Autumn Fruit

Giovanna Mora, language 1 class teacher (Italian)
Monika Leitner, language 2 class teacher (German)

IC Bassa Atesina
Scuola primaria “G. Verdi”, Salorno (Bolzano), Italy
Grundschule in ital. Sprache “G. Verdi”, Salurn (Bozen), Italy
14.55 minutes
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In this film we see a Science lesson in 2nd form of primary school in South Tyrol, where the L1 language is Italian and L2 language is German. The lessons in German are a total of nine hours per week. In addition to the two Maths lessons, there are further five lessons of German language, one lesson of Science and one lesson of Gym.

In the filmed lesson both class teachers are present and the language used to convey content is German. The role of the L1 (Italian) teacher is to support her L2 colleague in the development of the lesson activities and the scientific skills to be developed (related to observation and experiments). Also the L1 teacher helps the pupils’ understanding in a multicultural class.

The use of both L1 (Italian) and L2 (German) in the class is daily routine and pupils recognize roles and languages of both teachers, referring to each of them respectively in the two different languages.

The two teachers have been working for several years together and this is their second year in a CLIL class with several subjects taught in German. There is a CLIL meeting once a week where the teachers discuss strategies, objectives and tasks for the coming activities.

This lesson opens with a brief summary about vocabulary related to summer fruit. In plenary children are invited to identify the proper fruit of the autumn season and to explore the chosen fruit through looking at it, touching it, smelling it and tasting it and explaining what sense is being used.

With an active involving method, in plenary pupils take decisions about which fruit to observe then select and group information in a common poster to infer the differences (a poster about the autumn fruit).

The pupils also work in small groups and choose the fruit they want to observe; they compare the various feedbacks in the group by using the different senses and the teachers support them by asking questions in order to help them describe colour, shape, size, flavour. Then the group compile a chart with pictures and drawings with words and adjectives.

Finally they reflect on their experiences with questions like:

  • What did we like about this way of working?
  • What did we find difficult?
  • What could have been done in a different way?


Questions to discuss

  1. Please outline the principles for a successful collaboration between L1 and L2 teacher in a CLIL lesson/unit/module.
  2. What should be the role of the L1 teacher in the class during a CLIL lesson?
  3. What different scaffolding techniques can you employ in a CLIL lesson?
  4. What would you have done differently in this lesson? And why?


Home page of school district Bassa Atesina:

The Lithianian Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language (LAKMA) arranged in 2012 a GO FOR CLIL competition where teachers could film and show their CLIL teaching. You can see videos from the participants here:


Literature sources
Baker, C. (1996): Foundations of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, Clevedon, Multilingual Matters

Dam, L. (1994): “How do we recognise an autonomous classroom.” Die Neueren Sprachen, 93, 503-527

Wolff, Dieter (2007) Bilingualer Sachfachunterricht in Europa: Versuch eines systematischen Überblicks Erscheint in FluL
(«L’enseignement bilingue des DNL en Europe: essai d’aperçu systématique»)