Diversity in CLIL in Plurilingual Communities of Practice CLILの多様性と複言語コミュニティー

Reported by Graham MacKenzie

On January 26, 2019, the above symposium took place at Sophia University. Celebrating the presence of honorable speakers, Professors Henry Widdowson and Barbara Seidlhoffer of the University of Vienna, Professor Kumiko Murata of Waseda University, Professors Kensaku Yoshida and Makoto Ikeda of Sophia University, 226 researchers and teachers attended the event.

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Introductory Talk: Makoto Ikeda: CLIL in General and CLIL in Japan. Principles, types and implementations.

Professor Ikeda began proceedings with a brief talk on CLIL in general, which set the scene very well for the day.  He started by defining CLIL, emphasising that CLIL is about more than just an integration of content and language and reminding us of the significance of the 4 Cs, i.e. Content, Communication, Cognition and Culture. Less well known is the significance of the 4 Ts in CLIL, which Professor Ikeda introduced us to, these being Text (content and language input in spoken or written form, Task (an activity that requires cognition in the form of lower or higher order skills), Talk (dialogic interaction) and Teamwork (co-constructed learning). Professor Ikeda then argued that of the 4 stages of innovation that exist when a new approach is implemented, CLIL is now at the second stage in Japan, which is that “the early adopters, which have notes that the innovation has no harmful effects, take on the innovation” (White 1998, 139-140).

Plenary Talks

Both plenary talks set CLIL within wide linguistic perspectives and raised interesting and important questions about content and language teaching today.

Henry Widdowson: Context and Language Integrated Learning? CLIL in Historical Perspective.

In his talk Professor Widdowson discussed CLIL from a historical perspective by looking critically at what we mean by the elements of CLIL that make up the acronym itself. He had a number of very interesting points and questions for the audience on this as summarised below.

  • What do we mean by content? This may not be the same as the subject being taught, as the subject refers not only to topics (content) but also to modes of instruction.
  • How are elements of the 4 Cs of CLIL integrated historically?(Professor Widdowson suggested using context rather than culture as part of this). In both the Grammar Translation Method and Structural Language Teaching content and context were subordinated to language cognition. In contrast, in Communicative Language Teaching (CLT), the objective is communication and context and content are related within communication in L2.
  • What makes CLIL different? CLIL is different from CLT or Task Based Language Teaching in that context and content does not need to be contrived, instead it is borrowed from the subject to be taught. The advantage of CLIL is that it “engages the reality of learner experience” as most of the student’s life experience takes place in the classroom. Linking this with language learning makes language learning more meaningful, although the question is raised as to how far it is effective for cognitive learning.
  • What does the second L in CLIL represent in terms of learning? Is it the learning of the language or the learning of the content or subject? Is CLIL an approach to language teaching or subject teaching?
  • Finally, the first L in CLIL, language, refers to the second language to be learned which is often English, but what kind of English are we talking about?

Professor Widdowson’s talk provided a great opportunity for us to consider CLIL within the historical context of language teaching as a whole, as well as to think deeply about what we mean by terms like “content”, “English” and “learning” and make sure we do not take them for granted. And, to further enhance the advantage of CLIL as related to the learners’ own reality, should the L not indeed be understood as language in general, and so also include the linguistic resources available in the learners’ own L1

Barbara Seidlhofer: EMI and CLIL and ELF: How do they relate?

In Professor Seidlhofer’s talk, the context in which CLIL and English Medium Instruction (EMI) was examined was that of English as a Lingua Franca (ELF).  Professor Seidlhofer began the main part of her talk by giving some background on the status of English as a Global Language today while problematising issues around this. As Professor Widdowson also did, she argued we need to consider what we mean by “English” as well as critically question how much SLA research and language education policy is helping us to rethink the global linguistic landscape. Even though English has emerged as the global language, many people in linguistics still fail to recognize the plurality of English in an ELF context or an English that belongs to everyone and not only native speakers. Another aspect that should be considered is the question of “what is a native speaker of a Lingua Franca?” Professor Seidlhofer argued that really there is no such thing and that everyone is a learner of a Lingua Franca, just as there are no native speakers. Another aspect that should be considered is that there are no native speakers of academic English as a Lingua Franca, both “native speakers” of English and “non-native speakers of English” have to learn it.

Professor Seidlhofer then went on to reference the work of McNamara (2011), who argues that as most communication in the globalized workplace is conducted in ELF this needs to be reflected better in English language teaching and testing. As Professor Seidlhofer explained, if “proficiency” is taken to mean communicative effectiveness then this is something that learners at all levels of English display, as observed in research into ELF interactions. What she suggested is a genuinely communicative approach which recognises that ELF users (e.g. EMI students and staff) already have communicative ability and are therefore accomplished language users (Seidlhofer and Widdowson, 2018). Overall, we need to begin to question what we mean by terms such as “speech community”, “competence” and “legitimate speakers of a “language”, especially in high stakes encounters in which the medium of communication is ELF. ELF communication shows us that in order to be communicatively effective language does not have to be what we conceive of as “correct” or well-formed.

