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Educational Linguistic Perspectives


Rick de Graaff, Utrecht University, the Netherlands

Russell Cross, University of Melbourne, Australia

Liaison 2015-2017: Rick de Graaff: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) refers to educational approaches that allow for improved foreign language learning in combination with content learning in a variety of (non-language) subjects, e.g. Geography, History, Sports, Maths. CLIL strongly relates to other contextualized language teaching approaches such as immersion education or content-based language teaching.

The Research Network on CLIL and Immersion Classrooms has been active since 2006, joining over 200 members worldwide. Main research topics of the ReN have been:

  • to assess language learning outcomes as revealed in student language proficiency and use;
  • to investigate actual classroom discourse of students and teachers communicating on curricular topics in a language other than their L1;
  • to examine content and language integrated learning and teaching in terms of ongoing processes in the classroom;
  • to analyse CLIL policy development and implementation within and across diverse contexts.

For the 2015-2017 ReN term, the CLIL ReN will make connections to other research and education contexts that focus on the role of language in subject teaching and learning:

  • content: subject-specific perspectives on CLIL. We will involve experts in subject-specific pedagogies, such as Science and Social Science;
  • integrated teaching and learning: CLIL pedagogy from educational perspectives (e.g. social constructivism, task-based teaching), including collaboration between subject and language teachers;
  • language: making connections between the roles of language in CLIL classrooms and in non-CLIL multilingual and monolingual classrooms.

So far, the CLIL ReN has mainly focused on secondary (and, to some extent, tertiary) education, as a consequence of common European educational practice. However, CLIL in primary education is a growing development in many countries as well, which will be taken into account in the next ReN term.

During the 2015-2017 term, the CLIL ReN will organize annual symposia in several parts of the world, including Belgium, Bosnia and Hesegovina, New Zealand and Australia. 

For a full account of ReN activities please visit the ReN website: