relevance research Project.
3. the perception on the part of students and Applied Computer Science teaching staff of value
added to the course by the
4. the characteristics of informal written English produced by the students in online learning
chat forums during their course on Computer Architecture.
The research was particularly innovative in that for the first time quantitative and qualitative criteria
of analysis were applied to
at the university level. Furthermore, the three-year degree course
in Computer Science is an original case study since it was the only course in Applied Computer
Science in Italy to be taught entirely online in English that simultaneously offered a parallel
classroom-taught course in Italian at the university. It was therefore possible to collect data on an
entire degree course, with hundreds of students online and in its third year of operation, as well as to
create a control group by evaluating the identical course taught in Italian.
Another advantage was the possibility of accessing the documentation produced by the
certification system of the course studied in the present research. This gave us access to data
regarding a whole series of instruments for validation and monitoring the degree of student and
teaching staff satisfaction.
Lastly, the online nature of the course
was both a limitation and an advantage. On one hand, we
were only able to use data from written foreign language
production (written chats, teacher-
prepared handouts on various subjects, transcriptions of exchanges in online forums). On the other
hand, this nonetheless did allow us to study more in depth the progress achieved by the students in
writing and permitted us to focus more on online production. This had never been investigated for
In the comparative study of the experimental sample (the online English language
students) and the control sample (the Italian language classroom students) the researchers defined
constant parameters for comparison: the articulation of the disciplines of study (same degree
course), the course content of each discipline (same study material provided in two languages), and
the final exams for each discipline.
The results
obtained confirm ideas mostly accepted in the academic community, i.e.:
content learning was not at all compromised by the
approach. Rather, the experimental
group students performed better on average than their peers in the control group;
the students in the
group achieved better results on the administered English tests than
the control group students and the degree of improvement of their language skills was clear.
However, strictly from a grammatical point of view, the degree of correct lexical, syntactic
and orthographic usage did not show much long-term improvement;
the perception of value added by the
approach was clearly manifested by all students and
the degree of greater difficulty implied by the use of the
was not perceived as a great
obstacle, but rather students appreciated the additional opportunity afforded by the online
English language degree course.
Overall, therefore, despite the fact that the number of students in the
experimental group was
not statistically very significant, the research confirmed the effectiveness of applying a
environment to university courses even though some research has questioned the effectiveness of
CLIL teaching to a certain extent (Bruton 2011; Marsh, Hau, Kong 2000).
The course was accessible through an E-learning platform (Land of Learning) purposely developed for the project by
the proprietary company in cooperation with the teaching staff of the Applied Computer Science programme at the
University of Urbino.
Hereinafter referred as FL.
The results of this study and the assessment tools are presented in the volume F. Sisti (Ed.): 2009.
Obviously, the natural choice of using English as the
raised the level of motivation among
students. Studying information technology using the language considered to be the lingua franca of
that sector was perceived to be an added professional opportunity. This may be extended to many
areas of knowledge, particularly in scientific disciplines. Often teaching staff in biology, chemistry,
physics or mathematics are required to translate materials produced in English into Italian, while it
is much more gratifying to be able to have students study the material directly in the original
As previously mentioned, the value added by
is not limited to the use of the foreign language,
but also includes the attention paid by teaching staff to the teaching strategies adopted to render the
results of this practice satisfactory.
Over the course of our research, all teaching staff and students in the
group received
methodological preparation regarding the approach. Furthermore, for one of the disciplines teaching
material was reviewed and adapted to the methodological criteria of the
environment. Specific
adaptations to teaching materials were as follows:
1. a learning object on
methodology consisting of thirty slides with written and oral
comments was created such that students and teaching staff could access it independently;
2. a synchronous seminar entitled English for Specific Purposes was organized. During this
seminar, students were asked to discuss among themselves and with their teaching staff the
contents of an article read on the subject;
3. an online scientific English course was created. This consisted of 30 teaching units
providing exercises on the 4 linguistic abilities with specific reference to the micro-language
of applied information technology;
4. all of the material prepared for the various disciplines in the degree programme was
reviewed. For one specific course the material was enriched with
5. an online assistance service was activated during the synchronous chat sessions. This service
was provided by native speaker experts in
The academic subjects were not simply taught in English (as in English Mediated Instruction
), but
it is also true that it was difficult to ascertain to what degree teaching staff knew how to put into
practice the advice provided; consequently it was not easy to determine to which degree their online
lessons represented a
environment. As often happens in language teaching, the quantitative
analysis was complemented by qualitative analysis. Teaching staff and students were interviewed to
understand their degree of satisfaction with the course offerings and the degree to which their self-
esteem improved. The aforesaid also allowed an evaluation of the effectiveness of the various
teaching actions undertaken. The satisfaction questionnaire administered to students and staff
demonstrated a clear preference for the online optional scientific English course offered side by side
with the online Applied Computer Science course. This preference extended to the grammar notes
and the participation of the native language instructor in the online synchronous lessons. The
students appreciated the language exercises and tutoring offered to resolve concrete language
difficulties regarding study material that arose during lessons. The activities offered in the phases
before – during – and after reading material, however, were not as widely utilized due to students’
lack of time
. This demonstrates that the emphasis in the
approach is always on the content and
not on the language, and that the advantages derived from the use of a foreign language are mostly
felt at the level of usage strategies rather than at the grammatical level. Students learn to use the
language with greater competence and flexibility by lowering the affective barriers that often inhibit
For details on the teaching actions described see F. Sisti (Ed.): 2009.
