Exploring Foreign Language Education In The Spanish Education Essay

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Nowadays, bilingual education has become an important issue in Spanish schools. Along the years, the educational system has been modified several times by different laws and political ideologies, and it is still under modification today. I will focus on Spanish primary schools, specifically those in Andalusia, where I would like to study the current situation, considering the law as the main rule to follow when making changes. However, the system has to be adapted to the new needs in education and to the teaching methodology, so we have to go beyond educational laws in order to have some flexibility.

Thus, the legislative frameworks guiding the Spanish education system are the Spanish Constitution (1978), the Organic Act on the right to Education (LODE, 1978), and the Organic Law of Education 2/2006, 3rd May (Ley Orgánica de Educación LOE 2006). Considering that many places are monolingual communities, then it follows that the changes in the education system are being done slowly.

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Then, on April 25th, 2005, in Andalusia, the minister of education presented a plan called Plan de Fomento del Plurilinguismo (henceforth the Plurilingualism Plan), the main aim was to provide teachers with the necessary skills to perform the new tasks required of them; in other words, it helped teachers adapt to the new functions that are affected by the use of foreign languages in classrooms, and new methodologies, such as teacher training courses in CLIL -Content and Language Integrated Learning (Junta de Andalucia).

It was of concern to foreign language teachers in particular, and teachers in general, because of the non-linguistic areas of knowledge, such as natural science, art, physical education, etcetera, that are involved. As a consequence, a huge investment was made in human and technical resources, teacher training, mobility and the innovation of the curriculum design; for instance, in the implementation of mobility programs for teachers and students, which facilitate language experiences, teacher training schemes, and, basically, extended adult education and lifelong learning.

So far, many initiatives based on the new trends of foreign language teaching have been proposed; Curriculum Integrado de las Lenguas CIL, was meant to be the first step in the changes planned, and then CLIL, which seems to share the same ideas, led to agreements between foreign organisations and universities to allow exchange visits and the mobility of students and teachers, Teacher Training Centres, study abroad programmes, etc.

All this investment allowed around 400 Primary and Secondary schools to be part of the Plurilingualism Plan. But it brings an enormous challenge to the teachers, due to two main reasons: first, they have to put their English language skills into practice, and second, they have to improve their language level. Another difficulty to be faced is the lack of published textbooks for bilingual schools, so teachers will need the help of the assistant teacher creating the materials and also a large amount of time to prepare the tasks.

Consequently, despite the resources already employed, and taking into account all the changes that are still necessary to effectively implement the Plurilingualism Plan and the current economic crisis that is affecting Andalusia, it seems that it is not an ideal moment for the implementation of CLIL methodology under the Plurilingualism Plan. Furthermore, it is an unknown methodology for many teachers and institutions, and the unknown always arouses scepticism. However, due to CLIL being one of the most relevant language, as well as content, methods at present, some consideration must be taken and research in that field has to be carried out. The aim of this study is to evaluate how the theories of CLIL are being put into practice in Andalusia, and present the results in an analytical and reliable way.

The following study will be based on the analysis of three interviews conducted with three English language teachers working in Andalusia, under well-known scholars' theories about CLIL, such as Do Coyle. Each teacher works in a different school: two in Spanish state schools -one of them taking part in the Plurilingualism Program- and the other in a private British school in Andalusia. Furthermore, each teacher has a different background; for instance, one of them studied and worked in the UK. Moreover, each teacher holds a different position in their school, such as headmaster or supply teacher. Therefore, due to these differences, we might find opposite points of views in their opinions and experiences with CLIL, which will probably shed some light on the manner in which CLIL is being implemented in Andalusia, and on teachers' knowledge of this method.

2. Literature Review

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In this section I will discuss the changes that occurred in Spain regarding foreign language education as well as the changes that Andalusia has undergone in the same field. Furthermore, I will also review the main methods used in second language education, as they are usually connected to the changes in education policies implemented in both Spain and Andalusia.

2. 1 Exploring foreign language education in the Spanish and Andalusian scenes

At first, when "general education spread to the masses it became increasingly monolingual. In the process bilingual education became a prerogative of the elite" (Lorenzo, "The Effects" 1). Throughout most of the 20th century, the learning of a foreign language in the Spanish educational system was limited to bachillerato -usually translated into high-school- where student ages range from thirteen to eighteen years old. Furthermore, the most commonly studied language was French. There was a small number of students who started studying, usually in private schools, other languages like English or German from the 1950`s on. Sadly, Spanish students suffered from a deficient educational legislation that caused problems in foreign language education and ended in an intimidating condition "in which most of the people who studied up to secondary school level and who had at least four years of contact with a foreign language have serious difficulties in holding a simple conversation in that language'' (Junta de Andalucía 14).

Due to these difficulties, many laws were passed with the aim of solving such deficiencies; one of the most famous ones is the 14/1970 Law, usually known as the General Law on Education and Educational Reform. However, this law did not solve the problem, since students began to receive classes of a foreign language at the age of eleven or twelve. This new rule introduced foreign languages in the General Basic Education - from the 6th grade of primary school onwards. This resulted in whole generations of Spanish students not being prepared to compete in a growing and competitive scenario such as Europe. As it was contended by Lasagabaster, "Spain finds itself in the penultimate position in the ranking of EU countries in terms of second language knowledge", which has been "seen as a real threat to future growth and development" of the Country (3).

Inspired by Europe, in order to avoid the afore-mentioned problems, Spain tried new education strategies in general and new foreign language methods in particular during the last two decades. Regarding the new education approaches, Spanish students began to learn and use foreign languages in primary schools from the very beginning since 1996. With regards to foreign language methods, one of the most successful approaches to learning has been Content and Language Integrated Learning (herein after CLIL), which "has breathed new life into experimental methods like the task based approach and made them more authentic" (Lorenzo, "The Sociolinguistics" 28). Fortunately, "[i]n the last decade CLIL [...] has undergone a rapid development in the Spanish scenario. This is the result of a commitment with the European policies aimed at fostering multilingualism and a growing awareness of the need to learn foreign languages" (Lasagabaster ix).

