31 SES 13 A, What Works in Reading Education?
At present, bilingual education has become a crucial issue for second language teachers, not only in secondary schools but also in primary schools. Bilingual education has social, cultural and professional benefits and it occupies an important position in many educational studies (Madrid & Hughes, 2011; Lorenzo, 2009; Bruton, 2011). Its value nowadays is acknowledged, but it is somehow more complicated to define (Coyle, 2007). Defining bilingualism without specifying a context is rather complex.
In Europe today, there is a desire to improve bilingual programmes, as well as the education systems in which they belong. The governments grant projects that, in general, aim to reach an agreement upon appropriate teaching and learning strategies for second language learning. During the second decade of the 90’s many investigations indicated the need to create the basis for bilingual education. There has been a significant change in the vision of teaching foreign languages and most European countries are developing the CLIL approach in their educational settings (Lasagabaster & Doiz, 2015; Gutiérrez, Durán & Beltrán, 2012; Madrid & Hughes, 2011;Cenoz, Genesse & Gorter, 2013; Lorenzo, 2009). The CLIL approach, adopted to described a “new European trend” is presented as a way to achieve the acquisition of effective cognitive and communicative competences in a second language while integrating that language with other curricular areas. Particularly in primary education, both content and language should be presented in an understandable way. CLIL gives the opportunity to introduce children to cross-curricular connections, meaningful interactions, cognitive skills development and a variety of different cultural contexts.
This study takes place in a European country; it is set up in Andalusia, a monolingual community with 8 million inhabitants, situated at the Southern Spain. In 2005, its government launched the Plurilingualism Promotion Plan in order to provide for bilingual sections programmes in state schools. As Casal and Moore (2009) pointed out, after this Plan the number of bilingual schools has been expanding steadily, from 26 schools prior to 2004 to 518 at the beginning of the 2008-9 academic year, a network of 400 bilingual Primary and Secondary schools were created over a four-year period (Lorenzo, 2010).
The number of researches on CLIL initiatives has increased (Bruton 2011) along with studies where the accent is on demonstrating the beneficial effects of CLIL (Casals and Moore, 2009; Lorenzo, Casals and Moore, 2009 and 2013). Nevertheless, few empirical researches have investigated the effects of CLIL. Therefore, the need for an evaluation of CLIL programs and its effect is sufficiently justified.
The purpose of this paper is to present findings from a project funded by the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (National Research Project Program) and by the Regional Government of Andalusia (Spain). The overall project aims to include carrying out a large-scale evaluation of CLIL programs within the English bilingual sections of three monolingual communities in Spain. It´s a three-year longitudinal study focused on the effects of CLIL on the English language competence, Spanish language competence, and content knowledge of those subjects taught through the foreign language (FL) of Primary and Secondary Education students. The project also incorporated different types of tests for quantitative studies (verbal intelligence, motivation, content test), as well as, instruments for qualitative analyses (questionnaires, semi structures individual and focus interviews and direct behaviour observation)
In this paper, we´ll focus on the linguistic competence of CLIL learners in one of the provinces of the project mentioned above, Seville. Thus, it is an evaluation of language scores comparing students from CLIL and non-CLIL groups. It analyses and compares results on the linguistic competence of CLIL and non-CLIL learners and suggests a direction for future research.
Bruton, A. (2011). Are there differences between CLIL and non-CLIL groups in Andalusia due to CLIL? A reply to Lorenzo, Casal and Moore”. Applied Linguistics, 32:2, 236-241. Casal, S., and Moore, P. (2009). The Andalusian Bilingual Sections Scheme: Evaluation and consultancy. International CLIL Research Journal 1: 36
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