When talking about CLIL activities, we usually wonder what kind of tasks we should give our students.
Dr Diana Hicks started by introducing to us Jim Cummins' theories, then gave us examples of how to apply them in the everyday lesson.
In a task, we should pay attention to context (embedded/reduced) and cognition (demanding/undemanding). Now, if we look at the different combinations, a task can be:
- context embedded (students have some support - map, picture, chart, etc) + cognitively undemanding (not much thinkink needed). An example of this can be matching tasks (matching words and pictures for instance)
- context reduced (no support for students) + cognitively undemanding. Examples of this can be listing tasks (list the causes of global warming/the causes of a war... list the different sources of energy you know... etc)
- context reduced + cognitively demanding (it needs a strong effort of thinking on the students' part). The typical task here is writing essays.
- context embedded + cognitively demanding: Dr Diana Hicks called this "the Holy Grail". This is the perfect kind of CLIL activities. Those ones where the students are given a context and asked to work on it by thinking. Examples of this are transfer of information/genre. Students have to use what they learnt in a different context.