INTERDEPARTMENTAL COLLABORATION FOR A BETTER EDUCATION: CLIL PRACTICES IN THE DENTISTRY PROGRAM AT AN INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITY
Universitat Internacional de Catalunya (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN13 Proceedings
Publication year: 2013
Conference name: 5th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 1-3 July, 2013
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Abstract:Over the last several decades, globalization and internationalization trends have had a far-reaching impact on most social, cultural and institutional domains. A major player both as a catalyst and recipient in this development has been the area of education where this change in orientation is widely reflected in recent policies and innovations. In Europe, educational policies that have arisen in the wake of internationalization have aimed at increasing mobility of students, professors, and decision-makers in order to prepare students for a future where professional interaction will be carried out within an international context. Achieving mobility objectives depends is based on an understanding of cultural diversity and multilingualism; both elements have been promoted by the European Union as focus for strategies to enhance outcomes that are anticipated in the shifting landscape of education. Methods for meeting multilingual and cultural diversity objectives have also been defined and encouraged by the European Commission of Education: Content and Language Integrated Learning, or CLIL, is an approach to teaching subjects in a foreign language.
A main advantage of this approach is that it can be adopted in a wide variety of settings as there are many versions of CLIL methodology. In some versions, content is taught by a language specialist, and in others, the content is taught by the content specialist in a foreign language (e.g. Foreign Language medium instruction). In ideal educational environments, there is coherent collaboration between language specialists and content specialists.
Throughout Europe, CLIL has rapidly been incorporated into the higher education curricula. Indeed, it is at the university level where the vision for a more global professional setting is the most concrete as students complete their final training before embarking on their professional career. The Universitat Internacional de Catalunya is a young, private university that has embraced this vision since the beginning when it opened its doors in 1997. In particular, the Dentistry program incorporated venues for CLIL instruction in the curricula in which 150 hours of English for Dentistry courses for first-year dental students were included, with further hours for optional courses in the later years of the program. Decisions to implement so many CLIL courses were also not only based on general goals for mobility. The designers of the curriculum were research oriented and therefore felt that a CLIL model would best prepare their students for current practices in the health sciences community, where the Evidence-based approach is prevalent. Other forms of CLIL were also proposed, such as English Medium Instruction (EMI) in the form of lectures by professors in English, or projects, such as Poster presentations in English. Indeed, many of the graduate courses are taught only in English.
These projects have required much collaboration between the Dentistry and Language Departments. Plans for more collaboration are being defined as the Dentistry program seeks to potentiate the international aspects of its department by means of introducing more EMI course work in the graduate and undergraduate programs and increasing Erasmus opportunities.
This presentation will describe the collaborative endeavors undertaken by the Dentistry and Language departments at the undergraduate and graduate levels in the Universitat Internacional de Catalunya.
Keywords: CLIL, Dentistry Education.