CLIL – Content and Language Integrated Learning

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The field of CLIL has become a great passion of mine in the last few years, particularly since moving to Japan and working with Sophia University in Tokyo. Under the guidance of Dr. Makoto Ikeda, I have been finding myself more and more involved with Content and Language Integrated Learning and finding that the approach fits well with my existing teaching beliefs and practice.

Last year I taught a class entitled “Approaching Literature from Historical, Cultural, Social and Linguistic Perspectives” as part of a CLIL curriculum for non-English majors at Sophia. I then contributed a chapter a book which deals with CLIL in the Japanese context. My chapter was entitled “Unlocking Literature through CLIL: Authentic materials and tasks to promote cultural and historical understanding.

The book is:

Watanabe, Y., Ikeda, M., & Izumi, S. (Eds). (2012) CLIL: New Challenges in Foreign Language Education. Vol. 2, Tokyo: Sophia University Press.

Here is the English and Japanese abstract for the book.


Chapter 4: Approaching Literature through CLIL (Pinner)

This paper outlines the role of authentic texts, in this case works from English literature, in teaching students who attended a course entitled “Approaching Literature from Historical, Cultural, Social and Linguistic Perspectives” at Sophia University in the autumn semester of 2011-12. The paper will outline the aims of the course and the students who participated. Following that I will provide the definition of English literature that was used in the course, following which there will be a discussion of the nature of English literature and the role of authenticity. I will examine the way the course was designed and taught using a CLIL methodology, and explain how assessment was conducted and the students’ reception of the course as well as providing a broad analysis of the success of the course in reaching its aims. Of particular note, I will examine the problems faced by non-English major students when approaching authentic texts from English literature and the strategies employed to help students to gain a better understanding and enjoyment of the texts. In the conclusion section, a summarised list of Dos and Don’ts is provided to outline the main practical tips regarding the selection of authentic materials and designing a course around them.



I will be explaining further about CLIL and authenticity in later posts on this site. I have also been writing about CLIL on the website.

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