The Community of Madrid states that its bilingual programme answers the call of the European Union and the Council of Europe that member states should work to improve communicative competence in at least two foreign languages, and promote early foreign language learning among their citizens. Through its bilingual programme, the Community of Madrid aims to raise the quality of its education, and provide equal opportunities in public schooling.
English was chosen as the main* foreign language of instruction of the bilingual programme so as to provide the “necessary tool for its students to compete successfully in a job market characterized by the globalization of information and communication technology” from an early age. As the language of instruction for part of the curriculum, the Community of Madrid envisions its students to “learn English with less effort, naturally and quickly”.
The Community of Madrid started its bilingual education programme with a total of 26 public primary schools in 2004-2005. In order to ensure the continuity of the programme at secondary level, 32 public secondary schools started to offer bilingual education in school year 2010-2011. All bilingual schools, both primary and secondary, follow the official curriculum of the Community of Madrid.
Over the last ten plus years, bilingual education has increasingly become a hallmark of the Madrid public education system. Today, there are 490 bilingual public schools, making up over 40 percent of all public education in Madrid.
- Madrid, comunidad bilinguë 2015-2016 / Madrid, a bilingual community 2015-2016, quotes from p. 7 & 56.