By now you have probably realised that I’m much in favour of integrating language and content making use of the several options we can find along the CLIL-CBI continuum.

  • By now you have probably realised that I’m much in favour of integrating language and content making use of the several options we can find along the CLIL-CBI continuum. This time, I’ll be sharing with you a very simple topic-based lesson which, surprisingly, my 16-year old students enjoyed.  

     One time, I was thinking of organising a lesson on South Africa from several fields, so to speak.  

THE INPUT MATERIAL  

  • Rather than beginning with geography, its location, and other features, I decided to start with something about their history. And I remembered a song by Eddy Grant, so I did a search on youtube and came across this one http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VO_dkd84RaE   
  • I was happy as the lyrics were ‘meaty’, full of issues to discuss and make comparisons between South Africa and Argentina. So far…so good… 
  • But then I said to myself, what if I give my students (last year of secondary education) some authentic input related to the facts behind the song? So I found a great article at http://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apartheid . It was great as it was authentic and at the right level in terms of language without being shallow in terms of content. I had the input material for my lesson: a song and a Wikipedia article.   

THE LESSON 

  • First, I asked them to think about facts, issues, or names related to South Africa. We then brainstormed ideas about this country and, through questions, I guided them to remember apartheid.  
  • Second, I explained to them what apartheid was and we discussed whether they knew about other similar systems.  
  • Then, I gave them a photocopy of the Wikipedia article. They read it silently and answer some comprehension questions about the article. After that, in pairs, they had to explain to a partner one aspect that had particularly called their attention.  
  • We shared the outcomes of the pair work task. We read the text again and I explained new vocabulary through synonyms, simple definitions or using Spanish. 
  • Last, we first listened to the song, then I gave them the lyrics. Their pair work task was now to compare and contrast the lyrics with the article. For this we revised connectors to show similarities and differences. Each pair produced a short text comparing both sources. I asked some pairs to read aloud their texts.  
  • Finally, they asked me to sing the song. I can still hear them singing the chorus now and then.

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