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    Content and Language Integrated Learning

Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL)

Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) and bilingual education are increasingly popular across Europe. The ECML supports CLIL teachers and teacher trainers not only to take account of and strengthen the language component in subject learning but to focus on the development of cognitive and academic literacies.

Council of Europe Resources
Other Resources
Training and consultancyCLIL and beyond (pluriliteracies)


Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) plays an increasingly important role in language education, both as a feature of foreign language teaching and learning, and as an element of bilingual and plurilingual education. As learners develop their language competences, they are able to deal with evermore complex topics, so teaching material needs to offer learners interesting and challenging subject matter. One way to do this is through CLIL where language and subject teachers work together; language teachers acquire subject knowledge and subject teachers acquire expertise in combining language development with teaching the content effectively. Recent developments in CLIL have focused more specifically on academic literacies as well as on the use of CLIL approaches in the teaching of the language of schooling/majority language.

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How the ECML's work contributes to the development of CLIL 

A series of ECML publications and projects are devoted to CLIL. These include Curriculum development for Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL CD) and its publication The European Framework for CLIL Teacher Education, Content and language integrated learning through languages other than English (CLIL Start) and for their further development, CLIL Go, where the methodological skills needed by CLIL teachers are described and illustrated, and where there is a more theoretical approach to CLIL teaching. A further project, A pluriliteracies approach to teaching for learning, links plurilingual approaches and the development of literacy. Much of the literature on CLIL concerns the teaching of subjects in English, which is the most common language used in CLIL teaching. However, the CLIL Start and CLIL Go projects focus on CLIL with other languages, especially with French and German.

In addition to these featured publication on CLIL, the ECML has a wide range of CLIL resources for teachers and teacher trainers working in different sectors and in different languages. And our website will take you to the relevant policy documents produced by the Language Policy Portal which complement ECML practical outputs, as well as to relevant EU resources.

CLIL and other thematic areas

Implementing CLIL may be one element of more general language policies adopted by schools.

Languages of schooling

Various projects carried out in the thematic area Languages of schooling consider the role of CLIL in whole-school language policies. 

Migrant education and employment

Also, since the content focus of CLIL teaching is often professionally orientated, Migrant education and employment projects may show similarities in methodological approaches to CLIL.

Featured resources

CLIL in languages other than English
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A pluriliteracies approach to teaching for learning
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Language skills for successful subject learning. CEFR-linked descriptors for mathematics and history/civics
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Sep 2024

CLIL teaching materials for developing 21st century competences
Expert meeting
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Sep 2024

CLIL and beyond
National support event
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Oct 2024

Language of schooling in subject learning
ECML training and consultancy for member States
Training workshop online, part 1
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News items

Just published: Pluriliteracies teaching for deeper learning

CLIL, languages other than English (LOTE), successful transitions: A first web-based expert meeting

The future of language education in Europe: case studies of innovative practices