Monday, 20 February 2012

Bilingual Lesson Planning

All lessons need adequate planning, and planning is particularly important in CLIL/bilingual lessons, since a delicate balance of elements is needed.
In another post we were discussing the importance of collegiality, seen as the greatest challenge in CLIL: teachers have to work together and keep on the same wavelenght to truly meet their pupils' needs.
But in order to work effectively together, we need to plan together.

I'm sharing this time the "Balance Planning Model" given us by Dr Diana Hicks during the course in Cheltenham. Of course, as usual, you will find these papers uploaded in The Next Generation TwinSpace, under "useful materials". But this time I'll share them here as well as images, so that we all can see what we are talking about.
You'll see they are two versions of the same model: the first one has some annotations, to give you an idea of how to use it. The second one is blank: you can choose to use it as it is, or customize it to suit your needs.

 So, here's the scenario: talk about your lesson idea with your colleague(s) - remember subject teachers(s) and language teacher(s) need each other here - and then share this paper and try to fill it together. You need to be very clear to each other about some core points: your goals, how to reach them, the role
 of your students in this process, your role in this process, how to assess the pupils' work.

This model can be shared with students as well, so that they understand what they are going to do and why, and where they are supposed to go.

The advantages:
- it creates a shared language for collegiality
- it offers a scaffolding for creating activities integrating language and content
- it enables teachers to plan more quickly, efficiently and effectively
- it enables teachers to work towards appropriate assessment activities
- it enables teachers to realize they have to include different activities for the different learners' styles
- it defines the role of "other actors" in the lessons: experts, visitors, parents etc.
- it provides a checking mechanism to ensure that neither language nor content get lost during a lesson or unit

We are used to templates and models when planning in our subjects, but CLIL planning is often perceived as a "free field".
So, sometimes, activities are not structured in detail, or come from an ex-tempore collaboration between teachers. Any kind of collaboration is great of course: but if we want to be efficient, we have to give a structure to what we do.
Whe have to work within a framework - which is easier and much more practical: we don't have to invent the same activity twice, we can capitalize our experience, and the work we already did.

Personally, I used this tool - with some customizing - and found it very useful and understandable, for colleagues and students as well.

Well, what do you think?
Do you have any other model or templates to share? Or any other experience in bilingual planning?

Always looking forward to getting to know more :)


  1. Hi Laura,
    I like this template, it's quite similar to the one we use at school. Teachers have to learn co-planning is not optional (and not only in CLIL).
    Thank you for pointing this out

  2. Hi Jack, I was in UK this summer and I noticed you've a very efficient organization as far as planning and assessing are concerned. I think in Italy we should borrow some of your experience here...
    Thanks for being here,

  3. Good! We should try to use something of this kind in our schools. I think it can make collaboration much easier. I'll show this paper to my colleagues and I think we'll come out with something interesting.
    Thank you Laura!