Is CLIL the Future or the Past?
Is CLIL the future or the past?
“Some governments (well, education ministeries, anyway) are going crazy for CLIL but Malaysia has just abandoned teaching maths and science in English because, many Malaysians say, it is bad enough having to learn science without the added burden of a foreign language (English).
Hmm. Of course there are many factors behind the decision of Malaysia (and Korea backtracking away from something similar). Three of them might be (a) does CLIL actually work? (b) where can you get teachers who are competent in both the subject and the language? (c) the local language needs defending.
And yet in an increasingly global world surely teaching subjects through English (and teaching English through subjects?) IS the way to go.
Teaching English for no obvious reason (TENOR) has had its day. CLIL and English for Special Purposes must be the way forward. In the ESOL world by the very nature of the students and what they need and want, there’s a kind of CLIL imperative, perhaps?
And yet….here’s what someone said to me the other day, and it is the reason for this post: “I hear lots of people talking about the advantages for English that CLIL offers, but I haven’t heard anyone saying it’s a great way to teach physics (or geography or maths etc).”
So get your Tarot cards out, polish your crystal balls. Is CLIL the present? The Future (perfect)? The soon-to-be-past (even with the massive investment in it)?