The CLIL methodology for innovative and multilingual teaching

Language learning in complex societies today is a challenge for the Italian school, and this explains the flourishing over the years of various methodological strategies associated with this learning-learning process.
Using the CLIL methodology (Acronym of Content and Language Integrated Learning) 1, we mean in a nutshell the integrated learning of content and language.

Presidential Decree 275/99, the implementing decree of school autonomy, already provided for the possibility of conducting training courses in various disciplines and activities in a foreign language. We have to wait for the Gelmini reform of 2010 to make the CLIL methodology compulsory in Italian schools, especially in high schools, while remaining a facultative lesson in the rest of Europe. In all of this, a first critique must be included, as the foreign language teacher is excluded from CLIL teaching, which must be led instead of teachers from other disciplines who are in possession of a C1 level certification.

Before proceeding with any other consideration, we must ask ourselves what is the CLIL methodology and what is it for?

The term “CLIL” was coined in 1994 by the European Commission during a detailed discussion by representatives of Finland and the Netherlands. The aim of this commission was to improve the learning of foreign languages ​​in the school environment, through a methodology that provided for the explanation of the content of a non-linguistic subject in a language other than the mother tongue. Clearly, in order for this didactic intervention to be effective, it is necessary to operate without the aid of translation.

This methodology is understood precisely because the subject of the study is the real center of focus of the student’s interest, has a dual purpose and at the same time the foreign language assumes the role of mediator of learning by being indirectly assimilated. in an effective manner. In other words, the foreign language is defined as Middlemore than Still of learning practice however, inevitably, the student will enjoy this indirect benefit. As a result, students become more involved in the learning and learning process, increasingly having to focus on a more conscious outcome through a genuinely active process that puts students at the center of didactic-pedagogical action, the main goal . School education.

The didactic provision through the use of this bilingual methodology also promotes the critical thinking of the student, as it stimulates a continuous comparison of cultural values.

What is the reference framework for the introduction of the CLIL methodology in the upper secondary state institutions?

The reorganization of the secondary addresses, which started in 2010, has already from the school year 2012/2013 from the school year 2012/2013 compulsory in two different languages ​​the teaching of non-linguistic subjects in a foreign language in the Licei Linguistici according to the CLIL methodology introduced. . In the third year of the course a non-linguistic subject is taught in a foreign language, in the fourth and fifth year two non-linguistic subjects in two foreign languages. In other high schools, the CLIL teaching of at least one non-linguistic subject in English in the 5th year is compulsory and for technical institutions the CLIL method is only provided in English in the fifth year and only covers one subject. For the training of teachers of non-linguistic subjects already in service in schools, MIUR has provided a training method which provides a course for the acquisition of competences in the CLIL methodology and a pre- Course for the acquisition of language skills until reaching CEFR level C1 (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages).

Management Decree n. 6 of 16 April 2012 of the Directorate-General for School Personnel also defined the main characteristics of the advanced courses worth 20 university credits for a non-linguistic subject in a foreign language according to the CLIL methodology for teachers in service in high schools and technical Institutions.

In other cases, teachers who have foreign language certifications covered by the course, issued by certification bodies recognized by the governments of the mother tongue countries, at least at level C1, referred to in CEFR, may also have access to the courses, certifies the skills delivered there (Listening, talking / interacting, writing, reading); Language skills certified in relation to skills, level B2 of CEFR, enrolled in a training course to reach level C1 of CEFR.

What can be the usefulness for the application of the CLIL methodology in education?

CLIL is a methodology that is able to trigger a real renewal of the didactic action, as it transcends the boundaries of the traditional lesson. It is enhanced by a vehicle use of the foreign language by stimulating students with learning strategies that allow them to articulate and share common meanings under the careful guidance of the teacher. All this will be difficult to achieve, however, if at least two significant critical points are not addressed: the lack of adequately competent and trained staff, particularly from the point of view of knowledge of foreign languages, and the oversimplification of the content aspect of the Discipline, namely not falling into temptation, which proposes to reduce topics in a marked way in order to adapt to the level of foreign language knowledge of teachers and students. It is clear that it is important to invest more in the language and methodological training of teachers, if we want to avoid a lower result than the objectives.

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