CLIL in Europe
Edited By David Marsh and Dieter Wolff
II. Implementing CLIL in the education system
What a school needs to consider before launching a CLIL programme: the Estonian experience Peeter Mehisto in co-operation with Hiie Asser, Irene Käosaar, Maie Soll and Kai Völli' Background Estonia is a nation state where 32 % of the population has a mother tongue other than the official state language — Estonian. The vast majority of non-native- speakers of Estonian speak Russian as a first language. Estonian language knowledge is seen as the primary vehicle for the social, economic and political integration of non-Estonians. One particularly successful Estonian language- learning programme is a voluntary CLIL programme. It was launched nationally in September 2000 in four pilot schools beginning in grade one. Inspired by the success of the early CLIL programme, a late CLIL programme beginning in grade six was launched in 2003. Both the early and late CLIL programmes use the medium of Estonian to deliver at least half of the subjects offered in the national curriculum. The programme is managed nationally by the Language Immersion Centre that was established in 2000 by the Ministry of Education and Research. Today, 3,200 children in 48 institutions (schools and kindergartens) are studying in the pro- gramme. In addition to the rapidly increasing enrolment, a considerable body of independent research attests to the success of the programme. This article summarises, under the following headings, the lessons learned about CLIL programme implementation in Estonia: • •Hne Asser works at Tartu University, Irene Käosaar and Kai Völli work at the Estonian Language...
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