Cooperative projects in a CLIL course: What do students think?


Abstract  Cooperative projects and CLIL: What do students think? Juan M. Sierra CLIL (Content and Language Integrated Learning) has grown steadily in Europe through different methodologies. From the perspective of language education, the active participation of students has been on the increase. Nowadays, primary, secondary and tertiary curricula in Spain, the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages or the European Space for Higher Education propose a much more active student’s role and the development of the learner’s autonomy. However, there is a dearth of research on CLIL programmes founded on cooperative project work in our context, and reflection on real classroom practice is needed. In this chapter, I first present the characteristics of a cooperative project CLIL programme carried out at a secondary school in the Basque Autonomous Community (BAC). Then, the opinions of 443 students about their learning experience over a six-year implementation period (2008-2014) are analysed. The participants expressed their perceptions about the course –the projects’ structure, the methodology and the assessment scheme–; their degree of motivation and amount of work; their improvement on language skills and content learning; their experience in cooperative groups and the quality of their autonomous learning. Finally, some pedagogical implications are put forward which may help improve CLIL classroom practice. These proposals could also be helpful for language learning classrooms. Keywords: CLIL, cooperative project programme, methodology, secondary students’ opinions

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