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eTwinning projects and CLIL (Content and Language Integrated Learning)

2015  |  

CLILL and etwinning

Loli Iglesias, advisor for secondary education in the Berritzegune de Getxo (Basque Government’s Centre for pedagogical guidance) presents the benefits which eTwinning projects bring to the CLILL (Content Led Integrated Language Learning).





The eTwinning projects were created in 2005 as an initiative of the European Commission to encourage European schools to form collaborative partnerships using different ICT tools. Over the last ten years it has become very evident that the schools which develop these projects manage to foment not just the use of ICTs but also the achievement of the basic competences through a methodology that facilitates cooperative learning and collaboration among the teachers.

From my experience as an advisor in methodology for teaching areas and subjects using a foreign language, I would like to share my conclusions on the benefits that eTwinning projects bring to CLIL (Content and Language Integrated Learning). On the one hand, no linguist would doubt that the communicative approach is the best way to learn a language.

scrable CLILL

Collaboration among schools from different European countries permits the students to use the language to communicate and thus manage to carry out tasks which have been agreed upon among the project participants. This means that they facilitate a “real” use of the language which we could define as taking place in a meaningful context, in a social environment in order to acquire the information that the speaker is interested in as well as providing the opportunity to get to know different cultures.

On the other hand, the necessary collaboration among teachers from the same school to achieve a collaborative project with other schools from other countries encourages interdisciplinary projects, which foments team work, discussions and consensus in the school benefitting both teachers and students. This is true for any educational stage and any area or subject.


Physical Awareness wordcloud

Very different curricular options are evident among the 130000 schools participating in eTwinning projects, from projects focused on eating habits and culinary traditions in different countries to others in which the students transfer their knowledge on subjects like Physics and Mathematics to the Physical Education class.

(This is the case of Physical Awareness, a project which has received the Quality Label for the month of January). Access to the TwinSpace of the project.



I think it is important to mention that using CLIL in the classroom is an ambitious challenge and a complex process which can be easier to carry out if it is complemented with attractive projects for the students which clearly influence their motivation to learn in the area or areas which the school has decided to develop in the foreign language. It is really motivating for the participants to be able to use the innumerable technological tools which form part of their daily lives, have chat sessions, videoconferences etc., to carry out tasks related to different subjects. 

The schools with which I work as an advisor that have had the initiative to participate in eTwinning projects have summarized their feelings by saying that the experience has been very gratifying because they have been able to see how their students “learned while having fun”. Is there anything more encouraging for a teacher?

We are illustrating this article with other examples of eTwinning projects for Primary and Secondary schools.


Climb a hill with CLIL (Primary Education)

Mountain climb hill CLIL

A project in which the students share different socio-cultural aspects of their daily lives, their environment and their culture using email, chat, audio and video, PowerPoint  and Photo albums.

The students are divided into 5 mixed nationality groups which compete in different games and activities during the whole school year. Each team has to climb a virtual hill, a representation of the highest mountain in each country. The Slovakian teams climb the eastern face (because they come from an Eastern European country), and the Spanish teams climb the western face (as they come from a Western European country). The more points they win the farther they climb. The winner is the team which reaches the summit. The topic of the games and activities are based on CLIL contents taught in the classroom and shared by the participating teachers. 

Access to the TwinSpace of the proyect.


Spirit of Hope (Secondary education)

Voltaire Spirit Hope

By means of the literature of the partner countries, the students investigate and interpret common traditions finding similarities and celebrating the diversity that they come across. The project is presented in a format in the style of the Canterbury Tales in which the students become European pilgrims who travel through different regions and epochs. 

The students get together and relate their findings in the contexts of literature, art, technology, culture and sport. The project provides the students with the opportunity to creatively develop their ideas, improve their digital and linguistic competences, and teaches them to work in a team fomenting a feeling of being citizens of Europe.

Access to the TwinSpace of the project.


Source of the images: Photocompositions from free use images from Freepik.com and images from the TwinSpace of the eTwinning projects mentioned.

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