Since the approval of The Spanish Constitution of 1978, the organization of the Spanish State changed from a tight centralized government into one in which each region, known as Autonomous Communities (from now on AC), took control over its educational system, its health-care system, etc. Regarding education, this change has had enormous consequences in the field of foreign language: it allowed several Autonomous Communities to design their own regulations, such as different plans for leaning language at earlier ages than usual.

Since then, the Regional Ministry of Education of the Andalusian Government made a very important achievement by implementing measures to enforce the learning of foreign languages, making Andalusia part of the avant-garde of the field. Among these measures, one of the most interesting ones is the implementation of the "Modern Languages Project of the Council of Europe in several Secondary and Professional Training schools in Andalusia, where the language teaching recommendations of the Council of Europe were applied in specific school contexts" (Junta de Andalucía 17).

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In addition, Andalusia was the first AC implementing an experimental programme "to bring forward the teaching of foreign languages, under the Order of 8 February 2000" (Junta de Andalucía 18). Under this order, the teaching of foreign languages began in the second cycle of Infant Education, where the students' ages usually range from three to five years old, therefore students learn a foreign language in an age in which they are more receptive and learning is easier for them.

In the last decade, Andalusian authorities have realized the "potential of CLIL with respect to the goals of plurilingual education" (Lasagabaster 149). Therefore, one thing is clear: the implementation of CLIL in Andalusia will help students to be competitive and to adapt themselves to the demands of a globalized world. All these changes will affect teachers and their language level, for the "involvement in bilingual projects of teachers of non-linguistic subjects created further training needs'' (Lasagabaster 145).

Despite the current situation, which could be seen as an oasis, government language policy makers and academics have not always worked hand in hand, something that negatively affects teachers' tasks. Henceforth, establishing a good relationship between them should be paramount because it would help to improve the students' learning of a foreign language through the implementation of effective regulations based on new methods discovered by academics from which teachers would benefit. It has been stated that "[k]nowledge of LP (Language Policy) in its broader sense influences teachers' performance, as the decisions to teach a certain accent, vocabulary and spelling are directly determined by the status planning in language policy formation" (Ayaz 1897). Therefore, foreign language teachers should have up-to-date knowledge of both, Language Policies as well as new foreign language teaching methods.

2.2 Exploring foreign language education from a methodological perspective

For many years, foreign language scholars and educators have been investigating in the area of teaching and teaching methods in order to provide the best education possible to students. As a consequence, there are many different language teaching methodologies that developed throughout time, some of them are still in use, some others are just a vague memory nowadays. Keeping in mind the changes in the Spanish and the Andalusian foreign language strategies, I will mention some of the most important methods used in the last centuries.

In the Grammar-translation method "[m]uch of the lesson is devoted to translating sentences into and out of the target language" (Richards 6). There is little time for speaking and communicating, but there is plenty for reading or listening the target language, analyzing and learning the grammar, and translating: "memorizing endless lists of unusable grammar rules and vocabulary and attempting to produce perfect translations of stilted or literary prose''(Richards 6).

Another important method worth mentioning is the Direct Method. This method was implemented by Berlitz in Germany and de Sauzé in France at the beginning of the 20th century. Its main principle was that "a language could best taught by using it actively in the classroom" (Richards 11). Whereas Grammar-translation teachers encourage students to use their native languages to understand the target language, Direct method teachers "encourage direct and spontaneous use of the foreign language in the classroom". Students were supposed "to induce rules of grammar" and "[k]nown words could be used to teach new vocabulary, using mime, demonstration, and pictures" (Richards 11). However, this method was not perfect either, its main problem laid in that it assumed that second languages could be learned quite similarly as first languages are learned, which they are not.

Thirdly, a relevant method in language learning that is still very popular is the Communicative approach, "Dell Hymes, Widdowson, Brumfit, Halliday, Austin and Searle' were its main propagandists" (Shastri 35). This method dates back to the late 1960s; its main tenet was that "[l]anguage learning is not getting mastery over isolated sentences but to develop an ability to participate in discourse" (Shastri 40). The focus is not placed on teaching grammar, but on teaching how to communicate. Therefore, teachers allow students to practice the language instead of focusing on accuracy because the emphasis is placed on fluency. Due to its effectiveness and the appeal that it has over students it soon became one of the most used language teaching methods. This method can be seen as a step forward in understanding language learning as a communicative tool. In this method students use the foreign language from the very beginning, understanding language communicative function while creating independent learners and a positive attitude to the language.

Last but not least, CLIL is one of the latest and most popular methods for foreign language education. Mehisto describes it as "a dual- focused educational approach in which an additional language is used for the learning and teaching of both content and language'' (9). Throughout all the afore-mentioned methods we were discovering ways of teaching and learning foreign languages, but CLIL, by allowing the student to focus in the content-subject rather than language, works in a different way: "The CLIL strategy, above all, involves using a language that is not a student's native language as a medium of instruction and learning for primary, secondary and/or vocational-level subjects such as maths, science, art or business'' (Mehisto 11). However, its main difficulty lays in the fact that, in order to be really effective, it needs more than just the foreign language teacher implication: it needs at least the implication of the whole teaching staff of a given school.

