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Applied Linguistics Review

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Questions about CLIL which are unfortunately still not outdated: A reply to Pérez-Cañado

Anthony Bruton
Published Online: 2017-11-28 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/applirev-2017-0059


This response to Pérez-Cañado’s (2017) disappointing defence of CLIL interests insists on the need for a clear definition of CLIL not only so that it can be characterised for comparative purposes, but also so that the fundamentals underlying it can be scrutinised, instead of the continued hedging of bets on a moving target, justified for its contextual flexibility. As an example, whether CLIL classes are accompanied by FL classes on the curriculum or not is not a minor issue, both practically and theoretically. In addition other questions are reconsidered such as the communicative nature of CLIL, especially when it comes to whether the content is likely to be more motivating, and the supposed egalitarianism of CLIL initiatives. Finally, two research issues are discussed. Firstly, an example demonstrates how it is perfectly legitimate to critique empirical CLIL research which argues apparently beneficial results from a ‘due to’ stance by countering it with ‘despite’ arguments, while leaving much of the flawed CLIL research aside. Secondly, there is a reiterated demand that disinterested research at a curricular level confront outcomes in both the FLs and the content covered in CLIL programmes for all the state-school students affected both directly or indirectly, and in comparable terms.

Keywords: CLIL; Fl instruction; Fl curriculum


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About the article

Published Online: 2017-11-28

Citation Information: Applied Linguistics Review, ISSN (Online) 1868-6311, ISSN (Print) 1868-6303, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/applirev-2017-0059.

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