Children are now back at school and here, at Les Puces, the French language school of choice in the south east of England, we hope that you have enjoyed the summer break and that perhaps some of you were able to take your holidays in France.
Children’s exposure to learning a foreign language in school in the UK is certainly limited. There has been some good news, as language learning has been made compulsory for all children between the ages of 7 and 11 at the KS2 stage. However, schools only need to give just 1 hour of language tuition per week, which clearly isn’t very much.
The drawbacks are:
The age of 7 is too late
1 hour a week is not enough
Many teachers at primary level have a limited knowledge of French
Little crossover and communication between primary and secondary schools
Why Isn’t A Foreign Language Taught At Pre-school?
Children in the UK are taught in virtually all subjects at pre-school except languages. However, it’s really important that they are exposed to a foreign language at an early age – the earlier the better.
So what is the optimal age for a child to learn a second language?
Specialists agree that exposing a child to 2 languages from birth is the best way for the child to become bilingual and they also agree that there is a decline in the ability to learn a second language after the age of about 6 or 7.
At Les Puces, we do appreciate that the compulsory introduction into the school timetable is a step in the right direction, but it would be better if learning another language was made compulsory at a younger age. Starting at the age of 7 is too late and 1 hour per week is simply not enough.
Language Learning In Schools Has Low Priority
Language learning still has a low priority in schools and primary school teachers have to have a very broad knowledge of many subjects, understandably they may only have a limited understanding of a language and may mispronounce words and phrases.
This all compares most unfavourably with their peers in other countries who are brought up hearing languages all the time and are often surrounded by English speaking movies, music with English lyrics including pop songs, advertisements and generally they have more exposure at a younger age. Despite living in the digital age, it seems that being on an island means that the acquaintance with another language is still limited.
After School French Classes
It may be worth considering that your child takes French lessons after school or at weekends, which would really help your child to learn a second language.
Les Puces Classes
At Les Puces, the lessons are structured and planned with a new book each half term. The teachers at Les Puces work as a team and all have a fantastic level of French. They make learning French fun and best of all, they love teaching it and want to share their knowledge. Our teachers are not franchisees and therefore they do not have to invest in us - actually it is quite the opposite as we invest in them to teach your children French.
Most of our in school classes fill up within a couple of days of launching and we receive great feedback from them. If you are interested in after school French language classes which follow the suggested curriculum and which will really benefit your child’s learning, get in touch, or better still, ask your school to call us on Les Puces on 01892 457135 or 07534 954807.
"Congratulations both in terms of the success with our provision and also that in other schools"
Bishop Chavasse School, Tonbridge
"The feedback from parents is the children are loving French club!"
Plaxtol school Sevenoaks
"Les Puces afterschool club is going really well at SKPS, and we have had positive feedback from both parents and pupils."
Skinners Kent Primary school Tunbridge Wells
We currently have classes in Bromley, Brighton, Canterbury, Crawley, Folkestone, Horsham, Kensington London, Maidstone, Portsmouth, Sevenoaks, Tonbridge, Tunbridge Wells, Whitstable and Worthing where children of all ages can learn French in an inspiring and innovative way.
photos by Les Puces and depositphotos