2.3 Exploring CLIL research in Spain

In this section I will review four studies carried out in Spain with regards to CLIL. The first of them by Esmeralda Alonso, Jesús Grisaleña and Alejandro Campo, they all work for the Basque Institute of Evaluation and Research of the Basque Department of Education. The study is focused on the degree of efficiency of the Plurilingual Experience set up in some Secondary schools of the Basque Autonomous Community (BAC) using CLIL methodology. The study is mainly focused on students' results on the KET and PET exams. There are two groups: one group working in plurilingual experience through CLIL, and the other group -usually known as the control group- working in a monolingual school where only the English Language lessons are taught in English. The results were quite predictable: "[t]he experimental group's results were significantly higher than the control groups, in both tests and for all skills measured'' (Alonso et al. 43). The findings of this study, based on quantitative results, perceptions, qualified opinions and documentary information, confirm the educational value and effectiveness of the Plurilingual Experience set up in some Secondary schools of the Basque Department of Education.

The second research was carried out by Emma Dafouz Milne, from the Complutense University of Madrid, and Ana Llinares García, from the Autonomous University of Madrid. This study also compares the effectiveness of CLIL in secondary education, but, in this case, the work is based on the analysis of teachers' discourse in two different CLIL educational contexts: secondary and tertiary settings. Furthermore, this research "deals with the subject of teacher repetitions since it is generally believed that repetition is a key feature of CLIL classrooms, given the added complexity of learning concepts through another language" (Dafouz and Llinares 50). The study uses a qualitative methodology based on the analysis of "classroom video-recordings and transcripts from four sessions, with different teacher profiles" (Dafouz and Llinares 50). The result of the study is that repetitions are used in both secondary and tertiary education with an educative function; however, there are some differences that depend on the kind of teacher and the method chosen by him/her.

The third study I want to comment on was developed by Ruiz de Zarobe from the University of the Basque Country. The research examines CLIL in the Basque Country. It "analyses the differences between CLIL and English-as-a-foreign language (EFL) instruction in the case of bilingual students learning English" (Ruiz de Zarobe 60). The data for this study was gathered from three different school curricula in the Basque Country through a speech production test and was analyzed based on five categories: pronunciation, vocabulary, grammar, fluency and content. The results show that the more exposure to English there was, the better the spoken production of it; nevertheless, "although the CLIL groups score higher than the non-CLIL group in the different grades, there does not seem to be a significant increase in proficiency throughout the academic years" (Ruiz de Zarobe 70).

The fourth, and last, study was conducted by Sonia Casal and Pat Moore from the Pablo Olavide University of Seville. This research is an "evaluation and consultancy project designed to provide an overview of the current state of play in the bilingual sections of Andalusia's state school system." (Casal and Moore 36). The data was gathered through "language tests (reading, writing and listening) and questionnaires with learners"; one of the researchers "(a native-speaker of the L2) conducted oral evaluation with a randomly selected sub-sample of learners (see below) while the other [researcher] interviewed the bilingual co-ordinator" (Casal and Moore 39). It was conducted in 61 randomly-chosen schools in Andalusia, from May 2007 (the pilot study) to April 2008. The research is presented as an example of how such large-scale research can be done; consequently, the authors do not conclude it by offering summarized conclusions, but by acknowledging the problems that appeared throughout the stage of implementation, and it also discusses different approaches to solve these difficulties.

3. Theoretical framework and research methodology

In this section, I will research theories of CLIL from relevant scholars in order to delineate a theoretical framework. In addition, I will also investigate and outline the research methodology that I will follow in this study.

3.1 Content and Language Integrated Learning: the underlying theory

The aim of this research is to investigate foreign language education in Andalusia with regards to the methods used by teachers and the policies followed by the Autonomous Government of Andalusia. Therefore, after exploring the situation of foreign language education in Andalusia and some of the many methods used throughout time, I will base my theoretical framework on the principles of the latest method implemented in the region: CLIL (Content and Language Integrated Learning). The reason I came up with this decision is because I want to check how and to what extent this method has been implemented in Andalusia, and whether the main endeavor for an effective implementation has been done by the government's good will or by the teachers' will power. Nevertheless, in order to do such a great inquiry, I will explain thoroughly what CLIL is about: its origin, its main principles, the ways in which it should be carried out, the benefits it should bring to class and the efforts that should be made in order to reach an effective implementation of it in schools.

Compared with today's situation, in the past teachers used to rely on repetition or imaginary situations, which had no relation to real life situations, but which would serve as a way to gain the knowledge to communicate in another language. Nonetheless, after years of research on foreign language education, other ways of teaching and learning have been shown to be more successful, and I can say that studies in language teaching have achieved breakthroughs in the development of a second language. Actually, CLIL is an example of this process.

CLIL is a useful method created to help young people to build integrated knowledge and skills for a progressively unified world. As Blanka Klimova explains in her article CLIL and the Teaching of Foreign Languages, "[i]n practice means that students use English medium to study subjects such as geography, history, arts, or mathematics that were originally taught in the native language" (572). In other words, CLIL is a method with the aim of using a language that is not the student's native language, as a way of instruction and learning for primary subjects. Although it is difficult to combine the language learning with content learning, co-operation and the exchange skills among language and content teachers come to be essential when CLIL is implemented in the classroom. Nevertheless, it has to be accompanied by enough time for class preparation and enough time for the teachers to reach a common agreement on teaching strategies and student activities.

But how did CLIL come into existence? Europe has been making changes related to the necessity of learning languages without forgetting the content; this is one of the reasons why the EU Language Policy promotes multilingualism. European education plans aim at every EU citizen learning how to speak at least two foreign languages, something which is reflected in European schools from the beginnings of formal teaching. This interest has been pointed out by Rozeta in the following terms: "[k]nowledge of languages is at the heart of a successful Europe. Multilingualism enables communication and understanding, key elements in inspiring Europe's many diverse cultures to work together towards common goals. Language teaching is therefore of central importance" (3824). However, it has not always been like this: for Europe to become both aware and active regarding multilingualism has been a long process.

