Skyrocket your students’ skills – new CLIL books in the BOOKR Class Library
CLIL books are springing in BOOKR Class!
We have always found Content- and Language-Integrated Learning a great aspect and method in language learning. We’ve included books that enable students to learn about various subjects such as history and science before. However, a new series has arrived in the application, that systematically cover elementary science on three different reading levels with the same content!
CLIL books have been requested by many BOOKR teachers out there, and we aim to make their wish come true – but let’s not jump ahead. We’re starting with the basics.
Table of content
Content- and Language-Integrated Learning (CLIL)
First things first, what is CLIL methodology?
Content and Language-Integrated Learning is a teaching approach where English becomes a tool for learning content while both the language and the subject matter are kept in focus.
A great example for CLIL is bilingual education, where students learn selected subjects (e.g. geography, world history, etc.) in their target language. Speaking in English in these classes is not enough, there is a separate, scientifically-proven methodology for implementation.
This type of CLIL instruction is called “hard CLIL”, while “soft CLIL” refers to integrating some content in the target-language classroom, for example, talking about Hollywood movies or environmental protection in the English lesson. For more, read our article about teaching approaches.
Why implement CLIL?
According to Coyle’s 4C’s curriculum, besides focusing on the
As an example, let’s analyze the BOOKR Class story of ‘Thessalonike’.
When teaching the ancient Greek legend of Thessalonike, students will learn about the content covering King Alexander, Thessalonike the mythical mermaid, and the aim of myths and legends to explain why certain phenomena occur, for instance, why the sea is calm or rough at times.
Students read the story in English, therefore it teaches vocabulary about Ancient Greece, sailing and the weather at the sea.
The legend engages students in critical thinking about the characters’ behaviour, attitude and mood swings while understanding and interpreting the story itself.
The book also raises awareness of the cultural differences between a sea-farer nation and a landlocked one without a sea, as well as the role of deities and myths or legends in general.
At BOOKR Class we are true believers that children benefit greatly from developing 21st-century skills at a very young age.
This is why our app is not only designed for English language learning (ELL) but contributes to further student growth, such as social-emotional learning by improving essential soft skills such as critical thinking, creativity, problem solving, social emotional skills, multicultural awareness….
Why will my students enjoy a CLIL classroom?
A CLIL classroom has a very strong, meaningful nature. Students quickly understand why a reading activity can be useful for them beyond improving their reading skills.
CLIL materials are not the typical sample textbook stories (focusing on reading comprehension and vocabulary) but texts about useful knowledge which will come in handy later on.
Content-based education is useful both language-wise and content-wise. Each learning experience will build fluency and help them understand similar texts.
Students will become familiar with various registers, and after a while, they will understand similar texts more easily whilst they unintentionally acquire some expressions for later use. In terms of content, learning a subject in English can open doors when students are able to use their knowledge for academic purposes more smoothly.
CLIL lessons provide more authentic input than typical textbook-type conversations. They are well-structured texts and often carefully curated and edited to fit the needs and skills of language learners, yet because of their content, they can still keep their academic nature.
If we think about culture and civilization, such stories and texts offer an authentic context and are often capable of giving students the big picture as well as a personal narrative.
Eager learners find new information engaging and exciting. Some students find fact files, actual subject matter, and content-based lessons more engaging than a graded reader of a classic literary oeuvre they are already familiar with.
New information is always exciting as it engages the learners, helping them become generally more content-aware.
When students are busy absorbing information, language learning and the internalisation of content or skill can occur incidentally. Trying to make sense of a text involves thinking skills as much as language skills in the ESL / EFL classroom.
Students’ attitude towards academics will improve as they discover that English is a powerful tool for learning. They will see that the language enables them to find specific information of interest and entertainment in the educational context and beyond.
Research shows that even though the beginning of CLIL and bilingual education in general can be truly challenging, students’ skills improve better in CLIL classrooms.
In CLIL classes students have a significantly wider range of specialized vocabulary, apply grammatical rules more efficiently and are more self-confident and spontaneous in using the foreign language.
For more, read this article.
That is why BOOKR Class has been more focused on integrating various subjects in their books in order to extend the scope from literature to other subjects, such as history, geography, and, of course, science!
What is Focus Curriculum?
“The Science Content You Need – Customized for Your Students’ Reading Abilities”
Focus Curriculum, founded by Thomas Hatch and his partner, Tom Sibila, concentrates on the education market. Since 2008, the company has been publishing digitally-formatted books, selling them directly to schools. Their materials are used by teachers and students in most of Ohio’s more than 600 school districts, and now they are available in the BOOKR Class library for all!
Focus Curriculum texts are nonfiction books that meet the student at their level and fully explain key concepts about Life, Earth, and Physical Science.
They provide students with the necessary scientific background to successfully understand and explain their observations in order to solve authentic problems and research phenomena using a hands-on approach that drives instruction today.
The books cover the U.S. Core Curriculum, and each is written at three different reading levels: basic level, on level, and advanced level. Differentiation and value-added instruction is built right in.
Each title is accompanied by different English Language Arts activities that teach and apply comprehension, vocabulary and critical thinking skills and strategies. With these books, it is possible to cover science content and teach informational text reading skills at the same time.
Read more about Focus Curriculum on their website!
What is extra about the Focus Curriculum books in BOOKR Class?
From the Focus Curriculum x BOOKR Class collaboration, we brought these science books alive. We have created interactive multimedia books that have all the content of the Focus Curriculum books – including the follow-up activities – that are enhanced with lively illustrations, animation, sound effects, and narration, as well as a protagonist, the creator himself, Thomas Hatch and his dog, Shadrach.
The transformation of the format will surely please the readers and further motivate, engage and educate them.
Moreover, BOOKR Class has edited the texts so they are not only easy to read and understand for English-speaking students at three different difficulty levels but also accessible, available, and enjoyable for language learners all around the world!
What books can my students start with?
Survivors! Imagine that you are going to live in the Arctic. Would you survive there? What changes would you have to make? How can polar bears live well there? These animals survive because plants and animals adapt to where they live.
To live and grow, plants need sunlight and animals need food.
All living things, all organisms, also need water, gases from the air and enough space to live. In this book, you will learn how organisms adapt to meet these needs in their ecosystems.
Has your environment changed lately? Have people built more houses near your home? Do new roads lead to those houses? Has a flood destroyed homes?
Habitats can change in helpful or harmful ways. Natural forces, such as the weather, cause some changes and people cause many other changes.
In this book, you’ll read about ways that habitats and ecosystems change. You’ll find out how living things respond to those changes.
The same well-structured and carefully written educational content, the same authentic reading experience but more language-learner friendly texts with digitized scaffolding features – this is what Focus Curriculum has become in BOOKR Class.
So to sum it up, with the new series, you will be able to
- improve your students’ various skills
- spice up your lessons with interactive books
- engage your learners in meaningful CLIL activities.
All you need to do is get started with the Focus Curriculum series in the BOOKR Class library!