International Journal of Language & Linguistics

ISSN 2374-8850 (Print), 2374-8869 (Online) DOI: 10.30845/ijll

The Implementation of CLIL Method in the Greek Educational System: The Case of its Impact on the Linguistic Competence of 5th and 6th Graders.
Tosounidou Chrysoula, Theoharidou Kalliopi

CLIL (Content and Language Integrated learning) stands for teaching a non-language school subject in a foreign language where the foreign language and school subject (content) have equal value (Coyle et al., 2010). Since 1990, CLIL has gained priority from all others approaches, and its influence escalated in 2005 with the proposal of the European Parliament that CLIL should be adopted as a method from all the European Union (EC, 2005). CLIL represents the ultimate dream of communicative language teaching (Dalton-Puffer, 2007:3) and is considered to be the ultimate communicative method (Graddol, 2006, p.86). However, Greece is one of the six European countries that have not adopted the CLIL method as an official teaching method yet (Eurydice, 2008). CLIL is currently taught experimentally only at the 3rd Primary Experimental School of Evosmos since 2011. This paper discusses the results of our study, which investigated the impact of CLIL method on the general linguistic proficiency of Greek Primary learners studying English as a foreign language during the academic year 2012-2013. The participants of this study were the students attending the last two grades of Primary School (fifth and sixth grade) of the 3rd Experimental School of Evosmos. At the beginning of the academic year, they took the Flyers Cambridge Young Learners Language test and according to their scores, they were classified to three levels of proficiency in English based on their performance. The conducted study was a quasi-experimental design having as its primary objective to investigate whether there was a linguistic advantage for the experimental group over the control group. In the course of the study, the experimental group participated both in the CLIL program and the courses of a typical EFL lesson while the other group attended only a typical EFL lesson. To compare the linguistic performance of both groups from 5th and 6th grade, we compared the results of language tests designed by the school teachers and administered to both groups of each grade as a pre-test prior to the implementation of the treatment and as a post-test at the end of the academic year after the treatment was implemented. The results of the study revealed that CLIL had shown a positive impact and a potential to the experimental groups of both grades, although the trends are not statistically significant for neither of the two grades. However, the findings indicated that the 5th graders who followed the CLIL program achieved to maintain their level of linguistic proficiency and the 6th graders achieved even to improve it. Consequently, based on the findings as mentioned earlier, CLIL seems to have a strong potential for foreign language teaching in a formal context.

Full Text: PDF