CLIL, or Content Language Integrated Learning, is a modern approach to foreign language acquisition which focuses not on the target language as a subject of study in and of itself, but on its acquisition through its utilization in a specified content area. CLIL differs greatly from a more traditional, target language focused approach to language acquisition. In a traditional language classroom the focus is on syntax and lexicon, which can be very effective with students who have a high linguistic intelligence, however it makes it difficult to reach students with different varied intelligences. Furthermore, teaching with a sole focus on syntax and lexicon creates difficulties for students who are not familiar with grammatical structures in their own language.
The aim of CLIL pedagogy is to teach students that the target language can be used practically, in a more comprehensive manner, to learn about new subjects. Utilizing CLIL, students are able to cultivate a stronger relationship with the target language because they make connections to many different subject matters, instead of limiting learning to the study of the use of the target language. For me, the most important aspect of CLIL pedagogy is that it teaches students to move away from only thinking about the target language itself, but instead to utilize the target language to think critically about and analyze new material.
CLIL has, over the past twenty years, been effective in European curriculum development. Many countries utilize CLIL in order to teach students the practicality of the English language, with the aim that in university students will be able to critically think in their target language, and not be limited to thinking only about the language itself. In the modern globalized world we live in, it would be detrimental to our youth to teach them only how to process foreign language, what is more pertinent is to teach them how to use new languages so that they may become competent enough to critically analyze new and familiar subject matter.