Professor Seidlhofer concluded her talk by sharing five implications from ELF research that could be significant for EMI and CLIL;

  1. Function has to be considered as being more important than form. We should consider appropriateness to the subject and context, i.e. effectiveness rather than correctness.
  2. It is important to “adapt, not adopt”, and we should consider the local context and the subject itself before adopting methodology like CLIL wholesale.
  3. There is no such thing as a native speaker of academic English. Students whose first language is English may also struggle to learn it.
  4. “Language expectations” and methods of teaching subjects will differ in different contexts, e.g. medicine in the UK is different in nature from medicine in China.
  5. We should make the most of “the potential of a plurilingual staff and student body” as the whole community can work towards and benefit from a “better understanding of transcultural communication in academic settings”.

It was very thought provoking for the audience to see EMI and CLIL contextualised by Professor Seidlhofer in the global linguistic landscape in this way, and we were also given an important reminder as to why for our students a focus on communication is likely to be more effective than a focus on form.

Round Table Talk:

Kensaku Yoshida: The Meaning of “Standard English” in Japan’s English Education and its Role in Teaching Content.

In his talk Professor Yoshida gave a fascinating overview of the current status of English language teaching in Japan. Firstly, he shared a wealth of research data from different sources which gave us insight in to this, with some of the key points being as follows (see slides for more details and references).

  • Junior and senior high school students tend to recognize the importance of learning English, yet they do not tend to envisage themselves as individuals having a personal need to use English in the future.
  • In junior and senior high schools most classroom activities are still structural and focused on accuracy (e.g. reading aloud or grammar practice)
  • High school students view non-native varieties of English (including Japanese) more positively the more they are exposed to them in class. Inversely, they have more negative attitudes to these varieties the less they are exposed to them and the more they are exposed to native English.
  • The greater the variety of the four skills teachers employ in class and the more that teachers teach English in English, the greater school students’ motivation tends to be.

Professor Yoshida then explained that the Ministry of Education in Japan now defines standard English as an English that is not biased towards a particular variety nor too colloquial in style, i.e. a definition which is compatible with the concept of English as a Lingua Franca. Finally, Professor Yoshida finished with the very positive and inspiring message that in Japan there should be a move away from thinking of American English or Indian English as “their English” and Japanese English as “my English”. Rather, English as a Lingua Franca should be thought of as “our English”, with the emphasis on working together towards mutual understanding with English speakers from other backgrounds.

Kumiko Murata. CLIL and EMI in the Japanese Context – is a Clear Demarcation Possible?: an ELF perspective.

In her talk Professor Murata drew on her own extensive research to help us understand the differences that exist between CLIL and EMI, and indeed between different forms of EMI in the contexts of Japan and ELF. Within EMI, Professor Murata explained that according to her research, there seems to be a significant difference between students’ perceptions of EMI programmes, which tend to require a higher level of English on entry, and EMI courses, which tend to be regarded by students not only in terms of content but also as an opportunity to improve their language ability (thus closer in approach to CLIL).  On the the main theme of demarcation between CLIL and EMI, Professor Murata posed the question of whether EMI has a dual focus on content and language, as CLIL does. She continued by pointing out that as terms in some contexts they are often used interchangeably.

Moving on to the context of English as a Lingua Franca, Professor Murata argued that the English used in EMI in Europe can be characterised as ELF due to the high level of diversity and mobility in educational settings. However, she explained that the conceptualisation of the English of EMI, particularly in terms of policy, is often still one that refers to inner circle native varieties. There is therefore a gap between policy and the reality of the classroom in which ELF is used. In East Asian contexts, this gap clearly exists as EMI is still very much orientated to native speaker norms, which is often a struggle for students. Despite this, after some time in EMI contexts, the attitudes of students in Japan grow more positive as they become able to communicate with people from different linguistic backgrounds (Murata et al., 2017). Also, students tend to regard EMI as an opportunity to improve their language ability and inseparable from the learning of content. Because of this, Professor Murata suggested that a gradual transition from CLIL to EMI, perhaps as introductory courses with more of a focus on language, may be most beneficial. To wrap up, Professor Murata recommended that diversity of students and faculty is necessary in EMI settings and that students should be encouraged to understand and use English as a Lingua Franca.

Makoto Ikeda: The maximisation of learning in CLIL by transregister and translanguaging

In the final talk of the day Professor Ikeda showed the audience how CLIL can work effectively on more of a micro level in the classroom.  He began by showing a video of a Maths lesson conducted in English at a private elementary school in Sendai which demonstrated clear examples of the two key concepts in his talk: translanguaging and transregister. Transregister refers to the deliberate planning of activities that mean that students will use and learn both the language of the subject as well as everyday English in class. Translanguaging, on the other hand, usually simply refers to the use of two languages in class, although Professor Ikeda stressed that he finds it useful to think of this as it is defined by Lewis, Jones and Baker (2012: 643); “planned and systematic use of two languages for teaching and learning in the same lesson”. Translanguaging is effective as it allows students to draw on all their linguistic resources rather than the constraints of being forced to be multilingual (Hornberger, 2005). To pictorially explain what happens in CLIL classes in terms of translanguaging and transregister, Professor Ikeda showed a diagram based on the outline of the Union Flag, with the points of the horizontal part of the cross representing academic and general discourse, that of the vertical representing spoken and written production, and the points of the diagonal cross being the domains between these elements (see slide 10). CLIL teachers can use this diagram to consider how much translanguaging could be happening in class depending on the domain (e.g. spoken production of academic discourse). Professor Ikeda concluded by proposing that learning in CLIL can be maximised by both deliberately allowing for transregister and translanguging, as well as of course the integration of content and language.


