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BICS & CALP
“I’m a CLIL subject teacher (1), and I know what content I want my students to learn. But how do I know what language to teach them?”(2)
CLIL teachers don’t teach the sort of language that students usually learn in language classes (3).
CLIL students don’t follow a syllabus which is based on grammar development (4).
CLIL sudents don’t learn tourist language such as ‘Can you tell me the way to The Eiffel Tower?’ or ‘How much does this t-shirt cost?’
CLIL students don’t learn language through the kind of topics usually found in language Course Books, such as ‘My Family’, ‘Travel’ or ‘Advertising’.
CLIL teachers don’t teach Basic Interpersonal Communication Skills (BICS) (5).
So what language do CLIL teachers teach? (6)
It can be described in three categories.
First of all, CLIL students need to know subject-specific vocabulary for the topic they are learning, such as ‘terrain’, ‘plateau’, ‘estuary’ or ‘flood plain’ for geography, or ‘ratio’, ‘divide’, ‘fraction’ or ‘decimal’ for maths. They also learn the grammar which is needed for the subject, such as the past simple tense and ‘used to’ for history, or ‘if....., then .....’ sentences for science.
CLIL students also need to learn the language they will need to carry out activities during the lesson, such as sentence starters like ‘there is’ or ‘there are’ and (sequence markers’) like ‘firstly’, ‘after that’ or ‘finally’ for writing, or Functional Language ‘I disagree with ....’ or ‘Shall we decide on ....’ for group work.
CLIL students learn the sort of language which helps them organise their thoughts and solve problems, like ‘analyse’, categorise’ or ‘design’ (7).
This sort of language learning is called CALP – Cognitive Academic Langauge Proficiency (8).
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This Unit forms part of a language course designedto help teachers refreshtheir English language skills.
It was developed as part of the EU Project ‘CLIL4U’, and is intended as preparation for the main CLIL4U course onTeaching through CLIL.
To follow the language course, click on the CLIL4U Pre-Course Homepage button below.
Short url: https://clilstore.eu/cs/2287