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Dear Joe - How comfortable do you feel teaching Primary French?

Discussion in 'Modern foreign languages' started by Jasmine1783, Feb 17, 2012.

  1. Hi, I'm a Primary with French PGCE student, and am looking for some opinions as to how comfortable teachers feel with teaching French throughout Primary years? It's what I did for a year before I took on my PGCE, and found it easy teaching the actual language seeing as I have a language degree. However, I wanted to know the views of some other teachers, those who do and don't speak French!
    Do you enjoy teaching it? Why / why not?
    Do you believe it has a place in our education system?
    Do you believe we start learning it too early or too late?
    Would be great to hear some other opinions :) thanks very much!

  2. dalej

    dalej New commenter

    Dear Jasmine1873,

    I used to very much enjoy teaching French to Yr5 and 6. They were always very keen and enthusiastic. I think primary languages are a wonderful thing and I hope the present government clarifies their position on whether they will make it compulsory instead of just an entitlement as soon as possible as we have been waiting in limbo for a very long time now and a decision needs to be made. Many local advisors have lost their jobs in the interim and arguably the hearts and minds of many primary practitioners have been lost too.
  3. Geekie

    Geekie Occasional commenter

    Hi Jasmine1783,
    I was a secondary languages teacher for 14 years, but now teach Spanish and French at primary level. To be more specific, Spanish from EYFS to Y6 and French from Y2 to Y6.
    In answer to your questions, I love teaching it. I can be a "proper" teacher, without having to worry about GCSE deadlines and syllabuses and the children are genuinely keen and interested to learn.
    It definitely has a place in our education system. As a nation we are becoming more and more insular and lazier and lazier. We need to be able to get out there and have a go at communicating with the world at large. Primary pupils understand this - let's catch them while they're young. Learning another language is very good for your brain and helps hugely with literacy and numeracy skills.
    I think that Y3 is the right time. I find Y3 and Y4 the most receptive, and Y4 for me is the optimum language learning time. The recent report into the curriculum review suggests compulsory languages for Y5 and upwards, but I think that's starting too late. I have no objections to KS1 learning, we just have to be mindful of the limitations of reading and writing at that younger age.
    Hope this helps!

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