Development of CLIL Pedagogy
Start date: Jun 1, 2015,
End date: May 31, 2017
Oulu International School is classified as a CLIL school and as such, we wish to develop this profile. CLIL has not been an emphasis in the school strategy for many years, and because of the gap in time and because we also have new staff on board, we need to work at renewing commitment to CLIL practices and knowledge amongst all teachers by putting CLIL into the spotlight.
Inquiry-based learning is another methodology through which all of our teachers should be teaching. Although it has been a strong part of the Primary Years Programme, it has only recently been transferred to the Middle Years Programme as a central feature of teaching and learning. Teachers in the Middle Years Programme need more tools and knowledge of how to use inquiry based methods in their lessons.
Using technology in education is one of the school's goals, and one of the training courses specifically combines CLIL and ICT. The possibilities of using ICT in CLIL language learning has not been developed or focussed on at our school, and so this area need to be addressed.
The objective for the students is that they would increase their level of understanding of concepts in the language of tuition: English and their mother-tongue/or second language: Finnish. This would be through new activities, knowledge, skills and materials acquired by teachers who attend CLIL training.
Another objective is that the curriculum which is currently being updated, would receive ideas and support for the CLIL section of the syllabus. The "vieraskielinen opetus" (foreign language teaching) which we provide at our school has slightly changed in Finland since the last curriculum and we need to look carefully at how to deliver it efficiently and in the framework of the new requirements.
The training courses which teachers attend will also serve as a source for networking with other CLIL schools in Europe which will become an outlet for support, sharing materials, future projects (e.g. possible e-twinning) and job shadowing. The trainings abroad are also avenues for developing intercultural awareness and communication amongst staff.
Six teachers would be sent away to CLIL trainings in Europe in 2015- 2016. The profile of the participating teachers:
1. Primary Years Programme coordinator; grade 1 class teacher; member of curriculum team
2. Grade 5 class teacher; inquiry-based learning leader
3. Finnish mother tongue subject teacher; Finnish as second language teacher; Approaches to Learning leader; member of curriculum team
4. Humanities subject teacher (history, civics, religion, ethics); coordinator for student mentors ("tukioppilaat")
5. Middle Years Programme coordinator; English and religion subject teacher; member of the curriculum team
6. Acting principal; member of both the National and regional Oulu City curriculum teams for teaching in foreign languages in Finland
The activities are: trainings abroad, internal inservice workshops for teachers on CLIL methodology, and curriculum writing workshops.
The methodology of this project is to gain professional development for teaching staff. Training abroad should be a spark for gaining new perspectives and ideas from different cultures and settings for CLIL, inquiry based learning and ICT, rather than being limited to local ways of practising them. Those staff who have trained abroad then prepare workshops for staff at school so that the whole school community benefits.
The impact is that we hope the teachers at the school who attend training courses in different institutions in Europe, and through them - the whole staff, will be motivated and inspired to use CLIL and inquiry-based learning methods and ICT more frequently in their everyday work with students. Also, students will have a stronger vocabulary of concepts in multiple languages through new activities and approaches, and the new curriculum will include CLIL methodology in general and CLIL approaches for each subject and grade level, as well as how ICT is incorporated into CLIL.
The long term benefits would include a stronger, more developed and established CLIL and inquiry-based learning profile in the school, where all teachers are knowledgeable, proficient and active in applying CLIL methodology, inquiry-based learning and ICT skills, as well as the school having an effective and idea-rich curriculum for years to come.
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