In the early 80s, there were many important people talking about the necessity of new ways of teaching languages in Europe. Since the 1990s, Europe had been actively struggling to increase language awareness and several methods had been used in order to achieve better results in the command of foreign languages. Indeed, the impact of globalization "highlighted the need for better language and communication educational outcomes" (Do Coyle 3). All these were not mere words, there was also money invested in such projects as the one that ended up as CLIL. This term, Content and Language Integrated Learning, began to be used in 1994 in Europe in order to "describe and further design good practice as achieved in different types of school environment where teaching and learning take place in an additional language" (Do Coyle 4). From then on, CLIL became one of the most important educational projects of the European Union, "culminating in the 2005 European Council recommendations that CLIL should be adopted throughout the entire European Union" (Do Coyle 8).

The aim of CLIL is to bring to students a new method of learning foreign languages and content together. One of the reasons why CLIL was created is due to the fast pace of world changes. The use of new forms of technology in everyday situations has been imposed over our generation, this, in turn, has affected the way people behave and think: e.g. knowledge can be achieved in just one click on the Internet. What CLIL tries to do is to prepare young people for this new era. However, this new time brings in new challenges such as globalization, which means that Europe becomes even more interconnected. The kind of knowledge that CLIL offers "has been described as a desire to 'learn as you use, use as you learn' and differs from the older experience of 'learn now for use later'" (Do Coyle 10).

As a consequence of CLIL, the role of the teacher will change as well. The CLIL teacher's role will not be the same as the standard language teacher's role: what the teacher has to do in this case is to adapt themselves to new methodologies that can be used to guide both the teachers and the learners to success (Do Coyle 10). This new teacher's role is based on the constructivist educational practice. In that practice, the intention is to stimulate the cognitive flexibility of the students by giving them practical situations and problems to solve as well as the time needed to find a solution. Therefore, learners play an active role in the process of learning any given subject, which enhances their motivation and interest in what they are learning. It has been proven that the learning of languages can be improved when the texts and the exercises used in class are authentic as well as relevant to the student's life.

When CLIL is applied, the meaning of 'language' is usually the same everywhere whereas the meaning of 'content' will depend on the context of the learning institution. In other words, content can differ depending on how it is taken from the National or Regional Curricula and how it is mixed up with the use of new technologies: among the topics included are investigations about climate change on the Internet carried out in a foreign language, for instance. Furthermore, what CLIL tries to achieve is, on the one hand, that the focus of the lessons lays in the student's experience as its main element. On the other hand, it tries to motivate students to become actively participative in the classroom rather than being just passive receivers of knowledge through their teacher. In other words, to use the teacher as an expert resource that can help them to attain knowledge (Do Coyle 28, 29).

CLIL, in order to become a truly successful method, has to be implemented from the early stages in the educational system, and in doing so, it can help students to see language as it is: a way to communicate among each other. Once it has been done, the tasks for teachers can be divided in two: the ones on the macro level and the ones on the micro level. In the former, teachers should set a macro and inclusive goal: that is, to increase the learner's engagement with content and language. This might affect wider educational values and beliefs in turn, but it has to be done by the professionals involved in the process. On the micro level, teachers, through speaking exercises conducted in small groups, should analyse weaknesses and strengths in their students, which can give them the opportunity to develop different stages in the learning process as well as to plan useful tools for the followings classes. In other words, teachers have to be involved one with another and exchange their knowledge to create a dynamic process and to improve all the steps and levels (Rozeta 3824).

One of the reasons why CLIL has become such relevant method is because it integrates content learning with language learning. Therefore, "as language is linked to cognitive processing, it is important to make use of opportunities (both spontaneous and planned) to advance learning- to encourage learners to articulate their understanding, which in turn advances new learning" (Do Coyle 63). In order to achieve this, teachers have to be able to analyse the main points in every unit they are teach and then create activities and questions that would help students to learn vocabulary, grammar, content, causes and consequences, learning strategies etc.

Time-management is a key issue among the problems found when trying to implement CLIL in public schools. On the one hand, "[t]he amount of time dedicated to language learning is often constrained because of pressure from other subjects within curriculum" (Do Coyle 11). How many hours a week will the language teacher have to teach students a foreign language? How much time can a teacher of history spare from history itself in order to build new vocabulary or to explain a difficult construction? How many hours a week will the foreign language teacher have to spend supporting his/her content subject colleagues?

It has been argued that through the use of real-life situations students can acquire language more natural way. However, it requires a considerable effort to put it into practice: it demands collaboration among subject teachers and language teachers, as well as a greater range of activities than in a regular class. The materials used have to be well prepared and accurate. In the case of CLIL, it is recommended that the material should be compiled by both teachers, so good time management skills are also necessary. Nevertheless, despite CLIL being impulsed by Language Policiy Makers, "[c]urrently, collaborative planning cross-disciplinary delivery of the curriculum, especially in secondary schools, is often left to chance or is dependent on the 'goodwill' of head teachers or senior management teams" (Do Coyle 159).

Another added problem is the difficulties that some students can experience when learning content through a language that is not their native one. According to Klimova, some of the students' problems that teachers might find are: "students' lower knowledge of the target language, students with mixed language competences of the target language in one class [and] students with mixed learning abilities in one class" (573). In long terms, most of the students would have a similar level if they learn from early stages. However, in short terms teachers can find some students who had not achieved a level in the language of instruction that allow them to follow lessons appropriately.

3.2. Research methodology and design

In this study, I will focus my analysis on foreign language education; specifically, on the experiences of three teachers of English language from very different environments: one of them works in an state school that is part of the plurilingual program; another works in an state school that is not part of the plurilingual program; and the last one works in a private British school.

As a consequence, the research methodology used in this paper will be qualitative because the data I will use can be termed "soft", which means it is "rich in description of people, places and conversations, and not easily handled by statistical procedures" (Bogdan and Biklen 2). Moreover, the main research tool I will use in this paper is the semi-structured interview in order to obtain descriptions of the world of the interviewee and to interpret the meaning of the described CLIL phenomena.

