Bilingual education in the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (2018)

The American Councils for International Education

This study examined the implementation of bilingual education programs in schools that offer the International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Programme (PYP), focusing on forms, models and strategies used in bilingual PYP implementation. For this study, bilingual education was defined as the use of at least two languages of instruction for academic subjects, other than the language courses themselves. An online survey was developed for this study to capture PYP schools’ characteristics of bilingual education design and implementation. The survey was sent to PYP coordinators in all PYP schools in 2016 and yielded a response rate of 62%. Of the 868 PYP schools that responded, 30% reported the implementation of bilingual education programs. The highest uptake of the bilingual PYP was found in several countries in Latin America. The proportion of PYP bilingual schools was comparatively much lower in English speaking countries. The most common model of time allocation between the two languages was an even split across all grade levels. The availability of teachers qualified to teach in both the target language and the subject matter was the main challenge reported by schools.

Research summary pdf