Each CLIL subject is concerned with its own content and language input, or ’discourse’. CLIL teachers often provide glossaries of specialised vocabulary for their subject. However, in addition to this specialised vocabulary, each subject also has its own characteristic language features. For example, the language of geography contains many prepositions and present tenses, the language of history is in the past tense right from the start, science subjects are often concerned with the language of hypotheses (‘if’ sentences), and physical education makes much use of imperatives. That is why it is useful for CLIL teachers to become aware of the language features which are often used in their subject area, so that they can help their learners to notice how language is used in their subject, too.
Once teachers have evaluated their material for its language characteristics, it can be useful to formulate language aims for a lesson, in terms of what new things the learners can do at the end of the lesson or lesson series. For this, it is useful to concentrate initially on only one or two essential language aspects
In this clip, a teacher and pupil talk about content and language aims. It was filmed at the Herman Wesselink College in Amstelveen. The learners are second year pupils (average age 13-14), The subject is Geography and the teacher is Menno Ruppert.