In general terms, an interview is a conversation that has a structure and a purpose and can be considered a professional conversation. It could be produced through spontaneous exchanges of views in everyday conversation, and converted through a careful questioning and listening approach with the aim of obtaining thoroughly tested knowledge. Usually, it is not considered a conversation between equal partners because the researcher normally takes control of the situation. The researcher is in charge of introducing the topic of the interview, and following up on the subject's answers to his or her questions (Kvale 6).

The design of the interview is divided into six of the seven stages mentioned in Kvale's Interviews: An Introduction to Qualitative Research Interviewing. Firstly, we have "[t]hematizing. Before the interview starts we formulate the purpose of the investigation and describe the concept of the topic to be investigated. The why and what should be clarified before the question of how-method is posed" (Kvale 88). The purpose of my investigation is to analyze the changes taking place in teaching of foreign languages in primary schools; it is motivated by the concerns aroused in the teaching of languages in Andalusia in general and the new forms and method used for that purpose in particular.

Secondly, there comes the "[d]esigning. To design the study in undertaken with regard to obtaining the intended knowledge, before the interviewing starts" (Kvale 88). I will use a semi-structured or semi-open interview "translating the research objectives into questions", in this case five broad questions that cover my main concerns (Cohen et al. 274). It is due to the fact that I will have just one chance to meet with the teachers and, in that time, I will have to obtain reliable, comparable, and enough qualitative data. Therefore, I will try to avoid, as much as possible, questions that can be answered by yes or no (so-called closed questions) because in that case I will not be able to obtain the information needed for the study. The questions' focus is on comparing the experiences of teacher working at schools that are following the Plurilingual Program based on CLIL, with the experiences of teachers who are not in that bilingual situation. The main issues will be the use of foreign language when teaching the content, advantages and disadvantages of every case, and some of the problems that arise in a classroom when the language used is not L1.

The third stage of my interview is actually "[i]nterviewing. Conduct the interview based on an interview guide and with reflective approach to the knowledge" (Kvale 88). The interview was designed based on books and articles about CLIL and the situation of language education in Spain and Andalusia. The reading of these texts has improved my knowledge about the issue at hand. Moreover, before elaborating the interview I also had some background information of the teachers, which helped me to designed better questions in order to be able to obtain the most out of their experience. Thus, the questions were designed exhaustively with regard to the topic and the subjects, with the intention of gathering meaningful findings.

Fourthly, we have the task of "[t]ranscribing. Prepare the interview material for analysis which includes normally a transcription from oral speech to a written text". The numerous advances in technical devices, such as portable tape recorders and computer programs, have made it possible to take accurate recordings of interviews, as well as to easily transcribe them. In fact, technical issues are crucial in these research procedures. In this case, I will use my I-phone to record the interviews. Once the interviews have taken place, I will transcribe them "doing justice to the interviewees" by imagining "how they themselves would have wanted to formulate their statements in writing" (Kvale 88).

The next step in this data collection process is "[a]nalyzing. Decide which method of analysis are appropriate thinking on the purpose and the nature of the interview material" (Kvale 88). Kvale himself describes five different methods to analyze interviews (187):

1) Meaning condensation, making short formulations of long answers.

2) Meaning categorization, coding the answers into + and - to indicate the occurrence or absence of certain phenomenon.

3) Narrative structuring, in which the researcher works out structures and plots from the answers.

4) Meaning interpretation, going beyond the manifest meaning of the answers to find deeper interpretations.

5) Generating meaning through ad hoc methods, in which a variety of approaches are used to bring out meanings from the interviews.

I will use the meaning condensation method, for it allows the researcher to compress long statements "into briefer statements in which the main sense of what is said is rephrased in a few words" (Kvale 192). Therefore, I will be able to focus on analyzing the meaning of their answers without the need to transcribe the whole answers into the study.

Finally, it is time for "[v]erifying. Establish the generalizability, reliability, and validity of the interview findings" (Kvale 88). This short study will be based on the analysis of three interviews under different theories on CLIL. From a positivist approach it would be too short to allow me to make generalizations, to offer reliability and to possess grounded validity. Nevertheless, as my approach is qualitative, I will generalize the results by using an analytical generalization approach, which "involves a reasoned judgement about the extent to which the findings from one study can be used as a guide to what might occur in another situation" (Kvale 233). Regarding reliability, which makes reference to the consistency of the findings, I will try to assure it by conducting the interviews "with the same format and sequence of words and questions for each respondent" (Cohen et al. 121). Moreover, I will validate the statements made out of the interviews by trying to convey the results while minimizing "the amount of bias as much as possible" and presenting valid arguments (Cohen et al. 121).

4. Discussion

In this part of the research I will transcribe and analyze the interviews. First, I will transcribe the interviews by using the technique of meaning condensation, and then, I will analyze the interviews from Do Coyle's theories regarding CLIL.

4.1. Collected Data

In this section I will transcribe the interviews by using the technique of meaning condensation mentioned by Kvale in his famous book Interviews: An Introduction to Qualitative Research Interviewing (192). This approach will allow me not to transcribe the interviews verbatim, but to condensate the interviewees' long answers into single paragraphs in which their main ideas will be expressed as faithful to their original meaning as possible. In addition, the names of the interviewees will be changed for two reasons: first, in order to allow the interviewees to answer as freely as possible, and second, in order to respect their privacy. I would like to add that the interviewees agreed to these two procedures [1] . Finally, the transcription of the three interviews will be arranged as follows: each interview will be transcribed with each of the five questions followed by their answers in the very same order they were asked and answered.

4.1.1. Interview number one: María García

- Researcher: Could you tell me, briefly, about your professional career?

