Section 4: Professional Development: LOCIT. Future of CLIL.

LOCIT: Lesson Observation and Critical Incident Technique

To develop as CLIL teachers we need to belong to a learning community where everyone considers themselves as learners. One of the most highly recommended ways of achieving this is through LOCIT (Lesson Observation and Critical Incident Technique). The LOCIT processes involve you working closely with a colleague, a critical friend, or another CLIL teacher in the project. It is important that your LOCIT ‘buddy’ is someone whom you trust.

The LOCIT process involves lesson observation (LO) followed by the critical incident technique (CIT) for reflection and collegial support. What does this mean?

  • Lesson Observations are essential if experienced teachers are to continue to reflect upon their practice. Therefore the teacher decides which particular lesson will be targeted. You might wish for your observer to be present and take notes. Recording either through video or audio is essential (following the usual protocols). This is for personal use only between the two paired colleagues but analysis is crucial to LOCIT.
  • The focus for the observation is always negotiated and the use of a lesson observation schedule is agreed beforehand (either as a group or as a pair).
  • The lesson is observed according to the focus using a form as a memory aid. There is immediate feedback orally.
  • The next process is that the recorded lesson is then replayed separately. Each person selects a series of critical incidents. A critical incident usually lasts for up to 3 minutes and relates to the focus. CI can be positive and exemplars of good practice or they can be problem areas- this will depend on the pre-observation negotiation.
  • Each person selects no more than 5 or 6 CIs and these are edited.
  • At a following meeting each person plays their CIs to the other ie the teacher and the observer.
  • The discussion that follows can then be used in many different ways.
  • This is professional and non-public although the results can be shared as agreed.
  • A follow up is then agreed.


You will need to design your own lesson observation schedule. This tool is highly effective in contributing to promote confidence in CLIL teachers and CLIL practice.

Exercise 1. Key issues

  • Discuss how LOCIT might work in your school.
  • Design an observation schedule for CLIL.
  • Agree on the format as a group whilst ensuring that there is flexibility for individual and paired use.
  • Plan a LOCIT programme with a colleague.

If you are interested in deepening your understanding of LOCIT, we recommend you this reading: Chapter 4, pages 69-72 from the book CLIL by Coyle, Hood and Marsh, 2010. 1)

How CLIL you are?

The following files, taken from L. Dale and R. Tanner, may be a good starting point to plan your LOCIT programme. Take ideas from them.

Checklist How by joan_alberich

The file in PDF format is available here: How CLIL you are

Scoring How by joan_alberich

The file in PDF format is available here: Scoring how CLIL you are

A Future Look of CLIL

The shift from knowledge transmission to knowledge creation (evaluation, organisation and management) in multilingual settings requires learners to be skilled in not only assimilating and understanding new knowledge in their first language, but also in using other languages to construct meaning. (Coyle, Hood and Marsh, 2010 p 153 ) 2)

As this course comes to an end, we would like to look beyond the present of CLIL and analyse some CLIL aspects which can influence its continuity in the future.

This short section opens a space for reflection. We have considered a wide variety of aspects concerning CLIL, from both theoretical and pedagogic perspectives. There is a real concern about the contrast between what young students are learning at school and what they will need in their lives. From this background, the presentation below explores the factors that are believed to impact on the future of CLIL.

Future of CLIL by Carme Florit Ballester on Scribd

Exercise 2. CLIL Teacher Training for the Future

Read the text below. It offers a list of ideas about CLIL teacher training programmes. CLIL training Programmes Features
  • Select the features that you think are more important and write why
  • Analyse if they are included in this training course
  • Make suggestions to improve the current training courses available
  • Share your ideas with your colleagues

This section is based on Chapter 8, pages 153-166 from the book CLIL by Coyle, Hood and Marsh, 2010. 3)

1) , 2) , 3) Coyle, D., Marsh, D., Hood, P. (2010) CLIL, Cambridge University Press