Coding and CLIL

What is really good about CLIL method  (CLIL refers to Content and Language Integrated Learning) is that it isn’t about having students learn about the language, it’s about having them use the language. Coding is a new passion, a new way of teaching English to my children and my students. It is perfect content for a CLIL classroom because coding activities encourage the acquisition of oral and practical skills, promote teamwork and encourage students to become active participants in the classroom. They help students to communicate key concepts in the target language in real-time and in real situations. 


Why coding? What is good about it? Apart from developing important skills like creativity, computational thinking, problem-solving, innovation, collaboration and much more, it engages students completely. Most of them love video games and making stuff with cardboard, paper, play-dough and Lego. Coding can arouse a new kind of maker passion.


Before starting to work on coding activities, it is best to pre-teach important concepts and words. I usually use Quizlet as students can practise the vocabulary with Quizlet study sets outside the classroom, too.



So far, we have been working on four types of coding activities: unplugged coding, working with tutorials, coding with ScratchJr and coding with Scottie Go!.


Unplugged Coding (Coding without computers)


There are many great resources on the internet to do unplugged coding. We tried Cody Feet with my first graders which is the preparatory stage of Cody Roby (developed by Alessandro Bogliolo, coordinator of Europe Code Week) and block coding, pixel art and kidbot activities (when a student "programs" another student to do a task) from CS Unplugged and storytelling with block codes.


Here is an example of how we code a story.  As part of an eTwinning project, we create a common story with the other European partners where a little alien visits Europe and goes on trips to the participating countries. The teachers together with their students or alone (it depends on how many times they meet each other a week) write their part of the story then they tell the story with block codes.


The story (Word Doc)


We took part in the Europe Code Week and the Hour of Code events with many of my classes. The tutorials on support not only learning to program but also practising reading skills and communication (especially when students work in pairs). I created classroom sections for those students who wanted to continue working on the courses. This way we can keep track of their progress and help them if they are stuck.


Coding with ScratchJr


It's a bit difficult to work on ScratchJr at my school as we don't have tablets or Ipads there and I couldn't download a tablet emulator onto the computers at school. However, we have interactive whiteboards and with my computer, we can create or tell a story on it together. The lesson is a combination of unplugged coding and coding on a computer as while we work on the app with one pair of students after the other, the rest of the class work with their grids and block coding cards.

I use the Official ScratchJr Book and the ScratchJr Coding Cards for creating stories both at home and at school.



Coding with Scottie Go!


Coding with Scottie Go! is a Polish invention and it combines traditional board game and mobile application. It is a fantastic tool to learn the basics of coding. At school, we are working on it with PBL (project-based learning) teaching method where we recreated Scottie's world, did many arts and crafts, explored the continents with Scottie, learnt and practised coding vocabulary and have done a lot of coding. I wrote about Coding with Scottie Go! in Hungarian here.



Hello Ruby: Coding Adventures by Linda Liukas


Hello Ruby is my latest discovery. I fell in love with the story immediately and ordered the books to be a Christmas present for my children. They are just perfect for them. I read and watched everything I could find on the internet about and from Linda Liukas and her books. Can't wait to start exploring Ruby's world.



The image is taken from Hello Ruby website

Teaching English Through Play


Flower Crafts


Hi! I'm Natalia!

Welcome to NatiEnglish where you'll find fun and engaging learning activities and ideas to encourage young English language learners in the 21st Century.


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