- María García: My first experience as a teacher was working in academies giving private lessons. After that, in 2008, I took and successfully passed the exam to work in state schools and I have worked for state schools ever since. Currently, I have been working as an English teacher for a state school in Fuengirola for the last three years, although I had worked in many places in Andalusia before that. I would like to mention, from my own experience in many state schools, that the big differences that I found in the level of English language of the students mainly depends on the area where they live, which reflects the socioeconomic and cultural position of their parents. Also, that I would love to work through the Plurilingualism Plan in the school, but it is not possible as the school already works with another plan known as Linguistic Extension (Ampliacion Linguistica) in which children receive English lessons at the age of 3. I am very interested in being part of the Plurilingualism Plan, but as my situation in the school is provisional, I would not like to get involved in something that I would have to give up later when I get transferred to another school in another city.

- Researcher: What kind of teaching methodology do you use for your lessons?

- María García: I base my lessons in the use of the four basic skills (reading, listening, writing and speaking) and I conduct the lessons fully in English. What is more, I speak in English since I enter the classroom and, even when I want to introduce new units, I always explain them in the target language. However, whenever I see strange gestures in students' faces and realize that they are not following the lesson, I ask for a volunteer who understood it to explain it to the other students. Only in those cases in which they still do not understand the lesson I translate the lesson into what we called 'spanglish': the mixing of Spanish and English to help the students. The main challenge for me is the small amount of time available to develop the lessons, only one session of forty five minutes a week. It is kind of ridiculous because I have to use this time to explain the unit, then, answer the students' questions and, after that, some exercises to practice what was taught, but, usually when we are in that part, we have run out of time and it has to be left for the next week's lesson, when students have usually forgotten last week's lesson. I try to reduce the effect of the lack of time by using flashcards for the learning of vocabulary or role-play games to practice speaking, but, as I said before, it is impossible to do a full lesson in the very same day and students have to finish the lessons through homework that we check together in the next session. In other words, I divide most lessons in two sessions and, as a consequence, teaching and learning is more difficult.

- Researcher: Are you familiar with CLIL (Content and Language Integrated Learning)? Do you use it? What advantages and disadvantages do you think it has?

- María García: Honestly, I do not know what CLIL is, because that kind of terminology did not exist when I passed the exam to work for state schools. Besides, I do not think I need to know it as long as I work for the same school that I am working now. If I were working in a school within the Plurilingualism Plan, I would have taken some course to update my knowledge. However, the current situation is that my school did not apply for it and that resources and materials are limited. So, I would not be able to adapt it to my lessons because of the lack of time. I think that learning a foreign language, on its own, already requires a lot of work.

First, students would have to start learning foreign languages from the very beginning and, then, content in a foreign language could be introduce little by little. It could be done in a school that had many more hours of English language instruction, in which students would be more accustomed to English. I think CLIL has a lot of advantages. I agree that students learning content through a foreign language is amazing, but, in my opinion, the main point would be that is has to be implemented from the first stages (kindergarten) onward. If we begin to use it when children are already in the second cycle of primary education, the results could be unfavorable. In addition, learners with special necessities have more difficulties and it could affect their learning negatively.

- Researcher: Have you been able to establish whether students improve academically when they are taught exclusively through the use of a foreign language? Do they need translations in order to understand? In other words, with respect to the students who are NOT native English speakers, do they struggle with your lessons? Do you think they would do better academically if the lessons were in their native language? Has their English level noticeably improved?

- María García: I have seen, in my own lessons, that students that are exposed to a foreign language in class improve academically. Besides, assuming that learning a language has to be accompanied by discipline and a good ear, if they used a foreign language as much as possible, they would improve academically. Furthermore, when students use English as a natural form of communication and they do not feel ashamed to talk in that language, it creates a positive attitude: motivation. Motivation is a key element in my lessons, I try to motivate them as much as I can. When students are motivated they show interest in the lessons. In my opinion, it is reflected in their academic results indirectly, they search for songs or games in English and, for me, that is to be in contact with the foreign language. Regarding translations, I use them only when students are not able to understand difficult tasks and, personally speaking, sometimes it is necessary to offer them some explanation in their native language in order to help students to achieve the knowledge required.

- Researcher: Do you think it is possible to implement CLIL in all public schools? If so, do you think it should be done? Why?

- María García: The answer is no. Analyzing the current situation, it would not be viable; although I think it would be positive if it happened. However, I think it would require many bilingual teachers and, keeping in mind my school as an example, where teachers have lot of experience teaching only in their native language, it would be difficult for teachers to accept the challenge to study a new language and prepare themselves for this new task. Therefore, if it did happen, and current teachers were unwilling to teach in a foreign language, the first step would be to replace all of them with new ones, but, once again, the lack of resources and time would be a problem. Moreover, I think that if it happened, it would have to be implemented from the early stages. To sum up, the necessity of qualified bilingual teachers is the most important issue to think about before implementing the Plurilingualism Plan in all the state schools.

4.1.2. Interview number two: John Cornell

- Researcher: Could you tell me, briefly, about your professional career?

- John Cornell: My experience as a teacher began shortly after finishing my Bachelor's degree in Education. First I worked in a primary school in Anglesey, North Wales, for two years; then I moved to another school, also in Anglesey, where I worked for eight years. Both schools were bilingual, because there is a law in Wales that says that, in the lessons that students receive, exactly the same amount of emphasis has to be given to English and Welsh. So, from the first day, children would be immersed in Welsh and, when they turned seven, they began to be exposed to both languages. If a child arrived after the age of six, from England for example, or another country, we gave him/her a six-week intensive course on Welsh, and after that period he would be introduced to the class with the others. We were accustomed to having children from very different nationalities because I lived in a place near a university town, so many lecturers come here for a year with their family and those children would able to communicate with others almost from beginning. The lessons were partly in Welsh and partly in English, but we never mixed English with Welsh, because that tends to confuse the children. Shortly after that I was deputy headmaster (a principal) of that school for three years, and soon after became a local education authority adviser. My function was to go around the primary schools of the country, which is as large as Andalusia, and brief them on modern methods for teaching mathematics.