This type of didactics, which does not entail the adoption of language-sensitive methodologies specific of CLIL
(Coyle, Hood, Marsh 2010), simply conveys content through a foreign language (vehicular teaching/bilingual
instruction); in particular, in English Mediated Instruction (E.M.I.), the content is conveyed through English.
Most of the students registered in the online course were working people; the average age was 30.
them. They are encouraged to take risks using known expressions in new contexts and to develop
strategies of avoidance and negotiation
useful in everyday conversation.
The results of the
project encouraged the research team to develop a further teaching
project: to expand the
experience to other teaching areas offered in
lessons among various
degree programmes at the University of Urbino. Consequently, in 2010 the Commission for
Teaching Innovation, which I chair, created a project called ‘Didattica in LS @ uniurb’(‘Didactics
in FL@ Uniurb’) aimed at activating courses held in various foreign languages
2. Didactics: the
project @ uniurb
Beginning in the academic year 2010-11, the university gradually activated courses using
methodology without increasing the teaching load of staff nor the number of lesson hours for
students. Our students were offered the option of choosing: (1) courses held entirely in the foreign
language; (2) ‘mixed courses’ in which only one module or a series of lessons were taught in the
foreign language; (3) ‘FL supported courses’ in which students had the possibility of taking exams
in the
and using
reading lists provided by their course instructor.
This project aimed to facilitate the transformation of monolingual course offerings into plurilingual
offerings that follow European trends. Initially, the intent was to attract foreign students who
increasingly request courses offered in English, as well those offered in Italian, that may be
recognised by the International University Credit Transfer System a widespread practice by now
active in all European universities. On the other hand, the project aimed at providing our graduates
and researchers with linguistic skills necessary to study and work in globalized societies.
The response was quick and enthusiastic: in the academic year 2010-11, 51 entirely
courses were
activated, along with 60 mixed courses and 154 ‘supported’ courses. Moreover, the first year,
thanks to financing obtained from the Savings Bank Foundation of Pesaro, it was possible to
guarantee constant methodological and organizational support to the initiative. A
Assistance Centre was created to analyse the needs of staff participating in the project (through pre-
and post-course questionnaires), to identify the specific vocabulary and structures used in the micro-
languages of the various disciplines involved, and plan, with each participating professor, single
Learning Units and
learning paths through the creation of teaching materials to use in the
classroom (activities, handouts, slides). A website was also developed –
– to provide
online methodological assistance to teaching staff and students.
Today, in the fourth year of the experience, almost all degree programmes have at least one
course and numerous teachers and students take advantage of the assistance service provided online
and in person. Many professors ask for language support, and those that are more sensitive to
methodological concerns ask for
teaching assistance. The staff involved in the project would
obviously like to improve their teaching performance, they hope to travel abroad more often and
host visiting professors from partner universities, as well as carry out research and practice the
their own disciplines.
Avoidance strategies help the FL user to avoid words or structures that are not fully understood and rather to use
expressions that they know. The ability to paraphrase and reformulate discourse, to ask for clarification and to make
their doubts explicit are part of typical negotiation in any authentic conversation.
The choice of using the foreign language was left entirely up to the individual professor, although most of the courses
activated were in or supported in English. From the data collected, 80% of the courses are taught in or use English, 10%
are taught in or use German, 5% are taught in or use French and 5% are taught in or use other languages.
