The Teacher 187

38 The Teacher  1-2 (187) 2022 CLIL ❯❯❯ The younger generation Many years later, under a new political system, Russian was removed from the compulsory streak of foreign language education in Poland. Step by step, English education was introduced at grade 1 of primary school and became compulsory. So, when I had my own children, the situation was so much different. I – sadly – accepted they may not like geography as much as I do but I knew they needed a good command of English. Cassette recordings of children’s songs in English, extra lessons from kindergarten until high school exams (no excuses!), trips to London and other places in the UK, bringing books from charity shops in England – all good but could be futile if they themselves did not find this one thing that would turn English on for them. They did, but all completely differently. My eldest son was the one who was most unruly until he got into international relations studies and realised English opens doors to academic studies and to a career in human resources – in Poland – that is based on the everyday use of English. My daughter taught herself all about the use and functions of a graphic tablet via free tutorials in English. I remember her drawing on her tablet while listening to lectures in… psychology from Harvard! What a treat to mommy! My youngest son, unwilling to solve tests in English, got through language competitions in a lower secondary school with flying colours based on computer games (try to follow the commentary in English there!) and read all the works of H.P. Lovecraft and other authors like that in original – none administered by the school teacher of English. Content-based instruction Having a parent who is a teacher of Englishmay help in language education, but not having one cannot be an excuse, especially today. Having access to extra language classes is an asset, but is no longer a prerequisite. What I would insist on, though, is language teachers realising – and accepting – that their position has changed irreversibly. They have – if they want – the key to their students’ engagement in the lessons of English. It is called content-enhanced language teaching (CELT) (or ‘soft’ CLIL, or content-based instruction – CBI, or content-based language teaching – CBLT – the English language does love acronyms). Although some consider CBI more a philosophy than a methodology, it does offer some fresh look at the content of additional language education.

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