Universiteit Leiden

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Pedagogies in bilingual education

In the Netherlands approximately 130 out of 700 secondary schools offer a bilingual stream. However, research about CLIL (Content and Language Integrated Learning) is limited. With her dissertation Evelyn van Kampen (PhD student at ICLON) wants to contribute to the understanding of the nature and range of pedagogies employed by CLIL teachers. Defence on 5 September.

CLIL is an educational approach in which an extra langauge is used to learn and to teach subject matter as well as language. The main aim of this dissertation is to contribute to a better understanding of the nature and range of pedagogies employed by CLIL teachers and build the knowledge base about CLIL pedagogy and practice. It seeks to contribute to bridging the existing gap between greatly expanded CLIL practice and more limited CLIL research.

Not one answer

With regard to the question posed in the title of this dissertation, ‘What’s CLIL about bilingual education?’, the studies of this dissertation have clearly shown there is no single answer to this question and nor should the search for a single answer be the aim of the research. Rather, the most useful approach of this question would be to work from the subject discipline. This allows the explicit identification of what constitutes effective integrated content-language teaching for particular subject domains.

Key role for teacher education

Despite the longstanding level of institutionalization of bilingual education, there is no guarantee that policy or theoretical insights will find their way to the practices of the grassroots practitioners. It seems there is a key role for teacher education, both pre- and in-service, to address this issue by making theoretical insights more practical and accessible for practitioners.

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