Employment, work abroad and bilingual education: Spanish bilinguals graduates’ self-perceived employability, mobility and intercultural competence

Authors

  • Francisco Javier Palacios-Hidalgo University of Córdoba
  • María Elena Gómez-Parra University of Córdoba
  • Roberto Espejo-Mohedano University of Córdoba
  • Cristina A. Huertas-Abril University of Córdoba

Abstract

Bilingual programs have become more common in higher education around the world in an attempt to provide learners with the education they need to face today’s world. These programs can provide academic, linguistic, intercultural, and professional benefits to students. Consequently, countries like Spain have developed bilingual education to help students become proficient in foreign languages and develop essential competences for their professional futures. Research has analysed how Spanish bilingual education is implemented, and how teachers are trained. However, few studies examine how bilingual programs impact graduates’ employability, mobility, and intercultural awareness, and how graduates perceive their skill development. Moreover, little has been studied about bilingual graduates’ work situation and whether participating in these programs has helped them find work abroad. This paper analyses whether a combination of participation in Spanish bilingual programs, employment, and experiences working abroad affects bilingual education graduates’ self-perceived employability, mobility, and intercultural awareness. This study adopts a quantitative approach, in which 741 respondents participated. Findings show that bilingual graduates who are currently working have higher self-perceived employability and better perceptions of their mobility and employability competences than those who followed monolingual studies, even when they have not worked abroad.

Author Biographies

Francisco Javier Palacios-Hidalgo, University of Córdoba

Francisco Javier Palacios-Hidalgo belongs to the University of Córdoba (Spain). He has experience in TEFL. He develops his thesis on the results of Spanish bilingual programs. He is a member of the Ibero-American Network of Bilingual and Intercultural Education and in the Research Group HUM-1006 ‘Bilingual and Intercultural Education Research’ (EBeI). His research focuses on second language teaching and learning, bilingual education, and educational technologies.

María Elena Gómez-Parra, University of Córdoba

María Elena Gómez-Parra belongs to the University of Córdoba (Spain). Her key research areas include bilingual education and second language acquisition. She is the director of the Research Group HUM-1006 ‘Bilingual and Intercultural Education Research’ (EBeI) and the EMJMD ‘Play, Education, Toys and Languages’. She is the IP of the research project ‘Facing Bilinguals: Study of BE Programs’ Results through Social Data Analysis’, and the founder of the Ibero-American Network of Bilingual and Intercultural Education.

Roberto Espejo-Mohedano, University of Córdoba

Roberto Espejo-Mohedano belongs to the University of Córdoba (Spain) and is specialized in Statistics. He is Co-IP of the research project ‘Facing Bilinguals: Study of BE Programs’ Results through Social Data Analysis’, and part of the research team of the project ‘LinguApp’. He has published in several journals of national and international impact in the field of Applied Statistics and coordinated numerous projects on education. His research focuses on innovation in e-learning and Applied Statistics.

Cristina A. Huertas-Abril, University of Córdoba

Cristina A. Huertas-Abril belongs to the University of Córdoba (Spain). Her research interests are bilingual education, language gap, CALL and EFL. She has participated in several national and international research project and published numerous scientific articles in prestigious journals. She is a member of the Research Group HUM-1006 ‘Bilingual and Intercultural Education Research’ (EBeI) and the co-founder of the Ibero-American Network of Bilingual and Intercultural Education.

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2021-09-30

How to Cite

Palacios-Hidalgo, F. J., Gómez-Parra, M. E., Espejo-Mohedano, R., & Huertas-Abril, C. A. (2021). Employment, work abroad and bilingual education: Spanish bilinguals graduates’ self-perceived employability, mobility and intercultural competence. Journal of Teaching and Learning for Graduate Employability, 12(2), 279–298. Retrieved from https://ojs.deakin.edu.au/index.php/jtlge/article/view/1077

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