International visits and teacher mobility experiences are, without a doubt, one of the biggest perks of my job. They are enriching in so many ways, but perhaps foremost among them is that they make you see what you do back home in a new light.
In November 2018 I was lucky to visit the delightful town of Zug, close to Zurich, as part of the Swiss-European Mobility Programme. The visit was a short one – just two days of work, one of them devoted to visiting local schools, and the other one to teaching at the university.
During my day at PH Zug, I conducted seminar presentations on three topics:
- The Comunidad de Madrid Bilingual Education Program
- Scaffolding Instructional techniques for CLIL Primary Education
- Effective scaffolding of learning in EMI higher education courses
It was definitely fascinating to try to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of such an ambitious CLIL program as the one we have in Madrid together with students and teachers who are working in a context where there are very limited CLIL experiences, mainly some EMI instruction in public high schools.
It was also exciting hearing about how PH Zug’s gradual efforts at implementing EMI in teacher training courses is contributing to the university’s internationalization, and at the same time is welcome by the national German-speaking students.
More so, there is also some work being done on using French as a medium of instruction, and promoting French CLIL in German-speaking schools. I can’t think of a better way of promoting a true multilingualism and building bridges between the different language communities of such a diverse country as Switzerland.
In an age where the European integration project has come under attack, it’s inspiring to be able to enjoy experiences of international cooperation and sharing of ideas as the ones I enjoyed during my short stay in Zug.