Benefits of CLIL
Faster language acquisition
While we are proud of our dynamic and extensive range of LOTE subjects at St Monica's College, the fact remains there is only a small number of hours per week for our students to receive instruction in and about the language. By studying a language through CLIL, students are exposed to the language a greater number of hours per week and as a result, we have observed faster language acquisition rates in our students. Through CLIL they not only have more time to learn the language, but are also regularly using it in a real-life context of learning and discussing the subject content. Why would students need to remember the words like "map" and "population" unless they have an immediate need to use them to learn geography? Why would they remember how to read the kanji characters for "electricity" or "atoms" unless they have an immediate need to use them to learn science? This authentic context for use of the language helps students make deeper connections between vocabulary and the relative meaning, and are therefore more likely to remember them.
Deeper understanding of subject content
The more angles you see something from, the better you will understand it. The same applies for learning a subject through an additional language. Languages are beautifully unique and can shed further light on the subject matter by describing it in a different way.
Parents may feel concerned about the idea of their child learning subjects through a LOTE, for fear they will not achieve the same level of understanding. However, both research and our years of experience with CLIL have dispelled this myth, and we instead feel that our students gain a deeper understanding of the content by engaging with it through two language perspectives. Students are assessed on the same content as their non-CLIL subject peers, and overall show results similar to them - if not better!
Smaller class sizes
At St Monica's each CLIL cohort attends separate classes for each subject content area than the rest of their year level peers. While it may not always be the case, this usually results in CLIL classes having a much smaller number of students than mainstream content subject classes. This allows students to have much more interaction with and one-on-one assistance from their class teachers. It also results in less disruption in class, and often means the class will be ahead of their mainstream peers in terms of the unit timeline, allowing for further extension and more revision time.
Class unity and strong, lasting friendships
Over the 3 years in the CLIL program, students in each class spend a lot of time together studying the language and CLIL subjects. In addition to the small class sizes this often leads to a strong sense of unity amongst classmates as they share the ups and downs of this unique experience. As part of a CLIL cohort your child will likely feel a sense of belonging to this smaller group, in addition to their homeroom class, forming deep friendships that may continue beyond the CLIL years.