There are many definitions widely available to describe this approach to teaching, but the acronym itself stands for Content and Language Integrated Learning. The approach basically refers to teaching content such as geography, science, or art to students through the medium of a foreign language, in our case, English.

"It can be very successful in enhancing the learning of languages and other subjects, and developing in the youngsters a positive ‘can do’ attitude towards themselves as language learners." (Marsh, 2000)

So CLIL is neither a language lesson nor a content lesson; it is a combination of the two. A successful CLIL lesson should incorporate elements of the 4 Cs: content; communication; cognition; culture;

What are the benefits?
CLIL builds confidence:
because students are motivated to learn what you are teaching them, CLIL can build confidence and help motivate them to progress more quickly.

CLIL develops academic success: academic vocabulary and critical thinking skills applicable to a wide range of subjects help strengthen students’ efficacy and improve chances of success across the curriculum.

CLIL broadens perspective: because CLIL integrates culture and elements from the real world, the combination of language and content helps expand cultural and real-world knowledge.

CLIL provides a sense of achievement: it is no doubt challenging, but because students are talking and writing about complex material in English, there is a real sense of progress and accomplishment.

Screenshot of "CLIL and Cultural Diversity" article
CLIL and Cultural Diversity: A Winning Combination
By Vicky Saumell

CLIL has often been mainly identified as a way to teach content through language. This time I will focus on how it can be the perfect springboard to dive into cultural issues.

CLIL incorporates four elements identified as the 4 Cs, where culture is the underlying concept for the other three aspects: content, communication and cognition.

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