Thank you to everyone who attended the webinar ‘Strategies for EMI/CLIL Success for Primary Learners’! During the webinar I had defined EMI and CLIL while addressing a few strategies applying the CLIL approach focusing on primary learners.
EMI – English as a Medium of Instruction
Information communicated to the learner (English being their non-native language) in the classroom is in English. This includes subject content, student materials and resources (textbooks and or coursebooks), and lecture instructions.
CLIL – Content and Language Integrated Learning
CLIL refers to, situations where subjects, or parts of subjects, are taught through a foreign language with dual-focused aims, namely the learning of content and the simultaneous learning of a foreign language.
[D. Marsh, 1994]
Strategy Focus for Primary Learners with CLIL – Use of Visuals and its Benefits
Visual aids are tools and instruments teachers will use to encourage student learning by making the process easier, simpler, and more interesting for the learner. Visual aids usage supports information acquisition by allowing learners to digest and comprehend knowledge more easily.
- Examples of visual aids, but not limited to, are: Pictures, models, charts, maps, videos, slides, diagrams, flashcards, and classroom props.
Thank you all for your interesting questions! Here I will do my best to respond to a couple of those I could not answer during the webinar.
What challenges do students in EMI [classes] face?
A student’s stage in education, (i.e. Primary, secondary, etc.) would result in different challenges. Overall, there are usually two main factors to consider in an EMI learning environment; first the student’s native tongue is not English, and second, the acquisition of the subject content being taught. Since the learner is dealing with new and fresh information in a relative new subject, those challenges being difficult on their own, a strong command of English would be a prerequisite.
That being understood, without the language ability, challenges could include difficulties comprehending subject concepts or themes, struggles communicating with the teacher or classroom peers, even troubles using materials such as their textbooks, workbooks, or class resources.
I am not stating that a student must be 100% fluent in English for EMI to be successful, but since EMI classrooms do not focus solely on English language learning, an appropriate level of English is needed to help learners reach their goals.
Does CLIL overlap with the PPP approach?
I believe that CLIL and the PPP method can overlap. Just to clarify the PPP methodology, this style of English teaching follows the 3Ps – presentation, practice, production. This method deals with a set process of how to deliver content to a L2 student, then provides support for language usage and application. Though CLIL does not encompass or represent all learning styles, it does provide a more flexible set of principles and guidelines. To paraphrase our previous definition, CLIL is established as a learning environment that satisfies the two goals of learning content and learning a foreign language equally. I like to think of the PPP method as a language delivery system. If an English teacher is teaching her L2 students science and writing skills, the PPP method can be used just as effectively as with a teacher teaching L1 grammar to an L1 classroom.
Many of the questions that were included were in regards to characteristics of a CLIL classroom/lesson. For that, I would like to recommend a short article for additional information.
The British Council has an article by Steve Darn that addresses CLIL’s framework and expectation in the classroom with supplemental resources: https://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/article/clil-a-lesson-framework. I also would like to recommend some other resources that I have found very helpful as well for CLIL and EMI in the classroom:
- Ball, P., Kelly, K., Clegg, J. (2015). Putting CLIL into Practice. Great Clarendon Street, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Deller, S., Price, C. (2007). Teaching Other Subjects Through English. Great Clarendon Street, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Missed my webinar? click the link below to watch the recording!
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Joon Lee has been involved in the EFL and ESL educational community at the positions of Academic Director, Content and Curriculum Developer, and Academic Advisor. He has been fortunate to pursue his interests in developmental learning from both in and out of the classroom. At OUP he is part of the Asia Educational Services team and shares his experiences providing teacher training and professional development workshops. He holds great respect for educators and administrators who show passion towards nurturing a learner’s path to success.