Language ideologies in scientific discourses on CLIL

Start - End 
2019 - 2023 (stopped)
Research Focus 
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This project aims to analyse language ideologies in key scientific discourses on Content & Language Integrated Learning (CLIL), i.e. the European model for immersion-teaching actively promoted by the European Union since its inception in the 1990s (Dalton-Puffer et al 2014). For several years, there has been growing criticism on CLIL research, notably with regard to its lack of neutrality and empirical evidence (Bruton 2013; Cenoz et al 2013; Rumlich 2014).

The project pursues two research objectives:

(i) Determine the visions on language, education, identity, and society, major scientific discourses on CLIL endorse. This objective will be reached i.a. through an analysis of the historical context and conditions in which these scientific discourses have been produced (e.g. the EU language policy, research funding…);

(ii) Determine the discursive forms (e.g. keywords, co-occurrences, argumentative patterns …) through which major scientific discourses on CLIL have constructed these visions on language, education, identity, and society.

In doing so, the project aims more broadly to contribute to research on multilingual language ideologies (Canut & Duchêne 2011; Heller & McElhinny 2017), and epistemic power (Bourdieu 1984; Foucault 1969).


Keywords: language ideologies / CLIL / immersion teaching / scientific discourses / EU language policy / multilingualism / sociolinguistics / discourse analysis



Bourdieu P. (1984). Homo academicus. Paris: Les Editions de Minuit.

Bruton A. (2013). ‘CLIL: Some of the Reasons Why… and Why Not’, System, 41(3). 587-597.

Canut C. & Duchêne A. (2011). ‘Introduction. Instrumentalisations politiques et économiques des langues: le plurilinguisme en question’, Langage et société (2).5-12.

Cenoz J., Genesee F. & Gorter D. (2013). ‘Critical Analysis of CLIL: Taking Stock and Looking Forward’, Applied Linguistics, amt011. 1-21.

Foucault M. (1969). L’archéologie du savoir. Paris: Gallimard.

Dalton-Puffer C., Llinares A., Lorenzo F., & Nikula T. (2014). ‘“You can stand under my umbrella”: Immersion, CLIL and Bilingual Education. A response to Cenoz, Genesee & Gorter (2013)’, Applied Linguistics, 35(2). 213-218.

Heller M. & McElhinny B. (2017). Language, Capitalism, Colonialism: Toward a Critical History. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

Rumlich D. (2014). ‘Prospective CLIL and non-CLIL Students’ Interest in English (classes): A Quasi-experimental Study on German Sixth-graders’. In Breeze R., Martinez Pasamar C., Llamas Saiz C., Tabernero Sala C. (Eds), Integration of Theory and Practice in CLIL. Amsterdam: Rodopi. 75-95.




Phd Student(s)


Geert Jacobs

Ghent University

Christine Barats

Université Paris Descartes

Eva Codó

Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona