What exactly is CLIL?

CLIL is an abbreviation for Content and Integrated Language Learning
As the name suggests, it means that within a particular subject the focus is on both the subject’s content and the language that is needed in order to teach and learn the content. 

In CLIL subjects content and language are interwoven even if the emphasis is greater on one or the other at any given time. 
In lessons this means that in some subjects (see below), we have an extra focus on language. In Physical Education for instance, students who are still learning German are encouraged and supported to learn the language that is needed for the lessons. This can be, for example, learning the German words for setting up equipment used in PE classes and the expressions used for describing actions in various types of sport. In Biology for example there could be an extra focus on language operators used for describing biological processes.

A CLIL focus on the English language could be seen in a History class with extra time being taken to create a list of important vocabulary, for example, for warfare in World War 1 such as trench, stalemate, attrition, futility, and belligerent. These words would then be discussed in more detail.

CLIL is particularly present in those subjects where students do not have an option to choose the teaching language. 

In Primary School these are Music, Art and PE.

In Secondary School the subjects taught in German are PE, Mathematics, Biology, Art and Music. Physics, Chemistry and Geography are taught in English.

If you have further questions, please contact:

Alexander Christ


CLIL Coordinator