TO CLIL OR NOT TO CLIL

ABSTRACT
The aim of this article is to demonstrate that Content Based Instruction (CBI) of foreign languages is indeed effective and as I will show, it is already fully implemented in Italian Secondary schools and has been practised traditionally for quite a long time, what does need to be modified to make it even more efficient and up to date to meet today’s challenges is, first of all wide-spread awareness that it does actually work and secondly, increased funds to allow students to have the necessary opportunities to have access to the right amount of language exposure and the sufficient time to let it seep in.
The initial discourse about CLIL, more than 15 years ago, still meant to involve foreign language teachers alongside the subject specialist teachers in a team work setting, mainly because it was intended as a means to encourage teachers’ mobility around Europe. Afterwards instead CLIL was conveyed as a teaching practice that totally ruled out any involvement of foreign language teachers and introduced the exclusive presence of subject specialist teachers which is one of the main reasons why I don’t fully agree with this didactic method and I will explain my perplexities. It is especially quite puzzling why the expertise of so many dedicated professionals should be discriminated against and penalised despite their high competence and the excellent results achieved.

Keywords: language exposure, CLIL, CBI, Bilingual Immersion, Foreign Language Teaching