Subject Name: What’s CLIL? The CLIL Module
Study: Máster Universitario en Educación Bilingüe
ECTS Credits: 6
Year and four month period: First year, first four month period
Type of subject: Compulsory


In the last decades, Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) implementation has triggered massive educational change all around Europe, building on a reconceptualisation of language learning as well as an innovative remodelling of pedagogical perspectives. In a foreign-language-mediated CLIL scenario, different aspects of teaching and learning are affected: curriculum development, task designing, assessment, available resources, language and content relationship or translanguaging. This has led teachers enrolled in multilingual educational programmes to reconsider, rediscover, and reinvent their practice. However, although methodological commonalities exist, the full significance of CLIL implementation goes beyond methodology, since it develops out of the synergy brought about by integrating language learning methods and methodologies related to the learning of other subject matter. CLIL is a reconceptualisation, a philosophy of language learning, an approach.

The main foci of this subject, which is directly connected to as well as it complements and/or extends the subjects Foundations of Bilingual Education, Curriculum Planning and Evaluation and Assessment, are to conceptualise CLIL along with analysing what makes it unique and different from previous bilingual educational programmes to provide a framework for the students to be able to design their own lessons and to analyse fundamentals, techniques and methodologies related to CLIL implementation. The students will learn how to plan their own teaching practice through the elaboration of their own CLIL module formal format by means of the four Cs framework, integrating four contextualised blocks: content, cognition, communication and culture. This framework lays useful methodological foundations for CLIL lessons design as well as for elaboration of materials because of its cross-curricular and interdisciplinary nature.

Basic Competences

  • BC6. Achieve and understand the knowledge that provides a base and an opportunity to be original in the development and implementation of the ideas, often in a research context.
  • BC7. That the students are able to apply the knowledge acquired and their ability to solve the problems in new or not very well known environments among wider contexts (or multidisciplinary) related to their field of study.
  • BC8. That the students are able to integrate knowledge and face the complexity of judging from an information, that being incomplete or limited, includes reflections about the social and ethic responsibilities linked to the application of their knowledge and judgements.
  • BC9. That the students know how to communicate their conclusions and knowledge and reasons that support them to specialized and non-specialized audiences in a clear and unequivocal way.
  • BC10. That the students have the abilities to learn that allow them to continue studying in such a way that will be self-directed or self-sufficient.

General Competences

  • GC1. Know the specific problems of teaching in a foreign language both linguistically and culturally, in an environment of bilingual education.
  • GC2. Develop skills to promote an atmosphere that ease learning and interaction among students.
  • GC3. Transmit social and cultural values in accordance with the multilingual and multicultural context.
  • GC4. Know the legislation and regulations regarding the organization and organization of bilingual centers.
  • GC5. Understand the effectiveness and necessity of promoting the integrated teaching of a foreign language and the own contents of the non-linguistic discipline.
  • GC6. Analyze critically the performance of teaching work and good practices using assessment models and quality indicators.
  • GC8. Be competent users of L2 in all the skills necessary for teaching.

Specific Competences

  • SC2. Design an integrated curriculum in their area of expertise with linguistic contents.
  • SC3. Create and adapt learning materials for bilingual education considering the educational level of students according to the CEFR.
  • SC4. Develop, plan and guideline the contents of discipline in bilingual environments according to the formal format CLIL Module.
  • SC7. Add new teaching strategies and new information technologies to bilingual education for the design of new learning environments in the classroom.
  • SC8. Know the organization of bilingual education centers at all levels and the diversity of actions that includes their operation.
  • SC9. Understand the organization of a bilingual classroom: activities, teaching material, training plan.
  • SC11. Develop and implement teaching methodologies adapted to the diversity of students in a bilingual environment.
  • SC12. Be able to foster the application of different techniques and procedures to develop the students’ abilities.
  • SC13. Know and apply the advantages of the communicative approach and task-based learning for linguistic interaction in two languages.

Transversal Competences

  • TC1. Analyze reflexively and criticize the most important issues of today's society for a coherent decision-making.
  • TC2. Identify new technologies as teaching tools for communication exchange in the development of processes of investigation and group learning.
  • TC3. Apply the knowledge and skills acquired by the studies to real cases and in an environment of workgroups in companies or organizations.
  • TC4. Acquire the ability to work independently, promoting the organization and encouraging independent learning.

