Monday, June 3, 2013

Would CLIL fit into a constructivist perspective? The importance of good questions. By Marta Braylan

Many CLIL projects or units would fit into a constructivist perspective if they were seriously "meaning oriented". One of the most common errors of some publications that present themselves under the "CLIL" umbrella is they they don't offer real problems or questions to be solved by the students. In those cases, information is just correlated around a certain "topic".

Arriving to integration through a good leading question would be one important step to make.
Jerome Bruner said: "The art of asking provoking questions is at least as important as that of providing clear answers [...], and the art of setting those questions to good use and keeping
them alive is as important as the first two."

Here are some tips to come up with a good question:

  • The question will need reasoning and some research to be answered
  • It will relate to curricular guidelines and to students´ lives
  • It will motivate students to read, write, think and speak

Some examples:

-Can the world feed 10 billion people?
-Do revolutions always work?
-Do all animals have hearts?
-Why did humans lose their fur?

I believe Constructivism provides a strong rationale for content-based curricula such as CLIL, since it is holistically oriented and meaning seeking based.
Please, leave your comments/opinions!!!!