UPDATED: 11 Jun 2010 - carry on reading, please.
This year, I was assigned to three secondary schools. As luck would have it, each of them had a different method of choosing their CLIL group of students, so I thought it would be interesting to do a study on their performance. Since my services were terminated with at the end of May, I can only compare the figures obtained from the first and second evaluation. I analysed the students' performance in the CLIL subjects, which varied from school to school, and in the non-CLIL subjects.
I studied the rise or fall in the number of failures from the first to the second evaluation, and calculated the average number of passes for each group (three groups from each school were analysed).
Finally, I compared the average performance between the CLIL groups of the three different schools.
School X has remained steadfast in refusing me permission to use its data, insisting that I have no right to use it, even if I were not to use the name of the school.
So, I must apologise to all of you who have expressed interest in this study, but I have no choice but to remove its part. It does undermine the study somewhat, but, I think something still can be learned from it.
Method of selection: Each potential student, prior to enrolment, was given a note telling them to present themselves for an examination if they were interested in joining the CLIL program.
It is worth noting, however, that generally, the attendance for this examination is not very encouraging, and all the students who do it are almost guaranteed a place in the CLIL class even though they might have scored very poorly. The fact that there is a wide gap between the handing of the note and the examination (a whole summer) may account for the poor attendance.
IES Alonso Quesada
Method of selection: Students were selected based on their results in the CLIL subjects in their final year in primary school. Even though there was objection from teachers not involved in the CLIL project, the backing of the school management team allowed the possibility of this selection method.
IES Los Tarahales
Method of selection: Heavy objection from non-CLIL teachers prevented any method of selection from being implemented, other than that the CLIL class had to be chosen AT RANDOM.
It came as no surprise that the best performance, by a significant margin, came from Alonso Quesada, given their method of the process of selection. It is worth studying, however, the rate of progress of the CLIL groups in comparison to their non-CLIL peers. From first-hand experience with the various classes and the students, I have found that there is a certain level of motivation present in the CLIL classes, and that it rubs off on especially the weaker students.
These very students would very likely sink rapidly if they were placed in a less motivated class. The stronger students would, most likely, succeed in any group, but it is useful to ponder on the varying possibilities of the borderline students.
Another thought provoking strategy would be to provide all classes with similar resources and possibilities. Certainly, I have seen positive results from my time spent with non-CLIL classes in Los Tarahales and School X, especially at the entrance level.
Whether the Canaries would one day begin to have at least one CLIL subject in all classes remains to be seen.
What do you think? Would you like to see this happen? Do you have CLIL in your school? How does it work? Do you think it is better to have more CLIL time per school or more schools in the project, but with less CLIL time in each?
Your opinions would be most appreciated. Click on 'comments' below, if you don't see the form for sending in comments.
Please note: if you would like a copy of this PowerPoint, email me.