Seite 1 von 1 Germany training future Clil teachers by GedCorcoran


									Germany: training future Clil teachers - Guardian Weekly                                             Seite 1 von 1

 Thursday February 5th 2009

 Oliver Meyer, 35, works as a teacher trainer at the Catholic University of
 Eichstaett in southern Germany. He says his students are enthusiastic to
 learn this "sexy" new approach, but developing their materials and lesson
 designing skills is more of a challenge

 I teach future teachers about Clil – how to design lessons and Clil materials. The university of
 Eichstaett has offered a Clil masters programme for almost two years now. Our students are
 usually very excited about becoming Clil teachers.

 Training future Clil teachers is a quite a challenging undertaking, though, even with six years
 of active Clil experience on my side. This is not because students are not motivated, they are
 usually very excited about the idea of teaching content in/through another language. The
 concept is quite sexy and very popular with parents who easily understand that the ability to
 communicate across cultures is essential for their child’s future career.

 But while we know quite well why Clil is good for our pupils we are only beginning to
 understand what it takes to design good Clil lessons and materials. And this is where the
 going gets tough, because with Clil, the devil is in the details.
 Here are some of the issues that need to be considered simultaneously in order for a Clil
 lesson to be effective:

     l   where can teachers find materials which are authentic, challenging and meaningful
         and that can be understood by foreign language students
     l   how to practise content-related skills (interpreting maps, diagrams, etc) in a foreign
     l   what kind of scaffolding is needed to help students cope with input that is usually
         more demanding than what they are used to from their EFL lessons
     l   how to trigger meaningful content-based conversations
     l   how to push language output
     l   how to design tasks that trigger higher order thinking
     l   what about test design
     l   how can teachers help students cope with so many unknown words

 Recent studies (from Germany, Austria, Canada, to name but a few) have shown that in
 many Clil classrooms the lessons are mainly teacher-oriented, that students don’t get to talk
 a lot and that too little attention is paid to higher order thinking skills. In other words the
 balance isn’t quite right, just yet. That also goes for the teaching materials that are currently
 available. More often than not, they are merely translations of mother-tongue subject text

 We found out the hard way that our traditional approaches to both subject and language
 teaching don’t work so well when it comes to Clil. So we are constantly challenged to make it
 new. As teacher trainers,. we have got to look for cutting-edge research and find ways to
 break it down into clear step-by-step instructions that are easy to understand and follow for
 beginner teachers while allowing for enough creativity and individual preferences. That’s
 quite a challenge.
 However, things have been improving fast lately.

 Action research and concepts such as the 4C-framework (culture, curriculum, co-curriculum
 and community) have given us a better understanding of what to look for in lesson planning
 and designing Clil materials. And platforms such as are ideal to get in touch
 with other teachers and teachers trainers to share materials, thoughts and to establish quality

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 Read more articles from the Clil voices section                                       08.02.2009

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