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Evaluating a bilingual education program in Spain: the impact beyond foreign language learning

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  • Brindusa Anghel

    ()

  • Antonio Cabrales

    ()

  • Jesús M. Carro

    ()

Abstract

We evaluate a program that introduced bilingual education in English and Spanish in primary education in some public schools of the Madrid region in 2004. Under this program students not only study English as a foreign language but also some subjects (at least Science, History and Geography) are taught in English. Spanish and Mathematics are taught only in Spanish. The first class receiving full treatment finished Primary education in June 2010 and they took the standardized test for all 6th grade students in Madrid on the skills considered "indispensable" at that age. This test is our measure of the outcome of primary education to evaluate the program. We have to face a double self-selection problem. One is caused by schools who decide to apply for the program, and a second one caused by students when choosing school. We take several routes to control for these selection problems. The main route to control for self-selected schools is to take advantage of the test being conducted in the same schools before and after the program was implemented in 6th grade. To control for students self-selection we combine the use of several observable characteristics (like parents' education and occupation) with the fact that most students were already enrolled at the different schools before the program was announced. Our results indicate that there is a clear negative effect on learning the subject taught in English for children whose parents have less than upper secondary education, and no clear effect for anyone on mathematical and reading skills, which were taught in Spanish.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Economía in its series Economics Working Papers with number we1214.

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Date of creation: May 2012
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Handle: RePEc:cte:werepe:we1214

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Keywords: Bilingual education; Program evaluation; Teaching in English;

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  1. Christopher Jepsen, 2010. "Bilingual Education and English Proficiency," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 5(2), pages 200-227, April.
  2. Alan Krueger, 1997. "Experimental Estimates of Education Production Functions," Working Papers, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section. 758, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  3. Donald R. Williams, 2011. "Multiple language usage and earnings in Western Europe," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 32(4), pages 372-393, July.
  4. Victor Ginsburgh & Juan Prieto, 2007. "Returns to foreign languages of native workers in the EU," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/151573, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  5. Joshua D. Angrist & Victor Lavy, 1999. "Using Maimonides' Rule To Estimate The Effect Of Class Size On Scholastic Achievement," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 114(2), pages 533-575, May.
  6. Jan Fidrmuc & Jarko Fidrmuc, 2009. "Foreign Languages and Trade," CEDI Discussion Paper Series, Centre for Economic Development and Institutions(CEDI), Brunel University 09-03, Centre for Economic Development and Institutions(CEDI), Brunel University.
  7. Samuel Bentolila & Andrea Ichino, 2008. "Unemployment and consumption near and far away from the Mediterranean," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 21(2), pages 255-280, April.
  8. Bergin, Adele & Conefrey, Thomas & FitzGerald, John & Kearney, Ide, 2009. "Recovery Scenarios for Ireland," Research Series, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number RS007.
  9. Albert Saiz & Elena Zoido, 2005. "Listening to What the World Says: Bilingualism and Earnings in the United States," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 87(3), pages 523-538, August.
  10. Bergin, Adele & Conefrey, Thomas & FitzGerald, John & Kearney, Ide, 2010. "Recovery Scenarios for Ireland: An Update," Forecasting Report, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number jacb201051, March.
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