WHY TEACHING LITERACY IN BILINGUAL SCHOOLS? PART 1

The answer might seem quite obvious but, as a matter of fact, not so many schools running Bilingual Education programmes show a clear understanding of the benefits of a well-designed whole-school Literacy policy in Bilingual schools. Actually, most of these schools I’m collaborating with wonder what’s the point in teaching Literacy if CLIL sessions have already been implemented in order to deal with a worrying lack of linguistic competencies in the teaching & learning of a foreign or second language.

Needless to say that Literacy is an essential vehicle not just to help learners understand the mechanism of how a language works but also to acquire the skills they need to be competent as well as becoming familiar with social and cultural aspects of the targeted language. The benefits of teaching Literacy in primary years are innumerable.

  • Access to fiction & non-fiction materials
  • Self-steem & self-identity
  • Emotional & intellectual development
  • Access to different social & cultural worlds
  • More individual & personalised language , etc.

But how to develop Literacy in a bilingual school?

If we want to be successful when developing Literacy we should be following this golden rule: Careful planning + co-ordination between levels & cycles = A Whole-school policy on Literacy

Where and how should be Literacy taught?

Firstly, we should consider teaching Literacy from a hollistic point of view. Literacy can be taught across all the curricular areas, not just in the literacy hour. Secondly, we should plan carefully how to develop all the skills: Speaking, listening, drama, interaction, reading and writing in a meaningful way and within a real context.

There’s no question that Literacy should be the core of a successful Bilingual project in every single school, enabling learners to achieve both cultural and linguistic competencies effectively.

 

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Y1 pupils play with their finger puppets after writing a simple script to play & record their own stories at Rosales Del Canal Bilingual school

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