The impact of CLIL on the L2 French and L1 Dutch proficiency of Flemish secondary school pupils

Bram Bulté, Jill Surmont, Liesbeth Martens

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3 Citations (Scopus)


Since its official introduction in 2014, an increasing number of Flemish secondary schools provide a CLIL program next to their regular monolingual Dutch programs. This longitudinal study investigates the effect of teaching one or several content subjects in French on secondary school pupils’ L2 French listening comprehension (n = 545) and speaking proficiency (n = 273) as well as on their L1 Dutch reading comprehension (n = 579). To ensure comparability between the CLIL and the non-CLIL groups, data collection started at the onset of secondary education, which aligns with the onset of CLIL programs, and information on relevant background variables such as L2 French motivation and anxiety, contact with L2 French outside school and pupils’ socioeconomic status was incorporated in the analyses. The results show that following a CLIL program has a positive impact on the development of French listening and speaking, whereas it does not affect pupils’ L1 Dutch reading comprehension. These results suggest that even a limited amount of CLIL (i.e. one to five hours per week) can have a positive influence on pupils’ proficiency in the target language.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3151-3170
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by University Colleges Leuven-Limburg (UC Leuven) under Grant 011 PWO CLIL 15.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

Copyright 2022 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


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