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BEDA Prize

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The federation of Spanish Catholic Schools in Madrid, together with Macmillan, and Cambridge ESOL celebrated its Bilingual English Development and Assessment (BEDA) Annual Contest last week. The contest accepted articles dealing with educational experiences carried out in Bilingual educational centres of any level. My contribution, entitled “Identified CLIL in every day practice: an experience with teacher trainees”, was awarded with a BEDA PRIZE. I’m really thankful for this recognition to my work and effort.

Due to the nature of this experience, this prize is has not only be awarded to a specific activity, but also to the teaching-learning model we are implementing in our teacher training degrees at the Centro Universitario Cardenal Cisneros (former Escuela Universitaria). It is our belief that good CLIL teaching-learning should start from training University lecturers appropriately. This naturally takes time, money and effort, but no good-quality teaching can be guaranteed if lecturers have not been trained to find their way to CLIL. Another key component of our Bilingual Project is that we are pioneers in implementing CLIL as our methodological approach. Students are not only told about CLIL (as the awarded experience explains), but also are helped to identify CLIL components, and later to work with them. This helps them find their way to CLIL from practice. As Benjamin Franklin said:

Tell me, and I will forget
Show me, and I will remember
Involve me, and I will learn.

You can access the full version of the awarded experience here.

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Articles on bilingual education and CLIL

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Encuentro” is an educational journal specialized on the field of the teaching and learning of foreign languages published by the University of Alcalá. I personally have nice memories of this journal because one of my first academic articles was published here (and one gets emotional with these things, you know…). In any case, I’m making reference to this journal now because it has released a complete volume containing articles dealing with bilingual education and CLIL. I’m reproducing its table of contents here so you can access this interesting material. Past issues of “Encuentro” can be find here

Formación, Integración y Colaboración: Palabras clave de CLIL. Una charla con María Jesús Frigols (In Spanish) by Manuel Megías

Criteria for producing CLIL learning material by Peeter Mehisto

Adapting content subject tasks for bilingual teaching by Ana Halbach

CLIL in teacher training: A Nottingham Trent University and University of Salamanca experience by Gloria Gutiérrez Almarza, Ramiro Durán Martínez, Fernando Beltrán Llavador

Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL): Limitations and possibilities  by Ena Harrop

The shaping of Spanish CLIL by Antonio R. Roldán Tapia

Making communication happen: Interactive groups in the bilingual classroom by Borja Garrido

Engaging in dramatic activites in English as a foreign language classes at the university level by Victoria Algarra Carrasco, Rusell Dinapoli
Student choice and reading in the EFL classroom by Irina Argüelles Alvárez

A bilingual literacy experience at tertiary education

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You can know read an article about a literacy project developed last yeat at the Escuela Universitaria Cardenal Cisneros.  The abstract is the following:

The following article is focused on the study of a literacy experience I developed in a teacher training college in Spain (Escuela Universitaria Cardenal Cisneros). A group of students taking an optional subject on English language and literature took part on three activities which aimed at promoting a more aesthetic reading (Rosenblatt, 2005), and increasing their awareness of the importance of enjoying reading and writing books. The activities were the creation of a Spell Book, a newsstand and a bookcrossing experience.

It is available here

CLIL Pyramid by Oliver Meyer

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You can now download the article “Towards quality CLIL:  Succesful planning and teaching strategies” by prof. Oliver Meyer. Click here

Our research work on bilingual education (I)

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A group of teachers of the University of Alcalá (Madrid), coordinated by Prof. Ana Halbach (PhD), started to follow the implementation of a bilingual project in state-run schools in the Madrid Region. This happened in 2004. Along these 6 years we have been looking at this challenge from the perspective of teachers. What does it mean for a teacher to participate in a bilingual project? Which are their main needs? What are their expectations? How do they value this experience? Many are the questions that we wanted to answer, and we had the chance to share this time with them, and try to collaborate as much as possible to solve their problems and doubts.

The first study, centred on finding out teachers’ prior expectations and needs to the implementation of the project, is described and explained here.

Soon, more on our research work. Hope it is useful!

Bilingual Project – MEC/British Council Evaluation report

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After 14 years, the joint bilingual project between the Spanish Ministry of Education and the British Council has been subjected to external evaluation. Among the most salient conclusions, it has been noted that students, parents and staff are more motivated towards learning, and that students do not only benefit from a better competence in the English language but also an outstanding cognitive development.

It is really worth the reading: http://www.britishcouncil.org/bc_report_english.pdf