Just asking a simple question?

December 14, 2020


A simple question. Like many others. Yet, the response was overwhleming.

Estimated time to read this article: 4 minutes

Just a simple question

Last week I asked in the CLIL Community what way teachers worldwide are currently teaching.

They could choose from:

  1. 1
    Face to face
  2. 2
  3. 3

A lot of teachers responded (currently the amount of comments is 100+!). Apparently I hit a nerve.

This makes a lot of sense if you think about it.

You are facing a lot of challenges and want to make sure your students receive the best education possible, even within all of the limitations that we are currently facing.

I guess this question triggered some kind of venting, where you were able to actually say what you are facing, with someone acknowledging in some way that it is tricky. That it is challenging.

And that is perfectly fine.

To be honest I did not expect this many responses when I asked the question.

I stopped replying personally to all of them at some point. Simply could not keep up!

But this does show there is still a need for a place to vent. To be heard.

And I feel a little bit proud the CLIL community can be that place for some of you!

Key Take Away

Teachers worldwide are facing challenges with teaching and appreciate being heard

Making questions less simple

“What does this have to do with CLIL?” you might think.

Good question!

Looking back, I remember quite a few instances where I asked a simple question to the class (or at least I thought I did)..

..and triggered a lot of discussion.

Or the other way around: a question I thought would create a lot of questions was answered within seconds, without any follow-up.

In other words: carefully considering what questions you ask in a CLIL lesson is vital for language output.

An easy way to implement this is to make sure you ask open questions.

And don’t turn them into closed ones by asking something like: “Do you agree?” right after an open question 😉.

Key Take Away

Ask open questions to allow for more discussion and language output.

Talking too much

On another note.

Last week the post was a little bit too long. Sorry about that.

Will limit the amount of words I use in these posts from now on.

This is something that happens to me a lot in class as well: I speak too much (and too fast sometimes as well).

Recognise this?

In a CLIL setting, students speaking (and thinking) time is an important element to keep in mind.

It is simple: when you talk, students do not.

And motivating language output is one of the goals of a CLIL lesson.

So: if you speak less and provide tasks that motivate language output, you are well on your way to teaching a great CLIL lesson.

Key Take Away

Limit the amount of time you speak and allow for more time for your students to speak.

Almost holiday!

All the best for this week, which is for many of you the last week before the Christmas holidays.

Just curious: do these ideas ring any bells?

  • Ask open questions and be surprised by the responses
  • Mind the amount of time you speak and allow for student speaking (and thinking) time

Let me know below! Curious to hear your thoughts 😊

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