Unit 1. CLIL: working out a concept (I)

  • Introduction & objectives
  • Conceptualising bilingualism
  • Types
  • Bilingualism and cognitive development

Unit 2. CLIL: Working out a concept (II)

  • Introduction & objectives
  • Bilingualism and bilingual education
  • Bilingual education programmes
  • Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL)

Unit 3. Factors influencing language learning and CLIL

  • Introduction & objectives
  • Attitudes and motivation
  • Bilingual education programmes
  • Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL)

Unit 4. CLIL: integrating language and content

  • Introduction & objectives
  • What is integration?
  • Types

Unit 5. CLIL: methodology or approach?

  • Introduction & objectives
  • Fundamentals: a methodology or an approach?
  • The Four Cs Framework
  • The CLIL Pyramid
  • Integrated assessment

Unit 6. The CLIL module Formal Format planner

  • Introduction & objectives
  • The CLIL Module Formal Format Planner
  • The 20 Steps: components and parts

Unit 7. The Four Cs Framework I: Content

  • Introduction & objectives
  • C for content
  • The role of Content in CLIL
  • Content in the Formal Format

Unit 8. The Four Cs Framework II: Cognition

  • Introduction & objectives
  • Cognitive theory, methods and CLIL
  • C for Cognition in the Four Cs Framework
  • Bloom’s Taxonomy
  • Cognition in the Formal Format Planner

Unit 9. The Four Cs Framework III: Communication

  • Introduction & objectives
  • Conceptualising language in a CLIL scenario
  • C for communication in the 4 Cs Framework

Unit 10. The Four Cs Framework IV: Communication

  • Introduction & objectives
  • Techniques
  • Communication in the Formal Format Planner

Unit 11. The Four Cs Framework V: Culture

  • Introduction & objectives
  • C for culture
  • Disambiguation of culture in CLIL
  • Culture in the Formal Format Planner

Unit 12. CLIL-related methods

  • Introduction & objectives
  • Communicative Language Teaching
  • TBL and PBL
  • Subject-related methodologies
  • Bibliographical references

The different tasks and activities programmed during the semester have been developed with the goal of adapting the learning process to the different capabilities, necessities and interests of the students.

The activities included in the subject are:

  • Assignments.In your weekly program you will see the different kind of tasks designed for the course such as practice cases, research, critical thinking and, also, you will find information about how to complete them and when to send them to your teacher.
  • Participation in events. During the course you will be participating in different events. Some of those events are attendance to online classes, forums, self-evaluation tests.
Download program

These activities are combined with the following aspects:

  • Personal Study
  • Tutoring. The tutoring class can be implemented through different tools and means. During the course of the subject, the teacher-tutor plans the individual tutoring on specific days for the resolution of academic-oriented doubts through “Consultation sessions”. Supplementing these sessions, students have also available the “Ask your teacher” forum through which they can formulate questions and check the corresponding answers on general aspects of the subject.  Due to the very nature of the media used, there are no fixed schedules for the students.
  • Mandatory on-site final exam

The hours dedicated to each activity are detailed as follows:

Attendance to virtual classes 15 hours 100%
Master lessons 6 hours 0
Basic material study 50 hours 0
Additional resources readings 25 hours 0
Task and practice cases and self-evaluation test 29 hours 0
Tutoring 16 hours 30%
Collaborative work, forums, debates, etc. 7 hours 0
Attendance to the exam 2 hours 100%
Total 150 hours -

You can personalize your study plan choosing the type of activity that best matches your profile. The tutor will advise you and help you elaborate your study plan. S/he will always be available to guide throughout the course.

Basic bibliography

The section Basic Bibliography is essential for the course. If any document (reading, article,…) is not available in the virtual classroom, you will have to find it by other means: UNIR bookshop, virtual library…

Additional bibliography

  • Coyle, D., Hood, P. & Marsh, D. (2010). CLIL—Content and Language Integrated Learning. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
  • Dalton-Puffer, C., Llinares, A., Lorenzo, F. & Nikula, T. (2014). «You can stand under my umbrella»: Immersion, CLIL and bilingual education. A response to Cenoz, Genesee & Gorter (2013). Applied Linguistics, 42(2), 117-122.
  • Meyer, O. (2010). Introducing the CLIL-Pyramid: Key Strategies and Principles for Quality CLIL Planning and Teaching. In M. Eisenmann & T. Summer (Eds.), Basic Issues in EFL-Teaching and Learning. Heidelberg, Germany: Winter.
  • Nikula, T., Dafouz, E., Moore, P. & Smit, U. (2016). (Eds.). Conceptualising integration in CLIL and multilingual education. Bristol, UK: Multilingual Matters.
  • Pavón, V., Ávila, J., Gallego, A. & Espejo, R. (2014). Strategic and organisational considerations in planning CLIL: a study on the coordination between content and language teachers. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 18(4), 1-17.
  • San Isidro, X. (2016). AICLE: un viaje a HOTS. In Herrera, F. (ed.), Enseñar español a niños y adolescentes. Barcelona: Difusión.

