A creative approach to CLIL
Guest post by Rosie Tanner, Part 2 of the “Practical CLIL ideas” series
The CLIL ball is one of my favourite activities. You can use a CLIL ball to activate prior knowledge about a topic or about language or to revise or assess what your CLIL students have learned. I have used the CLIL ball at all levels of training: bilingual vocational education, secondary schools, in higher education and in sessions for coaches and trainers. Why is it so effective? I think because it is flexible, fun and easy to create. And if you are convinced about an activity such as this, it’s easy even to get adults to play it.
A blow-up plastic ball that you can write on (so a light colour)
A permanent black pen
- Write down about 30 questions that you would like to ask your students. Write them all over your blown up ball, using the permanent pen.
- Ask your students to stand in a circle. Make sure everyone can see each other.
- Instruct your students that when they receive the ball, they answer the question next to their left thumb. Throw the ball to a student. S/he answers the question next to his/her left thumb. If s/he can’t, help with some prompts.
- You can choose: the student throws the ball back to you or to another student. S/he answers the next question.
- Continue until the energy level goes down.
Here are four examples of questions I have used. You will notice a variety of questions, which work on both content and language. I usually write about 30 question on a ball, but here are examples of sets of eight questions:
1. For CLIL secondary school teachers in Japan, revising CLIL
- What does CLIL stand for?
- What is the CEFR?
- Why was the CEFR created?
- Give an example of something that makes an English lesson “CLIL”.
- What is hard CLIL?
- What is soft CLIL?
- Name the 4Cs of CLIL.
- What is activating in CLIL?
2. Activating lecturers in higher education, struggling with teaching speaking:
- What is your greatest challenge in teaching speaking?
- What is your burning question about teaching speaking?
- What is your favourite website for ideas on teaching speaking?
- Describe your most successful speaking activity.
- What do you need to be able to teach more speaking?
- How can your colleagues support you in teaching speaking?
- How are pupils tested on their speaking?
- Why are information gaps important in teaching speaking?
3. For teachers working in vocational education revising working in hotels:
- Name five jobs related to hotel and catering.
- What are the different courses of a meal called?
- What is an appetiser?
- Say four things you have to do in the kitchen to work hygienically.
- What are five tasks that a receptionist must do?
- Name five companies that work with counter clerks.
- Name the eight things you find on a business card.
- Spell your name using the telephone alphabet:
4. For teachers of mathematics
- What is an integer?
- What is a numerator?
- What is a denominator
- what is a fraction?
- Give an example of a fraction.
- What is another word for divide?
- what is another word or phrase for subtract?
- How do you say 14 x 5 in English?
Good luck with creating your own CLIL balls!
Rosie Tanner trains and advises CLIL teachersand institutions. More information can be found at www.rosietanner.com