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Spotlight on Madrid

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Madrid is a modern metropolis, full of museums, monuments, cinemas, theatres, restaurants and a famous night life. It has many attractions offering a wide range of cultural and leisure activities all through the year. It has gained a good reputation for being an open city with friendly people where everybody feels at home. http://www.esmadrid.com/es/portal.do Our location together with Barcelona is one of the most representative multilingual cities in the country. Our experience in bilingual and multilingual education makes Madrid a perfect venue to test how multilingualism works in the twenty first century.

Located in the very centre of Spain, the Community of Madrid holds one of the biggest concentrations of university students in Europe with a total of fifteen universities, seven of which are public and 8 private, and with more than three hundred thousand students. Thanks to the different mobility programmes and to the many opportunities provided by the city, a high percentage of these students are foreigners from other European countries, but also form America, Asia and Africa. http://www.emes.es/Sistemauniversitario/Universidades/tabid/215/Default.aspx

By now we are all aware that the world today is becoming increasingly globalized, where the need for multilingual communication grows all the time. In the last two decades, there has been an unprecedented immigration into Madrid, which has rapidly transformed the city into a multicultural and multilingual place. At present around five hundred thousand inhabitants are immigrants which represent fifteen per cent of the total population, although last year around twenty five thousand of them had to leave because of the economic crisis. In any case, the presence of different languages in public spaces allows us to observe the continuous transformations of the city and the way in which its inhabitants coexit. Learning languages is an excellent way of getting a better understanding of other people´s values, culture and behaviour. http://www.madrid.org/cs/Satellite?cid=1158156469855&idPaginaAsociada=1158156469855&language=es&pagename=PortalInmigrante%2FPage%2FINMI_portadillaUnaColumna

In Madrid there has been a programme of bilingual education going on for more than ten years and nowadays there is a network of two hundred and forty primary schools and sixty secondary schools developing a bilingual programme in Spanish and English. Agreements have also been signed with the French Embassy and the Goethe Institut to establish immersion programmes, although they are much less widespread than the English programme. http://www.madrid.org/dat_capital/upe/bilingues.htm

Jesús Casado

Vice-Dean of International Relations

Faculty of Education

Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM)

LUCIDE Network Member

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 30 May 2012 23:00 )  

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