Nihayra Leona

Keynote address

CLIL Programs for Students in Non-Western Countries: Challenges and Opportunities

CLIL programs in secondary education have been widely introduced in western countries, but their popularity is also increasing in non-western countries. Traditionally, western schools implementing these programs are visited by children of highly educated parents and/or parents with a middle to high socioeconomic status. In non-western countries, this is not necessarily the case. These countries face several limitations and challenges that might complicate the widespread introduction of CLIL programs. In this talk, I will focus on the feasibility and effectiveness of CLIL programs in non-western countries. In order to do so, I will present several examples of programs implemented in non-western countries. However, I will devote special attention to Caribbean case studies. These case studies illustrate how CLIL programs were developed, implemented, and are being sustained in some Caribbean islands. I will consider some legal, financial and societal challenges that accompanied the introduction of these programs. Besides the challenges, I will also elaborate on the possibilities that CLIL programs offer to multilingual non-western students who often embrace the learning of new languages. I conclude that despite all challenges that accompany the introduction of CLIL programs in non-Western countries, it is worth developing CLIL programs that suit the needs of non-western students.

Nihayra Leona is a PhD candidate at the University of Amsterdam. Her research interests are in psycholinguistic research, and multilingual education. Her focus is on the contribution of child-internal and child-external factors to the multilingual development of native Dutch students, students with an immigrant background living in the Netherlands, and Caribbean students. Until recently she was the chairwoman of Levende Talen Papiaments (the Papiamento branch of the Dutch association for language education). She is now director at the school board for mother tongue based schools on Curaçao, the Fundashon Skol Humanista na Papiamentu.