Conference PaperPDF Available

Globalizing the curriculum in the CLIL classroom

Authors:

Abstract

Twenty-first century learning allows for teachers to incorporate teaching and pedagogy, social media and personal learning networks in education for active and intercultural language learning in their classrooms. The proposed globalized curriculum included inviting guest professional speakers of diverse backgrounds from the global educational community to talk about their careers to students and more importantly how they use the English language and raise consciousness of multilingualism and intercultural contact. This presented an opportunity for students to ask questions, hear personal testimonies and anecdotes about careers and how English is used and how it has shaped those invited speakers. Students had a realistic expectation of the way the English language works in various professional settings.
This is a copy of a conference paper presented at the VII Congreso Internacional
Multidisciplinar de Investigación Educativa, 5th-6th of July 2018, Zaragoza
(Spain). It is published in the Libro de actas CIMIE18 de AMIE, eISBN: 978-84-
09-08459-3. It is available at http://amieedu.org/actascimie18/
Alfaro, G., & Paz-Albo, J. (2018). Globalizing the curriculum in the
CLIL classroom. In Libro de actas CIMIE18 de AMIE. Retrieved from
http://amieedu.org/actascimie18/
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Globalizing the Curriculum in the CLIL Classroom
Gabriel Alfaro, Jesús Paz-Albo
Universidad Rey Juan Carlos
Abstract: Twenty-first century learning allows for teachers to incorporate teaching
and pedagogy, social media and personal learning networks in education for active
and intercultural language learning in their classrooms. The proposed globalized
curriculum included inviting guest professional speakers of diverse backgrounds
from the global educational community to talk about their careers to students and
more importantly how they use the English language and raise consciousness of
multilingualism and intercultural contact. This presented an opportunity for students
to ask questions, hear personal testimonies and anecdotes about careers and how
English is used and how it has shaped those invited speakers. Students had a
realistic expectation of the way the English language works in various professional
settings.
Keywords: Globalization, CLIL, plurilingualism, multilingualism, innovative
curriculum
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1. Objectives:
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Teaching!in!the! area! of!English!in!a!country!where!English!is!not! the! dominant!or!
native! language! is! a! challenge! for! many! educators.! Content! and! language!
integrated! learning! (CLIL)! is! becoming! of! great! significance! and! it! would! be!
interesting! to! learn! how! a! global! curriculum! can! impact! the! way! students! learn!
about! languages,! global! citizenship! and! multiculturalism! through! guest!
professional! speakers! and! (digital! literacy)! social! media! content.! Globally!
conscious! teachers! can! attempt! to! utilize! a! curriculum! that! is! more! effective,!
relatable! and! useful! for! students! to! approach! their! classrooms! using! their! own!
personal! learning! networks!(PLN),! social! media! and! guest! speakers! to! enhance!
students’! understanding! of! the! complex! ways! language! affects! them! every! day.!!
Moreover,! promoting! students! to! be! aware! and! prepared! for! a! multicultural!
society!with!multilingual!and!plurilingual!skills!to!be!able!to!work!interculturally!is!
all!the!more!urgent.!In!addition,!the!learning!of!second!languages!in!Spain!could!be!
further! researched! in! relation! to! the! experiences! of! students! and! the!
multilingualism!they!are!exposed!to!within!an!intra-national!setting.!!!!
2. Theoretical Framework:
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Content!and!language! integrated! learning!(CLIL)! was!adopted! in! 1994!within! the!
European! context! to! describe! and! further! good! design! practice!as! achieved! in!
different!types!of!school! environments! where! teaching!and!learning! take! place! in!
an!additional!language.!CLIL! is! an!educational! approach! to!language! learning.!! As!
Coyle,! Hood,! &! Marsh! (2010)! stated! “the! forces! of! global! change,! converging!
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technologies! and! adaptability! to! the! subsequent! Knowledge! Age! present!
challenges! for! education…CLIL! is! not! exclusive! to! the! promotion! of! English! as! a!
world! language! but! is! embedded! in! the! socio-economic,! political! and! cultural!
traditions!of!different!nations”!(p.!9).!Further,!the!reality!for!many!students!is!that!
most! English! speakers! around! the! world! speak! non-standard! English! (Crystal,!