All five speakers placed CLIL and EMI in specific contexts, both macro and micro as well as both global and local, to stimulate discussion and raise important questions about the place of these approaches in our diverse contexts. As participants commented, it was wonderful so see such renowned speakers gather together and discuss the topic in a way that teachers, and indeed those with an interest in language education in general, could easily relate to.


Hornberger, N. H. (2005). Opening and filling up implementational and ideological spaces in heritage language education. Modern Language Journal89(4), 605.

Lewis, G., Jones, B., & Baker, C. (2012). Translanguaging: Developing its conceptualisation and contextualisation. Educational Research and Evaluation18(7), 655-670.

McNamara, T. (2011). Managing learning: Authority and language assessment. Language Teaching44(4), 500-515.

Murata, K. Iino, M. & Konakahara, M. (2017). An investigation into attitudes towards ELF in EMI and business settings and its implication for English language pedagogy. Waseda Review of Education 31, 21-38.

Seidlhofer, B., & Widdowson, H. (2018). ELF for EFL: A Change of Subject? In Sikakis, N. & Tsantila, N. (eds) English as a Lingua Franca for EFL Contexts. Bristol: Multilingual Matters.

White, R. (1998). The ELT Curriculum: Design, Innovation and Mangement. Wiley-Blackwell.

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Diversity in CLIL in Plurilingual Communities of Practice


Saturday 26 January,2019
Sophia University,Tokyo
Venue: 6・101
Gates open at 10:00
7-11 Kioicho,Chiyoda-Ku,Tokyo
上智大学6号館1 階ホール(6-101)
Need to book. Entrancefee: None
Languageused: English
Book through QR code
定員600 名Max: 600 seats
  • Plenary
    • Prof Henry Widdowson
    • Prof Barbara Seidlhofer
  • Round Table Talk:
    • Prof Kensaku Yoshida
    • Prof Kumiko Murata
    • Prof Makoto Ikeda
  • Panel Discussion:
    • All Speakers

In this symposium, we aim to first analyse the development of Applied Linguistics from the early years of a direct method to a communicative approach, defining the place of Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLlL) along the trajectory of change. It looks at CLlL as a driver for change and gives a critical analysis of the approach and its implementation. An important focus in this symposium is the use of English as Lingua Franca (ELF) in CLlL and English Medium Instruction (EMI).

このシンポジウムでは応用言語学の歴史でのCLlL (内容言語統合型学習) の位置付けを行い、CLlLとEMI(英語を媒介とした授業)において言語使用がどのように行われているか を探ります。このプログラムは公益財団法人教科書研究センタ一平成2 8 ~ 3 0年度教科書等調査研究委託事業の一貫として行し、ます。

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The 1st J-CLIL Annual Bilingual Conference: CLIL pedagogy for multilingual and multicultural contexts

Authenticity and motivation in soft CLIL

2018 J-CLILPinner_authenticity

Short Abstract

This talk discusses materials in CLIL, specifically looking at the issue of authenticity, which is often a defining aspect of the CLIL approach. Authenticity connects to motivation, again providing a central justification to CLIL implementation and practise. The talk examines problems related to authenticity in CLIL materials, and suggests practical solutions.


This talk examines the difficult issue of materials in CLIL. Textbooks grounded in CLIL approaches pose a dilemma for publishers, as they necessitate content-specific, context-specific and learner-specific material. This is at odds with many international publishers’ business models, which tend to favour generic course books which can sell widely across different cultural, linguistic and educational markets. Yet, due to the importance of CLIL as a ‘brand name’, many FL course books have incorporated superficial elements of CLIL into their pages which fail to promote meaningful forms of weak bilingual education. This is potentially damaging to the image of CLIL approaches, as it represents a watering-down of the core approach. Branding FL materials as CLIL could see a weakening of one of the central arguments and defining features of CLIL; namely authenticity. It has been argued that authenticity is ‘intrinsic to CLIL’ and as such provides the main argument as to why CLIL is potentially more motivating (and thus more likely to yield successful learning outcomes) than other, more traditional, foreign language teaching approaches. In this talk I will outline these issues and provide practical examples along with suggestions for practitioners seeking praxis between the theoretical underpinnings of CLIL and actual classroom practice.


References from the talk

Anderson, B. (2006). Imagined communities: Reflections on the origin and spread of nationalism (Revised ed.). London: Verso.

