Why implementing CLIL can be tricky

February 27, 2023


If there is one thing that I don’t like about training teachers, it is the fact that I sometimes feel as if it is all for nothing.

Sounds a bit overly dramatic, but let me explain.

Estimated time to read this article: 4 minutes

Whenever I train teachers I try to make the workshops and training sessions as practical as possible.

I share examples from different subjects, think of implementations for the subject teachers present and answer questions about specific situations.

I even let teachers create materials for their lessons during my workshops.

Yet, I know there is a part of the group that will probably only implement a part of the things I shared.

Or maybe even nothing at all.

And that is a shame. After all, why did they join my training then?

I hope it is not only because the coordinator or the team leader wanted that ;).

I assume it is also because teachers want to learn about how to use CLIL in their lessons to motivate students to be more active and focus on the language involved.

But that is easier said than done.

Key Take Away

It is a waste of time and money if teachers don't use the ideas from training sessions. But that is easier said than done.

Implementing CLIL in your lessons

No matter how practical I make the ideas and activities, there is going to be a moment where the situation is going to be slightly different than explained.

Students might respond in a different way, the activity might not fit the situation 100% or something happens that changes your planning completely.

During those moments, it’s all about implementation skills.

In other words: How does the teacher deal with situations that are different from the ones explained?

For example, last week I hosted a workshop regarding CLIL in Dutch and I received a question about the implementation of a CLIL activity for exam class lessons.

Which is not quite my area of expertise. 

But there were others in the group who did have the expertise. And combined with my CLIL-related knowledge, they came up with a few great activities to do the exam training.

And that is when I am most proud of the things I do.

When teachers take what I teach them and start implementing it in more situations.

Even when things don’t go the way they planned.

Even when things are more difficult than expected.

Key Take Away

Instead of figuring it all out on their own, teachers can collabore to find both inspiration and ideas for implementation.

Getting the support you need

But not all teachers actually have this support available.

Not all teachers have the time or possibility to sit down and discuss their challenges with colleagues.

To help you with that, I am developing an online CLIL implementation group.

For those teachers who already know what CLIL is, already implement it, but want to hear some new ideas or want to discuss how to implement CLIL in their own lessons.

Added bonus: by sharing ideas with colleagues from different schools or even countries, you come up with even more ideas!

So, if you feel like:

  • You know what CLIL is but would like to be inspired again or
  • You notice you keep using the same activities and would like to hear what others do or
  • You find it difficult to implement the ideas or CLIL in your lesson

This is something for you!

If you are interested you can find more information here. And feel free to let me know if you have any questions!

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