Public sector primary schools
|Is EYL taught
as an official part of the curriculum in public sector primary
is not compulsory (other languages are taught)
but is widespread
|At what age
do students begin EYL?
significant changes in teaching EYL taken place since 1980?
1989 EYL was introduced in an experimental
programme as one choice among other foreign
languages for Years 4 and 5 with the aim of
raising language awareness (sensibilisation).
In September 1992 the experiment continued, but
the emphasis shifted to more achievement in the
FL (initiation) and greater use of the
normal class teacher. Since 1995 a FL has been
taught from Primary Year 2, age 7-8 years.
any widespread teaching of English before the official starting
age for compulsory EYL?
is not widespread, but there is some. If schools
have a willing qualified teacher, they will
introduce it in Year 1 (age 6, approximately) or
even in Nursery School.
hours a week/school year are officially allocated for EYL?
have been changes over time (see above). 1989: 2-3hours per week for Years 4 and 5. 1995: 15
minutes per day x 4 days per week = 1hour for Primary 2
and 3, and 1.5 hours weekly for Years 4 and 5.
EYL teachers and students are there in the public education system?
Note: Figures represent numbers of teachers and
students involved in foreign languages in general
at primary level in 1994/5. 71.9% of these were
involved with English.
the EYL teaching?
The childrens normal class teacher (44.9%)
A person, not a qualified teacher, who
knows English and who visits different schools to
give lessons (14%)
A secondary school teacher (35.3%)
A foreign language assistant (4.1%)
A French foreign language student (1.7%)
Note: Figures represent teachers of all foreign
languages at primary level for 1994/1995
|Who is eligible
to teach EYL in the public education system?
An established primary teacher who has passed a
local test or exam in English. (Official approval
- agrément - is needed for a primary
teacher to teach English. This involves a short
oral interview with the Regional English School
A primary teacher who has successfully
completed a special in-service training course in
English language and/or EYL methodology. (Some
local education authorities organise in-service
courses for primary teachers, but the agrément
is also needed, as described above).
A teacher who has had pre-service training
at college or university and is qualified to
become a teacher of English at primary level.
(The teaching of a foreign language was
reintroduced into the teacher training colleges
A teacher qualified to teach English at
secondary school, but who is willing to work in
A university graduate of English who has
not taken courses in Education or Teaching
A native speaker of English who has no
recognised qualifications as a teacher. (Such
teachers are required to obtain authorisation and
this normally involves an interview with an
Other: English Language Assistants from
the Central Bureau for International Education
and Training scheme. The class teacher should be
present during the class.
are schools able to recruit enough EYL teachers?
The following steps are being taken to remedy the
situation: Foreign languages have been
reintroduced into the teacher training colleges.
In-service training is being organised by local
education authorities. Two courses for French
primary school teachers of English are organised
in Edinburgh and Colchester each summer.
guidelines exist for EYL teaching?
structured specification of content. (Content is
listed by functions with examples of phrases and
highlighted phonological features.)
|Do EYL teaching
materials have to be approved?
may choose any published materials (local or
international) provided they are within the
school budget. In addition all schools are
provided free with specially created video
materials in the chosen language, with a
Teachers Guide. These were published in
1995 by the CNDP (Centre National de
Documentation Pédagogique). Two higher levels
were published in 1996 and 1997. Teachers are not
obliged to use these.
are typically used?
above. There is a great tradition in France for
teachers to use supplementary materials rather
than coursebooks. Teachers like to use authentic
materials such as videos, games, stories, puzzles
and so on. The cultural aspect of teaching a
foreign language (civilisation) is an
important component in France.
foreign languages are taught at primary level?
Arabic, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Russian and
|Are any changes
in the provision of EYL planned or anticipated?
discussion here is based around the
systematisation and diversification of the
teaching of foreign languages in France beginning
in 1999, so that all students beginning with Year
5 of primary school will be taught a foreign
language, and from 2000 all students in Year 4.
However, the reality is that this still remains
at the discussion level in many parts of France.
The emphasis is on the development of spoken
language for communication.
Private sector primary schools
a significant number of these schools?
Most private primary schools in France are under
contract to the state. This means that the
curriculum is the same as in public schools,
teachers are paid by the Ministry of Education
and the fees are very low.
of primary age children attends them?
in EYL provision exist from public sector primary schools?
only difference may be earlier introduction of a
do they use for EYL?
same as in public primary schools
a significant number of these schools?
The British Council Young Learners Centre
in Paris is prominent amongst them.
Young Learners take private language school classes?
hours of English is typically offered?
||Up to 6 per week
any perceived conflict between public school and private language
school provision in EYL?
these schools will probably have more advanced English lessons,
more hours of English (may be up to 6 per week) and the methodology
will almost certainly be based much more on British practice
do they use for EYL?
wide variety of published, in-house and authentic
Private tuition for Young Learners
private tuition for primary age children?
exists, but not to a great extent. Classes are
often organised in schools during the lunch hour
or after school, which is a great convenience for
working parents. Parents pay a small fee for
these classes. The teacher could come from an
outside organisation or from the school itself
and be remunerated by, for example, a
Young Learners are involved?
|What is the
typical starting age for private tuition?
be before mainstream education
|Why do parents
use private tutors?
French parents have a desire for their children
to become bilingue but they generally have
very unrealistic expectations and little
understanding as to how long it takes to become
information collected: 1999
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