From the CLIL craze to the CLIL conundrum: Addressing the current CLIL controversy

María Luisa Pérez Cañado


This article provides an updated account of the evolution of Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL), from an initial period of CLIL craze to one of CLIL critique to, at present, what could be considered a CLIL conundrum. The controversies which currently affect this approach are documented on three main fronts (characterization, implementation, and research), illustrating how the so-called pendulum effect is at work in all of them. The concomitant challenges posed by these controversies are identified and specific ways to redress them are provided via concrete research-based proposals stemming from two governmentally-funded research projects. The ultimate aim is to identify the chief hurdles which need to be tackled within the CLIL arena in the very near future and to signpost possible ways of superseding them in order to continue advancing smoothly into the next decade of CLIL development.


CLIL, controversy, characterization, implementation, research

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