Bilingualizing compulsory education: An ethnographic perspective on CLIL in Madrid
In recent years, Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) has grown into an active research field, yet little attention has been paid to its social, political and ideological underpinnings (Codó & Patiño-Santos, 2017; Nikula, 2016). This paper provides an ethnographic perspective on the introduction of CLIL provision in Madrid’s compulsory school system, with a focus on the streaming of students into different CLIL strands (High- and Low-Exposure) on the basis of their English proficiency level in the transition from primary to secondary education.
The study, conducted in two primary and two secondary schools located in contrasting socioeconomic areas, draws on two main sources: classroom interaction data belonging to the first year of compulsory secondary education in two science classrooms that correspond to the High- and Low-Exposure CLIL strands; and semi-structured interviews with teachers, school leaders and families. Triangulation of the data points to the linguistic value hierarchies established among strands, as English language proficiency confers High-Exposure students status and distinction as well as positions them as “the better ones” with respect to the Low-Exposure students. These dynamics sustain processes of ‘capitalisation’ and ‘decapitalisation’ (Martín Rojo, 2010) among students attending these strands.
Codó, E., & Patiño-Santos, A. (2017). CLIL, unequal working conditions and neoliberal subjectivities in a state secondary school. Language Policy, 1-21.
Martín Rojo, L. (2010) Constructing Inequality in Multilingual Classrooms. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
Nikula, T. (2016). CLIL: A European Approach to Bilingual Education. In N. V. Deusen-Scholl, & S. May (Eds.), Second and Foreign Language Education. Springer International Publishing.