Published on 15/11/2023
Share this Article:
Languages kids
  • As part of the ESRC Festival of Social Science, the Centre conducted three engaging Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) sessions for teachers
  • The report Learning Through Languages: a strategy for whole school improvement emphasises the role of CLIL in fostering inclusive education
  • It is a result of a longitudinal study across three Midlands schools, spanning 18 years.

The Aston Centre for Applied Linguistics (ACAL) has unveiled a report calling for a whole school improvement in learning through languages at the ESRC Festival of Social Science at Aston University. 

As part of the Festival, the Centre conducted three engaging content and language integrated learning (CLIL) sessions for teachers, conducted on 4, 11 and 13 November. These sessions marked ACAL's ongoing commitment to innovative educational practices.

CLIL has become the umbrella term describing both learning another subject such as physics or geography through the medium of a foreign language and learning a foreign language by studying a content-based subject.

ACAL used the events to unveil a comprehensive report titled Learning Through Languages: a strategy for whole school improvement. This report aligns with Aston's 2030 Strategy, emphasising the role of CLIL in fostering inclusive education.

ACAL, since its initiation of CLIL activities in 2018, in partnership with Judith Woodfield, former headteacher at Bordesley Green Girl School, has been a frontrunner in this field. It formed a consortium of researchers, teachers and cultural institutes, leading to the creation of Learning through Languages UK. Since 2020, ACAL has been hosting CLIL Mondays, monthly online seminars featuring leading CLIL scholars and school practitioners, attracting participants from over 30 countries.

The report, authored by Judith Woodfield with a contextual preface by Professor Do Coyle, is a result of a longitudinal study across three Midlands schools, spanning 18 years. It highlights the positive impact of CLIL on student progress and attainment, including substantial improvements in student performance, boosting inclusivity and results and closing the education gap.

Dr Emmanuelle Labeau, director of ACAL at Aston University, said:

“Judith Woodfield’s report is a pioneering longitudinal study demonstrating the benefits of CLIL in promoting inclusion and boosting overall academic achievement. 

“CLIL is not just an excellent method for stimulating language interest; it is a vital tool for inclusive education, resonating with the Aston 2030 strategy.”

“This report and the successful CLIL sessions mark a significant milestone in ACAL’s journey towards enhancing educational strategies and inclusivity, further establishing its role as a leader in applied linguistics and education.”

To access the full report, please email Dr Emmanuelle Labeau.

Notes to Editors

About Aston University

For over a century, Aston University’s enduring purpose has been to make our world a better place through education, research and innovation, by enabling our students to succeed in work and life, and by supporting our communities to thrive economically, socially and culturally.

Aston University’s history has been intertwined with the history of Birmingham, a remarkable city that once was the heartland of the Industrial Revolution and the manufacturing powerhouse of the world.

Born out of the First Industrial Revolution, Aston University has a proud and distinct heritage dating back to our formation as the School of Metallurgy in 1875, the first UK College of Technology in 1951, gaining university status by Royal Charter in 1966, and becoming The Guardian University of the Year in 2020.

Building on our outstanding past, we are now defining our place and role in the Fourth Industrial Revolution (and beyond) within a rapidly changing world.

For media inquiries in relation to this release, contact Sam Cook, Press and Communications Manager, on (+44) 7446 910063 or email:

Be first to get the latest news, research and expert comment from Aston
following us on Twitter

Need an expert for your story? Browse our experts directory


Sue Smith,
Head of Press and Communications


Sam Cook,
Press and Communications Manager


Nicola Jones,
Press and Communications Manager


Helen Tunnicliffe,
Press and Communications Manager


Alternatively, email