Intercultural Studies within a CLIL approach


  • Kai Spies



interculturalidad, globalización, aprendizaje de idiomas con doble enfoque, competencias interculturales, estudios interculturales.


Interculturality and globalization have taken a very important role in society today. This is one of the reasons why the Department of Languages and Cultures at the University of La Sabana has offered the courses Introduction to Intercultural Studies and Intercultural Studies for their language learners. These courses offer participants the opportunity to become more familiar with intercultural competences by, for example, interacting with a variety of international guest speakers. However, up to the present, these courses have been taught as content courses in the English language and directed specifically to learners who already have relatively high competence levels in English. This paper explores the characteristics of the noted intercultural studies courses in comparison with more “traditional” English courses, as well as student expectations of and experiences with the intercultural studies content courses, in order to see how a more CLIL-based approach could be implemented in the context of the intercultural studies courses. Such a re-design would not only continue to benefit such advanced students but would open up new possibilities for learners with a wider range of language abilities, helping them build up their English through work with content related to intercultural competences. Equally, it would provide such language learners with a clearer purpose for learning the English language, as English would no longer be being taught in an isolated way but within a content-focused context that the participants see as relevant and practical.


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Author Biography

Kai Spies

Kai Spies works in the Department of Language and Cultures at the University of La Sabana in Chía, Colombia where he has taught the content-based course Introduction to Intercultural Studies, among others. He holds a diploma as a foreign language correspondent from the Inlingua International center in Munich, Germany and a Master’s Degree in English Language Teaching – Autonomous Learning Environments from the Department of Languages and Cultures at the University of La Sabana, as well as an ICELT (In-Service Certificate in English Language Teaching). His research interests include self-assessment, peer assessment, and the development of World Englishes. Apart from working in the area of second and foreign language acquisition, he has worked as a translator and has dedicated himself to script-writing.




How to Cite

Spies, K. (2012). Intercultural Studies within a CLIL approach. Latin American Journal of Content &Amp; Language Integrated Learning, 5(1), 33–45.