Banegas, D. L. (2013). The integration of content and language as a driving force in the EFL lesson. In E. Ushioda (Ed.), International perspectives on motivation (pp. 82-97). London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Banegas, D. L. (2014). An investigation into CLIL-related sections of EFL coursebooks: issues of CLIL inclusion in the publishing market. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 17(3), 345-359. doi:10.1080/13670050.2013.793651

Banegas, D. L., Pavese, A., Velázquez, A., & Vélez, S. M. (2013). Teacher professional development through collaborative action research: impact on foreign English-language teaching and learning. Educational Action Research, 21(2), 185-201. doi:10.1080/09650792.2013.789717

Dalton-Puffer, C., Llinares, A., Lorenzo, F., & Nikula, T. (2014). “You Can Stand Under My Umbrella”: Immersion, CLIL and Bilingual Education. A Response to Cenoz, Genesee & Gorter (2013). Applied Linguistics, 35(2), 213-218. doi:10.1093/applin/amu010

Doiz, A., Lasagabaster, D., & Sierra, J. M. (2014a). CLIL and motivation: the effect of individual and contextual variables. The Language Learning Journal, 42(2), 209-224. doi:10.1080/09571736.2014.889508

Doiz, A., Lasagabaster, D., & Sierra, J. M. (2014b). Giving voice to the students: what (de)motivates them in classes? In D. Lasagabaster, A. Doiz, & J. M. Sierra (Eds.), Motivation and foreign language learning: From theory to practice (Vol. 40, pp. 117-138). Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company.

Graddol, D. (2006). English next : why global English may mean the end of ‘English as a foreign language’. London: British Council.

Ikeda, M. (2016). CLIL活用の新コンセプトと新ツール [CLIL’s utilization of new tools and concepts]. In M. Ikeda, Y. Watanabe, & S. Izumi (Eds.), CLIL: New Challenges in Foreign Language Education at Sophia University (Vol. 3: Lessons and Materials, pp. 1-29). Tokyo: Sophia University Press.

Lasagabaster, D., Doiz, A., & Sierra, J. M. (Eds.). (2014). Motivation and foreign language learning: From theory to practice (Vol. 40). Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company.

Lorenzo, F. (2014). Motivation meets bilingual models: goal-oriented behaviour in the CLIL classroom. In D. Lasagabaster, A. Doiz, & J. M. Sierra (Eds.), Motivation and foreign language learning: From theory to practice (Vol. 40, pp. 139-155). Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company.

Pinner, R. S. (2013a). Authenticity and CLIL: Examining authenticity from an international CLIL perspective. International CLIL Research Journal, 2(1), 44 – 54.

Pinner, R. S. (2013b). Authenticity of Purpose: CLIL as a way to bring meaning and motivation into EFL contexts. Asian EFL Journal, 15(4), 138 – 159.

Ushioda, E. (2009). A person-in-context relational view of emergent motivation, self and identity. In E. Ushioda & Z. Dörnyei (Eds.), Motivation, language identity and the L2 self (pp. 215-228). Bristol: Multilingual Matters.

Ushioda, E. (2011). Motivating learners to speak as themselves. In G. Murray, X. Gao, & T. E. Lamb (Eds.), Identity, motivation and autonomy in language learning (pp. 11 – 25). Bristol: Multilingual Matters.

Ushioda, E. (2016). Language learning motivation through a small lens: A research agenda. Language Teaching, 49(4), 564-577. doi:10.1017/S0261444816000173

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CLIL Workshop in Osaka: The front line of CLIL – principles and practice for integrated assessment

We are pleased to announce this upcoming workshop at Sophia University’s Osaka Satellite Campus on the 3rd of March 2o18. The featured speakers will be Makoto Ikeda, Yuki Yamano, Correy Fegan and Jane Delaney. The price is 4,000 yen. Please see the attached flyer.

2018 CLIL assessment seminar Osaka

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Professor Ana Llinares Professional Development sessions for CLER instructors

Reported by Chantal Hemmi

CLER Lectures on CLIL

14th of March, 2017 was a special day for Center for Language Education and Research instructors as well as participants from the English Studies and English Literature departments.  Professor Ana Llinares is an associate professor at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid and teaches Applied Linguistics, discourse analysis, pragmatics and CLIL specific courses. We were delighted to be able to receive input directly from Professor Llinares who is a recognized professional in the area of research in CLIL; she linked theories, her own research in discourse analysis in CLIL and practice and inspired us in a special way. There were 21 participants altogether, and the sessions took place in a dialogic way, involving all participants to share their ideas and ask questions.

The talks offered were as follows:

  1. Systemic functional approaches to CLIL
  2. Integrating interaction in CLIL classrooms
  3. Student-centred activities

2017 Sophia Lectures on CLIL-Sophia Linguistic Institute for International Communication (SOLIFIC) event

On the 17th of March, 2017, Professor Llinares delivered two more workshops on the following content:

  1. Learning and teaching content and language in integration- application of systemic functional linguistics
  2. The roles of interaction in CLIL

There were around 40 participants present, and there was a dynamic exchange of ideas across the floor.  In the first session, Professor Llinares addressed the ‘characteristics of different school genres as well as the L2 resources that students need to express academic content’. In the second session, the roles of interaction in CLIL, Professor Llinares spoke about ‘features of classroom interaction that enhance content and language integration in the context of the classroom’.

