Oficina Internacional de Educación
Tel.: +41.22.555.06.00
Fax: +41.22.555.06.46

Content Section

Bilingual education

A language policy in education under which two languages are used as mediums of instruction. There are several models of bilingual education depending on the goal pursued, the most common being the additive and subtractive models. In additive bilingual education programmes both languages are given the same value and recognition, are systematically taught and learned throughout the years of schooling, and the goal for learners is the development of literacy and communication in two languages. In subtractive or transitional bilingual education programmes, one language (e.g. the first language or learner’s mother tongue, frequently a minority language) is used to favour the acquisition of the other language (e.g. the second or subsequent language, often the official or dominant language) and its teaching and learning is progressively reduced, as the goal for learners is to develop literacy and communication in the second language.

Book navigation