Subject name The Bilingual School: Features, Organisations and Resources
Study Master in Bilingual Education
ECTS credits 6
Year and four month period  First year, first four month period
Type of subject Compulsory


This course aims to provide the students with a thorough grounding of the bilingual school. The units focus on developing students’ understanding of the key bilingual programmes in Spain and the functioning of a bilingual school. The course is divided into ten units which cover three main areas. Firstly, we will look at the process of becoming a bilingual school, developing the programme within the school and learning how to assess the effectiveness of the bilingual program and training needs. Secondly, we will discuss the organisation of the bilingual school and the main staffing positions. We will focus on the role of four key staff members: the school head, the bilingual coordinator, teacher and language assistant. Lastly, we will consider the bilingual classroom and the roles of the pupils, especially those with special language needs and their families.

After favourably completing the course, students will be able to understand i) the process of becoming a bilingual school, challenges and how to overcome them ii) key roles within the bilingual school; iii) classroom organization; and iv) pupils and their families.

The individual and collaborative tasks required throughout the course will encourage critical reflection, deeper learning and field research.


Basic competences

  • BC6. Achieve and understand the knowledge that provides a base and an opportunity to be original in the development and implementation of the ideas, often in a research context.
  • BC7. That the students are able to apply the knowledge acquired and their ability to solve the problems in new or not very well known environments among wider contexts (or multidisciplinary) related to their field of study.
  • BC8. That the students are able to integrate knowledge and face the complexity of judging from an information, that being incomplete or limited, includes reflections about the social and ethic responsibilities linked to the application of their knowledge and judgements.
  • BC9. That the students know how to communicate their conclusions and knowledge and reasons that support them to specialized and non-specialized audiences in a clear and unequivocal way.
  • BC10. That the students have the abilities to learn that allow them to continue studying in such a way that will be self-directed or self-sufficient.

General competences

  • GC1. Know the specific problems of teaching in a foreign language both linguistically and culturally, in an environment of bilingual education.
  • GC2. Develop skills to promote an atmosphere that ease learning and interaction among students.
  • GC3. Transmit social and cultural values in accordance with the multilingual and multicultural context.
  • GC4. Understand the legislation and regulations concerning the organization and management of bilingual centers.
  • GC5. Understand the effectiveness and necessity of promoting the integrated teaching of a foreign language and the own contents of the non-linguistic discipline.
  • GC6. Analyze critically the performance of teaching work and good practices using assessment models and quality indicators.
  • GC8. Be competent users of L2 in all the skills necessary for teaching.

Specific competences

  • SC2. Design an integrated curriculum in their area of expertise with linguistic contents.
  • SC3. Create and adapt learning materials for bilingual education considering the educational level of students according to the CEFR.
  • SC4. Develop, plan and guideline the contents of discipline in bilingual environments according to the formal format CLIL Module.
  • SC7. Add new teaching strategies and new information technologies to bilingual education for the design of new learning environments in the classroom.
  • SC8. Know the organization of bilingual education centers at all levels and the diversity of actions that includes their operation.
  • SC9. Understand the organization of a bilingual classroom: activities, teaching material, training plan.
  • SC11. Develop and implement teaching methodologies adapted to the diversity of students in a bilingual environment.
  • SC12. Be able to foster the application of different techniques and procedures to develop the students’ abilities.
  • SC13. Know and apply the advantages of the communicative approach and task-based learning for linguistic interaction in two languages.

Trasversal competences

  • TC1. Analyze reflexively and criticize the most important issues of today's society for a coherent decision-making.
  • TC2. Identify new technologies as teaching tools for communication exchange in the development of processes of investigation and group learning.
  • TC3. Apply the knowledge and skills acquired by the studies to real cases and in an environment of workgroups in companies or organizations.
  • TC4. Acquire the ability to work independently, promoting the organization and encouraging independent learning.

