CLIL to make primary pupils click for languages: Lessons from Hackney

Emmanuelle Labeau, Raquel Tola Rego

Research output: Chapter in Book/Published conference outputChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


In this paper, we provide a brief overview of the Primary Languages landscape in England and highlighted the issues it is facing. We present the best practice case of Hackney Education with special attention to its recent CLIL developments. We argue that a CLIL approach has the potential of addressing the challenges of implementing the national MFL entitlement at primary level by reducing the timetabling constraints, expanding the teacher pool, and adapting to children’s cognitive development. Indeed, the delivery of disciplinary contents in another language maximises language input without extra pressure on the timetable. This format can also help address the shortage of qualified language teachers by extending the delivery of primary languages to non-specialist teachers, supported by specialists providing scheme of work, upskilling and contributing to delivery. Finally, the CLIL approach fits the cognitive development – as identified by the RiPL project - of primary school pupils who learn implicitly, by being immersed in the language and using it.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHow special are early birds? Foreign language teaching and learning
EditorsKevin McManus, Monika S. Schmid
Place of PublicationBerlin
ISBN (Electronic)9783961103898
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Publication series

NameEurosla Studies
ISSN (Print)2626-2665

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2022, the authors. Published under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Licence (CC BY 4.0):


  • Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL)
  • Reseearch in Primary Languages (RiPL)


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    Emmanuelle Labeau (Chair)

    Nov 2020 → …

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