Current Research Projects

Current Research Projects are those jointly conceived and conducted by Working CLIL Members and Collaborators under the auspices of Working CLIL. These
include post-doctoral and doctoral projects. They may also be joint projects with colleagues from other institutions of higher education, associations and
organisations.

Projects

CLIL Across School Levels in Portugal: State-of-the-art Survey.

Researchers: Working CLIL members (FLUP; FCSH; U. Algarve; IP Castelo Branco; IP Guarda; IP Portalegre).

Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) under its many guises is growing within and across educational levels in Portugal through school-led grassroots projects in both the state and private sector, and national initiatives such as the Bilingual Schools Programme (Ministry of Education and British Council).  As a recent phenomenon, it is important to understand why and how it is being implemented. This is of interest to researchers and all other stakeholders within and beyond educational communities in Portugal and abroad, and is a central goal of the Working CLIL Research Strand.

Aims:

  1. to determine the extent to which CLIL is being implemented in Portugal (This includes types of CLIL/bilingual models; subjects; % of curricular time; teacher and learner profiles; school coordination; stakeholder perspectives);
  1. to determine institutional/stakeholder needs with a view to providing recommendations on implementation, teacher education, and teaching materials;
  1. to produce a State–of-the-Art Report on CLIL across School Levels in Portugal.

Methods: Mixed quantitative and qualitative data-collection.

Online survey to schools and teachers; focus groups of stakeholders; individual semi-structured interviews with teachers and school directors.

Timeline: 2019 – 2020

Teacher Perspectives on CLIL/EMI in Higher Education In Portugal: an Inter-institutional Study.

Researchers: Working CLIL members (FLUP; FCSH; U. Algarve; IP Castelo Branco; IP Guarda; IP Portalegre).

The use of English as an academic lingua franca for teaching in institutions of higher education (HEIs) in Portugal is outpacing that in any other level of education in the country. This is fuelled by the need of HEIs to ‘internationalize’ which includes attracting foreign students for study purposes (Arau Ribeiro and Coelho, 2019). However, the extent to which academic staff are prepared for this endeavour is debatable and under-researched in this country. What is certain, is that CLIL/EMI in higher education in Portugal is set to rise in coming years. Drawing on findings from Working CLIL member studies (Arau Ribeiro & Coelho, 2019; Ellison et al, 2017; Morgado et al, 2015) this research project seeks to capture the most recent perspectives of academic teaching staff in six HEIs across the country.

Aims:

1. To determine the attitudes and perspectives of teachers involved in CLIL/EMI in Working CLIL member institutions;

2. To determine the degree of similarity and difference between attitudes and perspectives across institutions;

3. To identify the type of support provided;

4. To provide recommendations for continual professional development for teaching staff.

Methods: Mixed quantitative and qualitative data-collection.

Online survey to academic teaching staff involved in CLIL/EMI;

focus groups of teachers; individual semi-structured interviews with teachers.

TimelineJune – December 2019.

References

Arau Ribeiro, M.C., Coelho, M. (2019). Transference and transformation for internationalisation in higher education. A case study of Portugal. European Journal of Language Policy (EJLP), 11.1 (pp.71-94). Liverpool University Press. ISSN 1757-6822 (print) 1757-6830 (online). https://doi.org/10.3828/ejlp.2019.5

Ellison, M., Araújo, S., Correia, M. & Vieira, F. (2017). Teachers’ Perceptions of Need in EAP and ICLHE Contexts. In J.Valcke & R. Wilkinson (eds.). Integrating Content and Language in Higher Education: Perspectives on Professional Practice (pp. 59-76). Frankfurt: Peter Lang. https://www.peterlang.com/view/9783631706930/chapter-005.xhtml#_idParaDest-28

Morgado, M., Coelho, M., Arau Ribeiro, M. C., Albuquerque, A., Silva, M., Chorão, G. & Chumbo, I. (2015). ReCLes.pt CLIL training guide. Creating a CLIL learning community in higher education. Santo Tirso, Portugal: De Facto Editores. ISBN: 978-989-8557-50-6). http://paol.iscap.ipp.pt/~paol/docentes/recles/CLILTrainingGuide.pdf

Implementing a Whole School Approach to Language Awareness Across the Curriculum

Researcher: Maria Ellison (FLUP)

Collaborator: Alvaro Almeida Santos (Escola Secundária Dr Joaquim Gomes Ferreira Alves).

Successful schooling depends on an ability to use academic language effectively, both to communicate and create knowledge (Beacco et al, 2016). However, so-called ‘non-language’ teachers frequently do not consider themselves teachers of language, yet it is they who are responsible for the development of their students’ subject-specific literacy. Building on practical knowledge and understanding of the role of language in CLIL within the GoCLIL project implemented across various subjects and year levels since 2013, the researcher and collaborator of this project at Escola Secundária Dr Joaquim Gomes Ferreira Aves intend to implement and monitor a ‘whole school approach’ in which it is hoped that teachers of all subjects become more conscious of the language of their subject when teaching it in the mother tongue. This, in turn, should help support the language needs and output of their students.

