Critical Analysis of CLIL: Taking Stock and Looking Forward
1. The background of CLIL The term Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) was launched in Eur
ope in the 1990s by a group of experts from different backgrounds. Since then, the European Commission and the Council of Europe have funded many initives in support of CLIL because it responded to a need in Europe for enhancing second-lanuage education and bilingualism that well received. The reason why CLIL became popular? The growing interest in Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) has resulted in enthusiasm in and active pursuit of improved methods of L2 teaching in Europe. 2. The aims of this article The aim of this article is to examine these ambiguities both internally, within Europe and among CLIL advocates, and with special reference to the similarities and difference between CLIL And immersion education programs, witch are often used as a frame of reference to distinguish CLIL. And try to give a clearly difinition or say clarification to CLIL. Cause clarification is critical if CLIL is to evolve and improve systematically and if CLIL educators are to benefit from the experiences and knowledge acquired in other educatinnal settings. 3. Different scholars definitions about CLIL There are a variety of difinition of CLIL. Coyle provides a succinct definition that refer to its special features that CLIL is a dual-focused educational approach in witch an additional language is used for the learning and teaching of both content and language. According to Ting, CLIL advocates a 50:50/Content: Language CLIL-equilibrium. According to Marsh , there should always be a dual focus on language and content for instruction to qualify as CLIL, even if the proportion is 90 percent vs. 10 percent. Some scholars view v largely in terms of the actual instructional tachniques and practices used in classroom to promote L2 learning.
Indeed, the conceotualization of CLIL as “essentialli methdological”(Maesh), “a pedagogic tool”(Coyle), or “an innovation methdological approach”(Eurydice) is widespread. Yet other scholars consider CLIl in largely curricular terms. Finally, yet another conceotualization of CLIL refers to it largely theretical terms as the interplay of the theretical foundations of constructivism and L2 acquisition(Marsh and Frigols). There are different conceotualizations of CLIL, including that: A. it is an educational approach that focuses on the classroom-level and specific pedagogical practices, to view that emphasize its foundations in constructivism and L2 acquisition theories. B. CLIL is difined as a whole program of instruction. C. as isolated lessons or activities conducted in an additional language. The definition of CLIL also includes reference to an additional language as a medium of instruction. “Additional” language was defined by Marsh as any language other than the 1st language, including FL, L2, or minority language. CLIL is often reffered to as an “umbrellu”. In summary, we have sought to show that the scope of CLIL is not clear-cut and its core features can’t be clearly identified. 4. How does CLIL relate to immersion To better difine and understand CLIL, we discuss the relationship between CLIL and L2 immersion programs. Immersion is commenly defined as an educational program in witch an L2 or FL is used for academic instruction. Immersion programs can be viewed as a form of “content-based L2 instruction”(CBI). CBI programs always engage in learning some type of content through the medium of an L2 or FL,CBI is not a unitary approach to teaching language and content. ? 1) The balance between language and content instruction
One of the claims made by CLIL advocates is that it is content-driven, such as Coyle and Marsh support this. Marsh insists that CLIL’s focus on content in comparision witn immersion is the main difference betwween the two approaches. However, this argument does not hole up because both Met and Genesee consider immersion as content-driven rather than language-driven. Coyle et al claim that research in immersion is focused mainly on language. In short, different country has different condition, whether it’s focus on content or language are not well found.
2) The nature of the target language involved
It has been claimed that CLIL is distinct from immersion insofar as the additional language used in CLIL is a FL, English in most case and not an L2 spoken locally. It’s difficult to argue that CLIL can be distinguished with reference to the nature of the additional language. ? 3) Instructional goals
Young Europeans ingeneral have pragmatic goals for they want to make themselves understuud when they travel, seek new friendships and acquire knowledge. Canadian students ar also instrumentally motivated-to enhance their job prospects in Canada and around the world as a result of learning an additional language. And also,they want to integrate with native speakers of the target languages in communities. The goal of immersion programs is native-like proficiency in target language, but the goal of CLIL is much advanced level of L2 proficiency. But it does not always apply. Immersion programs, for example in Frence and Spanish, they do not expect students to attain native-like proficiency, but rather functional proficiency. ? 4) Defining caracterictics of student participants
In contrast to the notion that CLIL serves all students, some scholars piont out that CLIL programs are not available fr all atudents. And there no grounds for claiming that CLIL is typically and uniquely less elitist than immersion. ? 5) Other pedagogical issues
There are other important pedagogical differences betwween CLIL and immersion. Some CLIL experts assert that there are other important pedagogical differences between CLIL and immersion. For example Ball and Lindsay explain that CLIL teachers devise their own instructional methods, design their own materials, and highlight the role of language, whereas immersion teachers always use materials developed for native speakers. For some experts, there is no distinction between CLIL and immersion. In summary, CLIL vs. immersion indicates that there is not a single position regarding the relationship between CLIL and immersion. It is important to recognize that in the European context, CLIL has attracted scholars and practitioners in the field
of English as a foreign language.
5. Taking stock and moving forward (现状与展望) ? The present situation of CLIL
The development and expansion of CLIL in Europe and around the world has served to increase the prominence of L2 in school curricula. CLIL programs provide more hours of contact with the L2, and CLIL has made learning an L2 in school more important throughout Europe and beyond. However, by insisting on the uniqueness of CLIL as compared with immersion and other CBI programs, the wealth of research evidence on immersion and other variants of CBI is often ignored. There are some weaknesses in CLIL that warrant greater attention: 1. The bandwagon effect.
2. The scarcity of research.
3. The lack of conceptual clarity. ? The future
Now that CLIL is well established, it no longer has to struggle for recognition and support. But, a more comprehensive assessment of student outcomes in diverse CLIL contexts is called for. And research is needed that goes beyond examining simply whether teaching content in an L2 promotes L2 competence to examine how teaching content in an L2 works and how it improved.. 6. QUESTION: Try definite CLIL by yourself 7. ANSWER: After reading this paper, in my opnion, CLIL can be defined as CLIL is the abbreviation of content andlanguage integrated learning, it is a L2 or freign language teaching mathod that focus both on content and language, and cultivate students ability for pragmatic use.