clil to enhance thinking in the early years

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CLIL to enhance thinking in the early years Dr. Anna Dillon Head of Faculty, Zakher KG a [email protected] The Eighth Language Forum 22 nd April 2015 Language Teaching & Thinking Skills Development

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CLIL to enhance thinking in the early years

Dr. Anna DillonHead of Faculty, Zakher


[email protected] The Eighth Language Forum

22nd April 2015Language Teaching & Thinking Skills Development

The Challenge in Context

• Meeting the needs of learners in a differentiated manner

• Teachers with a deep knowledge of curriculum

Affordances in Context• Teachers with a deep knowledge of pedagogy

• CLIL model• Co-teaching• Teacher as researcher

Content and Language Integrated Learning

• Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) promotes ‘both content and language mastery to pre-defined levels’ in an additional language (Marsh, 2012: ii)

• Teaching through the target language (TL) and using a cross-curricular or thematic approach (Dillon, 2009)

• Cognitively demanding and context-embedded (NCCA, 2005)

Content and Language Integrated Learning

• EMTs and AMTs working collaboratively in a team teaching situation - a unique opportunity for teachers to integrate learning using the theme as the vehicle

• CLIL has presented a challenge to the ‘status quo’ where subjects and parts of subjects are seen as discrete chunks (Wolff, 2012)

• Balanced literacy model

Content and Language Integrated Learning

• ELLs learn and remember new information best when it is linked to relevant prior knowledge (Hill and Flynn, 2006).

• Interwoven co-constructed dialogue

Content and Language Integrated Learning

• Development of children’s comprehensible output by providing comprehensible input (Gass, 2003; Lightbown and Spada, 2006; Pica, 2005)

• Use of English and Arabic can lead to developmentally appropriate communicative pressure under guidance

• ‘The exact contribution that each person makes may vary, but together the educators create a learning situation that cannot be produced by a solo teacher’ (Friend, 2008: 9).

• ‘The power of co-teaching lies largely in the assumption that all the participants will make a greater contribution than the combination of the participants’ individual work’ (Liu, 2008: 106).

Co-teaching affordances

• Team teaching ‘can only be successfully implemented if co-teachers’ skills and relationships are strong and mature because it requires more time, coordination and trust in each other’s skills’ (Liu, 2008: 111).

• Often likened to ‘marital relationships in that they depend on commitment, negotiation and flexibility’ (Friend, 2008: 13).

Co-teaching - Working relationships

Teachers as researchers• I’m a teacher, not a researcher’ (Stroupe, 2012, p. 3)

• Distinction between research and practice is fluid – especially in education.

• Teachers ‘taking a self-reflective, critical and systematic approach to exploring own teaching practices’ (Burns, 2010, p. 2)

Teachers as researchers• Laboratories for learning • Dana (n.d.) concluded that teacher inquiry is beneficial to teachers simply because teachers are best suited for defining problems in the classroom and developing solutions.

Findings so far… Arts Integration Team

• ‘The music and art team have enjoyed the research and implementation of the research project. The teachers and students have noticed and discovered the joys and achievements of integrating music and art throughout the curriculum. The students and teachers engaged in activities that required critical and creative thinking and interest based learning. From the data analyzed it is evident that theme vocabulary was increased. These results are reflective of high level of students participation and open ended activities and learning’ (Dillon, Aguleh, Al Seyabi, Al Shamsi, Al Shamsi, 2015).

Findings so far… Open-ended Questions Team

• ‘Teachers tend not to pose questions that have students think critical and creatively.’

• ‘Teachers have to choose a time in which they will give students the opportunity to think about how to handle a certain open-ended situation or question. Teachers have to consider the level of students and their level of vocabulary knowledge. Students may have responses to questions but not have the vocabulary needed in order to respond especially in English. Teachers are better able to get responses from students when questions are given in their native language’.

(Dillon, Jackson, Al Jaberi, Al Shamisi, 2015).

Findings so far… Creative and critical thinking activities team

• ‘Even though the students grew in creativity in innovating new and more refined models and drawings, students continue to be limited in their language development. When given the opportunity to speak by answering open ended questions, students responded more in Arabic than in English. Students were able to communicate their ideas fully in Arabic and only gave one word responses in English’ (Dillon, Morton, Al Kaabi, Al Nuaimi, Al Shamisi, 2015).

Next steps• ‘a cognitively and academically beneficial form of bilingualism can be achieved only on the basis of adequately developed first language skills’ (Cummins, 1979, p. 222)

• Engage in in-depth analysis and recommendations of teachers involved in case studies in our context

AcknowledgementsParts of this presentation have been drawn from teachers’ findings from their inquiry projects and

Dillon, A., Salazar, D. & Al Otaibi, R. (in press, 2015) Leading Learning; Co-teaching to enhance Arabic/ English biliteracy at kindergarten level. Middle East and Africa Journal of Educational Research.

Dillon, A., Salazar, D. & Al Otaibi, R. (2015) Leading Learning: communities of Practice to enhance SLA. 21st international conference of TESOL Arabia. Dubai, UAE, 12-14 March.

Dillon, A., Salazar, D. & Al Otaibi, R. (2015) Leading Learning; Co-teaching to enhance Arabic/ English biliteracy at kindergarten level. TESOL Arabia Al Ain Chapter; Expatriates and Emiratis Working Together. UAEU CEC, Al Ain, UAE, 24th January.

References • Burns, R. (2010). Doing action research in English language teaching. New York, NY: Routledge. • Cummins, J. (1979). Linguistic interdependence and the educational development of bilingual

children. Review of Educational Research. 49, 222-251. • Dana, N. (n.d.) Inquiring minds want to know Dana’s secret. Retrieved 18 March 2015• Dillon, A. (2014). Educo: A frame for practice for guiding students from silence to

dialogue. Paper presented at TESOL Arabia Al Ain Chapter; Speaking and Listening workshop. HCT, Al Ain, UAE. Accessed 15.02.15

• Dillon, A. (2009). The CLIL Approach in Irish Primary Schools; A Multilingual Perspective. In Marsh, D., Mehisto, P. with Aliaga, R., Asikainen, T, Frigols, M., Hughes, S., Lange, G, (eds) CLIL Practice: Perspectives from the Field. CCN: University of Jyväskylä.

• Friend, M. (2008). Co-Teaching: A Simple Solution that Isn’t Simple After All. Journal of Curriculum and Instruction, 2(2), 9-19.

• Gass, S. (2003). Input and Interaction. In C.L. Doughty and M.H. Long (Eds.) The Handbook of Second Language Acquisition. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing.

• Hill, J.D. & Flynn, K.M. (2006). Classroom Instruction That Works with English Language Learners. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

• Lightbown, P.M. & Spada, N. (2006). How Languages are Learned (3rd edition). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

• Liu, L. (2008). Co-teaching between native and non-native English teachers: An exploration of co-teaching models and strategies in the Chinese primary school context. Reflections on English Language Teaching, 7(2), 103-118.

• Marsh, D. (2012). Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL): A Development Trajectory. Cordoba: Servicio de Publicaciones de la Universidad de Córdoba.

• NCCA National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (2005). Intercultural Education in the Primary School: Guidelines for Schools. Dublin: Government Stationery Office.

• Stroupe, R. (2012). Reflective Teaching Practice: The Instructor as Researcher. Language Education in Asia 3(1) 1-6.

• Wolff, D. (2012) 'The European Framework for CLIL Teacher Education' Synergies, 8, 105-116.