Uncovering CLIL

Full title: Uncovering CLIL: Content and Language Integrated Learning in Bilingual and Multilingual Education Authors: Peeter Mehisto, David Marsh and Maria Jesus Frigols. Publisher: MacMillan Uncovering CLIL appears to be a relatively simple book with a very simple layout at first glance but it is in actual fact rich in content. It is divided into […]
Reviewed for Teflnet by Lara Promnitz-Hayashi

Full title: Uncovering CLIL: Content and Language Integrated Learning in Bilingual and Multilingual Education
Authors:
Peeter Mehisto, David Marsh and Maria Jesus Frigols.
Publisher: MacMillan

Uncovering CLIL appears to be a relatively simple book with a very simple layout at first glance but it is in actual fact rich in content. It is divided into eight chapters in a very logical manner which makes it very easy to navigate and find relevant information. It is written by experienced educators and claims to be a useful guide for not only practising language teachers, but also for pre-service teachers and anyone interested in language teaching. The book covers Primary, Secondary and Vocational levels.

Uncovering CLIL begins by looking at the history of CLIL and its evolution up to the present day. It looks at various CLIL-style lessons, giving descriptions, their goals or desired outcomes and following up with some suggested activities. The book then goes on to identify the core features of CLIL methodology and the four main guiding principles. An overview of activities for Week 1 in a first year of Primary is provided, with the activities explained in detail, broken down into the four main CLIL principles. The same is done for Secondary level, with expected outcomes outlined and supplementary activities. Activities and ideas contained in the book are broken into KLAs (Key Learning Areas), which makes it useful for language teachers who are teaching different subjects in the target language. Reference to Bloom’s Taxonomy is also used throughout the book.

All activities supplied are described in detail and are easy to understand. The time required for each activity is also listed. All advice and activities throughout the book are aimed at student-centred classrooms and how to create them. Uncovering CLIL contains not only activities but also useful classroom management tips and strategies from noise control, rules and seating to storage ideas. Personal insights from language teachers are also incorporated, which are interesting to read as many readers will be able to relate to the scenarios mentioned.

There are a number of tables presented throughout which are easy to understand and are quite useful. There is quite a lot of information on assessment and how to incorporate it into the classroom, encouraging the students’ involvement in their own assessment and reflection on their learning.

Uncovering CLIL is a very useful resource to have. In my opinion it would be of more use to a practising school teacher (rather than a language school teacher or Assistant Language Teacher) as it uses a lot of education terminology and mentions some theories which can be difficult to follow for those who haven’t heard of them before. However, the activities are extremely useful and easy to follow and could easily be utilised in all kinds of classrooms. The Contents page divides the book into detailed sections and outlines the areas covered within each chapter, which makes it easy to jump around the book to the areas you need.

I teach in Primary school in Japan and as useful as the book is, I wasn’t able to use many of the activities in my current situation as my students do not have enough English, but I was able to use a lot of the ideas on assessment and classroom management which I think are extremely good. I will also definitely be using the book as a reference for future jobs.

Reviewed for Teflnet by Lara Promnitz-Hayashi
December 2008 | Filed under Young Learners

One Comment on “Uncovering CLIL”

  1. Alex Case Says:

    This review got a mention on Onestopenglish:

    http://www.onestopenglish.com/section.asp?catid=100239&docid=500890

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