Hi everybody, this is my first blog post ever so I hope you find something in what I say useful! We have just finished analyzing and reviewing our 4th CLIL symposium and I have to say to say that we met our aim and expectations. We had around 350 attendees and their feedback about the event was mainly positive. We worked hard for 9 months to show what is happening in school and universities on the Coast and the country and what we saw was a great mix of research and experiences that allowed us to reflect and think about what we are doing in the bilingual classroom.
For me personally, I saw the power of ICT tools as a method of transferring language and content knowledge simultaneously to students. There are so many amazing web applications out there now that it's sometimes overwhelming to figure out what to use in class and why. If anyone else feels the same as me (you sometimes think "how can I use all this ICT in my classroom?"), then I recommend you check out this link that I found.
I came across it when browsing through the www.onestopenglish.com/clil website. It's a great place to keep up to date with new ideas and trends in CLIL methodology.
I want to spend the rest of this blog update talking about WHY we should consider the CLIL approach in our classrooms. Perhaps some of you are already using it or perhaps you feel like it's a fad that will pass, but the important point to remember is that there is documented, tangible evidence that suggests students who learn through this approach:
· are more sensitive to vocabulary and ideas in both in the target language and L1.
· have a more extensive and varied vocabulary
· are more cognitively active during the learning process.
· have more opportunities to get better language proficiency in both L1 and English
· reach higher levels of English than those reached in ELT courses
· are more confident using the target language as well as our L1
(The TKT course. -CLIL module. Bently, K. 2010.CUP)
For me the key area that shouts out at me is that it helps learners become better students and also better communicators in both their L1 and L2. The emphasis that this approach makes on thinking skills in the classroom means that students will be better prepared to succeed in the classroom and also later in their professional and personal lives.
In order to keep teachers aware of what is happening in terms of CLIL in Colombia, we will be holding a series of regular and free workshops periodically throughout the year to help maintain teachers up-to-date with new ideas and trends in CLIL. These will be held nationally and aim to show teachers that the CLIL symposium is not only a bi-annual event but a movement that can help improve the way we interact with language and content in the classroom by maintaining our audience aloft with new thoughts and practical tips.
More information about these events will be published through the CLIL symposium website (www.clilsymposium.org) and also on the Instituto de Idiomas website (http://www.uninorte.edu.co/web//aprende-un-idioma).
Thanks for reading and I will be in touch very soon with more information and thoughts from the Instituto de Idiomas.