Exploring the Implementation of CLIL in an EFL Virtual Learning Environment





CLIL, EFL learning, teaching methodology, virtual tools, health emergency, critical thinking, motivation


This paper reports an exploratory sequential mixed-methods and action research study of the Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) methodology at a state institution in Florencia (Colombia). The study aimed to explore the implementation of CLIL in a virtual learning environment and its implications for English as a Foreign Language (EFL) learning during the health emergency caused by COVID-19. The data collection instruments were a single interview, observations, reflective journals, classroom artefacts, and a questionnaire. The findings reveal that the CLIL methodology contributes to English learning. Thus, the results show the significant role of keywords and content vocabulary, contextualized lessons, assignments, and virtual games in fostering the students’ listening skills, oral production, motivation, critical thinking, and development of cultural awareness. Hence, the outcomes demonstrate that the integration of virtual tools benefits the CLIL methodology in the virtual learning environment. Finally, the paper contains evidence supporting the implementation of CLIL, the contributions to EFL learning, and suggestions for further studies.


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biography

Nidia Paola Villalobos Salinas, Universidad de la Amazonia

Nidia Paola Villalobos Salinas holds a BA in English Language Teaching from Universidad de la Amazonia, Florencia (Colombia). Her research interests involve CLIL and emerging trends for EFL teaching, autonomy and literature in English learning, and the use of ICT in the EFL field. Currently, she is a candidate for the Master's degree in Pedagogical Mediation in English Language Learning from Universidad Nacional Abierta y a Distancia. 


Abaunza, G. A., Martínez-Abad, F., Rodríguez-Conde, M. J., Avalos-Obregón, M. D., & Ureña-Lara, D. (2020). The effect of CLIL ­methodology and web applications in the foreign language class: A comparative case in Colombian schools. Revista Espacios, 41(20), 97–114. http://www.revistaespacios.com/a20v41n20/20412009.html

Benalcázar-Bermeo, J., & Ortega-Auquilla, D. (2019). Effects of the CLIL approach in oral production of English students in the second year of the united general baccalaureate at a high school in Cuenca, ­Ecuador. Revista Boletín Redipe, 8(12), 117–128. https://doi.org/10.36260/rbr.v8i12.878

Berman, E. A. (2017). An exploratory sequential mixed methods approach to understanding researchers’ data management practices at UVM: Integrated findings to develop research data services. Journal of eScience Librarianship, 6(1), 1–24. https://doi.org/10.7191/jeslib.2017.1104

Burns, A. (2010). Doing action research in English language teaching (1st Ed.). Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203863466

Carrillo, C., & Flores, M. A. (2020). COVID-19 and teacher education: A literature review of online teaching and learning practices, European Journal of Teacher Education, 43(4), 466–487. https://doi.org/10.1080/02619768.2020.1821184

Coyle, D., Hood, P., & Marsh, D. (2010). CLIL: Content and language integrated learning. Cambridge. https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009024549

Creswell, J. W. (2014). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods approaches (4th Ed.). SAGE.

Datko, J. (2015). Semi-structured interview in language pedagogy research. Journal of Language and Cultural Education, 3(2), 142–256. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/279195544_Semi-structured_Interview_in_Language_Pedagogy_Research

Diab, A., Abdel-Haq, E., & Ali, M. (2018). The effectiveness of using content and language integrated learning (CLIL) approach to enhance EFL student teachers’ cultural awareness. Journal of Faculty of Education, 122, 37–56. https://doi.org/10.21608/jfeb.2020.147494

Dörnyei, Z., & Taguchi, T. (2009). Questionnaires in second language research: Construction, administration, and processing (2nd Ed). Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203864739

Farrah, M. (2012). Reflective journal writing as an effective technique in the writing process. An-Najah University Journal for Research, 26(4), 997–1025. https://journals.najah.edu/media/journals/full_texts/reflective-journal-writing-effective-technique-writing-process.pdf

Fetters, M. D., Curry, L. A., & Creswell, J. W. (2013). Achieving integration in mixed methods designs-principles and practices. Health Services Research, 48(6), 2134–2156. https://doi.org/10.1111/1475-6773.12117

Fitri, Y., & Putro, N. H. (2021). EFL teachers’ perception of the effectiveness of ICT-ELT integration during the COVID-19 pandemic. Atlantis Press, 532, 502–508. https://doi.org/10.2991/assehr.k.210227.086

Garzón-Díaz, E. (2018). From cultural awareness to scientific citizenship: Implementing content and language integrated learning projects to connect environmental science and English in a state school in Colombia. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 24(2), 242–259. https://doi.org/10.1080/13670050.2018.1456512

Graddol, D. (2006). English next. British Council. https://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/article/english-next

Haynes-Brown, T. K., & Fetters, M. D. (2021). Using joint display as an analytic process: An illustration using bar graphs joint displays from a mixed methods study of how beliefs shape secondary school teachers’ use of technology. International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 20, 1–14. https://doi.org/10.1177/1609406921993286

Heigham, J., & Croker, R. (2009). Qualitative research in applied linguistics. ­Palgrave Macmillan. https://doi.org/10.1057/9780230239517_8

Ivankova, N., & Wingo, N. (2018). Applying mixed methods in action research: Methodological potentials and advantages. American Behavioral Scientist, 62(7), 978–997. https://doi.org/10.1177/0002764218772673

Joshi, A., Kale, S., & Pal, D. K. (2015). Likert scale: Explored and explained. British Journal of Applied Science & Technology, 4(7), 396–403. https://doi.org/10.9734/BJAST/2015/14975

Kumar, R. (2011). Research methodology: A step-by-step guide for beginners (3rd ed.). SAGE.

