About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 3501-3505
Publication year: 2016
ISBN: 978-84-617-5895-1
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2016.1831

Conference name: 9th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 14-16 November, 2016
Location: Seville, Spain

CONTENT AND LANGUAGE INTEGRATED LEARNING AT THE UNIVERSITY OF MONS, BELGIUM, READY TO DIVE IN?

V. Grisez

University of Mons (BELGIUM)
English is the lingua franca of the scientific community and has become part of the daily life of students, teachers, researchers or managers. In a globalised world, where graduates are expected to be fluent in several foreign languages to increase their chances in an ever growing competitive market, English has become THE language of instruction.

For the last two decades, some initiatives in Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) have been implemented in higher education at the European level with mixed educational success.

In Belgium, in order to attract exchange students and encourage mobility, many universities are already offering Master’s programmes which are partially or fully taught in English.

Enhancing the international profile of the students has been high on the agenda at the University of Mons for several years and this ongoing process has recently gained momentum, as more Master’s programmes are being taught in English. From interactive English Bachelor’s classes to specialist Master’s courses in English, from general to academic English, lots of effort is being put into turning a basic user of English into a proficient user of the language. Both Bachelor’s and Master’s students deal with Shakespeare’s language from their first steps at the university to their ultimate moment de gloire when defending their Master’s or Doctoral thesis in English.

This means a very high commitment from the teachers of other disciplines, whose mother tongue is overwhelmingly French. The difficulty of teaching in a foreign language also questions traditional pedagogical practices.

The aim of CLIL methodology is therefore two-fold: equipping students with essential language skills that will have a lasting impact on their future professional life, and assisting the teaching staff who are about to ‘dive in’. For CLIL to be successful, educational authorities need to provide a safety net, thereby ensuring that content teachers are properly trained and armed with the appropriate tools. CLIL is anything but a simple translation of a course into the target language or a copy-paste of original material. On the contrary, a CLIL approach is essentially student-centred: classes involve much more engagement from the learners and aim to foster interaction.

At first, the task can seem a bit daunting to academic and scientific teaching staff, who are often used to lecturing. However, the experience can produce very positive outcomes in the long run, providing the authorities are willing to invest in a large-scale programme that offers teaching and linguistic support. Guidance includes intensive workshops, individual coaching and CLIL seminars all year round and requires an goal-oriented and easy-going collaboration between language teachers and content teachers.
@InProceedings{GRISEZ2016CON,
author = {Grisez, V.},
title = {CONTENT AND LANGUAGE INTEGRATED LEARNING AT THE UNIVERSITY OF MONS, BELGIUM, READY TO DIVE IN?},
series = {9th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2016 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-617-5895-1},
issn = {2340-1095},
doi = {10.21125/iceri.2016.1831},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/iceri.2016.1831},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Seville, Spain},
month = {14-16 November, 2016},
year = {2016},
pages = {3501-3505}}
TY - CONF
AU - V. Grisez
TI - CONTENT AND LANGUAGE INTEGRATED LEARNING AT THE UNIVERSITY OF MONS, BELGIUM, READY TO DIVE IN?
SN - 978-84-617-5895-1/2340-1095
DO - 10.21125/iceri.2016.1831
PY - 2016
Y1 - 14-16 November, 2016
CI - Seville, Spain
JO - 9th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2016 Proceedings
SP - 3501
EP - 3505
ER -
V. Grisez (2016) CONTENT AND LANGUAGE INTEGRATED LEARNING AT THE UNIVERSITY OF MONS, BELGIUM, READY TO DIVE IN?, ICERI2016 Proceedings, pp. 3501-3505.
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