To sum up, both the sessions for CLER and SOLIFIC were well received, and the participants were actively involved in discussing the content of Professor Llinares’ talks; some participants requested that they would like to learn further about the methodology of her studies in future.

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CLIL in Japanese Schools; Events with Rosie Tanner – An Overview

Reported by Graham Mackenzie

As a part of a CLIL Materials Development Research Project supported by Kyokasho Kenkyuu Centre, we were very fortunate to be able to welcome Education Consultant and CLIL specialist Rosie Tanner to Tokyo for a series of informative workshops on CLIL for elementary, junior high and senior high school teachers at the beginning of August, with the purpose of discussing and demonstrating how CLIL could be applied in English language education in Japan.

  1. Learning Dialogically through a CLIL Approach 

On Monday the 1st of August, around 115 elementary and junior high school teachers gathered at Shirayuri University for this event. The first speaker was Chantal Hemmi of Sophia University, who gave the audience an overview of the fundamental theories and principles of CLIL, before going onto practically explain how CLIL could be applied in elementary English education through the use of storytelling, which she emphasized is an effective medium for stimulating the imagination of learners and presenting culturally rich content. Related to this, Rosie Tanner then gave the group a demonstration of CLIL activities that teachers can use with storytelling, using the example of “The Hungry Caterpillar” by Eric Carle. The activities Rosie demonstrated were very interactive and engaging, such as saying the missing words in the story or arranging picture cards from the story in order. Rosie emphasized how a focus on the use of language and meaning rather than the study of the language itself can foster positive attitudes to language learning in young learners.

In the afternoon, two separate sessions were held twice simultaneously so that participants in smaller numbers could experience CLIL demo lessons for elementary and junior high schools. In the elementary demo lesson presentation, Tomoko Yokoyama and Chantal Hemmi demonstrated how they conducted CLIL lessons on the Olympics and Paralympics using both English and Japanese. To break the ice, Chantal first started the session with a ‘Hello song’ followed by an Olympics quiz which was used in a joint lesson taught by the two teachers at Tatsunuma Elementary School in October 2017. The quiz was conducted to activate student interest and find out what they know about the content and language related to the Olympics, sportsmanship and Olympism.

In the latter part of the presentation, Tomoko presented what she had taught her class of 30 9-10 year old children about the Olympics in her General Studies classes using Japanese.  She used graphics and video to make her lessons multimodal in order to activate student interest and deepen their understanding about the Olympic games. The children learnt that Olympism is not just about competition but participation in sport, and individual differences were to be embraced. Lastly, Tomoko presented three video clips of children making presentations based on the target structures learnt in a jointly taught lesson with Chantal; ‘I am ~. I like ~. I can ~. Nice to meet you.’ was the language they learnt. Tomoko explained how the children were enthused and motivated by the activity.

The session encapsulated how the children’s L1 can be used effectively to deepen understanding of the content, and how the children used what they learnt both in the Japanese and English sessions in order to process an end task which was to make a presentation about what they like and can do.

In the junior high school demo lesson presentation, Graham Mackenzie of Sophia University demonstrated a series of lessons for second year students on the topic of schools around the world. Graham demonstrated how content and language can be integrated in the four main stages of the lesson as follows.


Content Language
Flags and location of 9 countries around the world

Pictures of school classrooms in those countries.

Names of countries and continents.

there is/there are to describe and compare the classrooms.

Rules in our school must/mustn’t, have to/don’t have to, can/can’t.

clean the classroom, run in the corridor etc.

Video made by two students from Scotland about their school rules, facilities and subjects. As in the video.
Students prepare and make a presentation about their ideal school. Language recycled from the above and generated by students.


This demo lesson demonstrated how even with low level learners and even in line with a grammar curriculum, content can be integrated into language lessons to make the lessons more engaging and meaningful for the students. Also, by incorporating pictures, video, written text and content created by the students themselves it was shown that multimodal input, as an important aspect of CLIL, is another effective way to maintain student engagement as well as to recycle target language.

The final part of the event was a Q and A session with all presenters on the panel. Questions for the panel included how to implement CLIL at lower years in elementary school. The panel again emphasized the usefulness of stories and songs at this level to teach language and content together. In general, the panel stressed that more important than adhering to any particular methodology was to make sure students were engaged fully in lessons, with a positive attitude about learning English. It was noted that learning language and content at the same time may be one of the most effective ways to do this.

Overall, the event was a great insight into the possibilities of CLIL in elementary and junior high schools in Japan. It was wonderful to see so many enthusiastic school teachers so interested in this.


