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Writing CLIL materials

Some time ago, I was a teacher. I have already taught YL (very YL!), teens and adults, though I can say that YL have a special place in my heart. While working as a teacher, I would always try to bring personalized materials to cater for my students’ needs and likes. And this is how I started developing materials: one worksheet about a famous TV series here, a memory game including students’ favorite animals there… three years later, and I left the classroom to become a full-time materials writer.

In my daily routine, I write lesson plans, worksheets, teacher’s books, student’s books, social media posts, blog posts, etc., but the one thing I enjoy writing the most is content for CLIL lessons. Have you ever heard of CLIL? It’s an approach to teaching that integrates content and language learning. Students learn the language while learning the content, and vice-versa. There are variations of CLIL and different ways to implement it in a school, but the thing is, CLIL materials undoubtedly will include school subjects such as Geography, Science and History, for starters.

Material developers are not always specialists in all the areas they write about, so here it comes the most interesting thing about developing CLIL materials: research and analysis. We need to find ways to teach language items while talking about the water cycle, the types of soil or the life cycle of human beings. Suddenly, you remember lots of things you studied when you were a kid or a teen and try to find ways to make it more memorable and interesting than it was presented to you in the past. You also have the chance to help teachers and suggest funny games, reference vídeos and relevant tips when writing the teacher’s book.

Changing my career and becoming a material writer has been truly worth it. If you don’t feel like becoming a full-time material writer, but are interested in how to use CLIL in your lessons and even writing some CLIL worksheets and activities for your students, Troika has the course Planning for CLIL next weekend, with Letícia Moraes. Share your ideas about CLIL and material writing in the comments!

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