Learning foreign languages is unquestionably important today. Ever since the publication of documents such as the White Paper on Education and Training (European Commission, 1995) and the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (Council of Europe, 2001, 2018), educational bodies within Europe have highlighted the necessity to foster the development of communicative and intercultural competences among citizens to respond to the variety of demands of the 21st-century society. European countries have responded to such requirements by implementing bilingual education programs in all educational stages (where two or more languages are used to teach non-linguistic subjects, such as history or science) to foster both content learning and foreign language proficiency among younger generations.
Among the different approaches to bilingual education, Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) has become the most extended in Europe (Coyle et al., 2010) and Spain. The particularity of CLIL is that it considers that learning must seek the acquisition of four elements equally important: content (the subject matter), communication (the foreign language or languages being used), cognition (students’ thinking skills), and culture (cultural aspects related to the target language).
Research has shown the multiple benefits of bilingual education has, such as cognitive, neurolinguistic, sociocultural, intercultural, academic, and professional (e.g. Callahan & Gándara, 2016; Christoffels et al., 2015; Lee et al., 2015; Luft et al., 2016). However, there are growing concerns regarding the initial training of teachers participating in bilingual programs across Europe in general (Skinnari, 2020), and in Spain in particular (Pons, 2020). Furthermore,
Considering all the aforementioned, this communication aims to study the provision of bilingual specific training for future bilingual pre-primary and primary education teachers in Spanish universities. Two research questions are established: (1) Which Spanish universities offer bilingual Degrees in Pre-Primary and Primary Education?; and (2) Which bilingual Degrees in Pre-Primary and Primary Education in Spanish universities include specific training in the CLIL approach in their syllabuses?
This study uses a systematic literature review method consisting of three stages: first, an initial search is conducted to find which Spanish universities offer these bilingual degrees; second, the syllabuses of the bilingual degrees identified are gathered; and thirdly, the syllabuses are examined following content analysis techniques (Arbeláez & Onrubia, 2014) to identify which of them specifically address intercultural learning.
Findings show that, out of the 77 Spanish universities, only 18 (23.38%) offer these bilingual degrees in the following proportion: all of them (18 universities – 23.38%) offer a bilingual Degree in Primary Education, while only 9 (11.69%) also offer a bilingual Degree in Pre-primary Education. Out of these 18 universities, only 12 (44.44%) implement specific CLIL training in which pre-service teachers are provided with knowledge and tools to apply to the CLIL classroom.
The results suggest that universities seem to be committed to the training of futures teachers in terms of provision of both bilingual degrees and specific CLIL training. Furthermore, Spanish universities may constitute a promising framework for bilingual education and plurilingualism.
Documentación de apoyo a la presentación ONLINE de la ponencia