Why Does CLIL Work? A Psycholinguistic Perspective
What is missing in numerous discussions about CLIL and its effectiveness is reference to a more comprehensive understanding of language learning (however, Munoz 2007 makes an attempt to link CLIL to Second Language Acquisition Research), which could be used as context and source of justification as to why and to what extent CLIL does or does not work (Arnold 2010, Cenoz et al. 2013, Costa and D’Angelo 2011, Georgiou 2012, Varkuti 2010). Problems with, or weaknesses of, implementation can easily be confused with issues of its underlying principles, as pointed out by several authors (Bruton 2011a, 2011b, Marsh et al. 2008, Papaja 2010, Pawlak 2010). In this article I refer to CLIL as a system rather than a method because it essentially defies the principles and criteria accepted in designing mainstream methods of foreign, especially English, language teaching, such as reliance on various guidelines from linguistics and psychology, circulating at the time of their construction (Chastain 1976, Dakowska 1987, 2005, Olpińska 2008, Richards, Rodgers 1987, 2001). Nevertheless, CLIL has enjoyed a fairly good reputation in the context of foreign language education (Dakowska, Olpińska, eds. 2002, Lyster 2007, Marsh, Wolff, eds. 2007, Mehisto et al. 2008, Olpińska 2008, 2010, Ruiz de Zarobe et al., eds. 2009, Wolff, ed. 2006). It is even regarded as a more effective solution in an increasing number of educational contexts than these mainstream methods while literature on various aspects of CLIL is growing exponentially (eg. Breeze et...
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