CLIL The Cognitive: Not Only a New Way of Teaching…It’s a New Way of Thinking.
Think about a television commercial that really grabbed your attention. Maybe you only saw it once, but it really made an impact and you just cannot forget it. How did the makers of the commercial do that? What techniques did they use? How did they grab your attention and create connections in your brain to be “branded” forever? The answer is simple: they activated the cognitive structure. The same techniques used to “hook “ us into buying products can also be used for teaching and retaining important information.
The component that I believe holds CLIL together is the Cognitive component.
What exactly are we talking about when we say “Cognitive?” Many educators are a bit confused about this and understandably so. The cognitive in CLIL comes in many shapes and sizes. However, to simplify what it is, we can look at it this way. Anything done to engage students, activate prior knowledge, create multiple pathways to information in the brain and stimulate active learning, can be considered “the cognitive” in CLIL.
I would like to focus particularly on the “multiple pathways” technique. When I use these words to explain cognitive activation, I mean to say that associations are being made in the brain and these “connections or pathways” help in retrieving information. When using the CLIL method, it is worth taking the time to be trained in the “art” of activation of prior knowledge and how to create neurological associations or connections between old and new information. The activation of the Cognitive begins before even starting the content unit at hand. This step is vital as all information to follow must connect and build upon it in a spiral form. The techniques are not difficult; however, it does require a certain degree of openness to new way of approaching teaching and time dedicated to putting the techniques to practice in order to see results.
Posted by The Cogent Construct