The evolution of content and language integrated learning (CLIL) in Spain: An empirical project at the university level

Elena Carolina Hewitt, Elena García-Sánchez


This original empirical research study looks into “bilingual” or CLIL education (Content and Language Integrated Learning) that was recently put into practice within Spanish secondary schools (for example, Plan for Encouragement of Plurilingualism: Andalusia Education Council, Spain, 2005). In spite of this, not many research studies have gone into the justification of this CLIL system at secondary school, and even fewer into CLIL students at the university. The results reported here were part of those discovered by a national R&D (research and development) project generated by, and given to, its current director —the first author of the present article. The research study gathered data on the students entering university from “bilingual” CLIL secondary schools. The subjects under scrutiny by the project here in this particular sample are 67 students taking a degree in English Studies at the University of Almería, Spain. This research had a pre-experimental design, and took one academic year to collect and analyse the responses to four psychometric tests and one background questionnaire from the said subjects. The results showed the facets and variables that were important.


empirical research; national research project; bilingual education; CLIL .

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