Pupils at Learner Conference

The ITALIC study was funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation – New Approaches to Learning – in order to explore how alternative approaches to learning foreign languages might encourage more young people to enjoy, develop and use core language skills. It is well-documented that the study of languages beyond the compulsory age in the UK is in severe decline and we risk falling behind other European nations in terms of employability and linguistic, socio-cultural capital.

The ITALIC study brought together secondary schools with different experiences of CLIL in order to investigate ‘successful’ learning in CLIL classrooms across England and Scotland. The findings reflect current CLIL practice and suggest realistic and achievable ways to motivate young people not only to learn but also to use different languages. The eleven schools had a variety of CLIL experiences ranging from those with an established integrated curriculum, others with a few years of piloting different CLIL approaches and some new to CLIL.

There were two strands to the study: to explore what learners and their teachers believed they gained from CLIL experiences; to pilot the LOCIT process as a means of enabling learners and teachers to build a shared understanding of 'successful' learning in CLIL classrooms.

The Research Report provides a detailed account of the research tools, theoretical models and data collection procedures. The findings reveal that 84% of learners 'voted' to continue their CLIL lessons with an overwhelming wish to communicate using other languages. Young people ARE positive about using other languages but they urgently want to transform more 'traditional' language learning experiences.

Contact the ITALIC Team for further information.