The 1st J-CLIL Annual Bilingual Conference: CLIL pedagogy for multilingual and multicultural contexts

Authenticity and motivation in soft CLIL

2018 J-CLILPinner_authenticity

Short Abstract

This talk discusses materials in CLIL, specifically looking at the issue of authenticity, which is often a defining aspect of the CLIL approach. Authenticity connects to motivation, again providing a central justification to CLIL implementation and practise. The talk examines problems related to authenticity in CLIL materials, and suggests practical solutions.

Abstract

This talk examines the difficult issue of materials in CLIL. Textbooks grounded in CLIL approaches pose a dilemma for publishers, as they necessitate content-specific, context-specific and learner-specific material. This is at odds with many international publishers’ business models, which tend to favour generic course books which can sell widely across different cultural, linguistic and educational markets. Yet, due to the importance of CLIL as a ‘brand name’, many FL course books have incorporated superficial elements of CLIL into their pages which fail to promote meaningful forms of weak bilingual education. This is potentially damaging to the image of CLIL approaches, as it represents a watering-down of the core approach. Branding FL materials as CLIL could see a weakening of one of the central arguments and defining features of CLIL; namely authenticity. It has been argued that authenticity is ‘intrinsic to CLIL’ and as such provides the main argument as to why CLIL is potentially more motivating (and thus more likely to yield successful learning outcomes) than other, more traditional, foreign language teaching approaches. In this talk I will outline these issues and provide practical examples along with suggestions for practitioners seeking praxis between the theoretical underpinnings of CLIL and actual classroom practice.

 

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