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CLIL- Questions for David Marsh.

David Marsh has worked on multilingualism and bilingual education since the 1980s. He was part of the team which conducted groundwork leading to the launch of the term Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) in 1994. In 2002, he coordinated production of CLIL – The European Dimension: Actions, Trends and Foresight Potential for the European Commission (DG EAC). This overview of the situation in Europe was used in the compilation of the 2004–2006 EC Action Plan: Promoting Language Learning & Linguistic Diversity. During 2008–2009 he coordinated an international research team (on behalf of the European Commission) examining the evidence available concerning the impact of multilingualism on the brain. He is currently acting as Strategic Director for CCN (Europe), and handles various educational development and research initiatives in the European Union and East Asia.

David - Buckingham Palace 11-2008

1. Can you tell us something about yourself?
I am based in Finland and for many years have been involved with educational transformation, particularly in additional language learning. This has involved assignments across the world, mainly in the European Union, Asia, Africa and more recently Latin America.

2. Finland frequently ranks very high in international evaluation studies, why is this?
This is mainly through a sustained drive to improve the aspirations of its citizens and society through strengthening its social, economy and political security, and doing this, partly, through ensuring quality inclusive education.

3. You are known internationally as an expert on educational integration particularly in relation to AICLE/CLIL. What is AICLE/CLIL?

CLIL is a dual-focused educational approach in which an additional language is used for the learning and teaching of both content and language. AICLE/CLIL describes the types of learning environments, that need to be created to make this type of education successful.

4. Where did the CLIL journey begin?
In the early 1990s Europe was attempting political integration, but additional language learning outcomes were far too poor. In fact, quite miserable, given the amount of time dedicated to language learning in the curriculum across K-12. The European Commission was looking for solutions. Finland was suffering an economic crisis that was a microcosm of the European Sovereign debt crisis which has now struck Spain. Finland needed to rapidly develop international life skills, and my CLIL journey was heavily related to this at the time.


As you know Dr. David Marsh opened the II APABAL Convention with an amazing lecture titled “European Responses to Learning through English; Initiatives, challenges and solutions”. Now it’s our pleasure to present the video of that lecture. Thanks again for making the Convention possible and enjoy the video.


All the best for the Christmas Season.


May Christmas give you many more reasons to smile
All the best for the New Year from APABAL
(Associació de Professors d’anglès i en anglès de les Illes Balears)