LexiCLIL: A Lexical Syllabus for the Common European Framework for English
by Steve Neufeld
Co-authored with the Lexitronics Research Group members Nilgun Hancioglu and John Eldridge.
Research into lexical patterning and frequency has grown apace in recent years, largely due to developments in computer software that have enabled the ready processing of extremely large banks of linguistic data. The insights that are emerging from this research have profound implications for content and language integrated learning.The Common English Lexical Framework (CEFL) is based on our research into how a principled and corpus-informed approach to vocabulary learning can be integrated into the CLIL framework. CELF is one piece of the puzzle to find answers to the perennial questions of what types of vocabulary CLIL practitioners should be teaching, in what order they should introduce it, and what kind of approaches to the teaching and learning of vocabulary might best lay the groundwork for success in the CLIL environment.
This is the result of research that identified a lexical syllabus of the 3,000 most common words used by school children from years one to eight. In designing The Common English Lexical Framework (CELF), the prime objective was to produce a lexical syllabus describing the words that a learner should be able to use productively according to their language proficiency as described by the Common European Framework for Languages (CEF). The principled approach in the undertaking has generated a lexical syllabus that provides target vocabulary in English for each of the six levels in the Common European Framework, and provides guidelines for curricular sequencing and implementation. By further identifying general English words that have specific subject meanings, a further bank of support has been provided that will enable CLIL practitioners to explore the shifting nature of lexis across the curriculum as they work with these words. This now gives a solid foundation on which to consider how the learning of the words can best be facilitated in the CLIL environment.