L'enseignement des langues étrangères, désormais prescrit dans les programmes de l'école élémentaire, est devenu indiscutable. La mention des bénéfices escomptés serait même un lieu commun des textes officiels. Cependant, il n'est pas aisé d'articuler l'acquisition de la langue vivante étrangère avec le développement de la langue première dans le cours des programmes scolaires. Néanmoins, le développement langagier en langue maternelle est loin d'être menacé par l'apprentissage d'une langue étrangère.
Dominique gives an overview of the book:
Ever since 2002 the French National Curriculum has officially encouraged teachers to break down the barriers in school subjects, thus favouring multi-, inter- or even cross-disciplinarity. In the field of languages the interaction between the teaching of French as the language of school education (L1) and that of a foreign language (L2) which had either been ignored (L1) or excluded (L2) is now urged since 2002 and 2007 curricula. After mastering the French language “The Common Base of Knowledge and Skills” advocates the command of another living language (2nd pillar). Together they can be placed in the general context set by the European Common Framework of Reference for Languages.
Analysing research on L1/L2 over the past 20 years and bringing them further we are able to report the results of an experiment with 8-10 year old pupils which aimed at making them “step aside” and reflect on the way languages work. Their observation of corpuses in various languages (French included) were indeed designed to improve their knowledge and skills in the French language. Furthermore this inter-linguistic approach enabled pupils to develop relativism and critical judgement – both being facets of humanism (i.e. the 5th pillar of the Common Base).
1- Literature in the curriculum
Currently working on a comparative study of literature in the curriculum for Primary schools in Europe, with the IMEN (International Main language Education Network) Literature group...