CLIL and Project work: contributions from the classroom

2009

Abstract  Although the pedagogical benefits of Task-Based Language Teaching (TBLT) are widely acknowledged and there is a long tradition in project work, especially in primary education, a full implementation of this approach both as a pedagogical tool and as the unit of syllabus design is far from being a generalized option in secondary education despite the many experiences –many of them unpublished– carried out in the classroom. This is particularly true of project work including a cooperative assessment scheme in which students participate together with the teacher in the construction of the programme and in the evaluation of the teaching-learning process. There is still no recognised single CLIL methodology and there are obvious difficulties to achieve a balance between subject teaching methodology and language teaching. Project work can integrate the best educational traditions of subject teaching and the essential contributions of language pedagogy, and play a leading role in promoting meaningful student engagement with language and content learning. In this presentation, we first define the concept of cooperative project work within the framework of action research developed in the classroom. Secondly, the structure, methodology and assessment/evaluation scheme of successful implementation of cooperative project work in secondary and tertiary levels are presented. Finally, the implementation of a CLIL programme by means of cooperative project work in a secondary school in Vitoria-Gasteiz, and the opinions of the participants in the experience are analyzed. Some conclusions and pedagogical implications are offered in order to improve further implementation of CLIL through cooperative project work.


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