Call for Papers: III International Conference on Bilingual Teaching in Educational Institutions, Madrid

CIEBThe Rey Juan Carlos University of Madrid and the Department of Education, Youth and Sports of the Madrid Regional Government will host the III International Conference on Bilingual Teaching in Educational Institutions to be held at the Rey Juan Carlos University (Vicálvaro Campus) in Madrid on the 18th and 19th of October, 2013.

Bilingual education is growing in different educational systems across Europe. In the multilingual society in which we live, preparing our young people for their future studies and professional life is a decisive issue. Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) has become a necessary instrument for confronting this challenge.

The III International Conference on Bilingual Teaching in Educational Institutions titled: “Bilingual Education: Consolidation and Perspectives for the XXI Century” aims to go deeper into and move forward in the analysis of bilingual education. The conference is of special interest for primary, secondary and university teachers, researchers and policymakers committed to bilingual education.

The key themes of this Conference are the following:

  • CLIL and good practice
  • CLIL assessment in different subjects
  • Bilingual education: teacher training and updating
  • Activities and resources to support CLIL methodology
  • Technological tools for bilingual education in the XXI Century
  • The importance of literacy in the bilingual classroom
  • Bilingual teaching in secondary education
  • Future challenges in bilingual programs
  • Academic language in different subjects
  • Bilingual teaching in higher education

The registration period is currently open and available on the website Abstracts (not exceeding 400 words) should be sent before July 8th,2013.


Italian-English dual-language programme in Southern California proves highly successful

Bilingual education has had a difficult history in California. Early on, it was often considered a form of public assistance for the children of immigrants, who were placed in special classrooms with similar-background children and instructed in both their home language and English, segregated from native speakers of English.

Proposition 227, which was passed in 1998, outlawed bilingual education and mandated that all English learners be placed in English-only programmes. This despite the fact that research has clearly shown that “children in long-term bilingual programs develop higher competence in English than children in English-only programs”. In addition, “they reach higher academic achievement than children educated in only one language”. Things are slowly changing, however.

Benjamin Franklin Magnet School in Los Angeles County offers an extensive Italian immersion programme where “the standard California curriculum is taught primarily in Italian during the first two years (K-1), while English instruction, initially limited to 10%, increases gradually in the following grades. From 5th grade, half of all instruction is delivered in Italian and the other half in English.”

Research data from this Italian immersion programme in Glendale Unified School District – LA being the city with the fourth highest number of Italian Americans in the U.S. (approximately 95,300 out of a total population of 3.7 million) – irrefutably shows that “all children — English speakers and learners alike — can benefit tremendously from the opportunities and challenges brought about by a bilingual education”.

To find out more, read the full article by Simona Montanari in Language Magazine.

Early English immersion in Japan

Many countries have started to introduce foreign/English language learning at increasingly early ages, in spite of the fact that there is, as yet, no general consensus on when exactly is the best time to start.
A contribution to the debate, titled “Kindergartners get language boost with English immersion programme” can be found in the Japan Times at

New York to award ‘seal of biliteracy’

New York is debating the establishment of a ‘seal of literacy’ to highlight graduates’ language proficiency, following the example of California where such an award was first introduced in 2011.

California was the first US state to create a ‘seal of biliteracy’ which is affixed to diplomas and high school transcripts to show that the graduate demonstrates fluency in English and at least one other language, including American Sign Language.

Students can qualify in four ways: Passing an Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate exam with a passing score of 3 or higher; completing a four-year high school course in the same foreign language with an overall grade point average of at least 3.0; passing a district’s foreign-language exam at a proficient level or higher; or passing a foreign government’s approved language exam.

Go here and here to learn more.