Prof. Joana Duarte

Keynote address

Inclusive CLIL – re-imagining CLIL from a global citizenship lens in a (post-)pandemic war-stricken world

Since its inception in the 1990s, CLIL has become part of the educational literature as a dual-focused and multi-dimensional approach for foreign language learning (Coyle, 2002). CLIL is not only about using an additional language as a medium in teaching, but also to build and reinforce learners’ knowledge of other disciplines while using the language creatively to solve problems and develop critical thinking (Gabillon, 2020). However, the magnitude of challenges that (language) learners face in schools today – in relation to conflicts, inequity, poverty, technology, climate, polarisation, etc. – creates new needs in relation to the conceptualisation and implementation of CLIL.

The talk will explore how the development of CLIL has recently been influenced by research exploring the role of language(s) and language use in our changing global social ecology caused by transnationalism and superdiversity (Blommaert, 2013; Vertovec, 2009). From this new perspective, language is no longer a standardised native-speaker driven construct with well-defined national/regional borders, but a multimodal tool and a resource for social practice and meaning making (Atkinson et al., 2016). As such, recent research on CLIL brings together language cognition, content and learning with a plurilingual mindset. Examples of this, are recent projects combining CLIL with multilingual education (Nikula et al. 2016) and translanguaging approaches (Duarte & Günther-van der Meij, 2020; Moore & Nikula, 2016).

Further, the talk will also present the role of CLIL in fostering intercultural/global citizenship skills (Porto, 2018), by focusing on the development of intercultural communicative competence. I will show how intercultural citizenship can complement CLIL as it bridges the 4Cs framework Coyle et al. (2010, p. 42) with a a pluriliteracies CLIL model (Meyer et al., 2015).

I conclude by highlighting the idea that – in a (post)pandemic, war-stricken world in which the interconnectedness of nations is unprecedented - for CLIL to contribute to inclusive education, its conceptualisations need to expand beyond any utilitarian, market-driven, and Eurocentric notions (Porto, 2018). CLIL must therefore include both plurilingual pedagogies and a focus on (critical) intercultural citizenship. Such forms of inclusive CLIL can empower young learners with attitudes, values, knowledge, and skills to help them grasp and actively address complex our current global issues.

Professor Joana Duarte holds a chair in bilingual education and world citizenship at the University of Amsterdam, and is associate professor at Stenden Hogeschool where she focuses on multilingualism.