Six years ago I moved to Spain and became a classroom teacher again (at the school where this interview took place, in Benalmádena). I have recently been promoted to headmaster for the primary school, and I am back to doing what I used to do in Wales.

- Researcher: What kind of teaching methodology do you use for your lessons?

- John Cornell: I always use child-centred teaching; I try to teach based on the experiences that the child already has. I always found that it is easier to engage the child in the lesson if it is related to something that they know about.

There is a curriculum we follow, which is set by the British government. However, within it we are given the freedom to plan and teach lessons in our own way, so that is what we tend to do. We create and adapted our own lessons.

Our curriculum specifies the subjects and the topics that have to be taught, but how they are taught is up to each teacher. I am allowed to create lesson plans that fit my own style, so I am able to adapt to the different levels and languages of my students. It allows me to have much more control over what the children are learning and how they are learning it, and for me, that has always been the key point. At the same time, I could teach content and language, because I think language is cross-curricular, and there are many opportunities to develop language through other subjects, including Physical Education (PE): the new vocabulary and content are both part of the lesson. We also imparted literacy lessons, which are also in English; there are eight literacy lessons a week, and each lesson is forty-five minutes long. There were 8 literacy lessons a week, but students had the opportunity to develop literacy though all the other subjects as well. These literacy lessons were taught in English, and focused on grammar, comprehension, and reading. Each week, the children are also taught 8 sessions in Spanish; four of them are language lessons and the other four are on Conocimiento (general studies).

- Researcher: Are you familiar with CLIL (Content and Language Integrated Learning)? Do you use it? What advantages and disadvantages do you think it has?

- John Cornell: I am not familiar with that term but I am familiar with the concept -integrating the teaching of language and content- because that is what I do every day. The advantage is obviously the fact that the teacher can develop language skills in other subjects, on an on-going basis.

The disadvantage, if there is any, is that there might not be enough focus on language, and children can miss out in certain areas of language development. This is why we use interview learning, and specific learning, as well as grammar and spelling. We use both because one needs the other to reach both. So if students struggle in class, the teacher has those two extra classes to identify the problem and try to correct it.

Teachers have to cover every aspect of the child's literacy and language development, and it allows them to do it in a fun way, through science or history. The perfect method is to combine language with content, if it is supported by classes that focus on grammar and spelling, which are the most important areas to develop in the students in order to access the knowledge on all levels.

- Researcher: Have you been able to establish whether students improve academically when they are taught exclusively through the use of a foreign language? Do they need translations in order to understand? In other words, with respect to the students who are NOT native English speakers, do they struggle with your lessons? Do you think they would do better academically if the lessons were in their native language? Has their English level noticeably improved?

- John Cornell: It is obvious that children do not develop at the same speed; some children who have never spoken English before and can learn it quickly, while others can't. These students need support, which we provide with the literacy lessons, and with private tutorials with these students. All the students improve academically, but it depends on the child: some pick up ideas more quickly than others, so we focus on individual education plans for those children.

My students' motivation has noticeably improved, because we enjoy the activities we do together. Those activities are fun-based, we have an interactive whiteboard, and we play a lot of games because children get involved with the lesson if they're having fun. .

With respect to the use of translations in order to help them understand, my answer is no. Instead of asking one of the other students to translate, what we try to do is explain the best way we can through explanations and symbolism. If, after using three or four different methods, we haven't been able to explain it, we might have to translate. However, we try to avoid this because we find that language skills develop faster this way. If you use translation, the easy option, they will always want this help.

- Researcher: Do you think it is possible to implement CLIL in all public schools? If so, do you think it should be done? Why?

- John Cornell: Absolutely. It is possible to implement it because I've done it before in Wales. I was in public schools all my life, until I came here; this is the first private school I have worked at. The children aren't the problem, I think; it's the teachers, they are reluctant. The sentence here has to be 'teach the teachers'; if you can teach the teachers then you solve the problem. If you can get the teachers to agree and see the benefits, that it will help them and it will help the children, then the process will begin.

I don't think that money is the problem; they probably need extra resources to be able to do it properly, but I see teachers who make their own resources, it isn't necessary to buy them. Some teachers wait for somebody else to give them those resources, but a dedicated teacher will go and find those resources himself/herself. Therefore, it is a matter of changing how they think. To give an example, when I was studying for my degree, teachers were scared of computers and did not want to use them in the classroom. Thankfully, the people in charge persisted and now everybody uses computers. Teachers use computers in the classroom and at home; computers no longer hold any fear, but they had to take that first step.

I would like to finish with an old saying: a journey of a thousand kilometres has to start with the first step.

4.1.3. Interview number three: Ana López

- Researcher: Could you tell me, briefly, about your professional career?

- Ana López: I studied English Philology because I have always wanted to work in education. Therefore, after graduating, I did the former Spanish teaching certificate course, usually known as CAP (Certificate in Pedagogic Aptitude), which focuses on methods and didactics. Afterwards, I was determined to pursue an academic career, so I obtained a PhD abroad with the aim of achieving proper knowledge in the practice of language education. While I was obtaining my PhD, I also worked in the university. Then, when I came back to Spain, I studied education and, twelve years ago, found my current job as a primary school teacher. With all those certificates and experience, I had access to a lot of job offers, which is why I also collaborate and participate in innovative teaching-technique groups.

- Researcher: What kind of teaching methodology do you use for your lessons?

