CLIL in the 21st Century: Retrospective and prospective challenges and opportunities

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This article traces the historical phases in the conceptualisation of and
research on Content-and-language-Integrated Learning in Europe since the
1990s. Following upon early programmatic statements, the first wave of
CLIL research concentrated on language learning outcomes. In a second
wave, the focus was on descriptions of practice and studies of participant
perspectives. More recently, studies have focused on the unique character of
CLIL as an educational approach in its own right, not simply as a context of
foreign language teaching. The crucial content-language interface is being
addressed in research focusing on language and literacy in content curricula
and classroom practices. A new CLIL research focus is the development of
pedagogical practice through theory-based interventions. In line with the
UN sustainable development goal of Quality Education, we identify equity
and team work as future challenges and argue that CLIL could be a catalyst
for a more collaborative and multidisciplinary approach in education.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)182-206
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Immersion and Content-Based Language Edcuation
Issue number2
Early online date24 Jun 2022
Publication statusPublished - 21 Nov 2022

Austrian Fields of Science 2012

  • 602007 Applied linguistics
  • 503006 Educational research


  • CLIL
  • CLIL as approach
  • inter-disciplinarity
  • subject literacies
  • content outcomes
  • stakeholder perspectives
  • CLIL as learning context
  • language outcomes
  • CLIL research foci
  • design-based research

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