2012).!CLIL!and!English!learning!is!not!looking!to!promote!the!learning!of!English!
in! any! hegemonic! sense! but! rather! as! a! language! medium! that! many! students!
throughout!the!European!Union!(E.U.)!are!increasingly!learning.!In!addition,!it!may!
be! helpful! to! consider! the! benefits! of! introducing! this! CLIL! approach! to! the!
teaching-learning! process!and! how! the!four! Cs! of! CLIL! form! a! conceptual!
framework!connecting!content,!cognition,!communication!and!culture.!
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3. Methodology:
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Language!teachers!may!often!be!unaware!of!educational! developments;! they! may!
have! access! to! a! limited! PLN! (Commission! of! the! European! Communities,! 2003).!
However,!language! teachers!need!the!advice! of!trained!mentors!as! well!as!regular!
opportunities! to! “facilitate! contacts! and! effective! networks! between! them! at! a!
regional,!national!and!European!level”!(Commission!of!the!European!Communities,!
2003,! p.! 10).! Therefore,! a! Guest& Professional& Speaker& Series!(GPSS)! was!
implemented!in!a!CLIL!English!middle!school!classroom!located!in!Navarre!during!
the!academic!year.!!
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Guest!speakers!of!diverse!backgrounds!from!the!global!community!were!invited!to!
talk!about!their!careers!and!more!importantly!how!they!use!the!English!language.!
The! frequency! of! this! series! was! monthly! and! was! contingent! upon! the! school!
schedule,!guest!time’s!schedules!and!events!at!the!school.!This!GPSS!was!facilitated!
by! inviting! guests! formally! to! come! and! speak! into! the! classroom! or! via! Skype-!
conversation! utilizing! digital! tools! and! resources! available,! although! in! person!
presence! was!preferred.! This! GPSS! presented! an! opportunity! for! students! to! ask!
questions,!hear!personal!testimonies!and!anecdotes!about!careers!and!how!English!
is! used! and! how! it! has! shaped! those! invited! speakers! and! give! the! students! a!
realistic!expectation!of!the!way!the!English!language!works!in!various!professional!
settings.!!
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Speakers!ranged!from!other!educators!to!wind!energy!engineers!to!food!scientists!
to!pilot/flight!instructors!to!wine!experts!to!entrepreneurs.!!They!each!gave!a!brief!
summary! with! visuals! summarizing! what! they! worked! in,! how! they! worked! and!
how! the! English! language! was! a! critical! medium! for! them! to! effectively!
communicate!in!their!respective!fields.!!
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4. Results:
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Of!the!CLIL! classroom! of! 20!students,! 65%! of!the! students! passed!the! Cambridge!
First! Certificate,! and! 7! students! missed! it! by! 2-3! points.! This! was! the! group! that!
was! exposed! to! this! new! GPSS! curriculum.! This!global! curriculum! with! teachers!
and! guests! highlighted! the! importance! of! English! language! learning,! attainment,!
and!effective!usage!(as!opposed!to!unlikely!native!fluency!attainment)!for!students.!
This!GPSS! challenged!student’s! perceptions!of!languages! and!culture! as!symbolic!
systems!for! creating! and!interpreting!meanings,! not! as!facts!and! information! but!
rather! anew! call! on! building! cultural! linguistic! literacies! and! understanding.!In!
fact,! the! metalinguistic! awareness! in! students! was! heighten! deliberately! so! as! to!
challenge!them!to!think!inter!and!intra-culturally!here!in!global!community.!
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5. Discussion:
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The!challenge!was!for!the!educational!community!to!become!globally!aware!of!the!
accelerated! growth! of! people! communicating! in! more! than! two! languages! going!
beyond!traditional!ways!of!thinking!of!education.!!CLIL!as!an!approach!to!language!
teaching!can!help!remedy!this!as!teachers!prepare!students!to!identify,!iterate!and!
problem!solve!many!of!current!dramas!undertaking!society!at!the!moment!that!are!
changing!how! students! live,!how! they!study! and!how! they!think.! In!fact,!as! more!
people!communicate!in!English!as!a!lingua!franca,!it!will!also!be!important!to!use!a!
range!of!social!media!tools!to!interact!with!other!educators!and!expose!students!to!
a! wide-ranging!PLN.! This! will! allow! guest! speakers! to! offer! testimony! to! the!
complexity!that!is!speaking!languages!other!than!your!own!with!people!around!the!
world!where!English!may!not!have!been!necessarily!their!first!language.!