A more extensive version of this paragraph was presented in the 9th CLIL International Conference “Think CLIL
2014”, University Ca’ Foscari (Venezia) with a contribution called “CLIL in higher education: what if…?” (in
This site was created and administered by Giovanna Carloni. Its rights are protected:
Although students were initially reluctant and insecure, once informed about the objectives of the
project and made fully aware of the important opportunity offered them (informational material was
made available to them for this purpose), they have become cooperative and achieved good results
even if they needed help in overcoming their language difficulties and in coping with an increased
cognitive load in their subject area. The content indeed must necessarily remain at the same quality
level as that of courses taught in Italian.
As previously mentioned, two questionnaires were submitted to teaching staff involved in the
experience in academic year 2011-2012 and academic year 2012-2013: one preliminary and one
final. The purpose of these questions was to collect information about course planning before the
beginning of courses, so as to help teaching staff become aware of the various didactic possibilities
that could be adopted. The final questionnaires, on the other hand, provided more useful data in
that they reflect what actually happened. Unfortunately, these were filled out by only about half of
the professors. This drop in participation in the questionnaires by the teaching staff is entirely
understandable. At the end of the courses, having gained more experience, they are naturally less
attentive to the requests of the research team and to the evaluation instruments provided by the
project, which, on the other hand, were perceived as useful guides and reference materials at the
beginning of the experience.
The data collected through the questionnaires reveal the following about the didactic framework of
the three-year degree programme:
teaching shifted from purely transmissive to much more participated forms, although Power
Point slides remain the most commonly used system of presenting content and are the
materials students have access to both before and during lessons;
courses were primarily organized around material in the
and students were asked
to carry out tasks – often individually – in the
evaluation in the
increased as professors came to see it as the natural conclusion of a
teaching programme in the
the perception of confidence and self-esteem on the part of teaching staff and students
increased as the
teaching staff became increasingly autonomous in managing their
courses and students
acquired confidence in their own abilities, as shown by the increase in perception that courses
became easier.
2.1 What does the future hold?
The final questionnaires also included some open-answer questions such as: Provide a short
summary of your CLIL experience highlighting advantages, drawbacks, assets and difficulties. In
addition, provide suggestions to improve the course in the future.
This comment, expressed by one professor, may summarize the general opinion of the participants
in the project: We should only provide ‘full courses’ in a foreign language with more credits for
students and more incentive for teachers.
Despite the various difficulties in organization, resistance on the part of students with perhaps less
foresight, and the effort and energy of teaching staff provided with no monetary compensation, all
of those who participated intended to continue the experience if provided with greater
organizational and financial support.
But in the academic year 2013-2014, due to budget cuts from the University’s central
administration, the project did not receive any funding following its third phase, which included
facilitations for the professors who took part in the project to study and conduct research abroad,
was never implemented. Promotion of teaching exchanges between Italian colleagues and
international university staff received no real funding either.
Furthermore, during the fourth year of the project, the announced lack of funding and the
consequent disaffection caused a drop in the number of courses taught in the
and made it
difficult to create a true motivational and promotional critical mass of staff in each department as
had been planned initially. This led to less awareness on the part of teaching staff, as well as
decreased importance given to the language and methodological consultancy for the production of
teaching materials and lessons.
As stated above, the mid/long-term objectives of permanent teaching staff to create entire degree
programmes in
were not reached. Without specifically allocated personnel, teaching
organization was less efficient and negatively influenced the involvement of professors and the staff
responsible for organizing degree programmes.
In general, with respect to the previous years, fewer professors responded to the initial questionnaire
and although those who requested consultation quickly received a response, only a few personal or
classroom consultations took place. The
and language consultants were only rarely present in
the classroom to explain the project, inform about resources and introduce learning strategies. As
well, classroom observations with follow-up meetings were much less frequent when compared to
previous years.