  1. CLIL Workshops for Junior and Senior High School Teachers.

Two more events were held at Sophia University in the form of workshops on CLIL for junior high school teachers on Friday the 4th of August, and senior high school teachers on Saturday the 5th of August. On the 4th there were 41 and on the 5th ,45 participants from around Japan, including Osaka, Aichi and Okinawa as well as from Singapore.

Rosie began these workshops by giving an overview or revision of key concepts and important characteristics of CLIL, such as hard and soft CLIL, activating, and lower/higher order thinking skills, referring to the revised Bloom’s taxonomy (Anderson and Krathol, 2001). This was done in the form of a quiz rather than a lecture so it was engaging and collaborative. Participants then reflected on their current practice and the extent to which they currently incorporate characteristics of CLIL by completing Rosie’s “How CLIL are you?” questionnaire.

In the second part of the workshops, Rosie demonstrated how CLIL activities could be incorporated into lessons based on state designated textbooks for junior and senior high. She showed how the topics and readings in the textbooks could be used to engage students further in a number of ways, including the following:

  • communicative activities for activating
  • jigsaw reading of texts
  • information gap activities using gapped texts
  • predicting and listening for content in videos on YouTube
  • communicative game for collocations
  • “experts” jigsaw activity for longer videos
  • discussion board game.

Finally, participants chose one of the demonstrated activities and prepared their own versions of them to teach to another group of participants, allowing them to practically experience how CLIL activities could be incorporated into their lessons.

Overall, the workshops were very lively, practical and well-received by participants as the below comments show.

  • “It was really fun and fruitful to learn about CLIL through the actual activities”
  • “It was a great workshop – very informative and instructive”
  • “We could also get lots of ideas from each other”

Many thanks to Rosie for coming to Japan and sharing her expertise with us, and many thanks to all the attendees for helping to make the events so lively and productive! It was especially helpful that Rosie had customized the workshop for Japanese educational contexts, referring to existing state designated textbooks. All in all, we learnt that CLIL can be used in different curricula, either partially or fully, depending on the aims of each institution and course. CLIL is certainly an approach which could be employed to make our lessons dialogic, encouraging students to think deeply, and also to use the language actively through tasks that are suitable at different cognitive and linguistic levels.


Anderson, L. W. and Krathwohl, D. R., et al (Eds..) (2001) A Taxonomy for Learning, Teaching, and Assessing: A Revision of Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives. Allyn & Bacon. Boston, MA (Pearson Education Group)





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Upcoming CLIL Workshops for High School Teachers!

Distinguished CLIL expert, Rosie Tanner, will be vising Japan in August 2017 to hold two separate CLIL workshops for Junior High School and Senior High School teachers at Sophia University, Tokyo.

All are welcome, although places are limited to 40 seats. Please see the poster attached and email linstic@sophia.ac.jp to register your interest.

  • CLIL workshop for Junior High School Teachers: 4th of August, 2017 11:00- 16:45 at Sophia University library L-821
  • CLIL workshop for Senior High School Teachers: 5th of August, 2017 11:00- 16:45 at Sophia University library L-821

このワークショップではCLIL(内容言語統合型学習)の専門家Rosie Tanner先生

Download the flyer here

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The Symposium on Studying Subjects and Specialist Content Through English – Write Up

The Symposium on Studying Subjects and Specialist Content Through English 「英語で教科内容や専門を学ぶ」 at Waseda University was an excellent and thought-provoking event, which was attended by teachers and students from many different areas of education, from primary to university levels.

The first speaker was Professor Makoto Ikeda of Sophia University, who discussed his research and whose talk was entitled 「言語能力から汎用能力へ:CLILにおけるコンピテンシーの育成」(From Language Ability to General Purpose Competencies in CLIL). Professor Ikeda discussed recent development in CLIL, going on to explain the meaning of competencies and their place in educational theories and methodologies. He then discussed how CLIL materials are much more focused on developing core educational competencies rather than traditional text-book materials, which he showed through a demonstration and comparison of materials. Finally, he explained about some “real CLIL” experiences he had the opportunity to observe at Shirayurigakuen Elementary School in Sendai. As part of Professor Ikeda’s talk, Corey Feagan was asked to take the stage and explain the approach being implemented in his school, which is to “learn maths in English”. Overall, the talk provided several very practical examples of CLIL, including video footage taken during a CLIL lesson observed in Sendai. What struck me was the English ability of the children in this video, and the way they confidently discussed their tasks using English. It was a truly enlightening example and left many in the audience feeling confident that the children were benefiting from their CLIL maths classes. However, several issues were raised, particularly the idea of first language ability to discuss maths, which came up also during the panel discussion which I will discuss at the end of this summary.

The second speaker was Ms Keiko Hanzawa from Waseda University, whose talk was entitled 「CBI/CLIL/EMIの再定義」(Redefining CBI/CLIL and EMI). At first, she asked people about their overall impression of these three approaches, and asked how they were the same or different. She then proceeded to give a very clear definition of each, explaining how they were different and the merits of each one. This was especially useful and necessary as several participants in the audience were being introduced to these topics for the first time. This proved very useful and allowed the discussion to focus more in the second part.

