Prof. Marisa Pérez Cañado

Keynote address

CLIL for all: Reality or chimera?

This talk will focus on one of the most hotly debated issues affecting Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) at present: diversity, inclusion, and elitism in bilingual programs. The latter have been in place in many parts of Europe for over 20 years and are evolving in exciting new directions. One of the most prominent ones at present involves mainstreaming CLIL and making it accessible to an increasing range of learners. This new challenge has thrown bilingual education a real curveball and is entailing a thorough overhaul of our current CLIL programs. This presentation will explore how evolving towards a more diversity-sensitive model is affecting bilingual education on ten main fronts: the charge of elitism, the concept of diversity in itself, the role of the L1, materials design, pedagogical and evaluation techniques, the importance of the supranational perspective, multi-tiered systems of support, teacher education, the impact of COVID, and the focus of research. For each one, it will trace where we started out, showcase the current situation, and map out future pathways for progression. The latest empirical evidence on the topic will be used to address each front and the broader take-aways and chief pedagogical implications will be extracted for the frontline stakeholders. A broad array of materials, methodological tips, and teacher development options will be made available to continue addressing the challenge of diversity in CLIL in the immediate future and to ensure CLIL for all increasingly moves away from being a mere chimera to become a firmly embedded reality in our classrooms.

Marisa is Full Professor at the Department of English Philology of the University of Jáen, Spain, where she is also Rector’s Delegate for European Universities and Language Policy. Her research interests are in Applied Linguistics, bilingual education, and new technologies in language teaching.