In light of these considerations, the Didattica in LS @uniurb/Didactics in FL@uniurb project has
been introduced within a broader framework of activities and policies based on a Centro Integrato
di Servizi Didattici (Integrated Centre for Didactic Services). This type of Centre would unify
various competences to maximize economic and human resources and to promote integrated
research on the connections between three major areas of reference: e-learning,
, and university
teaching. The Centre could avail itself of professors specialized in didactics, doctorate students and
researchers involved in the three areas of research, as well as student-tutors and student association
representatives interested in organizing seminars on study strategies and subject area specialization
Within such a framework, the
project could be renewed through a series of actions aimed at:
re-launching the system of individual appointments with professors involved in the
offering collective consultation to the Schools belonging to the various Departments;
organizing training courses for professors, both online and in person, on
strategies of class presentation (with
s), and on questions of evaluation;
supporting the preparation and updating of subject matter materials in the
offering a 30-credit package in the
for each semester to be proposed to foreign
Including the
project in the programme of evaluation of university teaching activities could
provide the opportunity to attract new funding, particularly in light of the new Ministerial Decrees
regarding the Guidelines for University Programming Directions for the Three-Year Period 2013-
2015. Specifically, one of the objectives touched upon in the ministerial decree relates directly to
didactic project. This is action a)II, and states the following:
II. Promotion of territorial integration for the purpose of improving international dimensions of
research and teaching:
a) planning and implementation of joint objectives between universities and research
b) recruitment of researchers and professors active abroad;
c) attraction of foreign students;
M.D. n.827, Oct. 15
2013, M.D. n. 104, Feb. 14
2014 and Miur D.D. Feb. 14
d) improvement of programme offerings related to I, II and III level foreign language
courses, also in cooperation with foreign universities and potentially with the granting of
joint or double degrees;
e) improvement of mobility through support for research and internship periods abroad for
The Ministry of Education will release funds to universities for the promotion of quality in the
university system, over a three-year period and, as a result of quality monitoring subject to annual
evaluation, the funding will be stabilized within the Ordinary Financing Fund (
Fondo per il
finanziamento ordinario) as of 2016.
The Didactics in FL@uniurb project, along with the
didactics consulting centre, is an integral
part of the three-year planning process for the University of Urbino.
3. Teacher training:
specialization courses
University staff involved in teaching their subject in the
and trained in
methodology have
provided us not only with fertile research material, but also constitute a resource base of skills that
will be valuable for the implementation of
specialization courses aimed at teachers of non-
linguistic disciplines in Italian junior and senior high schools. Since its foundation, the research
efforts to establish
at the university of Urbino has been closely associated with teacher
training, and owes a great deal of its development to the activation of a post-graduate specialization
course in Didactics of Modern Languages: Learning Paths in the English Language/
Didattica delle lingue moderne: percorsi di apprendimento in lingua inglese/
(academic year
2005-06) financed with European Social Funds. The
project - mentioned before - begun in
2006 followed up on this experience.
Our training course for high-school teachers was in some way a precursor to the ministerial courses
activated recently for national
training. As stated in the ministerial memorandum of 9/12/2010,
training activities are to be offered to teachers in II level high-schools who already have a certified
C1 level of language skills. 20 credit specialization courses on methodology (along with language
courses) are being offered across Italy for teachers who have a B2 level, and priority is given to
teaching staff in language lyceums, which should have been the first institutes to activate
courses in their third-year classes beginning in academic year 2012-2013.
In reality, the entire organizational operation
required more time than originally planned and the
courses in question certified the first
teachers only in the summer session of 2013. In the
Marche Region, 34 teachers were involved. Training was conducted in cooperation with the
universities of Camerino, Macerata and Urbino according to the following plan:
Modules Denomination
SSD Hours in
Study CFU
Foundation Activities
Module 1 Foundations of
L-LIN/02 20 12
70 4
Module 2 Planning,
production and
evaluation of
L-LIN/02 24 16 86 5
There are an estimated 17 thousand teachers to train as a whole.
Specialization Activities
(elective Module 3 or 4)
Module 3
scientific or
28 44 150 9
Module 4
28 44 150 9
Internship and
final exam 35
(25 + 10)
15 / 2
The programme was carried out with a mixed modality approach, partially in the classroom (50%)
and partially through distance learning (50%)
on the specific subject area with the support of a
tutor. Classroom teaching was accompanied by self-study and group study activities monitored
online, laboratory learning activities, video conferences and direct/indirect internship activities.
The 34 teachers who initially registered for the programme were divided into two macro-areas
humanities and sciences – and completed their training with a written report in which they
presented a methodologically-oriented teaching plan developed over the course of their internship
Eventually they were evaluated on the three areas listed below. The following table is the profile
summary provided by the Ministry of Education
Table A
C1 competence in the
competence adequate to cope with subject specific materials
competence in the scientific micro-language (lexis, discourse types, genders and textual
varieties etc.) adequate to deal with subject specific topics in the
capacity to use specific subject matter knowledge to educate students in accordance with
the national curricula of the different kinds of schools
capacity to apply subject matter knowledge to didactics integrating language and content
capacity to create
teaching units in collaboration with
teachers and/or teachers of
specific subject matters
capacity to find, select, adapt, and create materials to enrich
lessons using also
The E-learning platform used by the University of Macerata was
- Online Learning And Training - .