Unit 1. Becoming a Bilingual School. Programmes in Spain

  • Bilingual schools in the different CC.AA
  • Bilingual programmes in Spain
  • Requirements to implement, develop and evaluate a bilingual school
  • UP CLOSE: Bilingual schools in Catalonia

Unit 2. Developing the Bilingual School from the top down

  • The School’s Educational Plan (PEC)
  • The School’s Curricular Plan (PCC)
  • The School Language Plan (PLC)
  • UP CLOSE: Andalucía

Unit 3. Training and retraining in the bilingual school

  • The importance of (re)training in bilingual schools
  • What is "effective training"?
  • Training programmes

Unit 4. Organisation within the Bilingual school

  • Organisation within preschool and primary education of Public schools in Spain
  • Organisation within preschool and primary in state-funded schools in Spain
  • Organisation within secondary and Baccalaureate schools
  • Case Study: Agora Sant Cugat International School

Unit 5. The Bilingual School head

  • Functions of the bilingual headteacher
  • Pedagogical leadership

Unit 6. The Bilingual Coordinator

  • Functions of a Bilingual Coordinator
  • Qualities of a Bilingual Coordinator
  • Coordination between different teachers of different subjects
  • Coordination and integration of content from different subjects

Unit 7. The Bilingual teacher

  • Functions of the bilingual teacher
  • Language requirements
  • Integrated curriculum: theory and practice

Unit 8. The language assistant

  • Functions of the language assistant
  • Language assistant and form teacher: working collaboratively
  • Common problems of the language assistant
  • UP CLOSE: language assistants in Madrid

Unit 9. The Bilingual Classroom

  • Organisation of the Bilingual Classroom
  • Incoporating technology in the bilngual classroom
  • Reading corner
  • Extracurricular activities

Unit 10. Pupils and their families

  • Pupils with L2 difficulties and resources for teachers
  • Heritage speakers: incorporating higher levels successfully
  • Families: motivation and L2 support at home

The different tasks and activities programmed during the semester have been developed with the goal of adapting the learning process to the different capabilities, necessities and interests of the students.

The activities included in the subject are:

  • Assignments. In your weekly program you will see the different kind of tasks designed for the course such as practice cases, research, critical thinking and, also, you will find information about how to complete them and when to send them to your teacher.
  • Participation in events. During the course you will be participating in different events. Some of those events are attendance to online classes, forums, self-evaluation tests.
Descargar programación

These activities are combined with the following aspects:

  • Autonomous study.
  • Tutoring.The tutoring class can be implemented through different tools and means. During the course of the subject, the teacher-tutor plans the individual tutoring on specific days for the resolution of academic-oriented doubts through “Consultation sessions”. Supplementing these sessions, students have also available the “Ask your teacher” forum through which they can formulate questions and check the corresponding answers on general aspects of the subject.  Due to the very nature of the media used, there are no fixed schedules for the students.
  • Mandatory on-site exam

The hours dedicated to each activity are detailed as follows:

Attendance to virtual classes 15 100 %
Master classes 6 0
Basic material study 50 0
Reading the additional resources 25 0
Tasks and self-evaluation tests 29 0
Tutoring 16 30 %
Collaborative work, forums, debates, etc. 7 0
Final exam 2 100%
Total 150 -

You can personalize your study plan choosing the type of activity that best matches your profile. The tutor will advise you and help you elaborate your study plan. S/he will always be available to guide throughout the course.

Basic bibliography

The section Basic Bibliography is essential for the course. If any document (reading, article,…) is not available in the virtual classroom, you will have to find it by other means: UNIR bookshop, virtual library…

The necessary texts for the study of this subject had been elaborated by UNIR and are available in a digital format for consultation, download and print in the virtual classroom.

Additional bibliography

  • Angel, B., Cabrales, A., & Carro, J. M. (2016). Evaluating a bilingual education program in Spain: the impact beyond foreign language learning. Economic Inquiry, 54(2), 1202-1223. Retrieved from:
  • Antúnez, S., Gairin, J. (2013). La organización escolar. Práctica y fundamentos. Barcelona: Graó.
  • Baker, C., García, O. (2007). Policy and practice in Bilingual Education: A reader extending the foundations. Multilingual Matters
  • Cano, W. (2013). Manual CLIL para centros bilingües. UNIR: La Rioja
  • EURYDICE (2018). Organization of the Education System and of its structure. Retrieved from:
  • García Jiménez, F. (2010). Manual para el docente bilingüe. Alicante: Editorial Club Universitario.
  • Mehisto, P., MARSH, D., FRIGOLS, M.J. (2008). Uncovering CLIL. Content and Language Integrated Learning in bilingual and multilingual education. Macmillan.
  • Mehisto, P. (2012). Excellence in Bilingual education: a guide for school principals. Cambridge: Cambridge.
  • Pons I Parera, E. (2012). Bilingual legal education in Catalonia. P. 167-191
  • Woycikowska, C., DE Clerq, J.L,D. , Pfander-Meny, L.,Pinard, A. (2008). Cómo dirigir un centro educativo: Guia para asumir las funciones de director. Barcelona: Graó.
  • De Zarobe, Y.R., Lasagabaster, D. (Eds.). (2010). CLIL in Spain: Implementation, results and teacher training. Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

