Conferencia Plenaria: “Teaching complex content through a foreign language: How does CLIL help us make learning more brain-compatible?”
Plenary Conference “Teaching complex content through a foreign language: How does CLIL help us make learning more brain-compatible?”, by Prof. Y.L. Teresa Ting (The University of Calabria – Italy).
Presented by: Profa. Cristina A. Huertas Abril, Universidad de Córdoba (Spain).
When we realize that our students must learn complex content through a foreign language (e.g. CLIL (Content and Language Integrated Learning) at upper secondary or EMI (English Medium Instruction) at tertiary), we very automatically become more alert to the fact that comprehending complex Content also calls for the comprehension of all accompanying Language, which is also complex. Effective CLIL teachers thus modulate the quantity of content so that it is digestible and the quality of language so that it is comprehensible: CLIL-teachers constantly ask themselves if instruction is tarred to the level of the students. CLIL therefore prompts teachers to “see learning through the eyes of students”, an ability which Hattie (2009) found common to most of the more effective teachers in an 800-study meta-analysis. In the previous Conference (2017), we discussed how the brain might process (or not) complex information and analysed how CLIL-tasks could transform otherwise difficult text into doable tasks which facilitate the cognitive elaboration and comprehension of both content and language. This year, we will consider CLIL-materials that have been designed through the notion of translanguaging and once again, consider how and why such CLIL instruction is more in line with how the brain prefers its input.