In this edition of BELL’s Blog, we take a deep look into the origins of CLIL and show you some of our CLIL projects for this year. By approaching your English language class through the CLIL methodology, your students can learn language without needing you to explicitly teach it. Sound too good to be true, right? Wrong! Here is why…

Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) can be broken down into two key elements. THE SUBJECT and THE LANGUAGE, or medium of instruction. As an example, a CLIL class could involve teaching Statistics in Chinese, History in German, Cooking in Vietnamese, or Dancing in Spanish.

Those of you that have attended one of our Teachers’ Workshops will understand that we here at BELL love our idioms! In a CLIL class, we can kill two birds with one stone; our students learn a new subject and a new language, all in the same class.

A good way to approach CLIL, is to understand that it is not a language class. It is a subject class taught in a foreign language. To make the most of the learning environment, we place great emphasis on choosing topics that the students will really engage in. After all, if the students are engaged and interested in the subject matter, any insecurities or anxieties that they may have about their English ability, are depleted. CLIL efficiently uses students’ motivation for the subject matter and indirectly channels it to a target language.

For example, one of the BELL topics this year is SUPERHEROES! A student who is incredibly interested in Batman, will be absorbed in a course about him. Although learning about Batman and his superpowers is the student’s driving force, learning the English language becomes a desirable second.


In order to provide a meaningful context, we need to choose a topic that would be interesting for your class.

For our Infanzia students, we know that students of this age group love animals! The topic itself allows us to teach the key vocabulary areas of colours, body parts and numbers. Our ‘Monster Party’ project and ‘Life at Sea’ projects, are perfect topic areas that the students can engage in, because of their interest in scary monsters and colourful fish!

Our Primaria CLIL topics again focus on themes that the students are likely to be interested. For example, the ‘In My Garden’ project: students identify the different animals that visit their gardens, and are introduced to the concept of food chains. Students finish the project by creating their own paper food chain.

CLIL is also effective for the Media students. In ‘Our Greatest Inventors’ project, students are challenged to become the next Steve Jobs and practice some simple coding. As we know, students of this age are very much interested in their mobile phones and the latest apps. By looking at how technology has influenced modern transport methods, students are encouraged to create their own mode of transport technology, like Uber or Lime. The coding topic just goes to show how adaptable the CLIL methodology can be.

For a full breakdown of all of our 2019/20 CLIL Projects, please visit our website:



With all CLIL Projects, we place a big focus on a final imaginative activity that consolidates all of the key learnings from the project. Usually, these projects encourage teamwork, problem solving and creativity. With the younger age groups, craft-based activities are effective in bringing to life the project for the students. In our ‘Life at Sea’ project for example, students create their own fish using recyclable plastic bottles.

With our Primaria students, the final activity is a good chance for the students to practice and revise the key vocabulary introduced in the project. In the ‘Superhero’ CLIL project, students create their own Superhero Top Trump Cards. They can pick their favourite Superheroes, or create their own using their imagination! After creating the cards, students finish the project by playing a big game of Top Trumps. This allows them to practice pronouncing the key vocabulary of attributes and qualities – all during a fun and engaging game!


Across the year, we recruit numerous Native-English teachers, who are all trained to deliver fully immersive projects using the CLIL methodology.

We currently have five CLIL teachers travelling around Italy. We caught up with them to ask a few ‘CLIL Project’ related questions. Here’s what they said!

  1. If you could have a superpower, what would it be?

Laura– The ability to heal people

Daniel -To be able to fly

Joel -To travel to imaginary places

Rowanna – To be able to move objects with my mind

Lewis -The ability to remember everything


  1. What’s your favourite garden animal?

Laura – Ladybird because it reminds me of my grandmother

Daniel – Hedgehog

Joel – Praying mantis: agile, cunning and camouflaged

Rowanna – Fox: soft and fluffy

Lewis – Robin

Sonic – The Superhero Hedgehog!


If you were lost on a desert island, what three objects would be most useful to you?

Laura – Water, an inflatable raft and a mirror

Daniel – A boat, a book on how to sail, and a mobile phone

Joel – A communication radio, water purifier and a sword

Rowanna Ipod, satellite phone and teabags

Lewis – A mirror, a fire-lighter kit and sunglasses


  1. What would your name be if you were a monster?

Laura – Giggling Goose

Daniel –  Danoldiniho

Joel – I am a monster; my name is Joel!

Rowanna – Roar-maestro

Lewis – Lew-ness Monster



Before we go, we wanted to let you know about our new Exploring Abroad Projects, where we will be taking school groups across to Edinburgh! We arrange a fully-immersive week for your students, delivering CLIL lessons, and of course enjoying everything that Edinburgh has to offer. We are very flexible with our dates, and will be launching our first tour in March 2020!

For more information, follow the link below, or email 

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