In this section, we discuss differences between speaking and writing for CLIL and teaching writing. In general, spoken language is less formal and less structured than written language. In spoken language, vocabulary is more informal, sentences are often incomplete and there is a lot of repetition.
In face-to-face communication, learners receive immediate feedback on their ideas or spoken English, and they can change or adapt their ideas or make themselves better understood on the spot. In writing there is usually no immediate feedback. As a rule written texts are usually much more structured, and writers are required to use complete sentences, more academic vocabulary and subject-specific vocabulary.
In the CLIL classroom, this can be seen in the difference between a presentation and a report of a scientific investigation. In a presentation learners might say we’ve found out that if you smoke too much… whereas in an essay they should write the investigation established that smoking… .
In writing, different mental processes are involved: there is more time to think, to reflect and to prepare but also to find synonyms and appropriate language and sentence structures. Learners engaged in writing need different reasoning and higher level thinking skills to produce meaningful written output. Furthermore, when writing for different subjects in CLIL, learners need subject-specific language as well as information about differences in styles of writing. CLIL teachers need to support learners more actively when they write in a second language than they are perhaps used to doing when learners write in their first language
In this clip, the teacher sets up a writing task to encourage learners to produce more written output. This clip was filmed at the Isendoorn College in Warnsveld. The learners are first year pupils (average age 12-13), the subject is PE and the teacher is Eric Willemsen.