CLIL exemplified through the teaching topic "Multiculturalism in Berlin and London" in the subject of political science

Term Paper, 2010

20 Pages, Grade: 2,0


Table of Contents

1. Introduction

2. Appeal for Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL)
2.1. CLIL: A definition
2.2. Reasons for supporting CLIL: A learning psychological and (subject-)
didactical view
2.3. CLIL: Objectives
2.4. Language Awareness and multilingualism

3. The topic 'Multiculturalism' in bilingual political science class
3.1. Multiculturalism: A definition
3.2. Ethnic population structure in Berlin, Germany
3.3. Ethnic population structure in London, England
3.4. Comparison of the Ethnic Population Structure of Berlin and London

4. Conclusion

5. References

1. Introduction

In this paper, I would like to clarify the importance of bilingual teaching for an innovative and modern development in scholar education. I would like to do so on an example of a developed lesson on “multiculturalism in Berlin and London” which could be matter of subject for political science for a 9th grade in Germany.

A requirement on the topic of this paper was to combine the two courses of module 5b (An excursion to London and 'Introduction to bilingual teaching') which I attended during the summer semester 2009 and winter semester of 2009/ 2010 with my content subject political science.

At the beginning of my work, I would like to define the term 'Content and Language Integrated Learning' (CLIL) and thus point out the inconsistency of the usage of this term. Furthermore, I would like to focus on various justifications of bilingual teaching. In this context it is important to examine and illustrate the importance, potential and the future perspectives of CLIL.

In addition, the objectives of bilingual teaching are being demonstrated in this work. The concept of bilingual teaching is supported by the paradigms of Intercultural Learning and Language Awareness which will be discussed particularly in this paper.

Another focus of this work will be to put CLIL into a suitable context with the chosen topic of multiculturalism in the European metropolises of London and Berlin. In this context I will especially focus on empirical material about the ethnic population structure in England and Germany which may be content of a teaching unit on the topic 'multiculturalism'. Moreover, in this paper I will refer to the existing teaching materials for bilingual teaching used in German Schools and critically examine the suitability.

2. Appeal for Content and Language Integrated Learning

In recent decades, the bilingual teaching not only in European countries but worldwide as an alternative form of institutionalized language teaching is now well proven and accepted. This may be because society and the schools, for example in European countries like Germany, are open for a change.

Although CLIL provides a solid and receptive framework for progress, the CLIL lessons still build to a large extent on traditional didactic and methodological ideas [Wolff: 1997]. Consequently, discussions about teaching methods that are applied in bilingual subject teaching are of particular interest in the European context.

2.1. CLIL: A definition

In recent studies of bilingual teaching, Wolff (2004) gives some definitions and theories of CLIL in Germany and Europe. As Wolff (2004) considers it, the German term 'bilingualer Sachfachunterrichť itself proves to be a misleading concept to explain the link between content subject and the foreign language. As he describes it, 'bilingualer Sachfachunterrichť is not an adequate term to explain that teaching neither takes places in two languages nor does it lead to bilingualism. In this context another term that reflects all the different forms of subject teaching in a foreign language was being introduced: The term 'Content and Language Integrated Learning', known as CLIL which can be defined as follows: “Content and language integrated learning (CLIL) is a generic term and refers to any educational situation in which an additional language and therefore not the most widely used language of the environment is used for the teaching and learning of subjects other than the language itself” (Wolff, 2004,p.8). According to Wolff (2004), the term CLIL also implies that bilingual teaching is not seen as a developed foreign language teaching but rather an integration of the content subject and the foreign language. Furthermore, Wolff (2004) considers that with regard to the language of instruction the definition of the term “CLIL” implies that not only the foreign language but also the second language of the country can be implemented as the language of the content subject.

In his note on the term CLIL, Wolff maintains that the developed definition does not only refer to the bilingual education in Germany, but also leaves space for the opportunities of implementation of bilingual teaching in other countries.

2.2. Reasons for supporting CLIL: A learning psychological and (subject-) didactical view

In an overview Wolff (1996) wants to show that CLIL is more likely to meet the potential for the more recent psychological and pedagogical knowledge than the traditional foreign language class. In his explanations he refers more to the 'nord-rhein westfälische Form' of bilingual education which implies that the foreign language is used as language of instruction but can also be used as subject matter if necessary. According to Wolff (1996, p.2-X) CLIL meets some learning psychological and methodological demands as follows: Regarding the mnemonic psychology e.g. it can be said that keeping an item which is to be learned in his mind is a function of deep processing. It is generally assumed that deep processing is guaranteed by the information processor when the respective item to be learned is interesting and motivating. Thus, it should be noted that deep processing represents a parameter which implies a superiority of CLIL in contrast to the traditional foreign language learning, illustrated on the following example: A student that cannot stand biology class may possibly make more efforts in CLIL due to foreign language interests which may cause more motivation for the learner. By learning technical terms of the content subject biology in the foreign language e.g., the student may awake an interest in scientific correlations.

In addition, CLIL also creates better conditions for the introduction of and for working with learning and working techniques because the latter can be applied on authentic subject- matter of the content subject such as geography, history or political science. A higher level of transparency regarding the application of learning and working techniques can also be noted (f. e. comparing -contrasting). Moreover, Wolff (1996) considers the reasons for CLIL in regard to the ability to learn: Students can only learn to learn if they make themselves aware of metacognitive processes in class and if they apply related strategies such as monitoring and planning. It is to be noted that CLIL provides the better conditions therefore in contrast to conventional foreign language learning.

Furthermore, the depth of information processing in bilingual classes is being promoted in particular through real matter of the content subject which imply a greater interest and greater involvement of the learner. Deep cognitive processing of the content also leads to a deep cognitive processing regarding the language which is a consequence of the combination of content subject and foreign language. Regarding the contents of CLIL, it can be noted that these are more complex and diverse unlike the contents of the traditional foreign language teaching. In CLIL, inter alia technical terminology has to be learned. In conventional foreign language teaching the students are provided a pseudo-reality. There is no motivation on the part of students because the intention of teaching behind it is detected. Thus, no depth of informational processing of the teaching content can be achieved.

Regarding the reasons for CLIL, the concept of a rich and authentic learning environment plays a very central role because bilingual education is embedded in a context of learning which is more authentic in a scientific and science-oriented world. The scientific part is given through the particular content subject.

In addition, an authentic interaction between the communication partners takes place in bilingual teaching. This is meaningful, in contrast to conventional foreign language teaching since people communicate about something that is relevant. When pseudo-real or pseudo­fictive content is matter of communication, then it is not authentic. Wolff (1996) asserts in this context that bilingual education is therefore conducive for the language because of authentic research as well as texts that are written because of the demonstration of subject- matter issues as well as solving concrete problems on the basis of common understanding.

Moreover, there are more occasions for a variety of social forms such as project or group work within bilingual language teaching. School projects in Content and Language Integrated Learning are considered as one of the most effective forms to activate learners as follows: Vollmer states that “it [project orientation] has the potential for arousing genuine interest and motivation, for posing adequate cognitive challenges, for developing systematic ways of thinking and proceeding, for linking school learning to scientific inquiry, and last but not least to complement incidental language learning by focused language support in L2 as much as in LI.” (Vollmer, 2002, p.237)


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CLIL exemplified through the teaching topic "Multiculturalism in Berlin and London" in the subject of political science
University of Kassel
Introduction to Bilingual Teaching
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CLIL, Multiculturalism, Berlin, London
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Julia Bennett (Author), 2010, CLIL exemplified through the teaching topic "Multiculturalism in Berlin and London" in the subject of political science, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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