French and Italian students discussed their experience of studying History (and Geography) in English. Group 1 (Julie and Dylan) did the sum up of each discussion thread:
1 - Do you know what C.L.I.L. means?
CLIL means "Content and Language Integrated Learning". That means that we learn History or Geography in another language (here in English). It is usefull to improve our English and to learn some other vocabulary than in ordinary English classes mainly at the oral.
2 - 'If you start learning English at the age of 6 by the age of 16 you really need to have something different being taught in English" (G. Langé, a linguist) - Do you agree with this quotation?
Everybody agrees with this quote. They think that after 10 years studying, we have to learn some other vocabulary, and on other subjects, to be able to speak about everything. It also more playful: we have to learn in a different way because it can be boring to study always the same things after 10 years, so it is more interesting!
3 - Which topics have you studied until now in your History (or Geography) class in English?
'We studied three chapters of history since the beginning of school year; first, we have seen a chapter about 'the British Empire', its power of colonialism and imperialism during the 19th century. Then, we studied the First World War and its consequences about European society. Currently, we are studying the situation of Czechoslovakia during between two World Wars.' (Baptiste Peyrache)
'In our History class in English we studied some interesting topics such as society and technological progress in the early 1900s, in particular we analysed : the emergence of mass society, the social structure change, the "Beautiful Era" and the Exposition Universelle of 1900. Then we learnt about the "Suffragette Movement" and Emmeline Pankhurst (its leader); we also spoke about the disaster of the "Triangle Shirtwaist Factory". Moreover, another fascinating learning activity consisted in choosing an article (each of us chose his/her own article) from the Daily Telegraph editions of WW1, so that everyone could deal with a particular aspect or event of the Great War. Our last topic has been Gandhi's biography and his achievements.' (Anna Fricano)
Last year, students studied also the impact of the media on people, the great famine in Ireland (with the immigration in the United States). Some others have studied New Zealand and Australia, and two texts: Romeo and Juliette and Oliver Twist.
4 - Are CLIL classes different from your 'ordinary' History (or Geography) classes?
Almost everybody finds CLIL classes very different from ordinary classes because we study other topics (which are more interesting) with different points of view. It can also be a complement of our history classes. The main difference is also that we study it in English, and we can improve our language skills. But some find that it is not so different because both are interesting.
5 - Can you remember a particular exercise or lesson you liked?
French students mainly spoke about role plays that they did last year. They also talked about the chapter on the media because we feel more involved. To study different topics seems to be liked because they enjoyed to study Czechoslovakia during the First World War. They also talked about studying posters, Fashoda, and literature.
Italian students mostly enjoyed studying the Suffragette movement. They also liked to write and present and article of the Daily Telegraph. Some others talked about Pop Art and the ‘Triangle Shirtwaist Factory’.
Last editor: Zuzana Loubet del Bayle