Mutilingual Education

Multilingual Education Framework


The bases of the proposal for the Multilingual Education Framework are the bases recommended by the report Euskara 21 for the education field, which is basically created from the next consideration: «it is necessary to detect the aspects that need correction and to act in a atmosphere of big consensus always in pursuit of a basic objective: the school has become Basque-speaking and must go on with that objective; but always respecting the right of the parents to choose the language of the education of their children and the obligation to make the students reach the obligatory level of the official languages of the Basque Country. At a lesser extend, a third language must be taught in harmony with the teaching of the official languages.

The educative system is conscious of its responsibility to promote the acquisition of the communicative ability in foreign languages, as in the official languages of the Basque Country, because of the modernization of the education system, the educative needs created by the new society, the needs of a more opened society to communicate and exchange, and the need of a European society to mobility and communication.

According to the role of the different languages of our society and the recognition of the legislation to recover the usage of the Basque langue, ours system is forced to developed an educative model for a school system of minimum three languages. This will give us a chance to achieve the development of the communicative abilities in the two official languages and to get a good competence in a foreign language. To obtain these objectives, we have to consider that the studying of languages involves the acquisition of procedural knowledge and the development of positive attitudes towards the languages and their use.

The evaluation of multilingual experiences developed up to now indicates that the establishment of experiences of this type, even in a bilingual educative system such as the Basque system, is not an inconvenient to the development of the competences of the students in other languages. On the contrary, this evaluation shows that the multilingual projects developed have created huge influence on students to appreciate and respect languages. Furthermore, according to the influence of these projects, students have learned the studying language faster and in consequence they have achieved big communication abilities. Lastly, results show that the groups that haven’t taken part on this kind of experience and the groups that have taken part have assimilated the contents in the same way although one of the group have given these lessons in English (or other foreign language).

Finally, it is to mention that the process of acquiring a language is produced in different contexts, as long as these contexts are as natural as possible, and create needs for communication, for acquisition and for exchange of knowledge. In school, for example, languages are tough with the aim to provide students with the knowledge of different curricular fields. As a consequence the Education, University and Investigation Department of the Basque Country, with the recommendation of experts and educative authorities, says that they must pay a suitable attention to the teaching of the official languages as to the teaching of a foreign language. In addition, it also invites public and private schools to take part in the experimentation of the Multilingual Education Framework project. In fact, according to this framework, Basque, Spanish and another foreign language are the languages to transmit and communicate the new knowledge.

Putting into practise

Txomin Agirre School has been selected for the experimental project of the Multilingual Education Framework expected for the next three years, starting this academic course 2010-11.

The experimentation will be carried out in the 4th course of primary school and in the 1st course of secondary school.

The required premises, among other things, are the hours imparted of each language (Basque, Spanish and English):
- 5 hours a week in Primary School
- 6 hours a week in Secondary School

The schools taking part in this pilot experimentation will be monitored and advised by the Berritzegunes.

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