An international teacher training project team of eight graduate/undergraduate students and four faculty members (of the evening course; Tennoji Campus) went to Finland and Austria from November 22 to December 5 for teacher training at nine elementary and junior high schools. The evening course includes teacher training in various EU countries, and this was the fifth such trip.
The project involves applying CLIL* theory, and is primarily an initiative to enhance English language competencies in science, math and expression classes. Supported by Japan Student Services Organization (JASSO) scholarships for the past five years, the project contributes to students’ cultural literacy, English teaching skills and active learning classroom skills.
Students visited classrooms in Finnish elementary and junior high schools where they put CLIL methodology to work to explain science experiments or traditional rakugo comic stories in English. They also observed classrooms using the ICT and active learning methodologies implemented by Finland’s newly instituted education system.
The group also visited University of Jyväskylä, home to Finland’s largest education department where master’s and doctorate programs are conducted in English. OKU faculty held discussions on a two-way partnership based on the CLIL project and teacher training with Josephine Moate of the education department, which also oversees CLIL instruction courses. Afterward, the group observed general education classes at Åbo Akademi University’s affiliated teacher practice schools.
The group moved on to Austria, where CLIL classroom visits were coordinated and advised by Professor Christiane Dalton-Puffer. Professor Dalton-Puffer instructs researchers from around the world in CLIL at Austria’s University of Vienna, one of the largest universities in the German-speaking world. In Austria, they observed elementary, junior high and high school physics and geography teachers team with English language teachers to jointly teach different subjects and at different schools.
Of the teacher practice and observation, one participant said, “I got some ideas for teacher training methods used in Japan.” Another said, “I think that the team teaching used in Austria is the final objective of CLIL.”
*Content Language Integrated Learning (CLIL): An approach to teaching and learning that combines English language instruction with instruction in science and social studies, incorporating the four elements of ‘content,’ ‘communication,’ ‘cognition’ and ‘community’ for the purpose of developing global citizens.