National Centre for CLIL: Learning Through Language UK

Our new National Centre for CLIL (Content and Language Integrated Learning, which means the teaching of subjects such as geography in the foreign language) aims to increase the uptake in languages and raise achievement levels across all subjects in schools. 

The centre, Learning through Languages UK, draws on shared expertise across educational sectors and public stakeholders in order to coordinate, resource, train, accredit, research and disseminate, the implementation of this proven approach to language learning and teaching.

We regularly organize CLIL events and CPD for teachers, and we are hoping to develop a training programme in the near future.

For more information, contact Dr Emmanuelle Labeau:

Learn more by reading the centre's launch press release here.

  • Kim Bower (Sheffield Hallam University)
  • Frances Child (Birmingham University)
  • Do Coyle (University of Edinburgh)
  • Parminder Garcha (Birmingham City Council)
  • Jesús M. Hernández González (Spanish Embassy Education Office)
  • Bernadette Holmes (Speak to the Future)
  • Concha Julian-de-Vega (Spanish Embassy Education Office)
  • Benoît Le Devedec (Institut français)
  • Sarah Lister (Manchester Metropolitan University)
  • Peeter Mehisto (University College London)
  • Rachel Middleton (Association for Language Learning)
  • Pam Moores (Aston University)
  • Tarja Nikula-Jäntti (University of Jyväskylä, Finland)
  • Sue Simson (Moseley Primary and the Priory School)
  • Domini Stone (University of Westminster)

The National Centre for CLIL hosted by Aston University is a collaboration between Aston University and Bordesley Green Girls’ School to promote learning through languages from primary to tertiary level.

Regional hubs:

  • Edinburgh (university of Edinburgh) – Contact: Do Coyle
  • London (University of Westminster) -  Contact : Domini Stone 
  • Manchester (Metropolitan Metropolitan University) – Contact: Sarah Lister
  • Sheffield (Sheffield Hallam University) – Contact: Kim Bouwer
Christiane Dalton-Puffer Image for National Centre for CLIL

Distinguished Visitor: Professor Christiane Dalton-Puffer, Vienna University, Austria

Saturday, 3 February, 2018, 10am - 1pm

Place: Aston University, MB 553

CPD: Great Expectations. What do we know about CLIL, what do we want from it?

From its inception CLIL has been invested with sometimes far-reaching expectations regarding its potential to foster competence acquisition in the linguistic domain but also with respect to higher order thinking or intercultural competences. The workshop will provide an opportunity to discuss and reflect these expectations, to compare them to some results from over a decade of research in a range of educational contexts across the globe. In connection with that the workshop will also address criteria for successful and sustainable CLIL implementations. CPD Workshop: Implications of CLIL for classroom practice.

Public Lecture - Policy and practice of CLIL in Austria 

Date: Thursday, 1 February 2018, 5:30-7pm

Place: Aston University, MB552

Starting with a sketch of Austria’s language policies and the role of foreign languages in its education system, this lecture will trace the development of CLIL in Austria since its inception in the 1990s. Fuelled by top-down European level policies as well as bottom-up grassroots activities, CLIL has long occupied a stable niche in the mainstream of the education system. A substantial part of the lecture will be dedicated to illustrating the manifold CLIL practices and perceptions of teachers and learners from different grade-levels and school types. A recent change in national policy has now made CLIL a formal requirement in certain types of upper secondary education leading to subtle but significant shifts in the perceptions of stakeholders. 

Biographical information: Prof Christiane Dalton-Puffer is professor of English Linguistics at the University of Vienna, where she is co-affiliated to the Centre of Teacher Education. Her teaching and research interests are in educational linguistics and language teacher education. She is published widely on the discourse and practice of CLIL classrooms. She enjoys crossing disciplinary borders and collaborating with colleagues from other fields of education. One of her missions is to convince subject educators of the key role of language in learning.

Tarja Nikula Image for National Centre fro CLIL

Distinguished Visitor: Professor Tarja Nikula, University of Jyväskylä, Finland  


Saturday 2nd December 2017, 10am - 1pm

Location: Aston University, MB603

 While the dual focus on content and language learning has often been highlighted in Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL), there has been less discussion on what integrating means conceptually and at the level of classroom practices. By exploring data extracts from CLIL classrooms, this workshop will explore the nature of CLIL as a context both for second/foreign language learning and use, and for language-dependent content learning. The themes addressed will include the role of language and language awareness in content learning, translanguaging as practice and pedagogy, and the implications of that the intertwined nature of content and language has on assessment in CLIL.

Distinguished Visitor: Professor Tarja Nikula, University of Jyväskylä, Finland

Public Lecture - A multi-sited policy perspective on CLIL  

Thursday 30th November 2017, 17:30 - 19:00pm 

Location:  Aston University, Main Building MB550 

This lecture will outline a multi-sited policy perspective on content and language integrated learning (CLIL). This means that CLIL realization is dependent on policy processes that, rather than linear and hierarchical, are fluctuating and multi-sited, that is, simultaneously taking place at different levels, be they national, local, institution-based or pertaining to classrooms as sites for policy choices.

More specifically, the lecture will describe a three-perspectival approach to content and language integration that highlights the importance of curriculum level decisions, the role of classroom practices and of participant beliefs for its successful implementation. 

Biographical information: Prof Tarja Nikula is Professor of Applied Linguistics and Director of the Centre for Applied Language Studies (CALS) at the University of Jyväskylä. She was a founding member and co-convener of AILA Research Network CLIL & Immersion Classrooms: Applied Linguistic Perspectives (2006-2011).Her research specialisms include classroom discourse, content and language integrated learning (CLIL) and foreign language learning and teaching, discourse-pragmatics and subject-specific language. She publishes widely in international journals and has most recently co-edited Conceptualising Integration in CLIL and Multilingual Education (2016).

Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) Day at Aston

Saturday March 18th 2017 

Plenary talks: 

  • Peeter Mehisto  (University College London Institute of Education) - Getting concrete with CLIL 
  • Judith Woodfield  (Head teacher, Bordesley Green Girls School) - How Content and Language Integrated Teaching Can Halt the Decline of Languages in Schools 
  • Elisabeth Wielander (Aston University) - Something to talk about: Integrating content and language in tertiary education 
  • Workshop with Peeter Mehisto - Scaffolding through the unavoidable gateway of short-term memory: A CLIL essential  


We regularly organize CLIL events and CPD for teachers (see our past events section), and we are hoping to develop a training programme in the near future.

To be notified of our future events, contact Dr Emmanuelle Labeau:

For more information about our CLIL activities, contact Dr Emmanuelle Labeau: