The Future of Education

Edition 14

Accepted Abstracts

Engaging undergraduates in a city treasure hunt: an eye-opening CLIL action-research project to discover the urban environment

Francesca Ripamonti, University of Milan - Liceo Scientifico "G. Gandini" (Italy)


The attention recently paid by the Italian government to multilingualism, interdisciplinarity, and innovative university teaching (Ministry of Education "La Buona Scuola Law”, 2015; and Ministry of Economy and Finance "National Recovery and Resilience Plan", 2021) has led to implementing an experimental CLIL module integrating the contents of Urban Geography with the English language addressed to forty undergraduates (CEFR B2) attending the "Environmental Humanities" degree course at the University of Milan. Being born as a pilot project aimed at activating linguistic and disciplinary skills by avoiding transmissive lessons, our primary objective was to get students to play an active part in their learning, guaranteeing solid cultural training alike. Therefore, after acquiring the foundations in urban geography and providing the supportive language scaffolding, the students were involved in an outdoor treasure hunt in search of the urban regeneration signs joining past and present in the Milan Portello area (former Alfa Romeo car plant). Unlike a real scavenger hunt, the goal was not to find an ultimate prize. Instead, following a series of clues, the participants (in groups or individually), were challenged to complete tasks seeking specific geographic marks in the area, and to report their findings (by photos, clips, audio, or narratives). The preliminary results all pointed to a positive way to "read" the urban surroundings with the language of/for/through learning: the core of CLIL methodology.




CLIL, language scaffolding, urban geography, exploratory learning, outdoor teaching



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[2] Gazali, Nurul Fadhilah. "Outdoor experiential method for enhancing students' vocabulary." International Journal of Research on English Teaching and Applied Linguistics 3.1 (2022): 62-73.

[3] Klewitz, Bernd. "The Interplay between Language and Content–CLIL-Building Blocks to Enrich and Innovate Foreign Language Teaching." The Magic of Language (2020): 85.

[4] Serrano Bellido, Manuel. "Outdoor activities and CLIL approach: a didactic proposal through the Adventure-Education mode." (2020)

[5] Whewell, Emma, and Karen Woolley. "Outdoor learning." Technology for SEND in Primary Schools: A Guide for Best Practice (2017): 41



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