The evaluation system is based on the following numerical chart:

0 - 4, 9 Suspenso (SS)
5,0 - 6,9 Aprobado (AP)
7,0 - 8,9 Notable (NT)
9,0 - 10 Sobresaliente (SB)

The grade is made up of two components:

On-site final exam (60% - 6 out of 10 points). At the end of the semester, you need to take a mandatory on-site final exam. You need to pass the final exam (i.e., get at least 3 out of the 6 marks of the exam) so the grade obtained in the assignments (continuous assessment) is summed up to the final grade of the subject. 

Continuous assessment (40% - 4 out of 10 points): this type of assessment will be measured through the different assignments you need to complete during the course.

Assesment method Min. - Max. score

Participation in forums, classes, etc.

0% - 10%
Task, practice cases and activities 10% - 40%
Self-evaluation test 0% - 10%
On-site final exam 60% - 60%

Christopher George

Education: Master in English Studies and PhD Comparative Literature from University of Santiago de Compostela.

Professional experience: ESL teacherranging from K-12 to adults to university courses. 

Lines of research: ESOL, Bilingual Education, Literary history, Beat Generation, American Hispanism

Studying online means you can organize your study as you wish, as long as you meet the due dates of the different assignments (activities, tasks and tests). In order to help you, we propose the following steps:

  1. From our online platform you will have access to each of the subjects you are enrolled. Apart from this, the virtual classroom of Lo que necesitas saber antes de empezar (All you need to know before starting). In this section, you have available all the documents on how to use the different tools included in the virtual classroom, how a subject is organized and you will also have the possibility to organize your study plan with the tutor.
  2. Do not forget to check the weekly program. You will see which part of the content of the course you have to work on every week.
  3. After knowing your work for the week, go to Temas in your virtual classroom. There, you will have access to the study material (theory and practice) from the unit you need to study throughout the week.
  4. Start by reading the Key ideas of each unit, there you will find the specific study material and it will help you understand the most important points of the unit. Afterwards, check out the sections Specially Recommended and More Information where you will find more resources in order to deepen on the topic of the unit.
  5. Devote some time to the practical cases and tasks in the subject (assignments and test). Remember that in your weekly program you find all the information related to the schedule for each assignment and the maximum grade you can obtain in each of them.
  6. We strongly recommend you to participate in the Events of the course (online classes, forums….). To know the precise schedule of the events, you need to check the communications tools in the virtual platform. Your teacher and tutor will inform you on the updates of the course.

In the virtual classroom of Lo que necesitas saber antes de empezar (All you need to know before starting) you will always find available information on the structure of the units and information on their sections.

Remember that in Lo que necesitas saber antes de empezar (All you need to know before starting) you can check how the different tools of the virtual classroom work: email, forum, online classes, sending the tasks, etc.

Please, take into account the following tips…

  • Whatever you study plan is, go often to the virtual classroom so that you are always up to date about the course and you are in contact with your teacher and your tutor.
  • Remember you are not alone: send an email to your tutor if you have any doubt. If you attend the online classes, you can also ask your teacher about the contents of the unit. Also, you can always write your doubts and questions about  the contents in the Forum of each subject (Ask the teacher).
  • Be active and participate! Whenever it is possible, attend the online classes and take part in the forums. The exchange of information, opinions, ideas and resources enrich us and the course.
  • And, remember, you are studying online: your effort and perseverance are the key element to obtain good results. Don’t leave everything to the last minute!!!