Little, O., Goe, L., & Bell, C. (2009). A practical guide to evaluating teacher effectiveness. National Comprehensive Center for Teacher Quality, 1–30. https://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED543776

Lopes, A., & Ruiz, R. (2018). New trends in foreign language teaching: Methods, evaluation and innovation. Cambridge scholars. https://www.cambridgescholars.com/resources/pdfs/978-1-5275-0597-1-sample.pdf

Mari, V., & Carroll, K. S. (2021). Puerto Rican teachers’ and students’ beliefs toward Spanish use in the English classroom as a way to motivate students. Latin American Journal of Content & Language Integrated Learning, 13(2), 289–311. https://doi.org/10.5294/laclil.2020.13.2.6

McDougald, J. S. (2009). The state of language and content instruction in Colombia. Latin American Journal of Content & Language Integrated Learning, 2(2), 44–48. https://doi.org/10.5294/laclil.2009.2.2.15

Mede, E., & Çinar, S. (2018). Implementation of content and language integrated learning and its effects on student motivation. Latin American Journal of Content & Language Integrated Learning, 11(2), 215–235. https://doi.org/10.5294/laclil.2018.11.2.3

Mertler, C. A. (2008). Collection of data. In C. A. Mertler (Ed.), Action research: Teachers as researchers in the classroom (pp. 105–138). SAGE.

Ministerio de Educación Nacional, MEN. (2006). Estándares básicos de competencias en lenguas extranjeras: inglés. Revolución educativa. ­Colombia aprende. https://redes.colombiaaprende.edu.co/ntg/men/archivos/Referentes_Calidad/Estandares_basicos_de_competencias/Estandares_Basicos_Competencia_en_Lenguas_Extranjeras_%20Ingles.pdf

Mofareh, A. A. (2019). The use of technology in English language ­teaching. Frontiers in Education Technology, 2(3), 168–180. https://doi.org/10.22158/fet.v2n3p168

Presidencia de la República. (2020). Decreto 417: Por el cual se declara un estado de emergencia económica, social y ecológica en todo el territorio nacional. https://dapre.presidencia.gov.co/normativa/normativa/DECRETO%20417%20DEL%2017%20DE%20MARZO%20DE%202020.pdf

Rodríguez, M. (2011). CLILL: Colombia leading into content language learning. Íkala, 16(28), 79–89. https://revistas.udea.edu.co/index.php/ikala/article/view/9912/9115

Saldaña, J. (2013). The coding manual for qualitative researchers (2nd Ed.). SAGE. http://emotrab.ufba.br/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/Saldana-2013-


Setyaningrum, R. W., Setiawan, S., Anam, S., & Retnaningdyah, P. (2020). Content and language integrated learning (CLIL) in science class during covid-19 outbreak: A narrative inquiry. Journal of English Education, (9)1, 35–46. https://journal.uniku.ac.id/index.php/ERJEE/article/view/3777

Taherdoost, H. (2016). Sampling methods in research methodology; how to choose a sampling technique for research. SSRN, 5(2), 18–27. https://doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3205035

Torres-Rincon, J. C., & Cuesta-Medina, L. M. (2019). Situated practice in CLIL: Voices from Colombian teachers. GIST- Education and Learning Research Journal, (18), 109–141. https://doi.org/10.26817/16925777.456

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. (2020, May 25). Education: From disruption to recovery. https://en.unesco.org/covid19/educationresponse

Waloyo, A., Khoiriyah., & Farah, R. (2021). Teachers’ perception to CLIL and web-based material implementation in a primary school. English Review: Journal of English Education, 9(2), 227–234. https://journal.uniku.ac.id/index.php/ERJEE/article/view/4347/2556

Younas, A., Inayat, S., & Sundus, A. (2021). Joint displays for qualitative-quantitative synthesis in mixed methods reviews. Research Methods in Medicine & Health Sciences, 2(3), 91–101. https://doi.org/10.1177/2632084320984374

Zhetpisbayeva, B., Dyakov, D., Shunkeyeva, S., Tusupova, A., & Syzdykov, M. (2021). CLIL Integration issues and distance learning technologies. Journal of Siberian Federal University. Humanities & Social Sciences, 14(9), 1322–1330. http://elib.sfu-kras.ru/bitstream/handle/2311/144199/06_Zhetpisbayeva.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y




How to Cite

Yaguara, J. A. ., Villalobos Salinas, N. P., & Otálora Caviche, J. C. (2022). Exploring the Implementation of CLIL in an EFL Virtual Learning Environment. Latin American Journal of Content &Amp; Language Integrated Learning, 14(2), 187–214. https://doi.org/10.5294/laclil.2021.14.2.1