For more than 10 years, the UAM-CLIL research group has carried out research on Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL). CLIL is the term used for the European version of bilingual education, an approach to foreign language learning which is extending rapidly in Spain and many other countries all around the world. The UAM-CLIL research group responds to the need for information on this new teaching/learning situation. The group has collected data from CLIL classes at different levels of education in Madrid, and now has a corpus of over a million words.
The UAM-CLIL research group has analysed students’ language use in content classes in different projects, and has published its results in various national and international books, journals, and conferences.
Regarding the representation of academic content, the group has shown (among other results) the role of the specific subjects in students’ use of lexical resources and similar patterns in the use of coordination over subordination when compared to students working on the same topics in L1 Spanish. In relation to CLIL students’ control of textual resources, the research group has shown how CLIL settings provide suitable contexts in which to develop written discourse, as the students can draw on a solid knowledge base from which to create their texts when given the opportunity to construct scaffolded but longer texts in the required genres. Finally, the UAM-CLIL research group has shown the role of both genre and task in students’ language use and development in CLIL subjects.
This empirical work contributes to the continuing research effort to establish a conceptual base for the widespread but under-theorized phenomenon of CLIL.