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Understanding! the! study! of! English! in! other! global! settings! using! the! GPSS!
approach! supported! the! improvement! of! students! learning! achievement! and!
language! attainment.! Moreover,! students’! language! learning! was!challenged! and!
posited!in! different! contexts! through! the! storytelling! and! anecdotes! of! the!
speakers.!The!integration!of!GPSS!in!the!curriculum!played!a!transformational!role!
in! students! learning,! and! it! may! bring! greater! connectivity! about! by! technology!
and!globalization!(European!Commission,!2012).!!
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6. Contributions:
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The! merits! of! sharing! guest! professional! knowledge! of! how! English! language!
learning! has! been! fundamental! for! their! careers! is! an! innovative! use! of! teachers!
PLN.! Learning! how! the! English! language! is! the! predominant! medium! of!
communication! and! understanding! (and! misunderstandings)! in! global! contexts,!
especially! relating! to! socio! political,! economic,! business,! science! and! technology!
matters.! Additionally,! offering! the! students! the! ability! to! hear! from! local!
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community! professionals! in! their! fields,! it! would! lend! credence! to! the! English!
teaching!educators!to! constantly! reflect!on! their!curriculum.! ! Although!this! study!
sample!was!small,!it!can!further!the!notion!of!the!reflective!learner!and!teacher!in!
the!pursue!of!meaningful!feedback!to!enhance!the!curriculum,!and!it!can!transform!
and!deepen!students!understanding!of!language!attainment.!!
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7. Bibliography:
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Crystal,!D.!(2012,!March).!Plurilingualism,!pluridialectism,!pluriformity!plenary.!In!
M.!Pilar,!R.!Place,!&!O.!Fernández!(Eds),!Plurilingualism:&Promoting&co-operation&
between&communities,&people&and&nations&(pp.!13-24).!Bilbao:!University!of!Deusto.!
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Commission! of! the! European! Communities.! (2003).! Communication& from& the&
Commission& to& the& Council,& the& European& Parliament,& the& Economic& and& Social&
Committee& and& the& Committee& of& the& Regions& -& Promoting& Language& Learning& and&
Linguistic&Diversity:&An&Action&Plan&2004&–&2006.!Brussels.!
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Coyle,! D.,! Hood,! P.,! &! Marsh,! D.! (2010).! CLIL:! Content& and& language& integrated&
learning.!Cambridge:!Cambridge!University!Press.!!
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European! Commission.! (2012).! Global& Europe& 2050.! Luxembourg:! Publications!
Office!of!the!European!Union.!!
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Book
CLIL (Content and Language Integrated Learning) has emerged since the millennium as a major trend in education. Written by Do Coyle, Philip Hood and David Marsh and drawing on their experience of CLIL in secondary schools, primary schools and English language schools across Europe, this book gives a comprehensive overview of CLIL. It summarises the theory which underpins the teaching of a content subject through another language and discusses its practical application, outlining the key directions for the development of research and practice. This book acknowledges the uncertainty many teachers feel about CLIL, because of the requirement for both language and subject knowledge, while providing theoretical and practical routes towards successful practice for all.
Communication from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions-Promoting Language Learning and Linguistic Diversity: An Action Plan
  • D Crystal
Crystal, D. (2012, March). Plurilingualism, pluridialectism, pluriformity plenary. In M. Pilar, R. Place, & O. Fernández (Eds), Plurilingualism: Promoting co-operation between communities, people and nations (pp. 13-24). Bilbao: University of Deusto. Commission of the European Communities. (2003). Communication from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions-Promoting Language Learning and Linguistic Diversity: An Action Plan 2004-2006. Brussels.