CLIL for all? Overcoming obstacles while striving for inclusion at a state-funded high-school in Catalonia

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After initially streaming groups who would take content subject in English, the pedagogical team of ‘INS Josep Lladonosa’ decided to prioritise inclusion; they created heterogenous groups and all the them take CLIL subjects. Findings from a questionnaire suggest students with the lowest levels find the subjects challenging.
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‘INS Josep Lladonosa’ is a public high-school situated in the neighbourhood of Pardinyes, in Lleida (Catalonia). Students in the first and second-year of compulsory secondary-education (ESO henceforth) take two content subjects in English (‘Technology’ and ‘Music’), following a Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL)approach. During the last termof the 2018-2019 academic year, the 5 class-groups of the second-year of ESO were observed and students were asked to complete a questionnaire. These class-groups, it must be noted, are created by the hisghschool’s pedagogical team so that each class-group contains heterogenous academic levels. This is done by looking at the academic results these students obtained in the last year of primary education. When CLIL was first adopted, 5 years ago, groups were streamed so that only students with a certain English level of English and a desire to take the subjects in English did so. The pedagogical team then decided this was not favouring inclusion, and the current approach was adopted. However, the findings from the questionnaire seem to suggest that students whose self-reported English level is lower than B1 show, in general, a more negative attitude towards content subjects in English than those with higher self-reported levels. And this despite the efforts from content teachers, who use cooperative groups and language in Catalan and Spanish in class when they deem necessary, as a way to ease these difficulties. Are there alternatives to the current strategy that could minimise the impact on inclusion while catering for the students who complain of content being delivered in English? Or is it just a matter or being more effective at overcoming the obstacles one encoutners when striving for inclusion?
University of Lleida

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