What is CLIL?
The acronym CLIL stands for “Content and language integrated learning” and was coined by David Marsh to denote an approach to language teaching with a dual aim, namely learning a foreign langauge and simultaneously learning something new about a subject, new content.
In their 2010 book, Coyle, Hood & Marsh present four components – the 4Cs – of CLIL
Content (What are the learning outcomes regarding the subject content?).
Cognition (What higher-order thinking skills are included to encourage meaningful learning?).
Communication (What language and skills will be learnt and what langauge and skill swill be practised?).
Culture (How can the activity promote awareness and tolerance in students, and an interest in looking beyond the ‘self’?)
Here is an example lesson project that encompasses the 4Cs of CLIL:
Example CLIL Project: Mock general election
In this project, one class group is one constituency in the UK. If you have several class groups, each of them can represent one constituency. If students or teacher need a basic introduction to egovenment/parliament and elections in the UK, the PPT below can be used .
Students in the class / in each class are divided into~5x pairs or small groups , each of which represents one of the main British political parties (e.g. Labour, Conservatives, Liberal Democrats, Greens). Each group nominates one candidate, whose name will appear on the ballot paper (the teacher should make these ).
In their party groups, students research the general philosophy of their party and use the party’s website and other promotional material to inform themselves about the main policy ideas of their party. This can be done as homework or in class, and can be supported by providing a webquest or worksheet where necessary – this can also be used to introduce and practise key election / political vocabulary. If this is done in class, with further research at home, the teacher could also provide basic information about the parties to help guide students .
Once they have a general idea about their party, students should create a slogan to accompany their election campaign. This can also be written or edited after the next stage.
Students are asked to choose 4-5 main policy areas which they deem most relevant to the target voters in their constituency, and to find examples or data which support their party’s policies in these areas. The teacher could also provide statistics, graphs, etc. as data which the students can analyse to find the most pertinent points for supporting their party’s ideas. This can also be done as homework, and students can then divide up the policy areas to research.
Students watch an example party political broadcast – this should be from a party that is not being used in the mock election, so as to avoid unfair advantage! Students should be guided to notice useful phrses or features of the language (& persuasive techniques) used in the broadcast, and should take note of these. This is best done in class so the teacher can monitor the language noted. A worksheet could be provided with questions to guide students’ attention to specific points of the speech.
Focussing on the policy areas they have chosen and the supporting evidence they have analysed, and employing the language features they noted down from the party political broadcast, the party groups then create short speeches / party political broadcasts (max. 5 mins) to present and promote their policy ideas to the class group (=target voters). To ensure that all students speak, each one can present one policy idea. Students can also create one poster or PPT slide to advertise their party, main policies, and candidate.
Whilst listening to the parties’ speeches, the audience takes notes on the key policies and how well supported they are in the speech. They can be instructed to use these notes to make their decision about who to vote for.
Once all of the speeches have been heard, the room can be re-arranged to make polling booths, where students will be able to cast their vote anonymously. The teacher hands out the ballot papers, and provides a ballot box for the students to cast their vote in.
Either the teacher, or 2 nominated students count the votes and present the results.
As an extension, students can be invited to discuss the electoral system and analyse the results – this could also be given as a homework writing task.
 PPT on government/parliament and elections in the UK: PPT UK Elections
 Basic information about political parties (adapted from YVote): Election-political-parties info
 Ballot papers (adapted from YVote): Election-ballot-papers_enlarged_with-text-fields
The 4Cs of CLIL in the example activity
- Understanding the electoral system (first-past-the-post) of UK general elections
- Understanding the general approaches and some main policy ideas of key political parties in the UK
- Understanding the principles of British democracy, parliament and government
- Analysing input texts for biased information
- Analysing data regarding policy topics
- Evaluating relevance of various policy topics to the class group (=target voters)
- Synthesising information from various sources into speech
- Election-specific language
- Argumentational language and techniques of persuasion
- Grammar for referring to future time
- Public speaking skills
- Functional / operational language to facilitate group work
- Promoting tolerance of various political views
- Comparison links to political parties in students’ home country/ies
- Actively engaging students with the issues around them
- Helping address the trend of voter disengagement amongst young people
- Enabling students to become informed and questioning citizens