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    Defining objectives

EMILE dans des langues autres que l'anglais –
Transitions réussies entre les différents niveaux d'enseignement

Cette page sera disponible en français en 2024. Veuillez vous référer aux pages en anglais pour le moment.

Defining objectives: Why focus on transitions in CLIL LOTE?

Why focus on Languages Other Than English (LOTE)?

Languages Other Than English – including foreign language subjects such as French, German, and Spanish – face a crisis in many European countries. Even if pupils learn LOTE as part of their primary or secondary education, there is a tendency that afterwards they do not continue to learn nor to use these languages. Very few students use their LOTE competences at tertiary level. However, studies, e.g. conducted in the highly anglicized Danish context See e.g.
Skovgaard Andersen, M. & Verstraete-Hansen, L. (2013).
Hvad gør vi med sproget? Behov for og holdninger til fremmedsprog i den danske centraladministration i et uddannelsespolitisk perspektiv. Copenhagen Business School.

Simonsen, I., Dreisig Sørensen, L. & Weilgaard Christensen, L. (2021).
En afdækning af behov for tysk og/eller fransk i private virksomheder og offentlige institutioner. Det Nationale Center for Fremmedsprog.

Amir, R. & Blegvad Mortensen, I. (2021).
DI analyse. Fremmedsprog og dobbeltkompetencer er vigtige for danske virksomheder. Dansk Industri. Available here
, show that there is a clear demand for proficiency in languages other than English in private companies and public institutions. Learning languages can, as stated by Maalouf et al. (2008, p. 7) M. Amin Maalouf et al. (2008).
A Rewarding Challenge. How the multiplicity of languages could strengthen Europe. Proposals from the Group of Intellectuals for Intercultural Dialogue set up at the initiative of the European Commission. European Commission, Brussels. Available here
, be driven by ‘a whole host of personal reasons stemming from individual or family background, emotional ties, professional interest, cultural preferences, intellectual curiosity, to name but a few’. Maalouf et al. (2008, p. 8) emphasize the need to support languages other than English from a European perspective: ‘to encourage, even for languages which are very much minority languages, their development in the rest of the continent, is inseparable from the very idea of a Europe of peace, culture, universality and prosperity.’

“Recognising the cognitive, linguistic and societal benefits of learning a range of languages and the disadvantages for learners who have access to only one additional language;

Recognising that the preservation and promotion of Europe’s linguistic diversity are preconditions for the cohesion of European societies […]”

The Council of Europe’s Recommendation CM/Rec (2022)1 on the importance of plurilingual and intercultural education for democratic culture reflects the key role of support for LOTE

Why focus on Content and Language Integrated Learning in LOTE?

CLIL creates situations for content-based, meaningful language use in LOTE classrooms or in other subjects, hereby promoting learners’ motivation for LOTE. However, CLIL experts stress that CLIL often is reduced to Content and English Integrated Learning (CEIL). ‘Although the first ‘L’ in CLIL is meant to stand for any language, it would be an extreme case of denial to claim that this is also the case in reality. CLIL languages tend to be recruited from a small group of prestigious languages, and outside the English-speaking countries, the prevalence of English as CLIL medium is overwhelming.’

Dalton-Puffer, C. (2011):
“Content-and-language integrated learning: from practice to principles?” Annual Review of applied linguistics 31, s. 182-204; quote on p. 183. 
The CLIL-LOTE-START project Haataja et al., 2011, s. 4. Available here.  made the point that:

the translation of CLIL into classroom practice as well as its further development […] have been mainly restricted to English-language contexts. This is even though the promotion of Languages Other Than English (LOTE) is a primary objective for language teaching in schools and one of the main aims of European language policy.

“Those responsible for national, regional and institutional policy in all educational sectors should […] promote […] content and language integrated learning (CLIL)”

The Council of Europe’s Recommendation CM/Rec(2022)1 on the importance of plurilingual and intercultural education for democratic culture encourages support for CLIL education

Why focus on transitions in CLIL LOTE?

There is a general need to give more attention to transitions across educational levels, both institutional/sociocultural and cognitive transitions See Gueudet et al. (2016).
Gueudet, G., Bosch, M., Disessa, A., Kwon, O. & Verschaffel, L. (2016). Transitions in Mathematics Education. Springer.

In an English language teaching context, Burns et al. (2013) Anne Burns et al. (2013).
Key Factors and Challenges in Transition from Primary to Secondary Schooling in ELT: An International Perspective. ELT Research Papers 13–08. London, UK: British Council. 

See for a discussion of potential challenges of transitioning from secondary CLIL to tertiary EMI education: Macaro et al. (2019). Transition from secondary school CLIL to EMI at university: Initial evidence from research in Italy. ELT Research Papers 19.07.  British Council.
conclude in respect to the transition from primary to secondary education that ‘in many countries, syllabus documents do not take into account continuity of content and methodology in the transition from Level 1 to Level 2’ and that it is crucial that ‘the knowledge and experiences students acquire at Level 1 are not lost at Level 2 and so that students do not become demotivated about learning English.’

Within CLIL, transitions across educational levels are clear field for
development ’Notable is the paucity of references in the literature to CLIL in relation to transition. Even major surveys on MFL teaching and learning in primary and secondary schools (e.g. Tinsley and Doležal, 2019) do not include CLIL.’ (Chambers 2020, p. 69)

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.
. CLIL can in itself be represented as a horizontal transition between language and content Elisabeth Kolb (2016),
“Schulische Übergänge”, in Burwitz-Melzer Eva, Mehlhorn Grit, Riemer Claudia, Bausch Karl-Richard, Krumm Hans-Jürgen (eds), Handbuch Fremdsprachenunterricht, 6., völlig überarbeitete und erweiterte Auflage, Francke, Tübingen, p. 192.
. Furthermore, this website considers CLIL LOTE transitions in a horizontal direction Beacco et al. (2016).
A Handbook for Curriculum Development and Teacher Training. The Language Dimension in All Subjects, Council of Europe.

See also the distinction between vertical and horizontal coherence in Beacco et al. (2016). for the development and implementation of curricula for plurilingual and intercultural education. Council of Europe.
by supporting a plurilingual perspective in CLIL. Instead of teaching the target language in isolation, the project promotes a pluralistic approach to languages in CLIL (CLsIL) The concept of Content and Languages Integrated Learning (CLsIL) has been introduced by Candelier et al. in the “Discovery Module” of the Framework of Reference for Pluralistic Approaches to Languages and Cultures (FREPA/CARAP).

Based on Candelier et al’s (2012) definition for pluralistic approaches to languages and cultures, CLsIL is in our project defined as follows: The term ‘Content and Languages Integrated Learning (CLsIL)’ refers to didactic approaches that use teaching/learning activities involving several (i.e. more than one) languages/varieties of languages in Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL), instead of dealing with the target language in isolation.
 offering curricula and teaching/learning activities involving more than one language, including home languages.

The overall rationale of the proposed resources is:

  • to encourage language education in languages other than English
  • to strengthen languages other than English by implementing CLIL in LOTE for the development of learners’ competences for life and work
  • to further develop the field of CLIL by promoting transitions across educational levels (vertical transitions) and pluralistic approaches to languages in CLIL LOTE (horizonal transitions)