The CLIL’s lack of philosophy

Whilst there is quite a large amount of CLIL resources for a wide range of subjects, such as social and natural science, there is no significant number of CLIL materials for the subject-matter of philosophy. This fact is even more surprising considering the similarities between the philosophical and the CLIL approaches.

Taking into account that CLIL increases the awareness of the overall close relationship between content and language, builds bridges between knowledge areas and opens up doors to high cognitive demanding learning environments, the subject of philosophy should be considered as one of the most appropriate areas for implementing CLIL.

Having text analysis and ideas debate at the core of its procedures, the specific philosophical approach to the different topics make the students face a situation in which they must be highly aware of the intimate connection between language and content. The philosophy class becomes therefore the agora where content and communication meet at their purest state.

Furthermore, the philosophy class has always favoured interdisciplinary work. Its critical reflection on global issues allows to link a wide range of subjects and to build up on what has already been learnt while replacing it in a more challenging and cognitive demanding learning environment.

Another reason which enables to work High Ordering Thinking Skills within the subject-matters of the area of philosophy is that they tend to appear at the later stages of secondary education, when students have already achieved an A2-B1 level of the foreign language and are able to meet higher language demands.

Here are a few interesting examples of CLIL materials for philosophy which we hope will encourage both philosophy and foreign language teachers to work together and develop further resources:


3 thoughts on “The CLIL’s lack of philosophy

  1. Paraskevi Andreopoul (@pandreop) June 2, 2012 / 4:07 pm

    The more I’m reading about CLIL ,the more I begin to realise that its roots date back to ancient times (Rome & Greece) and its ideals…

  2. manuel November 14, 2013 / 9:17 pm

    I have tought Philosophy within CLIL in Galicia during the last 10 years (here you have my website: manuel

  3. The CLIL Forum November 16, 2013 / 9:23 pm

    Thanks a lot for your comment and your link , Manuel! Some time ago I came across an article of yours called ‘Errar para aprender. Aprender para errar’. I found it specially inspiring and motivating for Philosophy teachers facing the challenge of teaching their subject through a CLIL methodology. Impressive work you’ve been doing!

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