Starting Point

This introductory module is centered on your expectations of this course. What do you know about CLIL? What do you want to learn? What are your hopes as a CLIL teacher?

The main aim of this starting point is to interrelate your own teaching practice and the course you are going to hold. It aims, on the one hand, to guide the participants towards the specific objectives of the course and, on the other hand, to assist in being aware of your starting point and the possible relevant aspects for each person.

You will also find a text of one of the "parents" of CLIL, David Marsh, about general issues and concerns of this methodology. The text is adressed to parents and students, but it gives some hints for teachers of the potential of CLIL.


One of the strategies to deal with expectations from a topic, in any subject, is the use of the KWL writing frame. We encourage you to use it at the beginning of any topic you are about to teach your students. This is because it helps you and your pupils to visualize their background knowledge on the topic and to brainstorm their expectations on it.

This is how the KWL writing frame looks like: Image of KWL writing frame As you can see, there are three columns: the first one has to be filled with the previous knowledge on the topic, and the second one is where you can write the hopes and expectations to be learnt. The third column has to be filled at the end of the sequence of lessons on the topic, and it can be a good exercise to compare the items on the second column with the ones on the third column.

Here you can find three types of the KWL writing frames, ready-to-use, in PDF format. kwl.pdf kwl2.pdf kwl3.pdf

And here you can find the KWL file, PDF format, including some reasons why we might use it in our lessons. kwl_why.pdf

Exercise 1

Before starting the course, it is advisable to reflect on your personal previous knowledge and the expectations with regard to this course. Create your own KWL of CLIL. Fill in the first two columns (What do you know about CLIL? What do you want to learn with this course?). At the end each module, fill in the third column (What did you learn?) with the new concepts you have learnt. At the end of the course, compare the items on the third column with the ones on the second column, and check if your expectations at the beginning of this course have been fulfilled.

David Marsh: Using languages to learn and learning to use languages

In this text you will find an optimistic view of what CLIL can achieve. It is a good starting point which gives you some clues of this methodology potential.

Exercise 2

Read Marsh's text and enjoy the reading. Think about the following extract from the text, and express your own point of view: 'It has been found that some of the most suitable CLIL teachers are those who speak the majority language as their first language, and the CLIL language as a second language. This is particularly important when dealing with young children because these teachers are often sensitive to the ways children learn in the first language, and are familiar with the points of transference which come about from using the CLIL language'.

David Marsh Using Languages To Learn by Carme Florit Ballester on Scribd