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CLIL in languages other than English –
Successful transitions across educational stages

Collaboration between students, teachers and institutions at different educational levels

Collaboration to support transitions between different educational levels can vary in terms of duration, goals and participants. This section presents some examples of collaboration in support of transitions to give ideas and inspiration for collaboration between learners in classrooms (nano level), classes/groups/teachers (micro level) and institutions (meso level). Collaboration is also possible at the macro and supra level, but these levels are not covered here.

Collaboration and CLIL LOTE transitions

Why should transitions in CLIL LOTE be supported through collaboration between students, teachers and/or institutions at different educational levels – what is the added value?

Collaboration supports the continuity of educational pathways and smoother discontinuity in transitions between different educational levels. Collaboration supports professionals working in this area and this mutual support can be extremely important because CLIL LOTE contexts may be in weaker position than CLIL English-programs. There may, for example, be unfavorable organizational factors, such as lack of time, geographical distance between primary and secondary schools, a lack of professionally prepared staff or reduced support at one of the schools involved, either from staff or parents. Collaboration is needed in terms of pedagogical and methodological transitions, to ensure appropriate linguistic support and the need to cope with new curricular requirements. From a student perspective, Chambers (2020, p. 80)Gary N. Chambers (2020).
What Pupils Say about Transition (KS2–3) and What This Might Mean for CLIL. In: K. Bower et al. Curriculum Integrated Language Teaching. CLIL in Practice. Cambridge University Press, p. 63-92.
emphasizes: ‘If a smoother, more informed transition is to be experienced by pupils, communication and collaboration between primary and secondary schools are the key.” In order to make the necessary discontinuity an opportunity for development, it is crucial to invest in collaboration between a range of different stakeholders.

This section explores the added value of different forms of collaboration to ensure continuity within CLIL LOTE programs and to map the challenges that students identify as affecting their CLIL LOTE transitions.


The CLIL LOTE study has shown that: 

  • Collaboration between students, teachers and/or institutions from different educational levels are considered essential by approximately 35% of the survey respondents to support CLIL LOTE transitions.
  • The lack of collaboration is seen as one of the challenges in implementing transitions in CLIL LOTE.
  • The survey respondents assume that collaboration mainly exist at the institutional level and suggest to also strengthen collaboration between teachers and between students to support CLIL LOTE transitions.


Are you a teacher or a leader at an institution – and do you want to gather ideas for how to support transitions in CLIL LOTE? On this page you can find two main resources:

Examples of collaboration

Two collaboration scenarios

The following examples serve as a starting point for collaboration to support transitions and can be modified and adapted to different educational contexts and goals.

Collaboration between learners as agents (nano level)

Collaboration between classes/groups/teachers (micro level)

Collaboration between institutions, e.g. schools, universities (meso level)

This section presents two inspiring collaboration scenarios that go across all three levels (nano, micro, meso) involving diverse stakeholders. These examples can take place as Research Practice Partnerships (RPP) RPPs refer to collaborative and systematic partnerships between researchers and practitioners aimed at addressing authentic problems and improving educational practices. RPPs may bring together teachers, administrators, policymakers, and researchers to engage in an ongoing collaboration to bridge the gap between research and practice (Penuel & Gallagher, 2017).
See also the ECML-project Action research communities for language teachers.
Penuel, W. & Gallagher, D. (2017). Creating research-practice partnerships in education. Harvard Education.

Collaboration scenario: Reconstructing transitions through students’ visualizations of CLIL experiences in primary and secondary schools

Collaboration scenario: Student agency in investigating secondary education CLIL LOTE as means of softening transitions

Quotes: Recommendation

“Those responsible for national, regional and institutional policy in all educational sectors should […] encourage and facilitate communication and collaboration between teachers of different languages and different curriculum subjects”
“When a key goal of education is to develop learners’ plurilingual and intercultural repertoires, active collaboration between teachers of different languages is a precondition for successful implementation; and collaboration between language teachers and teachers of other subjects is also essential.”
The Council of Europe’s Recommendation CM/Rec(2022)1 on the importance of plurilingual and intercultural education for democratic culture highlights the key role of collaboration.

Working group

The collaboration group which prepared the resources of this section was coordinated by Joana Duarte (Rijksuniversiteit Groningen and Universiteit van Amsterdam, Netherlands) and Sílvia Melo-Pfeifer (Universität Hamburg, Germany).

Group members:
María del Mar Martín de Nicolás Moreno (Universität Heidelberg, Germany), Sylvie Hautenauve (Fédération de l’Enseignement fondamental Catholique, Segec, Belgium), Susanne Jacobsen Perez (Roskilde Universitet, Denmark), Jelena Mišković (Osnovna škola „Sveti Sava“, Serbia), Fozilet Simoni (National Directorate of Pre University Education, Albania), Sarah Thome (Universität Heidelberg, Germany) and Nastja Valentincic Al Bukhari (Šolski center Nova Gorica, Srednja ekonomska in trgovska šola, Slovenia).