The evaluation system is based on the following numerical chart:

0 - 4, 9 Suspenso (SS)
5,0 - 6,9 Aprobado (AP)
7,0 - 8,9 Notable (NT)
9,0 - 10 Sobresaliente (SB)

The grade is made up of two components:

On-site final exam (60%). At the end of the semester, you need to assist a mandatory on-site final exam. You need to pass the final exam so the grade obtained from the assignments (continuous assessment) is summed up to the final grade of the subject. 

Continuous assessment (40%): this type of assessment will be measured through the different assignments you need to complete during the course:

    • Active participation and involvement in forums, online classes.
    • Tasks. The completion of the different activities the students need to send through our virtual classroom such as research, critical thinking, practice cases.
    • Self-evaluation tests. At the end of each unit, students will find a short quiz which will help the students to check the knowledge acquired during the course.

Remember that you can check the points (value) of each assignment in the weekly program.

Take into account that the sum of the grades of the assignments included in the continuous assessment is 6 points. You can do as many as you want to until a maximum grade of 4 points (which is the maximum grade you will be obtaining in the continuous assessment)In the weekly program, you can find the grade of each assignment.

Assessment method
SCORE min - max
Participation in forums, classes, etc. 0% - 10%
Task, practice cases and activities 10% - 40%
Self-evaluation test 0% - 10%
On-site final exam 60% - 60%

Patricia Bárcena Toyos

Education: Doctora en Filología Inglesa con especialización en Lingüística Aplicada por The University of Memphis. Máster en Formación del Profesorado por la URJC y Licenciada en Filología Inglesa por la Universidad Complutense de Madrid.

Professional experience: Con más de diez años de experiencia en la docencia de lenguas extranjeras a nivel nacional e internacional, ha impartido docencia de inglés como lengua extranjera en The University of Memphis, y en centros de educación secundaria en España, incluyendo institutos bilingües. Asimismo tiene experiencia en la enseñanza de español como lengua extranjera en España y en Estados Unidos. 

Lines of research: Enseñanza integrada de contenidos y lengua (CLIL/AICLE y SIOP). Tesis doctoral sobre las prácticas docentes del profesorado CLIL en la enseñanza de contenidos en educación primaria. Prácticas docentes en la enseñanza del inglés como lengua extranjera.


Studying online means you can organize your study as you wish, as long as you meet the due dates of the different assignments (activities, tasks and tests). In order to help you, we propose the following steps:

  1. From our online platform you will have access to each of the subjects you are enrolled. Apart from this, the virtual classroom of Lo que necesitas saber antes de empezar (All you need to know before starting). In this section, you have available all the documents on how to use the different tools included in the virtual classroom, how a subject is organized and you will also have the possibility to organize your study plan with the tutor.
  2. Do not forget to check the weekly program. You will see which part of the content of the course you have to work on every week.
  3. After knowing your work for the week, go to Temas in your virtual classroom. There, you will have access to the study material (theory and practice) from the unit you need to study throughout the week.
  4. Start by reading the Key ideas of each unit, there you will find the specific study material and it will help you understand the most important points of the unit. Afterwards, check out the sections Specially Recommended and More Information where you will find more resources in order to deepen on the topic of the unit. .
  5. Devote some time to the practical cases and tasks in the subject (assignments and test). Remember that in your weekly program you find all the information related to the schedule for each assignment and the maximum grade you can obtain in each of them.
  6. We strongly recommend you to participate in the Events of the course (online classes, forums….). To know the precise schedule of the events, you need to check the communications tools in the virtual platform. Your teacher and tutor will inform you on the updates of the course.

In the virtual classroom of Lo que necesitas saber antes de empezar (All you need to know before starting) you will always find available information on the structure of the units and information on their sections

Remember that in Lo que necesitas saber antes de empezar (All you need to know before starting) you can check how the different tools of the virtual classroom work: email, forum, online classes, sending the tasks, etc.

Please, take into account the following tips…

  • Whatever you study plan is, go often to the virtual classroom so that you are always up to date about the course and you are in contact with your teacher and your tutor.
  • Remember you are not alone: send an email to your tutor if you have any doubt. If you attend the online classes, you can also ask your teacher about the contents of the unit. Also, you can always write your doubts and questions about  the contents in the Forum of each subject (Ask the teacher).
  • Be active and participate!  Whenever it is possible, attend the online classes and take part in the forums. The exchange of information, opinions, ideas and resources enrich us and the course.
  • And, remember, you are studying online: your effort and perseverance are the key element to obtain good results. Don’t leave everything to the last minute!!!