Content Language Integrated Learning (CLIL)

Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) is a dual-focused educational approach in which an additional language is used for the learning and teaching of both subject content and language.

That is, in the teaching and learning process, there is a focus not only on content, and not only on language. It is an innovative fusion of both.

Across the European Union, advocates of CLIL cite four benefits of the CLIL approach to MFL learning and teaching. CLIL

  • supports authentic language use
  • promotes inter-linguistic awareness
  • models real language use in context
  • focuses on communication and fluency.
Watch our introductory video about CLIL CPD and supports offered by PPLI across Ireland.

CLIL for Transition Year

The Languages Connect strategy includes a strategy goal (1.E.3) that seeks to explore the benefits of CLIL in order to “support and reinforce language learning” and “to improve language proficiency by creating a more engaging learning environment”.

PPLI provides training, teaching materials, and pedagogical support for MFL teachers through a pilot project. This pilot project invites TY MFL teachers to engage in CLIL upskilling and to implement a one-lesson per week CLIL approach over a 6-week period. Depending on the flexibility of your school’s TY programme, it can replace your traditional MFL lessons, it can be delivered in addition to them, or it can be a mixture of both.

Want to introduce CLIL to your school?

All registered post-primary teachers in Ireland can apply to introduce CLIL in their school. The teachers applying to participate should teach TY MFL classes and be willing to dedicate one class per week, over six weeks, to implementing the pilot project. Applications can be made through the annual application form publicised on the PPLI website and social media channels.

Why get involved?

Research shows that students are far more engaged and motivated by language learning when it is delivered in a CLIL context. It can also reinforce other learning taking place in the curriculum through cross-curricular links and fosters interdepartmental collaboration between teachers. The CLIL module supplied by PPLI also provides a foundation for those wishing to take a language for Leaving Certificate. For example, the geography links in the CLIL lessons (delivered through the foreign language) equip students with target language vocabulary related to the environment.

What support is provided?

PPLI provides a ready-made module on Fair Trade, with cross-curricular links to Geography and Maths, in French, Spanish, German, and Italian. The CLIL resources provided include Teacher Support Documents, Student Worksheets, and PowerPoints which can be delivered by MFL teachers with little specialist content knowledge thanks to the step-by-step supports. If teachers decide to co-plan a module with another non-language teacher, this will require more specialist knowledge and training which can be provided following the initial CPD.

Is the pilot open to all curricular languages?

We welcome teachers from any curricular or heritage language to participate. Currently, resources are provided in French, Spanish, German, and Italian. However, we are keen to develop the resources in other languages with interested teachers.

Resources for CLIL Schools

Please find language specific supports for the CLIL classroom here.

An information sheet for Senior Management Teams can be downloaded here.