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

Initial and in-service teacher education

Teacher education (initial and in-service) is one of the most important sources of teachers’ professional competence. While teacher education is organised in different ways in different countries, its essence is the same: teachers acquire and build knowledge of the subject(s) which they are supposed to teach and they develop didactical and pedagogical competences with regard to the teaching of their subjects. Teacher education is therefore the place for supporting and building language awareness and reflective competences Reflective practitioners can be defined as follows: “Someone in an educational profession, for example a teacher, teacher educator, head teacher, curriculum designer or textbook writer, actively reflecting on his/her practice in relation to his/her experience in the light different criteria. Principles of quality, such as relevance, validity, reliability, transparency and sustainability can support such reflection.”  

Source: ECML resource website A quality assurance matrix for CEFR use (2016-2019).
in subject teaching in general and about CLIL and support for transitions across educational stages in particular. 
In the context of initial teacher education, different target groups can be distinguished: 
All language students learn about CLIL (a relatively realistic scenario that however is too restrictive if we want to engage teachers of other subjects in CLIL).
All students with specific interest in CLIL can learn about CLIL (a pragmatic scenario that however has the disadvantage that CLIL would be an optional subject in teacher education).
All students of all subjects get acquainted with CLIL, and language students as well as students of other subjects with specific interest in CLIL get a deeper insight in CLIL (the ideal scenario).

Furthermore, the collaboration between in-service language teachers and teachers of other subjects as well as the collaboration between in-service teachers and student teachers should be encouraged. 

Teacher education and CLIL LOTE transitions

Why should transitions in CLIL LOTE be supported through teacher education – what is the added value?  

It is important to learn about and prepare for CLIL and transitions in the context of teacher education. Familiarising (student) teachers with regard to theory and practice examples about CLIL creates an awareness of learning languages and subjects at the same time. Collaboration with (student) teachers of different subjects/languages widens the horizon and makes it possible to try out CLIL concepts in teacher education with regard to concrete educational steps helping to facilitate transitions. Such experience will enable teachers to use CLIL concepts in their own teaching and bear in mind and prepare for transitions.


The CLIL LOTE study has shown that: 

  • Teacher education, according to the survey respondents, is one of the key factors that make it difficult to implement CLIL LOTE as they emphasize that not enough teachers are trained to use the approach and that CLIL often is not part of teacher education.
  • The survey respondents recommend that CLIL LOTE transitions should be addressed in initial and/or in-service teacher education.
  • Less than 10% of the survey respondents assume that CLIL LOTE transitions are supported in their context through initial and/or in-service teacher education.


Are you a teacher educator or a decision maker responsible for teacher education – and do you want to gather ideas for how to support transitions in CLIL LOTE through initial and in-service teacher education? On this page you can find three main tools: 

A proposal for the deliberate integration of LOTE languages in teacher education curricula for language subjects and non-language subjects

The proposal encourages

  • the use of other languages than English in the context of mandatory readings and research literature,
  • the use of other languages than English in the context of teaching projects and assignments,
  • collaboration between (future) language teachers and teachers of other subjects.


A proposal for collaboration between in-service teachers and pre-service teachers in non-language and language subjects

The proposal promotes

  • a collaboration between pre-service teachers in non-language and language subjects,
  • a collaboration between in-service teachers and pre-service teachers studying for becoming a teacher in non-language and language subjects,
  • a coordinated and structured collaboration that is sustainable in a longer-term perspective


Reflection activity

Three inspiring scenarios presenting existing initial and in-service teacher education

Quotes: Recommendation

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 teacher education for CLIL LOTE:

“Institutions and agencies responsible for the initial and further education of teachers and educators in all sectors and at all levels should promote plurilingual and intercultural education for democratic culture by […] assigning a central role in their own curriculums to the concepts and principles on which such education rests, including the language dimension of all curriculum subjects. ”
“The successful implementation of plurilingual and intercultural education for democratic culture depends crucially on teachers, regardless of the subject/s they are teaching; they are the agents of change. It is thus essential that teacher education helps them to develop the necessary professional competences. Particular importance should be given to a focus on language and culture in all subjects and an exploration of those aspects of teaching and learning that all teachers have in common. Teachers’ professional development should also explore ways of promoting the transfer of competences and strategies between languages. ”

Working group

The teacher education group which prepared the resources of this section was coordinated by Beate Lindemann (Universitetet i Tromsø, Norway). 

Group members: Claudia Bartholemy (Ecole Moser Nyon and Université de Lausanne, Switzerland),  Laurent Cammarata (University of Alberta, Alberta, Canada), Marios Evaggelinos (Institute of Educational Policy, Greece), Alja Lipavic Oštir (Univerza v Mariboru, Slovenia), Danièle Moore (Simon Fraser University, British Columbia, Canada), Katarzyna Nowakowska (Uniwersytet Warszawski, Poland), Agnieszka Sochal (Uniwersytet Warszawski, Poland), Vasiliki Spiliotopoulos (University of Ottawa, Ottowa, Canada) and Przemysław Wolski (Uniwersytet Warszawski, Poland).