After a short break, Mr. Yasuhisa Fukuda from Tokyo Metropolitan Nishi High School took the stage to explain several advantages of CLIL from his practical experience at a school which has implemented CLIL approaches. During his talk, entitled「都立高校におけるCLIL実践の効果と課題」(The Effect and Challenge of CLIL Practice at a Municipal High School), he discussed motivation and authenticity, and also gave a lot of emphasis to assessment. He gave a very clear and solid set of examples of CLIL implementation, including sample materials, but also discussed the problems and limitations that needed to be addressed through cooperation between faculty. One of the takeaway messages of Mr Fukuda’s practical explanation was that, although the students found the work challenging, they also found it fun. Challenge is both a component of authenticity (Mishan, 2005) and a component necessary to finding motivational flow (Csikszentmihalyi, 2013), so this was a very encouraging observation.

In the next talk entitled 「大学で専門を学ぶための英語力:英語4技能入試導入との接点」(English Language Ability Required for Learning in Areas of Specialization in University: Howe does it Relate to the Introduction of Four-Skills English Language Assessment to University Entrance Examinations?) Professor Yasuyo Sawaki from Waseda University then came on to give a detailed explanation of her own small-scale interview research conducted at Waseda University from an EMI perspective. Her research looked in particular at characteristics of English language skills required in content courses where part of the instruction involves English and views of the instructors of the content courses on the introduction of four-skills English language assessment for university admissions currently being discussed as part of the government-initiated English language education and entrance examination reform (Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology; MEXT, 2016). She was followed by Professor Kumiko Murata from Waseda University and Dr Mayu Kanagahara from Kanda University of International Studies, whose research was funded by the Institute for Advanced Studies in Education, Waseda University and a government grant and looked at the implications of English as a Lingua Franca for EMI approaches. Their talk, 「EMI(英語による授業)と「英語」への学生・教員の意識調査:ELF(共通語としての英語)の視座より」(EMI Students and Faculty’s Awareness of English as a Lingua Franca), presented the results of questionnaire research focusing on attitudes toward and awareness of English as a Lingua Franca and how this was under-represented in the current implementation of EMI programs. The main question which they asked the audience at the end was “What does the E in EMI really stand for?”, of course the implication being that it stands for ‘English as a Lingua Franca’, rather than one that conforms to the standards of a particular nation.

To round off the day’s session, there was a short panel discussion involving all the presenters. The main issues that were discussed were the issue of teacher training, preparation and planning in order to implement CLIL 「教員の問題)」, and the problem of mother-tongue 「母語の問題」, because it had been noted during professor Ikeda’s session that some of the children had learned how to speak about maths so well in English but they were not as capable of doing so in their first language. It was stressed that a balance needed to be struck in these bilingual approaches, in order not to cause problems for learners in their native languages. This reminded me very much of the issues that were raised by Mori Arinori during the Meiji restoration, who had also at one time proposed that education be done in English, only to face criticism for neglecting the first language development of Japanese students (see Heinrich, 2012 for a more detailed discussion of the history of Japan’s language policies). But it may be worth noting that even additive bilingual education programs, in which more than 50% of the content instruction in elementary school is given in a second/foreign language, are reported not to negatively affect first language acquisition (e.g., Shin, 2012).

The entire session lasted just four hours, but there was so much discussion crammed into that time that many speakers on the panel acknowledged that they were only able to scratch the surface of some of these issues. Professor Harada, who was the main organiser of the event, did an amazing job keeping everybody on track and fielding questions. Ultimately, the session proved that although CLIL, EMI and CBI are very promising approaches, what is really needed still are practical examples, collaboration, cooperation and an open community of sharing ideas. To that end, the Waseda Symposium was a great success in moving the discussion forward, and we hope to see many more events like this in the future.



Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2013). Flow: The psychology of happiness. New York: Random House.

Heinrich, P. (2012). The making of monolingual Japan: Language ideology and Japanese modernity. Bristol: Multilingual Matters.

MEXT (2016). Koudai setsuzoku no shinchoku joukyou ni tsuite [On the progress of high school/universeity articulation]. Retrieved November 28, 2016, from http://www.mext.go.jp/b_menu/houdou/28/08/1376777.htm

Mishan, F. (2005). Designing authenticity into language learning materials. Bristol: Intellect Books.

Shin, S. J. (2012). Bilingualism in schools and society: Language, identity, and policy. New York: Routledge.


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2017 Sophia Lectures on CLIL

It is with great anticipation that we announce this year’s Sophia Lectures on CLIL series. 2017 will see Dr Ana Llinares coming to Tokyo in order to give a workshop and lecture on CLIL research and practice.

You can also download the PDF flyer to advertise in your own institutions here.

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Symposium for CLIL in a plurilingual community of practice 2017

Following on from the success for the 2016 Symposium, CLIL in a Plurilingual Community of Practice returned with more speakers and demonstration lessons to talk about how CLIL can be implemented as an approach in Japan for foreign language learning. This year’s symposium featured demo lessons in English, French and Chinese, as well as talks about materials and techniques and language policy. There were over one hundred attendees and there was enthusiastic discussion from the participants.

