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Drama and CLIL

A new challenge for the teaching approaches in bilingual education


Susana Nicolás Román and Juan José Torres Núñez

Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) has transformed the educational scene and brought about a revolution of teaching methods and principles in the bilingual education environment. The major challenge in the implementation of a teacher education curriculum in CLIL is the integration of different teaching approaches to promote content and language mastery. What is certain is that there is no fixed model for CLIL and that for resources to be effective they have to be contextualized and motivating for both teachers and students. The four Cs (Content, Cognition, Communication and Culture) proposed by Coyle (1999) as framework for CLIL implementations find in drama a powerful meeting point to develop communicative skills and beyond. CLIL opens new possibilities for the implementation of drama in its multiple varieties: role-play, simulations, drama activities, educational drama and so on. This book proposes articles on the possibilities of drama as a challenging learning experience from primary to higher education.
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Drama and CLIL – and Language Learner Autonomy: A personal experience


When I was asked to write an introduction to this book, I immediately accepted. Even though I am not a specialist, neither in CLIL, nor as a teacher of drama, I am a strong believer in making use of these two educational approaches when it comes to good language learning. The chapters included here definitely support this belief. They provide the reader with excellent examples of different ways of working with drama and CLIL. They show that among many other positive effects “the two approaches motivate students through engagement and connection, but they are also connected in their holistic nature, engaging the whole learner in the learning process” (Hillyard, in this volume). When looking at the examples, though, I find it striking that a third approach – namely language learner autonomy (LLA) – where learners are expected to “be in charge of their own learning” (Holec 1981: 3) is almost lacking. In most cases, the examples given and activities suggested are teacher-directed and lend themselves to a large extent to rather traditional language teaching and learning methods. As neither drama nor CLIL are committed to any methodological language learning approach, Dieter Wolff (Wolff 2011: 71) points to this possible tendency: “teachers often tend to fall back on rather traditional language learning methods arguing, for example, that content subjects cannot be learned without a terminology which needs to be acquired through learning lists of words”. A possible solution could be to embed CLIL as well as ← 9 | 10 → Drama in a...

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