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What is the CLIL Method?

CLIL is the English acronym for Content and Language Integrated Learning (Aprendizaje Integrado de Contenido y Lengua Extranjera) and regards the study of some subjects such as Maths, Technology, Physical Education or Science, for example, in the language which one wishes to learn. This method treats the learning of the other language as a communication tool, and not just as a subject. This method develops in the young people a positive attitude towards themselves as language students, and it aims to promote and increase in them a can do` attitude.

CLIL The purpose of CLIL is to assist the learning of the language through its natural form, and not studying it in an 'artificial' way. With the CLIL method the successes achieved in the language classes are reinforced through taking them on through practical and natural use of the language as an added bonus.

The CLIL method is a course of two paths: while the concepts and themes of a subject are learned, the students internalize and absorb the normal use of the foreign language. In other words, 'learn by doing'.

To be able to use a different language will also cause as a consequence thinking in the other language, thus enriching the understanding of the concepts and expanding the network of mental maps.

What are the advantages?

Existing research has shown that the CLIL approach helps improve students performance as much in the content as in the teaching language. Why?

  • ecause the student develops several different learning strategies
  • Because the student uses the language for action
  • Because learning becomes an experience
  • Because the student increases their linguistic abilities

What does it consist of?

CLIL includes six parts:

  • Communication: the language becomes the key element of this area of learning.
  • Understanding: development of different mental strategies through a mixture of different language and other types of methodology.
  • Culture/Multiculturalism: it integrates cultural elements into the languages used, making the student value their own cultura via comparing theirs to others.
  • Content: the language is used as a vehicle to understand the course content.
  • Community: the learning becomes a collaboration between different learning communities. The digitization of the classroom is key and Schamann Institute has the technological resources necessary to support collaborative learning.
  • Connection: schools become part of networks with schools in other countries.

IES Schamann participated in a Comenius European project (NMIEL) with several countries (Finland, Turkey and Romania) and soon started another project that will expand the horizons and the collaborative work with schools in other countries. It has also been carrying out a "side project" to improve the communicative competence in English with a school in Finland. This project aims to bring together students from both countries through a forum located in the center of the virtual platform, to improve their communicative competence through talking about cultural aspects of the countries concerned, interests etc.

Does it require teacher training?

CLIL is making the leap to "mainstream" education and it will soon become part of general education. Both new teachers and future teachers need specific training in their professional development. Therefore our training center includes the linguistic profile required and to teach their subjects in English. The teaching in the CLIL program at our center has been accredited in terms of four fundamental aspects regarding the training:

  • Development and improvement of their language skills.
  • Updated methodology.
  • Development and improvement of digital competence.
  • Professional qualification and certification.

What does IES Schamann offer with regard to CLIL?

Teachers who are accredited in four different subjects (as well as English), with experience in the use of ICT and CLIL methodology, as well as a large dose of motivation for the development of the program.

Technological resources for networking and encouraging collaborative work with other learning communities.

Participation in European projects.

History of the CLIL program at Schamann

The CLIL program has been developed in IES Schamann since the 2006-2007 school year. The English department then sought participation in the program, which was at that time called the SBO project (Secciones Bilinges Online), as proposed by the Foreign Languages Coordinator at CEP, D. Sergio Pérez Marrero, thinking that the project would enhance the motivation and participation of students learning English and would mean higher likelihood of success in achieving the objectives.

Coordination of the project was taken on by a teacher in the English Department, D. Luz Maria Martin Lopez (Lucy), and began with three non-language subjects: Mathematics, taught by D. M Carmen García González, Technology, taught by D. Federico Santa Ana Cardenas and Physical Education, taught by D. Casal Dolphin Marquez.

Participation in the project meant a change in methodology, especially in the non-language subjects, and a need for interdisciplinary coordination among the subjects participating in the project. This not only bore fruit in the field of learning contents of each subject, but also the cohesion of the groups and the overall learning process, including the rest of the subjects studied by students. It also led to a marked improvement in student academic performance.

The program began with the 1st ESO class and, as this group progressed to the next level, each year a new group was created in 1st and more subjects were incorporated, and more teachers certified to teach the program: Ms. Teresa Diaz Camino (Math), M del Prado de Pedraza (Physical Education), Ms Cecilia Herrera Penichet (Technology), Ms. Rosa Arbona (English), Ms. Catherine Ramos (English) and M José Caubin (CCNN and Biology). D. Ivan Juanes (Classical Civilisation) and Ms. Elvira Machin (Music) have also participated in a course.

The number of CLIL subjects may vary each year depending on whether the teachers are accredited to teach their subject in English.

During the seven years that we have been developing the CLIL program at IES Schamann we have conducted several educational experiences that have helped to reinforce learning and to achieve the objectives. Some highlights include:

  • Carrying out interdisciplinary projects that have contributed to the development of basic skills in general and the acquisition thereof by the students. E.g. "The London Underground Project"
  • English Oral presentations to audiences outside the group class. This has encouraged students to ensure that their peers or other hearing understand them perfectly.
  • Workshop days on learning skills in CEP.
  • Our students leading guided tours of Vegueta in English, for visiting foreign centers.
  • Participation in projects with other schools across Spain. (Redyneted Project on the Millennium Development Goals)
  • Participation in other European projects:
    • NMIEL Project (school years 2011/2012 y 2012/2013). More information on our website. Co-ordinated by the Maths Department.
    • MMM Project ("more meaningful maths" which will begin in the 2013/2014 school year). Co-ordinated by the Maths Department.
  • The use of ICT to promote collaborative work, reinforce content, the development and dissemination of projects etc.
  • The immersion in and shared use of language, both the students together (in activities) and as students among other students from other countries.
  • The interaction with visiting teachers and assistants from other countries, which has not only contributed to improving the linguistic competence of the students, but also to their general knowledge of other countries.

Criteria for participation in the program

Up until the present school year students have been selected for the program according to the following criteria:

  1. Students from the CLIL centre attatched to IES Schamann (DGOIE criteria established by the program rules in CLIL).
  2. Students with an aptitude for learning English (as primary transcript and / or Primary teacher recommendation)

For more information, see section CLIL ORGANIZATION PROJECT.

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