Universiteit Leiden

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PhD project

Conceptualising and developing the practice of CLIL teachers

How do teachers conceptualise, develop and implement an effective CLIL practice?

2013 - 2018


  • Evelyn van Kampen MSc - PhD candidate
  • prof.dr. W.F. Admiraal - supervisor
  • prof.dr. A.K. Berry (Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) University) - co-supervisor

Project description

Social and scientific relevance

Since the introduction of the term in the 1990s, the use of Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) as an educational approach has spread quickly and widely throughout especially Europe. For example, in the Netherlands the first bilingual secondary school CLIL programme started in 1989, growing to 26 schools in 2000 and currently more than 120 schools (link: www.europeesplatform.nl/tto). This research contributes to bridging the gap between greatly expanded CLIL practice and limited CLIL research. It specifically focuses on the teaching practice of CLIL teachers, which has been identified as a key area in need of research.
The research contributes to broadening the knowledge base about CLIL. More specifically, it aims to document and disseminate knowledge about the practice of CLIL teachers and about how this practice can be effectively and efficiently developed. Some of the research findings will also be relevant to teaching in non-CLIL settings as classrooms often contain students with diverse language backgrounds.

Research questions and methods

The research focuses on answering the following questions:

  1. What does current CLIL teaching practice look like in the Netherlands?
  2. What does ideal CLIL teaching practice look like and what are the differences with current CLIL teaching practice in the Netherlands?
  3. How can we design interventions that can best support effective and efficient teacher learning in CLIL?
  4. What are the effects of different forms of intervention on the practice of CLIL teachers?

The research focuses on teachers practicing CLIL at bilingual, pre-university level (VWO) secondary schools in the Netherlands. The project will be developed over a five-year period, enabling some longer-term effects to be studied. A mixed-method research design is used.

Foto: JGI / Blend / Learning Pictures / Universal Images Group

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