Bilingual education in Castile La Mancha

As part of our series of posts on bilingual programmes in different regions of Spain, this week we’ll look at Castile La Mancha. This region is unusual, because instead of continuously expanding, in 2018 more than 100 schools abandoned their bilingual programmes. Nevertheless,  in the school year 2019/20 there are still over 500 bilingual schools.

Requirements for bilingual programmes

In 2018, Castile La Mancha updated its requirements for bilingual programmes:

  • In infant schools, there must be at least 200 minutes of classes per week in the second language (L2), which should be distributed throughout the week.
  • In primary schools, 25-50% of the timetable should be given in the L2 – this includes language lessons as well as other subjects taught in a foreign language (ANLs). At least one of the ANLS must be social sciences, science or maths.
  • At secondary level, 30-50% of the timetable should be given in the L2. The ANLs should include at least one “core” subject.
  • In Bachillerato, it must be possible for bilingual students to choose any of the study programmes (humanities, sciences, etc.) offered by the school.

At primary level, all students participate in the bilingual programme, whereas it is optional at secondary level. Secondary schools should offer enough places on their programmes to accommodate bilingual students moving up from local primaries. If there are more applicants than places, tests cannot be used to allocate places. Priority is always given to students who have participated in a bilingual programme at primary level.

ANL teachers need to accredit a B2 level in the L2, although this requirement will increase to a C1 for secondary teachers from 2022/23.

Why have some schools abandoned their bilingual programmes?

When the new requirements were introduced in 2018/19, schools could apply to discontinue their bilingual programmes. More than 100 schools chose this to do this for a variety of reasons. Some programmes did not comply with the new rules, and in many cases schools said they lacked sufficient permanent members of staff who were suitably qualified.

Schools that have been given permission to discontinue the bilingual programme can close it to new students, but they still need to allow current bilingual students to complete the programme for their educational stage.

Let us know if you believe that any of the information we have provided is incorrect, or if you have any comments on why schools have discontinued their bilingual programmes.


Requirements for bilingual programmes in Castile La Mancha

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