Contrasting Two Approaches of Bilingualism in Primary Education

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  • Title: Contrasting Two Approaches of Bilingualism in Primary Education: An Ethnographic Study
  • Author(s): Eduardo García Zamora, Alberto Nolasco Hernández , Esther Edo Agustín
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Series: The Learner
  • Journal Title: The International Journal of Literacies
  • Keywords: Communicative Competence, Primary Education, Foreign Languages, Bilingual Education, Teaching-Learning Process
  • Volume: 26
  • Issue: 1
  • Year: 2019
  • ISSN: 2327-0136 (Print)
  • ISSN: 2327-266X (Online)
  • DOI:
  • Citation: García Zamora, Eduardo , Alberto Nolasco Hernández, and Esther Edo Agustín. 2019. "Contrasting Two Approaches of Bilingualism in Primary Education: An Ethnographic Study." The International Journal of Literacies 26 (1): 33-47. doi:10.18848/2327-0136/CGP/v26i01/33-47.
  • Extent: 15 pages


The impact of globalization can be easily noticed in a wide range of fields; cross-cultural communication could be pointed out as one of its most relevant. As our current society is becoming increasingly multicultural, the role of plurilingual communicative competence is considered vital to make cultural, economic, and social exchanges easier. In this multicultural context, the need of fostering language learning seems obvious, thus bilingual education appears as a breakthrough in today’s society. This paper is focused on the results of an ethnographic study that took place in primary schools in the town and province of Soria, Spain. The study was a contrastive analysis of two approaches of bilingualism, Spanish-British integrated curriculum and Bilingual Spanish-English, concerning methodological, organisational, and social features through a holistic approach. The results allow for a deeper understanding of the reality we perceive around us in bilingual educational programmes and represent clearly the effectiveness of both approaches, emphasising the role of sociocultural competence, not only linguistic one.