Spain - The Bilingual Project

The Bilingual Project
CLIL teacher training, Daimiel, Spain, 26-29th Oct 2004

A two and half day workshop for English-medium teachers of Geography, History, Science was carried out in the central Spanish town of Daimiel this week coordinated by the British Council through Teresa Reilly (, in collaboration with the Spanish Ministry of Education and teachers on the Bilingual Project in Spain. 

Getting started in Diamiel…

Phil Ball, and Pilar from the Ministry of Education

40 teachers from 17 schools around Spain attended two days of workshops based on a number of themes related to the teaching of Science and Social Sciences through the medium of English and the workshops were delivered by myself and my colleague, Phil Ball (, an education consultant with a great deal of experience with teachers working through the medium of a foreign language in the Basque Country.

Colleagues discuss coordination…

This initiative is being carried out during a transition stage of an existing project moving from primary to secondary education. The Bilingual Project began in 1996 and the first children are now studying in secondary schools. We worked with the teachers from these schools who have received the first wave of children from the orginal project.

Teachers doing practical work…

Outcomes from the two and a half days included:Coordination – colleagues agreed specific Action Plans for the future of their work in the project.Materials – The British Council has provided sets of Hodder Gold Science for each of the schools and Phil and I are putting together a booklist for the subjects being taught and copies will be placed in British Council resource centres in Spain. Additionally, the colleagues will be creating their own materials to suit the very specific needs of the children they are teaching.Webspace – the Ministry of Education has provided a web forum for the teachers on the project where they will be able to discuss issues and share materials. Maria from the Balleares has agreed to help coordinate this group. Thanks Maria!Follow up – Colleagues were offered the chance to sign up free of charge to Science Across the World ( and make the most of opportunities for exchange with 2500 schools around the world. The teachers will also be joining the Forum for Across the Curriculum Teaching yahoogroup ( factworld) and sharing with the 1300 teachers in our network in 40 countries around the world.

Bilingual rocket launching…

I have to say that I find the work in Spain an encouraging and astonishing example of a large scale project integrating the learning of content and language. There is a lot of challenging work for these colleagues to do as their students make their way through the secondary curriculum in the English language. The enthusiasm of these teachers is perhaps down to the wonderful children they have been asked to work with. Sebastian, a Science teacher, summed it all up when he said, ‘it’s amazing, these children are learning science through English. I can teach them my subject entirely in English.’I hope to stay in touch with these colleagues and be involved in their exciting work. Would love to be a fly on the wall in one of Sebastian’s lessons!