Following the welcome speeches by organisers Yoshimi Hiroyasu, Chantal Hemmi and Akiko Masaki, the first plenary session was given by Makoto Ikeda, who spoke about CLIL Principles, Materials And Techniques In Diverse Contexts. Professor Ikeda talked about these three issues in turn, stressing always the practical side and giving clear examples of how these aspects are implemented. After outlining the position of CLIL in ELT methodologies and explaining the different types of CLIL programme (such as soft CLIL, light CLIL and bilingual CLIL – see Ikeda 2012), he also discussed the ELT-CLIL-EMI continuum (Ikeda 2016).


Professor Ikeda discussed the role of authenticity in CLIL, which he highlighted by showing various CLIL teaching materials from textbooks and handouts, and connecting them with both Lower and Higher-Order Thinking Skills. This led onto a discussion of tasks, which was demonstrated with a range of videos from observed classes in Europe and teacher training DVDs. The overall structure of Professor Ikeda’s talk was to present the theory, and then show how these concepts are actually put into practice through tasks, materials and classroom interactions.

Following this, Professor Emi Fukasawa then gave the audience an insight into her own teaching with an intimate account of her Elementary level students at Sophia’s Centre for Language Education and Research (CLER). The focus of the demo lesson was on niche marketing, and Professor Fukasawa clearly demonstrated how CLIL can be implemented even with low-level proficiency learners. Her materials were self-authored, and Professor Fukasawa showed how content that is familiar to students can be adapted as authentic materials (such as the Aigan for Yu bath glasses) as well as less familiar content, such as the Pilipino fast-food chain of restaurants, Jollybee.


After a short break, Dr Lisa Fairbrother from Sophia’s Faculty of Foreign Studies gave a talk on Language Policy in Education as a Process. Like Professor Ikeda, Dr Fairbrother spoke in Japanese but used English on her slides, which was an example of what Garcia and Wei would call translanguaging; an important aspect of many CLIL classrooms and other bilingual approaches. Dr Fairbrother spoke about Micro, Meso and Macro-levels of language planning, and how these levels interact as language programs unfurl as a dynamic process. Without laying any blame, Dr Fairbrother was able to holistically evaluate the implementation of Japan’s foreign language policy (Macro-level), and explain how these are important considerations for teachers and learners at the Meso and Micro levels of implementation. For me, this talk was fascinating as I found it empowering to know how the things that I control in my classroom interact with these much wider policies. Dr Fairbrother’s emphasis was of course on evaluation and review, in other words making sure that the policies work and ensuring that the management cycle is one which works towards the benefit of all stakeholders.

Following Dr Fairbrother’s talk, we were treated to two demo lessons. The first, in French, was given by Professor Ayako Kitamura, in which participants used simple expressions to learn about artists, their most famous works and their province of origin. Personally, this was one of the most enjoyable high-points for me as I love French and I love art, so it was very enjoyable to be able to learn about them both together.

Afterwards, Professor Zhang Tong gave us a detailed explanation of her Chinese intermediate class, in which she uses authentic materials such as videos and statistics, in order to provide her students with talking points and to supplement her textbooks. She stressed the importance of involving the students in a process of negotiation when selecting and adapting authentic content. This seemed to have much in common with what I have previously called The Living Textbook (Pinner 2016). In other words, authentic content needs to be negotiated and tailored for each class based on their needs and interests, something that Dr Fairbrother also picked up on during the panel discussion.

At the end, all the speakers gathered together for a panel discussion and Q&A session. Some of the topics discussed were the use of the L1 or mother tongue in order to scaffold and facilitate understanding, the balance between Higher and Lower-order thinking skills (HOTS and LOTS). Also, the issue of negotiating content and getting feedback on what’s working and what’s not working were highlighted as important.

Overall, the symposium was another great success. All the participants were given insights into how multilingual education looks in both theory and practice. Each speaker gave relevant information and managed to combine theory with practical examples that made it easy to follow. I would like to extend my gratitude to the organising committee for all their hard work in putting together today’s symposium, as well as each speaker for their insightful talks, and of course the many participants who attended the talk and made it such a lively forum for discussing CLIL in a plurilingual community of practice.


Ikeda, M. (2012). CLILの原理と指導法 [Principles and methodologies of CLIL]. In S. Izumi, M. Ikeda & Y. Watanabe (Eds.), CLIL: New Challenges in Foreign Language Education at Sophia University (Vol. 2: Practices and Applications, pp. 1-15). Tokyo: Sophia University Press.

Ikeda, M. (2016). CLIL活用の新コンセプトと新ツール [CLIL’s utilization of new tools and concepts]. In M. Ikeda, Y. Watanabe & S. Izumi (Eds.), CLIL: New Challenges in Foreign Language Education at Sophia University (Vol. 3: Lessons and Materials, pp. 1-29). Tokyo: Sophia University Press.

Pinner, R. S. (2016). Reconceptualising Authenticity for English as a Global Language. Bristol: Multilingual Matters.

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