Monday 22 Jul 2019

Bridging the Multilingual Classroom Divide: Ecolint’s CLIL and Pluriliteracies Approach

At the invitation of the Board of European and International Affairs of the Greek Ministry for Education and hosted by the Association of English Language Teachers, La Grande Boissière Middle School teachers Frédéric Taveau and Dunja Chamberlain travelled to Larissa, Greece to deliver practical workshops on “Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) – A pluriliteracies approach to teaching for learning”. 

Experts in these fields, specifically as concerns Middle School learners, Fred Taveau and Dunja Chamberlain have benefited from funding by the Council of Europe to pursue their research. As part of these workshops, Greek teachers discovered new teaching methodologies in the context of their increasingly multilingual school population, with many children often speaking no Greek at all. At the Council of Europe’s European Centre for Modern Languages meetings in Graz, the pair observed that the influx of refugees, and how to deal with this phenomenon in the classroom, have been the main concerns of most countries.

The Pluriliteracies Approach to Teaching for Learning focuses on developing subject-specific literacy at all levels so that students who do not master the first language of instruction can master strategies enabling them to communicate effectively and express at a high academic level their full cognitive ability. Ecolint continues to promote across Europe not only its latest innovations in pedagogy but also its humanitarian mission of connecting and bringing different cultures together in the classroom.

In the Larissa workshops, the Greek teachers were impressed both with the theory and strategies presented to them, but also with the very practical, hands-on approach of Fred Taveau and Dunja Chamberlain, who believe that even the most modern pedagogy relies on good teaching practices in the classroom.

The reception of both Ecolint teachers by the organisers, which included an intervention from Greek television and local politicians, was outstanding, and the level of organisation, coordination and the choice of the magnificent municipal Arts Gallery, Museum and Library of Larissa as a venue all contributed to the success of the two-day training. 

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