There two main ways to measure a bilingual programme
The time a pupil is exposed to the additional language makes a huge difference – does the term ‘immersion’ sounds familiar? Bilingual schools still organize trips to English speaking countries because they want the pupils to have this extended exposure to the language and to experience a necessity to communicate in it. This must be the principal aim of a bilingual school.
One cannot compare working with English for a couple of sessions a week to working with the language every day. If another school subject is imparted in English then, clearly, there is an increase in the exposure to the language. And as we know, the more input, the more output.
The European Commission categorizes schools depending on the school timetable in the following fashion: –
Low 5 – 15% of exposure to an additional language.
Medium 15-50% of exposure to an additional language.
High More than 50% of exposure to an additional language.
Most Spanish bilingual schools are between 30-50% % of exposure to an additional language, and this is a good percentage in terms of quantity to reach the desired bilingual linguistic levels.
When linguistic and non-linguistic subjects are integrated the learning context becomes unified. However, the benefits are more than one plus one. This converts the language into a useful tool. And it is through the use of English that our students are able to explain what they learn in non-linguistic subjects. This is the only aim in education.
As aforementioned, a strong need to communicate is what makes students speak. This is how communication occurs. The fundamental concept that schools must preserve is ‘One face, one language’.
The extended exposure to the additional language and the integration of other subjects, with a single language throughout the school means we have the key to excellent bilingual education and the only result we can expect is success.
If you missed our webinar last week, or you want to go over some parts by our speaker Willy Cano, there’s still time to find out how “CLIL projects, now is possible” can help you!