Aims:

1. To determine the extent of teachers’ disciplinary language awareness;

2. To raise teachers’ awareness of the role of language within their disciplines by drawing their attention to disciplinary genres, academic language and cognitive discourse functions through professional development exercises;

3. To encourage teachers to support students’ learning of disciplinary language through scaffolding strategies which support this in their lesson materials and lesson delivery

4. To develop school guidelines on language awareness across the curriculum.

 Data-gathering

  • Online surveys to teaching staff (pre- and post-course)
  • Focus groups of teachers; individual semi-structured interviews with teachers (pre-interim, post-course)
  • Observation of lessons

Timeline: Sept 2018 – Sept 2020

Reference: Beacco, J. C., Fleming, M., Goullier, F., Thurman, E. and Vollmer, H. (2016) A Handbook for Curriculum Development and Teacher Training: The Language Dimension in all Subjects. Strasbourg: Council of Europe.

Training For CLIL MOOC In Higher Education

Steering group: Working CLIL member Margarida Morgado IPCB; Working CLIL collaborators Mónica Régio and Marcelo Gaspar.

Collaborators: CETAPS-Working CLIL members; ReCLes.pt members involved in designing previous editions of CLIL training sessions are also invited to actively participate.

Context: The MOOC will be based on previous face-to-face and blended editions of the CLIL Training Course for Higher Education lecturers that has been running in several Higher Education Institutions through the ReCLes.pt association.

Aims: 

1. Refine previous course materials and adapt them to the MOOC Environment;

2. Involve language specialists and subject content specialists who have attended previous CLIL training courses to design content and give feedback on methodological options.

Timeline:

July 2019 – full design outline;

September – December 2019 – development of content;

January – March 2020 – finalising and launch;

April – June 2020 – feedback, analysis and moving ahead.

Technical support: IPCB and IP Leiria

Post-Doctoral Projects

Approaches to Translanguaging in Primary Bilingual Classrooms

Researcher: Nayalin Pinho Feller (FLUP)

The role of teachers in the bilingual and biliterate development of children has been object of many studies over the years. In Europe and elsewhere, various bilingual programs and teaching pedagogies have been employed to make sure that children leave school as proficient in more than one language. More specifically, in Portugal, since 2010, Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) has been employed in public schools throughout the country by the means of the bilingual project (PEBI) run by the Ministry of Education (ME) and the British Council. In addition, many private schools have adopted CLIL and other bilingual teaching pedagogies in their classrooms. However, little research has been done with regards to the language practices of teachers and children within such classrooms. By systematically observing two primary bilingual classrooms (a private and a state school), this study aims at investigating the teachers’ and children’s use of the Portuguese and English languages. The private school implements its own Bilingual Program. The state school uses the PEBI program. The decision to observe two different schools stems from the fact that the two schools are operating different CLIL/ Bilingual Programs. Thus, instead of doing a comparison, this study will look at the points of convergence in approaches to translanguaging and languages use.

Aims

  • To understand how planned and/ or spontaneous translanguaging practices happen in Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL)/ Bilingual classrooms.
  • To develop the teachers’ understanding of translanguaging practices and their use of teaching strategies in order to aid the children’s bilingual development

Methods

Research Questions

The study is designed as an analysis of the ways in which two languages coexist and are used by teachers and children in the bilingual classrooms. In this context, this study is geared to providing answers to the following overarching questions:

  • When do teachers and children use their L1 and L2 within the classroom?
  • For which purposes / functions do teachers and children use their L1 and L2?

Data-gathering and analysis

Data collection will be done through ethnographic methods (Heath, 1982a; Watson-Gegeo, 1988; Hammersley, 1993a; Hammersley and Atkinson, 2007), applying a case study design (Yin, 1994). Data analysis will be performed qualitatively, through content analysis (Bardin, 1977). The data from both classrooms will be analyzed to determine the use of strategies employed for language learning and the benefits that purposeful or natural language choices bring into the bilingual development of the children.

Timeline: December 2018 – December 2019

References

Feller, N. P. & Vaughan, J. (2018). Language practices of Guarani children in a community-based bilingual school. In Wigglesworth, G., Simpson, J. & Vaughan, J. (Eds.), From Home to School: Language Practices of Indigenous and Minority Children. London: Palgrave MacMillan.

García, O. (2012). Theorizing translanguaging for educators. In Translanguaging: A CUNY-NYSIEB Guide for Educators (C. Celic & K. Seltzer), 1–6. New York: CUNY-NYSIEB.

Doctoral Projects

Development of subject-specific literacies and teacher-produced multimodal CLIL materials in the Portuguese context

PhD candidate:  Ana Isabel Almeida (FLUP)

Title: The (in)visible languages of historical literacy in CLIL: a framework for the creation of multimodal materials for Year 7 History in Portugal

Aims:
– To map the academic language needed for the learning of Year 7 History in CLIL programmes with English as the language of instruction in Portugal;
– To refine the conceptual tool Multimodalities-Entextualization Cycle (Lin, 2010, 2015, 2016) to make it a scaffolding tool for the integration of the teaching of specific academic language in History in year 7 in CLIL programmes with English as the language of instruction in Portugal;
– To develop guidelines for the creation of multimodal teaching materials that integrate the teaching of academic language specific to Year 7 History in CLIL programmes with English as the language of instruction in Portugal;

Research questions:
– What is the nature and role of specific academic language in Year 7 History in CLIL programmes with English as the language of instruction in Portugal?
– How can multimodal materials help teachers to integrate the teaching of specific academic language in Year 7 History in CLIL programmes with English as the language of instruction in Portugal?
– What are the guidelines for the creation of multimodal materials that integrate the teaching of specific academic language in Year 7 History in CLIL programmes with English as the language of instruction in Portugal?
 

Timeline:
September 2019 – July 2022

 

Working CLIL