In addition, please refer to the article on Teaching English to Young Learners in Poland.
Public sector primary schools
|Is EYL taught
as an official part of the curriculum in public sector primary
(as an alternative to French, German or Russian)
(along with the other YL languages above)
|At what age
do students begin EYL?
approximately (Grade 4)
significant changes in teaching EYL taken place since 1980?
1994 YL languages were introduced in Grade 5.
In 1999 the official starting grade was lowered to
any widespread teaching of English before the official starting
age for compulsory EYL?
Many schools, especially in cities offer classes
in English, sometimes as regular classes,
sometimes as an after-school activity (students
usually, although not always, pay a nominal
amount.) Sometimes college students are given EYL
classes for their teaching practice.
Poland is undergoing educational reform and from 2000 school
directors have been given control over their budgets. Some have
chosen to start EYL with children in Grades 13.
hours a week/school year are officially allocated for EYL?
4, 5 and 6 are viewed as a unit, and 240 teaching
hours spread over these 3 school years are
allocated for EYL. Distribution of hours is
discretionary, but there are 3 main options,
involving 3 teaching hours/week for 2 of the
grades and 2 teaching hours/week for the other
(A teaching hour = 45 minutes)
EYL teachers and students are there in the public education system?
the EYL teaching?
There is great variation according to whether
schools are in a rural or an urban setting.
A specialist teacher of English who works in only
one school (the largest group)
A specialist teacher of English who visits
different schools to give lessons (10%
A person not a qualified teacher who knows
English and who works in only one school. (They
may have only rudimentary English themselves.)
Other: a graduate in another subject
not trained as a teacher who is
working as an 'unqualified' teacher of English.
This is not an uncommon situation in rural areas.
|Who is eligible
to teach EYL in the public education system?
primary teacher who has successfully completed a
special in-service training course in English
language and/or EYL methodology.
A teacher who has had
pre-service training at college or university and
is qualified to become a teacher of English at
A teacher qualified to teach
English at secondary school, but who is willing
to work in primary schools.
A native speaker of English,
who has no recognised qualifications as a
Poland has 2 sorts of primary teacher, which complicates the
situation with regard to EYL. Some teachers are qualified to
teach only in Grades 13 and they do not usually teach
EYL to their classes. Teachers for Grades 4 and above are university
language graduates, teacher training college graduates or teachers
who have graduated in another subject (Engineering etc.) and
who have requalified as language teachers. These teachers are
also able to teach in secondary schools.
Requalification courses run
for practising teachers (primary or secondary)
who have graduated in another field. Entry
requirements have been UCLES First Certificate in
English (grade A or B) but now UCLES CAE
(Certificate in Advanced English). The required
course comprises methodology, including:
classroom observation and teaching practice,
British and American Studies, Pedagogical
Grammar, Psychopedagogy. This course has a
Ministry-approved syllabus and each course run
has to gain Ministry approval first.
are schools able to recruit enough EYL teachers?
The plan is to upgrade existing teachers' YL
teaching knowledge and skills and also to add a
YL course to teacher training colleges. The
Polish Ministry of Education signed a trilateral
Letter of Intent with the British Council and the
Goethe Institut in April 1999 stating the
intention to promote the teaching of languages to
YL by supporting the training of YL teachers at
INSETT and PRESETT levels. This is to be achieved
through regular information-sharing meetings,
financial support, day release for teachers,
recognition of inservice curricula and
recognition of the position of teacher trainers
within the framework of accreditation under
preparation at that time.
date (April 2000) there has been a teacher
training course in TEFL to YL of 240 hours. The
participants were trainers from TT colleges,
practising primary teachers who either
co-operated with TT colleges as mentors or who
co-operated with INSETT leaders. These
participants have now graduated with an
officially-recognised certificate as teacher
trainers (edukators) specialising in YL.
These edukators are now feeding back into the
system through PRESETT and INSETT.
guidelines exist for EYL teaching?
is a general description of aims for EYL which
includes a list of specific skills and one
ability (use of bilingual dictionary)
|Do EYL teaching
materials have to be approved?
may choose any published materials (local or
international) provided that they are within
budget and that the materials have had official
clearance or approval
are typically used?
International published coursebooks (the most
Original teaching materials devised by
teachers themselves (but not very commonly)
Lesson materials adapted by teachers from
several published sources
Locally published coursebooks
foreign languages are taught at primary level?
(in second place to English) particularly in
western Poland in areas which have German
communities/close German ties. Russian is taught
particularly in rural areas, where there is a
shortage of other language teachers, and along
parts of the Eastern border. French is not often
chosen in primary schools.
|Are any changes
in the provision of EYL planned or anticipated?
||There is a Ministry-stated
intention to lower the starting age to Grade 1 in the near future,
but the precise date has not been given. At present, early years
teachers would not be able to deliver such a course. Practising
classroom teachers in Grades 1-3 will have to take an officially
recognised requalification course and attain FCE level of English.
As a preparation for this, a syllabus for the requalification
course is in the process of being written (April 2000). The working
team, all Polish, consist of representatives of INSETT, a British
Council-trained edukator and a Goethe Institut-trained
edukator. As teacher training colleges for Grades 13
do not at present prepare trainees to teach foreign languages,
another college syllabus is being written to address this issue.
Private sector primary schools
a significant number of these schools?
a significant number of these schools?
Young Learners take private language classes?
in cities; much fewer in smaller towns
hours of English do they typically offer?
any perceived conflict between public school and private language
school provision in EYL?
attending private language schools have more
advanced lessons than in mainstream education and
classes are smaller. The methodology used is
often, though not always, more modern and classes
more interactive. Additionally, the focus is much
less on grammar exercises. There is more access
to videos and CD materials.
do they use for EYL?
coursebooks, cassettes, videos, etc.
Private tuition for Young Learners
private tuition for primary age children?
Young Learners are involved?
|What is the
typical starting age for private tuition?
before mainstream education
|Why do parents
use private tutors?
can be cheaper than fees for lessons in a private
language school. Parents think also that their
children will progress faster than in a state
school or in private classes because the teacher
will focus more on their child.
Date information collected:
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