Author’s translation. The original Italian version is provided at the end of the article.
capacity to give a
lesson autonomously using didactic strategies capable of eliciting
content learning through the use of the
capacity to elaborate and use shared and integrated evaluating systems and instruments
consistent with the
As we see in Table A, as well as competence in the specific subject matter and a
preparation in didactic methods, the non-linguistic subject teacher should be able to master
classroom discourse, related to the ability to promote interaction in the classroom and among
students. This can only be developed over the mid-long term simply because the majority of
teacher-trainers possess language skills inferior to those required (often only a B1+/B2).
Consequently, if theoretical
method training may also be carried out in a relatively short time,
without a solid base in the
, all laboratory activities that bring together the theoretical stimuli and
practical production and experimentation will be much less effective. The instructors who conduct
the planning, production and evaluation modules of the
programmes are crucial points of
reference for both the subject area experts who have to develop practical teaching materials and the
language teachers who have to provide the communicative tools for organizing lessons. Too often
this point of reference is not there, creating the risk of transforming proper training into a series of
disjointed learning paths – on one hand aimed at deepening language skills without any attention to
the teacher’s use of the
in class, and on the other hand aimed at finding pre-packaged materials
that meet the needs of the various classes involved in
From a questionnaire distributed to the teachers participating in our
course in the Marche
region, the following problems have emerged: the non-linguistic subject teachers are afraid of
feeling uncomfortable, particularly in the upper-level high-school courses of the linguistic lyceums
in which the students’ own language skills may be higher than those of the subject teacher; there is
a perceived risk of excessive simplification of content due to the cognitive effort placed on students
and teaching staff required by using the
; with the double language and content components,
evaluation would become more difficult and participants emphasised that including
courses in
the final-year exit-exam structure would require the presence of exam commissioners with specific
skills. The teachers participating in the
training course also complained about the lack of
possibilities to establish cooperative relationships with
colleagues, in terms of planned co-
presence or training sessions. They also requested that it become possible to undertake periods of
language training abroad – given the extra work and effort required.
These considerations are entirely legitimate and re-position the framework to suggest a reform of
the school system that has been long awaited and which would be accepted with enthusiasm by
many; however, this is still a long way from completion. The
specialization courses instituted
by art.14 of Ministerial Decree 249 of September 10
2010 could resolve some of these problems.
Beginning in the academic year 2014-2015, training will pass to universities, which will add to their
programme offering annual specialization courses for future
teachers articulated into basic and
specialization activities for a total of 60 credits. Pre-requisites for registration remain the possession
of a certified C1 level in the
and the teacher profile is identical to the previously-mentioned one
(Table A) developed in its various sub-categories.
Naturally, it will also be necessary to increase the weight of foreign language training within the
various degree courses so as to allow new graduates to leave university with the best possible
training. Additionally, it will be necessary to increase promotion of Erasmus and exchange
programmes that allow future generations to gain the skills necessary to meet the objectives set by
the language policies of the European Community, which aspire to create citizens that can fluently
use at least three Community languages. Our project Didactics in FL@uniurb - Didattica in
LS@uniurb aims precisely to prepare the way for this development.
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Per la citazione:
F. Sisti (2015), “CLIL at University: Research, Didactics, Teacher Training”
in R.I.LA. Rassegna Italiana di Linguistica Applicata, n. 1/2015 – anno XLVII;
Roma, Bulzoni Editore
Table A
Full-text available
CLIL significa ‘Content and Language Integrated Learning’ e constitui uma aproximação valiosa tanto no âmbito do ensino da língua estrangeira, como doutras disciplinas não relacionadas com a língua estrangeira. Esta perspetiva, além do ensino básico e secundário, parece ser útil também no contexto académico. Neste artigo propõe-se estudar a aplicação da estratégia CLIL nas aulas de Literatura Portuguesa ministradas no Instituto de Estudos Ibéricos e Ibero-americanos da Universidade de Varsóvia (cadeiras Literatura Portugalska I parte 1 e parte 2, i.e. Literatura Portuguesa I parte I e parte 2) com base em materiais preparados pelos docentes (Anna Działak-Szubińska e José Carlos Dias) e usados no ano letivo 2020/2021. O estudo será pautado por questões teóricas ligadas ao CLIL e por materiais escolhidos dentre um vasto conjunto usado na sala de aula virtual, i.e. uma ficha dedicada à época clássica.
