The Need for a Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) Approach in Kurdistan Education System


  • Aree Ghazi Hussain Cihan University, Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq
  • Naeema Hann PhD in ELT, Leeds Beckett University



Content and language integrated learning (CLIL) approach has become a much debated feature of the education system in recent years. The study reported here examines the role of CLIL within the context of the Kurdistan Educational System. In particular, it investigates CLIL implementation in Kurdistan’s schools and its impact on the acquisition of the English language, contents of main subjects at the individual level, students and teachers, and the whole educational system. The study does not examine the impact of CLIL within the Kurdish education system, but a possible role for it. In order to do this, it first reviews the existing theoretical viewpoints on CLIL and its significance in language learning through the study of content of other subjects. A framework is then developed to describe the current situation of the Kurdistan Educational System and review CLIL in a different context. Data is obtained mainly through questionnaires to teachers and students in the Kurdistan Educational System and semi-structured interviews with two Spanish students who had experience in CLIL. All collected perceptions are analysed and implications for the usefulness of CLIL for Kurdistan Education System, teachers’ and students’ perspective on implementing CLIL in Kurdistan’s school and how CLIL be implemented in Kurdistan. Data from the study suggests that studying the content of some of the main subjects in Kurdistan’s schools provides more opportunity to expand intellectual horizons of students while improving their English language skills and knowledge. Owing to these reasons, integrating learning language and content from early age in schools will impact the entire education and higher education systems in Kurdistan. This is the first study to investigate the role of CLIL in the Kurdish context and further longitudinal studies are required to improve our understanding of the implications of the wider introduction, role, and advantages of implementing CLIL in Kurdistan and how to incorporate CLIL into Kurdish education policy.


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