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Lingomap: El sistema educativo español

15 May 2017

Hola a todos!!

Hope you’re all doing well! I’m loving life in very sunny Granada! This month’s topic is school and college studies. Funnily enough 5 years ago today, I left school, it feels way longer than that, to be honest, and although they say your school days are the best days of your life…It’s true that they were great, I’m definitely having some of the best days of my life during this year abroad!

On this blog post, I’ll be talking about some of the differences between the Spanish and British system.

 El uniforme escolar – school uniform 

One of the biggest differences from my point of view is that up until very recently only private schools made it compulsory to wear a uniform in Spain. Whereas in the U.K students must wear a school uniform in every school regardless of it being private or not. However, many schools in Spain have started to introduce the school uniform, especially in big cities such as Madrid where 20% of schools have made it obligatory to wear a uniform. Why only 20% you might ask? Well, because many schools are still debating the advantages and disadvantages of introducing a uniform

Here are some arguments for and against:

(Try to work out their meaning and explain why you agree or disagree with each statement.)

A favor:

  • Evita desigualdades.  El no usar ropa de marca es para muchos una gran ventaja que evita desigualdades sociales en los menores.
  • Tiempo y comodidad. Es un punto muy destacado. La mayoría considera que ahorra tiempo y es más cómodo al no tener que elegir cada mañana una prenda diferente.
  • Identificación común.  Hay quienes opinan que fomenta la el sentimiento de pertenencia.

En contra :

  • Falsa visión de la realidad. Frente a los que piensan que el uniforme fomenta la igualdad, están los que creen que oculta las diferencias sociales.
  • La falda es sexista. Para muchos padres, el uso de la falda para niñas es una práctica arcaica que contribuye al reparto de roles sexistas.
  • Sale más caro. Muchos padres de familias numerosas se quejan del precio de tener que comprar un uniforme para sus niños

Aquí tenéis mi opinión: (Here is my opinion on wearing a uniform) 

“A mí me encantaba llevar un uniforme porque, es mucho más rápido cada mañana porque no tengo que elegir lo que llevar. Además, creo que, si todos llevamos un uniforme, esto puede reducir el acoso escolar dado que nadie puede juzgar lo que llevas porque todos llevamos la misma ropa. Es decir, para mi el uniforme = menos presión social y menos discriminación.”

College – El instituto

Another difference that stands out to me is the whole a-levels system.

In the U.K, we finish school and have the option to go on to college and do a-levels or a BTEC, and we’re pretty much given quite a lot of freedom in what we choose to do. However, in Spain, when they choose to do el bachillerato (a-levels), they must study certain core subjects such as Spanish, a foreign language, and history. But they also must specialise in one of the following areas: artes, ciencias, humanidades y ciencias sociales. Which means that they have to study around 7 subjects for A-levels. Whereas in the U.K, we take a maximum of 4 subjects!

What to you guys think about this system?

On the one hand, I think it’s great that they make it compulsory to study a foreign language as we all know that being able to speak in another language only opens doors in the future. On the other hand, I think I’d prefer to study in depth 3 to 4 subjects rather than to study 7 but not being fully immersed into the subjects.


Un punto de vista universitario

As you all know from my previous blogs, I’m currently studying at the university of Granada, Spain. I’m studying a variety of linguistics and literature modules. So, I thought I’d give you my opinion on the Spanish education system from the university of view.

In terms of the teaching, I think it’s good at this university, despite me being the only foreign student in my literature class, for example, the lecturer is very helpful and explains in such a motivating way. However, I feel like the biggest difference to me is the attitude of the students here, in Cardiff everyone wants to do well and get good grades. Whereas here, many of my classmates are quite happy with getting the pass mark. The word “aprobar” means to pass in Spanish, and that’s what many of them aim for. But I guess we do pay a lot more in the UK, whereas the university fees for the whole degree here are around £650!! Do you think if they paid more, they’d work harder?

Many of my classmates also still live with their parents and travel to uni every day. Whereas, for many of us back home, going to uni also means the chance of leaving mum and dad’s house and becoming more independent.

Also, in Spain, there is quite a high number of young people aged between 18-24 that don’t work or study and they are called Los Ninis = ni trabajan ni estudian.  Spain is one of the top 10 countries where young people don’t study or work. This is due to the economic crisis in Spain, slower economy means fewer jobs, especially for the less qualified ones.

From my point of view, the government could help the young people of Spain by for example introducing two weeks of compulsory work experience in school or college which would help them out when trying to find a job later on in life. In the U.K we are lucky enough to have one week of work experience back in year 10, I, for example, had no clue what I wanted to do once I finished school, through work experience I realised that I definitely wanted to work with younger people and now know that I want to go onto to teaching and I’ve recently started my application for TeachFirst #fingerscrossed!


And that is all from me on the Spanish educational system. Let me know what you think of it, and don’t hesitate to ask any questions.

Happy reading and until the next blog post!

Melissa 🙂

(Here are a few pics of how I’ve spent this Sunday in Granada- just in case you were wondering what it looks like)

IMG_6991 IMG_7322 IMG_7314 IMG_7310 IMG_7368IMG_7308 IMG_7307