- Ana López: I follow an eclectic method because I like to take the best from each methodology that I have confronted along the years through studies, investigations, visiting others institutions, etc. In my opinion, coordination between different levels and courses is an essential point in every school, it has to be very accurate. So, as a result, we spent a lot of our time in coordinating and defining the minimum content that should be taught by specifying where and how far we should go. Moreover, together we elaborate sessions and materials common for all levels and subjects, and later we supplement it by focusing on the concrete courses we are going to teach.

- Researcher: Are you familiar with CLIL (Content and Language Integrated Learning)? Do you use it? What advantages and disadvantages do you think it has?

- Ana López: Yes, I know what CLIL is. As a matter of fact, this year I am part of the Language Department, and more specifically the linguistics section, and I have begun to develop a project for the social sciences subject to be taught in English in my school. Therefore, we are working with the Plurilingualism Plan in our school, and we are especially interested in social sciences because it is the one subject which has more potential to develop English language. Thus, we can corroborate the progress and benefits in our students because, in an indirect form, we are working with linguistic issues. That is the reason for the need of a closer relationship with the other schools, we have to work together.

We have already implemented the teaching of social science in English in the first stages of primary education and we are gradually introducing it in other levels as well. We are really thrilled by the results: students have internalized the language as a natural tool to communicate to the point that they do not differentiate between the English class and the social science one. I can say that they use English as a tool to learn content. Obviously, those students who experience difficulties are helped with extra support, but actually, even those students acquire the rest of the class' level quite quickly. Moreover, it has also helped students to achieve better grades in other subjects that have nothing to do with English such as Spanish language. Initially, we have to pay special attention to those students with special needs in English language, but once we have taken care of this, they do not usually have problems to follow the lesson. In my lessons, CLIL is combined with a very active and dynamic methodology that invites students to get involved and participate in class.

Regarding the advantages, CLIL is mainly benefits. In my opinion, the function of the teacher is to focus on the students' progress. Thus, if I see that my students are getting better, I consider that the method is working. It may be true that it means more work for the teacher, and it could be considered a handicap, but it would be the only one. The implication needed and the time consumed in the creation of new material, is just the only disadvantage that I can mention, I cannot think of any other one.

- Researcher: Have you been able to establish whether students improve academically when they are taught exclusively through the use of a foreign language? Do they need translations in order to understand? In other words, with respect to the students who are NOT native English speakers, do they struggle with your lessons? Do you think they would do better academically if the lessons were in their native language? Has their English level noticeably improved?

- Ana López: I can state, without hesitating, that students improve academically. If we understood academic improvement as a global process in which all kind of skills have to be involved -communicative skills, social skills, and so on- the students improve. Perhaps, we can see a small regression at the beginning of each term, and it can be considered as such if we only pay attention to the academic part. However, if we included the skills in the evaluation of the students, they really improve. Regarding the use of translation, it might seem that students need them at first, mainly because we are using specific vocabulary from the social sciences. However, the use of translations could be avoided by using interactive methodologies and attractive visuals aids, and by increasing the amount of support among teachers. It is a difficult task, but it can be done.

- Researcher: Do you think it is possible to implement CLIL in all public schools? If so, do you think it should be done? Why?

- Ana López: Of course it should be implemented in all the state schools. It should be done without hesitation because it does not require extra economic resources, nor extra physical space, neither extra material. The implementation of CLIL is only a matter of teachers' willingness to do it. Obviously, there is the matter of adapting materials for all kind of subjects and levels of English, however it is happening in all kind of schools: private and state. Therefore, I cannot see any difference in that case, is depends on the teacher's willingness to be part of it. I consider it should be done because the benefits are evident and, in fact, we are testing it in our school. There are many advantages in applying CLIL in all kind of institutions.

4.2. Result analysis and implications

In this section of the essay, I will analyze and discuss the interviews in relation to Do Coyle's, Klimova's and Rozeta's theories about CLIL, which I have thoroughly explained in section 3.1 of this research. However, as in every investigation, the researcher must limit the topic to be discussed. The points I will discuss are the following: what CLIL actually means and how it is perceived; what the main aims of CLIL are; what the teacher's role in CLIL is; where the boundaries of "content" and "language" in CLIL are; how and when CLIL should be implemented; the benefits of CLIL; and, last but not least, the disadvantages of CLIL.

First, I would like to begin by checking whether or not teachers are aware of CLIL, and what it actually means according to scholars. According to Klimova, CLIL is an educational approach that uses an extra language -usually not the students' native one- to teach content as well as language (572). The first interviewee, María García, admitted that she does not know what CLIL is. However, once I explained to her what CLIL means, she confessed that if she were to work for a state school under the Plurilingualism Plan, she would take a course to adapt to it (García q. 3). Likewise, once I explained the concept to John, he recognized that he is not familiar with CLIL itself but he knows the concept because he uses it every day in his lessons. Furthermore, keeping in mind that he works for a private British school in Spain, CLIL allows teachers to develop language skills in other subjects on an on-going basis (Cornell q. 3). In contrast, Ana certainly knew the definition of CLIL. Moreover, the school she works for is taking part in the Plurilingualism Plan. Therefore, she has almost become an expert in that method (López q. 3). By analyzing these answers, I can conclude that CLIL is an almost unknown method, at least for those teachers that do not work in schools that are part of the Plurilingualism Plan. Therefore, like with most newly-developed teaching methods, its inclusion in mainstream education is gradual; in other words, it will need time to become popular and to be implemented in most primary education institutions.

Regarding what teachers think the main aims of CLIL are, on the one hand, García agrees that learning content through a foreign language can be amazing but she does not teach in such a way because she is an English language teacher, not a content one, and her school does not use CLIL. She uses the communicative method though, in which students learn some aspect of the target language and then practice what they learnt through motivating activities such as role-playing games (García q. 2, 3). On the other hand, López, who is also an English language teacher, not only works for a school that uses CLI