International Seminar: "Co-Shaping the Future of English Language Teaching"

The seminar served as a discussion forum for Vietnamese researchers and language educators to exchange thoughts with the creators of CLIL (Content Language Integrated Learning) on their updated research report: The Bilingual Advantage: The Impact of Language Learning on Mind & Brain.

It was a beautiful Saturday in Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, in late April 2021. WCF’s office received university lectures, professors, K-12 English language teachers, both in the private and public sectors. And many others joined us from afar through Zoom connection. Of all included two most important speakers: David Marsh talking from Finland and Gisella Lange staying in Italy.


The scientific evidence-base on languages, mind, and brain has expanded in the last decade. New research is of importance for English language teaching. The seminar's presentations shed light on how this research continues to strengthen future trends in the teaching of English which focus on creative forms of integrating language and content.

A conversation between David and a Vietnamese teacher.


First, David Marsh described six significant advantage clusters for people who can think, to a greater or lesser extent, in more than one language. These benefits may be physiological, neurological, and psychological, and are linked to teaching and learning methods. He explains why successful language learning depends on educational practices that combine opportunities to learn language as a subject, and to learn content through the language. There is now a solid argument that learning a language solely as an object of study can no longer be justified in mainstream education.

Gisella ready for her presentation.


Second, Gisella Langé explained which methods may be particularly successful in realizing different benefits when teaching English in an integrated way, and why this approach has become so important in how languages are taught in Europe.


The seminar was moderated by Mr. Tam Huy Ngo, Head of International Programs of Phenikaa Education System. A bilingual learner, he has grown up and been educated in both the USA and Vietnam.

Tam actively moderated all discussions.


Participants actively raised nearly 20 questions in total that speakers could only discuss just a few of them. Yet, several participants commented, David and Gisella brought “eye-opening and quality information” that encouraged them to renovate their teaching. CLIL seems to be the future of English language teaching yet to have competent teachers is challenging. In Tam’s words, small steps must be made for big changes.


Visit this site to get the full report The Bilingual Advantage: The Impact of Language Learning on Mind & Brain (in English, Vietnamese and other languages).


The seminar is organised by Global Enabler Ltd which owns the brand "edumate" and sponsored by Wise Consulting Finland Oy.

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