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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q.  What languages are offered at St Monica's as CLIL?

St. Monica's College currently has one CLIL program, Italian, which includes several subjects taught through the target language in addition to language focused classes.  These CLIL programs run from Year 7 to Year 9, with an additional Advanced Italian class offered in Year 10.  After the completion of CLIL, students will rejoin the mainstream content and LOTE language classes, if they choose to continue the language.

Q.  My child has never studied Italian before.  Can they still join CLIL?

While previous study in the target language is an advantage, there is no requirement for your child to have any prior knowledge of the language when they begin CLIL.  From the very beginning the language in these classes will be scaffolded according to the needs of each student.  It may feel a little overwhelming at first, but this is part of normal adjustment to an immersion program. We have had several students join a CLIL program without prior language study and have seen them progress very quickly to excel in class.  As long as your child is dedicated to their learning, there will not be any problem.

Q.  I'm also interested in your Horizons program - is it possible for my child to do both?

Due to conflicting timetables, you may enrol your child in either CLIL or Horizons, but not both.  As they are each excellent programs we suggest you discuss this decision with your child and contact us regarding any questions you may have about either.  If you do choose Horizons, your child can still study Japanese or Italian through the regular LOTE stream.

Q.  Does CLIL cost anything?

There are no extra fees for joining CLIL.  It is simply offered as part of the unique Monican experience and is covered by the normal school fees.

Q.  How long does a CLIL course last?

Both of our CLIL programs last for a period of 3 years, from years 7 - 9, with an additional Advanced Italian class also available in year 10.

Q.  What if my child chooses CLIL, but doesn't enjoy it?

While we encourage all students to persevere and will lend support wherever possible, we understand that sometimes CLIL may not suit your child.  In these rare cases we suggest returning to mainstream LOTE and content classes at the beginning of the next year.

Q.  What if my child finds CLIL too difficult?

 Any student studying CLIL will likely find it challenging, but we encourage them to persist and rise to the challenge.  We encourage them to discuss their learning and any difficulties they may be having with their CLIL teachers, who can share effective learning strategies and lend some additional support.  While we encourage all students to persevere through to the end of the 3 year program, we understand that sometimes CLIL may not suit your child.  In these rare cases we suggest returning to mainstream LOTE and content classes at the beginning of the next year.

Q.  Do I need to buy any special and/or extra text books and course materials for CLIL?

Our current CLIL program uses the same textbooks in each subject area as in the mainstream classes, so whether students study the subjects via CLIL or mainstream, they will be purchasing and using the same texts.  These mainstream texts are usually supplemented with resources in the target language (such as worksheets, presentations and activities)  made by the relevant CLIL teacher so that students can refer to textbook content as well as carry out tasks in Italian.

Q.  Will CLIL create extra work for my child?

While studying through CLIL requires work and dedication, your child is unlikely to feel it as an extra burden.  Assessments and classwork loads will remain comparable to a mainstream class.  It is strongly advised, however, that students participating in CLIL regularly review the language they learn in their CLIL classes and spend some time each day studying Italian. Regular revision of language is known to help students readily acquire and recall language, plus, students in CLIL who regularly revise the language components addressed in class also inadvertently revise class content as well.  

Q.  Will my child miss out on content if the class uses a different language?

As CLIL classes cover the same curriculum as mainstream subject classes, students do not miss out on any content.  Instead, their understanding of the content is enriched by integrating language learning with the study of content.



St Monica's College, Epping, acknowledges the traditional owners of the land on which our school is built. For more information, please click here.