Last year, we wrote about some of the differences between the bilingual education programmes in the various parts of Spain. Over the coming months, we’ll look at some of the regional programmes in more detail, starting with Murcia.
Last October we attended the CIEB bilingual conference in Badajoz, which was a very valuable learning experience for us. This year, the conference is being held in our home town of Granada, so naturally we’ll be going. However, this time we’re not just going to listen and learn – we’ll also be giving a short talk and a workshop to share some of our expertise.
After running a bilingual programme for ten years, the region of Castile and Leon is making significant changes to its model of bilingual education. Change is never popular with everyone, and this case is no exception. But what are the main controversies?
A recent report on bilingual education in Andalusia concludes that bilingual programmes improve students’ English skills and Spanish writing skills, without any detrimental impact on their performance in the non-language subjects taught in English. In addition, these programmes tend to reduce differences between pupils from different socioeconomic backgrounds.
In June 2018, Madrid’s regional government published its evaluation of Madrid’s bilingual programme. The report presents data about the impacts of the programme on the students’ level of English, as well as their performance in other subjects.
One problem when discussing bilingual programmes is that most people – whether parents, teachers, politicians or journalists – tend to assume that bilingual schools in the different parts of Spain are very similar to one another. In this post we’ll present some of the key differences between the bilingual programmes at secondary school level.
One of the most inspiring things at the recent conference in Badajoz was having a chance to see all of the great work being done by teachers to make bilingual education successful at their schools. The rules on bilingual programmes vary greatly from region to region, as do the backgrounds of students from school to school, so there is no single “correct” way to provide a bilingual education. Fortunately, dedicated teachers are testing different approaches to find out what works for them, in their schools and with their students, while also meeting the legal requirements of the programmes in their parts of Spain.
Critics often say that bilingual schools in Spain aren’t really bilingual, because students don’t become fully bilingual. By bilingual, they mean able to speak two languages “perfectly” – in terms of grammar, vocabulary and accent. But even people with an exceptionally good grasp of the language will never quite reach the level of a native person with a similar educational background. So if it is unrealistic for Spanish students to become bilingual in this sense, why are Spanish schools called “bilingual”.
Welcome to the LinguaFrame blog. We’ve now been publishing textbooks for bilingual schools* and English language learning materials for 7 years, and here we’ll be blogging about some of the things that we’ve learned during that period. We’ll also post about some of the curiosities of the English language, strategies for language learning, the differences … Read moreWelcome!