Book review: CLIL Activities

October 22, 2018


A CLIL book full of ideas!

The first time I heard of CLIL Activities was during a conversation I had with Rosie Tanner, one of the authors, as she talked about the book with a lot of enthusiasm and energy.

I bought the book as soon as it was published, as I was sure it would live up to my expectations.

Needless to say I was not disappointed.

This article was published before in CLIL magazine.

Estimated time to read this article: 4 minutes

The book is divided into three different parts: Background to CLIL, Subject pages and Practical activities. The lion's share of the book consists of over 180 pages of activities that can be applied to any lesson. The different parts of the book are conveniently separated and allow for fast and accurate searches.

Part 1: Background to CLIL

Although the vast majority of the readers probably buy this book for the activities, information about CLIL itself is not something that should be disregarded.

Written in easy-to-read, short paragraphs, the authors explain some basic concepts of CLIL and provide answers to common questions about CLIL. 

With practical tips and even a "how CLIL are you" test to check your own CLIL level, the authors try very hard to help out teachers that encounter challenges in their working with CLIL.

Key terms such as scaffolding, assessment, BICS and CALP, and many others are explained and accompanied by practical lesson ideas.

Part 2: Subject pages

As CLIL is not subject specific, each subject teacher needs to understand how to work with CLIL in their own field of study, which can be challenging.

Rosie Tanner is particularly proud of the subject pages, which discuss the most common speaking and writing goals as well as the learners CEFR level for language use for that specific subject.

Four pages for all fields of study are provided, to make sure every teacher will be able to find something useful.

Part 3: Practical Activities

The main part of the book has over eighty activities (!!) categorized into different skill orientations like activating, writing, reading and assessment.

Some of these can be found in other publications as well but the details provided for each activity make the activities in this book to be an easy-to-use recipe for every lesson.

Each activity is accompanied by a short introduction which describes the CEFR level of the activity as well as the time it takes to do the activity in class.

Variations are also provided, allowing for a more creative approach to applying the activities in class.

Not only do the categories explain the core focus of the activity, they can also be quickly found and applied effectively.


CLIL Activities is a book written for every CLIL teacher and wants to provide them with practical ideas and background on CLIL.

The authors succeeded in writing a book that not only reaches their own goals, but also functions as both a reference and a source of inspiration.

Where other books on CLIL focus either on background information or certain ideas, CLIL Activities allows for professional development for every subject teacher through a practical approach and inspirational subject pages.

A must read for every CLIL teacher!

Want to find more CLIL books?

I wrote a couple of more book reviews on books related to CLIL, and will keep doing that in the future. Have a look at the reviews to find more!

CLIL Activities

Written by Liz Dale and Rosie Tanner

The book can be found online and is sold by Cambridge University Press (2012)

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