BILINGUAL EDUCATION TRAINING: WHO NEEDS CLIL ?

Once again I had the great pleasure to run a 3-day training course in Milan with Italian Primary teachers coming from different bilingual schools in the region as the main protagonists. I have to confess that it was a fantastic challenge for me to show some of the work I do as a Bilingual teacher and share my long experience in implementing and developing successful Bilingual Education projects in English as a second language. The first question that I wanted to discuss with all was the difference between CLIL & Bilingual Education. I just wanted them to reflect upon their own views & teaching practices as a sort of initial assesment in order to set real targets for the training course. Basically I asked them to think about what they knew & were doing and what they wanted to know and improve for a better future in their schools. After looking at a few similarities we just put the emphasis on the big differences about teaching a foreign language through just contents or the benefits of having a well-designed bilingual Education programme.

Teachers were glad to see practical and innovative ideas through two of my cross-curricular & problem-based learning projects carried out in my bilingual classrooms: Happy Australia day & Legoland park Zaragoza. ” Alberto, this is what we want to see. It’s exactly what we need to have, I mean not just somebody sharing real work with us but also helping us to blend knowledge and skills in order to plan and develop more successful Bilingual Education programmes in our Public schools”, said some of the teachers at the end of the first day. Actually one of the objectives for these teachers was to reflect upon their teaching practices. They just admitted to be delighted with the step-by step approach & clear strategies I used in my presentations as well as when it came to setting tasks for them. They also found crucial for their training to be evaluated and receive feedback from both me and other colleagues. In the end it turned out to be a very rewarding experience for everyone. I’m looking forward to coming back soon.

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