The series is the expression of the Center for Research on Teaching of Languages, which in Edizioni Ca’ Foscari also has a magazine, Linguistics Education - Language Education, EL.LE, and a necklace, Intercultural Communication, COMINT, dedicated to this important but overlooked aspect of language mastery. In the series, the volumes of which are approved by three blind referees before publication, are three types of search space: a. studies on the epistemologic nature of the science that studies language education, in the wider meaning that includes Italian mother tongue, second and foreign, modern languages and classical ones; b. operational studies on methods, strategies, language teaching methodologies; c. quantitative and qualitative surveys on particular aspects of language teaching in the various training areas. The collection hosts studies of scholars working both at Ca’ Foscari University and in other institutions.
A number of studies on CLIL, particularly from Spain, which is familiar to this author, will be analysed to show that there are numerous anomalies not only in the research, but in the analysis, and doubts about the conclusions drawn. CLIL instruction is not always necessarily that beneficial, and there is every reason to believe some students may be prejudiced by CLIL, and that not only academic, but also institutional, interests may be taking precedence over some students’ interests in the state educational sector. Some research issues are covered in the detailed analysis of one study before a plea is made for ensuring that disinterested research is carried out into the overall effects of CLIL initiatives in state educational institutions and systems, so that the welfare of all state-school students is recognised and respected.
This study examines how instruction in the first language (L1), Chinese, and in the second language (L2), English, affects a large sample of students' academic achievement in L1, L2, and content, nonlanguage school subjects, including mathematics, science, geography, and history, in their first 3 years of high school. For all four content area subjects, to a lesser extent in mathematics, late immersion in English as the language of instruction had negative effects that did not vary with initial general ability; were slightly smaller for students initially more proficient in the second language; declined slightly over time for some subjects; and were counteracted somewhat by particularly strong English-language courses. Immersion in English had positive effects on English and, to a lesser extent, Chinese language achievement, but these effects were small relative to the large negative effects in nonlanguage subjects. Whereas previous research has shown positive effects for early-immersion programs that start in kindergarten where language demands are not so great, negative effects for this late immersion program challenge the generality of these findings to high schools, and perhaps even theoretical models of second language acquisition. The paper begins with a literature review, provides a description of the situation in Hong Kong, presents empirical data, and concludes with an exploration of the educational policy implications. (Contains 45 references.) (KFT)
Fare CLIL. Strumenti per l'insegnamento integrato di lingua e disciplina nella scuola secondaria, I quaderni della ricerca14
  • Balboni P E Coonan C
BALBONI P.E., COONAN C. (a cura di), 2014, Fare CLIL. Strumenti per l'insegnamento integrato di lingua e disciplina nella scuola secondaria, I quaderni della ricerca14, Torino, Loescher Editore.
  • Marsh D Mehisto
  • P Frigols M
MARSH D., MEHISTO P., FRIGOLS M., 2008, Uncovering CLIL, Oxford, MacMillan.
L'insegnamento veicolare delle lingue -dall'immersione al CLIL
  • Magnani M
MAGNANI M., 2005, L'insegnamento veicolare delle lingue -dall'immersione al CLIL. Orizzonti Scuola, 4/2005 (
Il futuro si chiama CLIL
  • F Ricci Garotti
RICCI GAROTTI F. (a cura di), 2006, Il futuro si chiama CLIL, Trento, Ed. IPRASE Trentino.
CLIL Apprendere insieme una lingua e contenuti non linguistici
  • Serragiotto G
SERRAGIOTTO G., 2003, CLIL Apprendere insieme una lingua e contenuti non linguistici; Perugia, Guerra Soleil.
Dalle microlingue disciplinari al CLIL
  • Serragiotto G
SERRAGIOTTO G., 2014, Dalle microlingue disciplinari al CLIL, Torino, UTET.
Dal CLIL al TLIL: teatro e lingua straniera" in BOSISIO C. (a cura di), Ianuam Linguarum Reserare. Saggi in onore di Bona Cambiaghi
  • Sistii F
SISTII F., 2011, "Dal CLIL al TLIL: teatro e lingua straniera" in BOSISIO C. (a cura di), Ianuam Linguarum Reserare. Saggi in onore di Bona Cambiaghi, Firenze, Le Monnier Università.