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Sixth International Center Symposium held on the theme of CLIL

The Sixth International Center Symposium “CLIL-based lesson planning and teacher classroom skills - The Finland (EU) experience” was held on October 25 at the Tennoji Campus Millennium Hall.
A teaching approach that is gaining ground in Europe in recent years, “content and language integrated learning” (CLIL) provides practical English language skills through science, social studies and culture classes conducted in a foreign (English) language. This methodology is currently being implemented in the Northern European teacher training in OKU’s evening course and the Department of Practical School Education of the graduate school.
The maximum number of registrants was reached soon after registration for the symposium began, and the 100 attendees included elementary school teachers, students aspiring to become teachers, university professors, English language school staff and other people interested in English education.
Following an opening address by OKU President Sumio Kuribayashi, Professor Tarja Nikula-Jäntti, leading CLIL researcher and director of Finland’s University of Jyväskylä Center for Applied Language Studies (CALS), spoke about the progress of CLIL development in Finland, its successes and obstacles. Next, a teacher at Finland’s Kortepohja Elementary School, Kristiina Skinnari, gave a talk focused on “The changing roles of teacher and student” based on the doctoral research she did on her own CLIL classes.
During the second part of the symposium, presentations were made on CLIL research that has been done in Japan. First OKU Professor Kazuko Kashiwagi gave a presentation on CLIL for English learning in elementary school, and next, OKU graduate students Tetsuya Iwamoto and Yumiko Morishita presented on CLIL classes in their Northern European teacher training. After that, lecturer Yuki Yamano of Utsunomiya University proposed the possibility of putting CLIL into practice in foreign language classes at elementary school in Japan. Lastly, Professor Rintarou Satou and graduate student Tadayuki Izumiya of Nara University of Education spoke about “Japanese teachers’ use of L1-L2 in high school English classes - The gap between teachers’ beliefs and practice.”
During the question and answer sessions of both parts of the symposium, attendees asked many general questions about CLIL. The symposium closed with a lively discussion with panelists about the great possibilities that lie ahead of introducing and applying CLIL at schools in Japan.
Survey responses stated that “It was great to hear so many cases of putting CLIL into practice. It was worth coming all the way to Osaka,” “I’ve learned a lot more about CLIL, so I hope that a practical training group is started in the future,” and “I was impressed by the way that even Finland, which is a country advanced in the area of CLIL, is constantly verifying results.”