1st Edition

Soft CLIL and English Language Teaching Understanding Japanese Policy, Practice and Implications

    196 Pages 32 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    196 Pages 32 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) is a transformative and powerful approach to language education and has had a significant impact on educational pedagogy in recent years. Despite burgeoning literature on the efficacy and implementation of CLIL, there remains a gap between CLIL and English Language Teaching (ELT). Many practitioners wonder how they can ‘do CLIL’ if their main classes are focused on English as a Foreign Language (EFL). This volume addresses these concerns by examining the experiences of various CLIL practitioners in the EFL context of Japan.

    Chapters outline the CLIL methodology, the differences in ‘hard CLIL’ (subject led) and ‘soft CLIL’ (language-oriented) before focusing on the EFL interpretations of soft-CLIL. Although the distinction of hard CLIL and soft CLIL has been mentioned in several publications, this is the first book-length exploration of this issue, featuring chapters examining expectations, challenges, material support, implementation, and even motivation in CLIL classrooms. All of this culminates in a review of the potential and future of CLIL in EFL contexts, paving the way for more widespread and well informed implementation of CLIL all over the world.

    Introduction—CLIL in Japan: The case for Soft CLIL in the EFL context (Makoto Ikeda & Richard Pinner) 1. ‘How would you like your CLIL?’: Conceptualising Soft CLIL (Makoto Ikeda) 2. Meeting the challenges of realizing Soft CLIL in EFL classes in Japan (Shinichi Izumi) 3. Focus on form for content and language integration (Shinichi Izumi) 4. Concept-centred Soft CLIL: Uncovering concepts in EFL content (Matthew Davis)
    5. Pedagogical translanguaging in primary school Maths CLIL lessons (Makoto Ikeda) 6. Authenticity and motivation in Soft CLIL materials (Richard Pinner) 7. Assessing Soft CLIL (Yoshinori Watanabe) 8. The potential of Soft CLIL in the light of the diffusion of innovation theory (Yoshinori Watanabe) 9. Conclusion—Implications of and challenges for practicing Soft CLIL and a way forward (Shinichi Izumi & Richard Pinner)


    Makoto Ikeda is a professor in English Philology and English Language Education in the Department of English Literature at Sophia University. He received his MA in Applied Linguistics and English Language Teaching from King’s College London and his PhD in English Philology from Sophia University. He has written various CLIL methodology books and articles for practitioners and researchers in Japan and delivered numerous invited lectures, seminars and workshops for Japanese, Asian and European audiences. His current research interests include the precise nature of integration in CLIL, particularly how grammatical and lexical items are unconsciously acquired while students are consciously engaged in content learning.

    Shinichi Izumi is a professor in the Department of English Studies at Sophia University, where he teaches in the BA programme in English Language Studies and the MA and the PhD programmes in Applied Linguistics and TESOL. He received his MA in Applied Linguistics from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale and his PhD in Applied Linguistics from Georgetown University. He has been involved in EFL teacher education throughout Japan and has published widely both nationally and internationally in areas related to instructed second/foreign language acquisition, in particular on topics related to Content-Based Instruction (CBI), Task-Based Instruction (TBI), Focus on form, and Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL).

    Yoshinori Watanabe is a professor of the Graduate School of Languages and Linguistics at Sophia University. He holds a PhD from Lancaster University, focusing his dissertation on the washback effect of Japanese university entrance examinations. He has a long-standing interest in language learning strategies, language assessment, and CLIL, and he has a number of publications in these areas, including ‘Washback effects of college entrance examination on language learning strategies’ (Bulletin of Japan Association of College English Teaching), Washback in Language Testing (with Liying Cheng, Routledge), and many others. His latest contributions include CLIL Volumes I, II, and III (co-authored, Sophia University Press), and ‘Profiling lexical features of teacher talk in CLIL courses – The case of an EAP programme at higher education in Japan’ (International CLIL Research Journal). He is currently President of Japan Language Testing Association.

    Richard Pinner is an Associate Professor in the Department of English Literature at Sophia University. He holds an MA in Applied Linguistics and ELT from King’s College London and a PhD from The University of Warwick. He is the author of three books, as well as several articles which have appeared in international journals such as Language Teaching Research and Applied Linguistics Review. His research focuses on the dynamic relationship between authenticity and motivation in language teaching and learning.

    Matthew Davis is a teacher at Okayama Prefectural Okayama Daianji Secondary School, where he teaches English as a Foreign Language at both the lower and upper secondary level. While he holds an MA in English Language Education from Okayama University, his undergraduate background is in international affairs and Japanese. His involvement in implementing Soft CLIL at the secondary level began with attempts to improve classroom-based English debate tasks in 2013. While he continues to speak on, participate in, and promote English debate, his primary interest is on CLIL task design and observing student interaction in tasks.

    "This volume articulates how CLIL has become a tour de force for further developing English language teaching in the Japanese context. Relevant for educators worldwide, it describes key success drivers for applying CLIL across the educational spectrum. Authored by leading experts in the field, the easy-access chapters answer key questions that educators often have when considering if CLIL is possible to implement in their schools, and how to do it successfully. Insights on common strands between theory and practice, and descriptions of how CLIL models can be designed, make this publication a comprehensive and invaluable contribution to the field."

    -David Marsh PhD, FRSA (Finland)

    "At a time in CLIL research and pedagogy when it is key to take into account the specificities across contexts and types of CLIL, this excellent book is a unique contribution to the role of CLIL in EFL classrooms. It addresses relevant issues in soft CLIL such as translanguaging, focus on form, materials or assessment, providing a rich source of information for both researchers and educators." 

    -Ana Llinares, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (Spain)